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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Pliny - how does he get FG so low?
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Old 10-24-2009, 05:40 AM   #11
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just curious, what temp are you fermenting at?

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Old 10-24-2009, 06:04 AM   #12
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edit, didnt see you were already including 12oz corn sugar

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Old 10-24-2009, 06:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agusus View Post
Ok, so I know there have been several other threads on Pliny the Elder, but the one thing I haven't been able to figure out after reading them all is - how does Vinnie (Russian River brewer) get his FG so low? How do you get a super low FG with a high OG recipe? I know adjuncts / corn sugar are one way. But I'm already including the recommended 0.75lb dextrose in my 5 gallon recipe and that doesn't get me anywhere close to the necessary low FG.

According to the Russian River website, Pliny is 1.071 OG, 8% ABV which puts it at 1.010 FG. (according to: http://www.brewersfriend.com/abv-calculator/ )

I've read Vinnie's writeup on how low FG is important for good IPAs (in his opinion), and I tend to agree - the dry light body of Pliny is a key factor in what I love about it.

The other thing that can help with low FG is high attenuation yeast. But all the Pliny recipes I've seen recommend an american ale yeast (S-05, Wyeast 1056, or WLP Cali) which is medium attenuation. Even if you use high atten yeast that still doesn't get the FG down to 1.010.

All the brewing tools I’ve tried seem to indicate a 1.010 FG is not possible with a 8% ABV brew and only 0.75lb corn sugar. The corn sugar adds 7 gravity points, or 0.65% ABV for a 5g batch.
Using this tool:
http://www.brewersfriend.com/allgrain-ogfg/

it says that 13lbs 2-row would be needed to get to 8% ABV with a high attenuation yeast, but that puts my FG at 1.018 – significantly higher than Pliny. And a medium attenuation yeast, like most that are recommended with this recipe, would require 14lbs 2-row and result in FG 1.024!
I know these values are approximations. But 1.024 is way off from 1.010, that’s not within the realm of statistical error or approximation error.
I got similar results in BeerSmith – 13.5lb 2-row + 0.75lb corn sugar + Pasteur Champagne yeast (75% atten) = 8% ABV, OG 1.080, FG 1.019.

So – how is it possible to get an FG of 1.010 on an 8% ABV beer?

First of all, those websites are estimations. The estimator you posted does a particularly poor job of estimating corn sugar. Try putting in 5 lbs of corn sugar and a high attenuating yeast. The calculator will tell you that the estimated final gravity is 1.010. In reality, the FG would be under 1.000, since all the solids in solution are fermentable. You'd pretty much have a solution of alcohol and water (and yeast byproducts). The attenuation numbers for yeast are based on a standard wort, corn sugar is a different beast.

Second, the yeasts being used for Pliny are high attenuating. WLP001 gets over 75% easily and with a low mash temp will get close to 80%. With corn sugar in the mix, you can probably get it above 80%.


If you just take the malt portion of the grain bill and assume 80% attenuation, you'll go from 1.064 to 1.013.

If you take the corn sugar portion you'll go from 1.007 to ~0.998.

Combine the two and you get roughly 1.071 to 1.011.

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Old 10-24-2009, 06:40 PM   #14
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I use pacman whenever I have the time to build up enough yeast.

I personally believe it ferments out slightly dryer than 1056/S-05. I might be just imagining things, but it certainly isn't less dry than these, so if you're trying to go dryer i would strongly recommend it.

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Old 10-24-2009, 06:45 PM   #15
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I've done Mike McDole's Pliny clone, with 1.5 pounds corn sugar, and mashed at 150. I went from 1.082 to 1.012 using WLP001 and no other heroic methods.

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Old 11-25-2009, 02:51 AM   #16
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Default My first all grain batch was the Pliny Clone from "Brewing Classic Styles"

OK, I know I'm new here, so if I say something that doesn't make sense, help me out. I did this as my 1st AG batch 3 weeks ago.

My first AG batch I was advantageous. I decided to do this recipe, partially because I love IPA's, partly in order to get my father to be able to taste the beer it needs to be strong.

I decided to change the base malt to Marris Otter. I just preferred the taste to American 2-row. BTW, I was doing a 10 gallon batch (to split with dad). I got 3 vials of WLP-001 California Ale. Made a .75 gallon starter the night before the brewon a homebrew stir plate withe the circuit board from striplates.com.

Brew day proved to make me nervous. Everything went like clockwork. Decided to mash at 150 degrees. 60 minute rest left me at about 146 degrees. Boiled with the multitude of hop additions, and cooled with my new Therminator (thanks Blichmann Eng!) and via a homebrew oxygenation stone (in a sightglass)added plenty of O2 as the wort transferred into the fermention keggle. OG was 1.072.

Fermented at 66 degrees for one week. Transferred to secondary and added the dry-hops (LOTS of dry hops). FG just before transfer--1.009. I thought it was too low!! One week in secondary at 66 degrees, and then transferred to corny kegs to force-carb at 43 degrees last Sunday (11-22-09). Tonight I tried a 1/2 glass to ensure I wasn't over carbing. Not yet, but it tastes AWESOME!!

I have never tried the original, but I hope mine does it justice. I guess I was just lucky for the lower mash temp to achieve drier beer. My advice--make an awesome starter. I haven't ever brewed without one, extract or grain.

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Old 11-25-2009, 07:29 AM   #17
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Is it really that hard? Low mash temp, yeast with a decent attenuation (S-05, WLP001 are perfectly fine for this), and sugar. Doesn't even need to be corn sugar. Just plain table sugar is fine.

Also, to Harpo, a starter with three vials of yeast is super overkill, but that's ok.

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Old 11-25-2009, 07:46 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carnevoodoo View Post
Is it really that hard? Low mash temp, yeast with a decent attenuation (S-05, WLP001 are perfectly fine for this), and sugar. Doesn't even need to be corn sugar. Just plain table sugar is fine.

Also, to Harpo, a starter with three vials of yeast is super overkill, but that's ok.
3 vials of new yeast, on a stir palte for the starter, for a high gravity beer and a 10 gallon batch, I would't really call over kill (ok maybe a little ) 2 vials on a plate yes would have done the job, but just think of the lag time LOL. What was it like 1 hour?

Yep low FG is from mashing low and long. Getting your fermentables from a good sugar and pitching a good active starter at reasonable temps and you will get there.
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:15 PM   #19
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mash at 149, add simple sugar.

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Old 11-25-2009, 03:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carnevoodoo View Post
Is it really that hard? Low mash temp, yeast with a decent attenuation (S-05, WLP001 are perfectly fine for this), and sugar. Doesn't even need to be corn sugar. Just plain table sugar is fine.

Also, to Harpo, a starter with three vials of yeast is super overkill, but that's ok.
I did use the corn sugar as well. 3lbs right at the end of the boil.
3 vials might have been high, but better to over-pitch by a little than under, right?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaybird View Post
3 vials of new yeast, on a stir palte for the starter, for a high gravity beer and a 10 gallon batch, I would't really call over kill (ok maybe a little ) 2 vials on a plate yes would have done the job, but just think of the lag time LOL. What was it like 1 hour?

Yep low FG is from mashing low and long. Getting your fermentables from a good sugar and pitching a good active starter at reasonable temps and you will get there.
Yeah, since I have been aerating and always using starters lag time can almost be measured in nano-seconds.

One of these doesn't hurt to try and get as close to saturation as possible...
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