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Old 12-11-2012, 05:38 PM   #1
KnotHeadGrady
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Default pushing FG lower

Hey I'm working on figuring out my next recipe and I am trying to do a high gravity beer by getting my FG lower. I successfully made a 6.8% red ale by adding extra extract (was doing extract before but now mostly do all grain) and getting a higher OG. My FG was 1.010 which seems to be where all of my beers stop. I know that if I could bring down the final gravity to say 1.005 or something it would increase abv and leave less sugars in the wort at the end for a lower carb beer that is still strong. Does anyone have a way to do this? I have heard adding different yeast after my ale yeast is done can do this like a champagne yeast. will this work or has anyone tried it.

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Old 12-12-2012, 10:00 AM   #2
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There are a couple ways you can finish with lower gravities. Adding some champagne yeast is one of them. Also, pay attention to your mash temps. Keep it down around 150. Your grain bill is also a factor -- using crystal or other "color" malts tend to add unfermentable sugars. Then there are also enzymes you can add to your mash that help break down more complex sugars into fermentable sugars -- I believe this is how "lite" beers are made.

However, I'm curious as to why you want a beer to finish so low. You want some residual sweetness to balance out the hops. If you are watching your carbohydrates, then you don't want a high gravity beer.

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Old 12-12-2012, 11:24 AM   #3
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This is a link to a thread I started. Instead of copy pasting the info I am posting a link. I still do this technique and have great success. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/diab...cusion-314858/



BTW how big is a big beer to you? Because those can be problematic. Read up on Utopias clones.

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Old 12-12-2012, 11:47 AM   #4
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I just read some research on lower carb beers - can't remember if it was BYO or someone here on HBT. Anyway, the results were that alcohol sugars have more calories than the residual sugars in the wort (forgive me if I'm not using proper terminology here).

So, if you are wanting to make brews that don't expand the waste line as much, you'd want to do the opposite--finish at a higher FG-- brew lower gravity ales.

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Old 12-12-2012, 12:56 PM   #5
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To get a lower gravity, you can mash at a lower temperature, use the extra-light extract, limit specialty grains, and use adjuncts. You can choose a yeast that has a high apparent attenuation. I would avoid champagne yeast. You can use beano to convert complex carbohydrates into sugars, but this isn't common.

Most of the time, beers that finish this low are lite lagers and cream ales. SMaSH Pale ales can sometimes finish low, as can ales with specialty grains in moderation.

Beers with a lower OG than 1.050 may also finish low, as would be the case with dry stouts.

As for 1.010, I would find it acceptable for most of my beers to finish around there.

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Old 12-13-2012, 02:07 AM   #6
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Thanks all, to answer one question I would say a big beer for me is over 6.5% abv. I know that alcohol has calories but in the software I'm using, brewCalc app, it shows that if the final gravity is lowered from a "big" beer the alcohol percent can increase drastically without really changing the calories. Trust me I drink plenty of high calorie beers, I just can't worry about that when it comes to taste you gotta go for taste...but it is a concern for many people and so I was hoping that I could find a way to produce a high octane brew with minimal Cal but still the taste.

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Old 12-13-2012, 09:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KnotHeadGrady View Post
Thanks all, to answer one question I would say a big beer for me is over 6.5% abv. I know that alcohol has calories but in the software I'm using, brewCalc app, it shows that if the final gravity is lowered from a "big" beer the alcohol percent can increase drastically without really changing the calories. Trust me I drink plenty of high calorie beers, I just can't worry about that when it comes to taste you gotta go for taste...but it is a concern for many people and so I was hoping that I could find a way to produce a high octane brew with minimal Cal but still the taste.
Great beer, to me, is about balance. A higher alcohol beer almost needs, to me, some residual sugar, a more prominent malt profile, to help offset the booziness.
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:13 PM   #8
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Yeah that's kinda what I was thinking too. Well I'm going to try to do a lower temp mash for longer next time and see what happens. If it lowers the fg I'll just have to see if it's nasty or not haha.

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Old 12-13-2012, 05:03 PM   #9
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Lowering the mash temp produces more simple sugars, which is why the yeast takes the FG lower--they're easier for yeast to consume. However, the mouthfeel in beer generally comes from dextrines (longer chain sugars) that are harder for yeast to break apart and convert to alcohol. So getting down to 1.005 or lower will often produce a beer with a rather thin mouthfeel, and that can be disconcerting with higher ABV and strong flavors from hops. Just my 2 cents.

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Old 12-13-2012, 07:10 PM   #10
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If you are adding extract, generally you can expect a higher F.G. depending on how the extract was produced.

I'm brewing a Tripel now that I wanted to end up dry. I added home-made invert sugar in two batches after initial fermentation had subsided. When I added the first batch, my gravity was at 1.010. About 4 days after the second addition of invert sugar my gravity is down to 1.006. Considering my initial gravity should be about 1.093 after the sugar is added in, I'm going to have one high ABV, dry beer.

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