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Old 11-08-2009, 06:25 PM   #1
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Default Stuck at 1.028... Mashed too high. Enzymes or?

Problem:
Wort stopping at 1.020 to 1.028

Background:
Last Saturday I went to a group brew at the University (a red). Before I showed up there was an apparent thermometer calibration issue which led to an initial mash in at around 180. When the error was caught temperature was lowered via ice and additional pale malt was added to attempt to make up for destroyed enzymes. I have not yet checked the SG on my carboy of beer but reports are coming in of worts stopping at 1.020-1.028. OG was 1.057. Wort did pass iodine test but all that means is that starch was converted to sugars - apparently higher sugars than most yeast is prepared to handle.

Question:
Assuming that I don't care for the beer as is (it's hazy as all get up but I'm only concerned about taste), how would you recommend decreasing the FG?

Proposed solutions and discussion of each:
There are three potential solutions that I'm aware of: enzymes, sugar and wine yeast.
Enzymes:
My understanding of enzymes (Alpha galactosidase or beano - amyloglucosidase) is that either one requires pasteurization to denature the enzyme - something I'd rather not do.

Sugar:
My understanding is that adding sugar would dry the beer out - but at what quantity should I add it if I do? I believe the FG would remain roughly the same but alchohol would be boosted, changing the perceived balance of the beer.

Yeast:
As I understand it wine/ champagne yeasts are more prepared to eat higher sugars than your average beer yeast is. Would this be a feasible solution?
Original e-mail from brewmaster suggesting solutions.
Quote:
Hey all who came to the brew last week,

I hope every one had a good time brewing and hanging out in the pilot plant.
And I hope every one signs up for a future brew.

Now I have notice with some people that the wort had stop fermenting
around 5 to 7 degrees P or 1.020 to 1.028 SG roughly. Our starting
gravity was 14.3 P. Around 1.057 SG. If you wish decrease your gravity
and raise your alcohol content of the beer there are 2 ways I can
think of to do it. One is buying room temperature stable enzymes from
online to break down the complex sugars into simple sugars that the
yeast can processes. Or you could add 4 crushed tablets of Beano found
out your local pharmacy. I Have never done this before my self but I
have been told by the guys at out local brew supply store that it will
help lower the final gravity and raise the alcohol content.
After you add your enzymes you could pitch your yeast to help get your
fermentation going again.

Cheers,



Caution

Homebrewers who add Beano to their beer fermentation should expect to
see slightly lower final gravity readings than they are used to for a
given recipe, so should wait until they get two identical hydrometer
readings at 24 hours apart before deciding that the fermentation has
finished. Not doing so may increase the risk of exploding beer bottles.
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Old 11-08-2009, 06:59 PM   #2
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Do all three. Draw off a little over 1 gallon, three times. Leaving a control sample. Then do each one of your suggestions.

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Old 11-09-2009, 02:01 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JVD_X View Post
Do all three. Draw off a little over 1 gallon, three times. Leaving a control sample. Then do each one of your suggestions.
I may do that. If I do I'll be sure to post the results here. I was, however, looking for a "I've done all three X worked best". Maybe I'll be the guinea pig.

However, I'm a lazy brewer. I'm taking 17 credits of senior level engineering classes so my time is limited to say the least. Keeping up with here, brewing, and spending time with my family are about all I can keep up with.
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Old 11-09-2009, 03:05 AM   #4
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What were your OG and desired FG? Amylase will reduce your FG to ~1.000. Adding sugar will not change your FG, but will increase the abv of the beer. Sugar only dries a beer out when it is replacing other fermentables in the wort, not when it is supplementing them.

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Old 11-09-2009, 05:10 AM   #5
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What sucks is that the brew was a kinda hands-off brew. Wort provided for $20 and a little bit of help. Met some cool people but wasn't super thrilled with the brewday.

All that to say - I'm not sure what the exact recipe or desired FG were - but 1.020 - 1.028 is obviously quite high with an OG of 1.057. I'll check the real FG when I have an idea of what I'm actually doing with the wort to get her to finish.

Quite buzzed so I'm going to quit typing. Just racked: 10 gallons of graff, 5 gallons of afpelwein, 30 gallons of blackberry wine and had to "sample" each.

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Old 11-09-2009, 03:05 PM   #6
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Get some Alpha Amylase. Since it has a branching limit (unlike galactosidase), it won't thin the beer out too far, nor does it need to be pasturized to stop it.

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