Originally Posted by Jtc2811
Do you think the special grains in these recipes were enough to contribute to the high SG's?
Certainly should not have been an issue with the second one. 1 lb of crystal is not toooooo much. Mashing at 156 didn't help, but you should be lower than 1.035. If you were talking about 1.020/1.025 then I would say you were done.
Beer #1: 1 lb Crystal, 1 lb Cara (you probably got more unfermentables from it by just steeping; and for future reference, it does have starches that can be converted), and half lb of honey, might give you .005 to .008 unfermentable points.
Lets say .008 of unfermentable sugars (though that is on the high side); your effective 'fermentable' gravity then went from 1.097 to 1.027, or 72%. A little on the low side, but might be done.
You might want to check your thermometer. Maybe you mashed higher than you thought.