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Old 04-07-2013, 05:16 PM   #1
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Default consistent final gravity issue

I have done 3 or 4 all grain batches from stouts to ambers in the last month, I have been getting my target OG or atleast acceptable range from 1.050 and above depending on the style. Such as a belgian getting 1.070 and a brown at 1.050. I leave it alone in the fermenter for atleast 3 weeks at temps from 65 to 70. Last few readings didnt get over (or under?) 1.030. Still a decent beer but when I see other folks with 1.010 or better, I think maybe Im missing something.
Here is a slight breakdown of my process.
I use a victory grain mill at a gap the size of a credit card (.032 I think).
Mash at 154, give or take a degree, for 60 mins.
Batch sparge usually 3 runnings to get my target wort volume.
Boil 60 plus mins than cool to 75ish with a wort chiller.
Sprinkle dry yeast into wort and wait. Usually 30 mins to see activity.
Usually 2 weeks and the airlock has almost no bubbles.

Maybe iffy hydrometer or thermometer is off? I also use a whole packet for one gallon batches, maybe over-kill?

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Old 04-07-2013, 05:21 PM   #2
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Forgot to mention, I pitched another slight sprinkle into one batch that is stuck at 1.032 24 hours ago and zero changes. No airlock bubbles or noticable clumps of anything.

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Old 04-07-2013, 05:34 PM   #3
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are you aerating the wort? thats the only thing I could think of to keep your fg that high. I'd also double check your hydrometer with distilled water. it should read 1.0000 at 60 F. then check your thermometer in boiling water, it should read 212. in a glass of ice water it should say 32.

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Old 04-07-2013, 05:43 PM   #4
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Thanks, I'll check the hydro. I use the thermo for boiling water and is over 200 so I think thats ok. I shake the fermenter vigorously for about a minute until its good and frothy. Maybe I need to either use a aquarium bubbler or shake the crap out of it longer.

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Old 04-08-2013, 06:45 AM   #5
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I would hydrate your dry yeast. Pitcing on top of the wort kills lots of the yeast, could be your issue with higher OG worts.

I would also invest in an O2 stone, makes for much healthier fermentations.

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Old 04-08-2013, 04:48 PM   #6
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I had an aquarium stone and pump from an old fish tank, stone is new and well sanitized. Tried about 10 mins and let some of the froth come over the top. I did rehydrate before pitching as well. Used a whole packet for 2 gallons. Shook the crap out of it too. We'll see how things comes out in a few weeks. OG was 1.070

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Old 04-08-2013, 08:01 PM   #7
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Based on personal experience and what I have heard from the yeast companies do not think rehydrating the yeast makes a difference, and even if it does, that alone would not have your 1.050 beers finishing at 1.030.

Your post seams to imply that this attenuation issue cropped up at the same time that you switched to all grain. Which to me implies not a yeast issue, but a wort fermentability issue (although it is quite possible that it is a combination of the two). Do you have any idea what your water is like? because that sounds like something you would get from a high mash pH, or a combination of high pH and less O2 than ideal for the yeast.

thats my two cents, look at the mash pH if you can.

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Old 04-08-2013, 09:22 PM   #8
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I always have been all grain, I am new to brewing, started in january. I have just started taking more accurate readings now that Im more familiar with the process.
Other than not enough sugars and not enough oxygen to hit better FG, is that the jist of it?
The water I use comes from a well. It tastes like spring water but will give me something to check. Thanks for the input.

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Old 04-08-2013, 09:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heathcom View Post
Thanks, I'll check the hydro. I use the thermo for boiling water and is over 200 so I think thats ok. I shake the fermenter vigorously for about a minute until its good and frothy. Maybe I need to either use a aquarium bubbler or shake the crap out of it longer.
over 200?

that could be your issue, if it's reading closer to 200 than 212 your mash temp could be reading 154 when its more like 166ish
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heathcom View Post
Forgot to mention, I pitched another slight sprinkle into one batch that is stuck at 1.032 24 hours ago and zero changes. No airlock bubbles or noticable clumps of anything.
Not that it's specifically related to your issue, but you won't get a stuck fermentation to restart by just adding yeast. You need to make some sort of starter first.
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