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Old 01-09-2012, 02:40 PM   #1
techrunner
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Default i never get to finish

seems like this has been a consistent problem since i started brewing. i have used different recipes, different yeasts, sometimes in the basement, sometimes in a 2 stage controlled fermentation fridge. i always end up right around 1.020 on all my beers.

i have made a pale ale, porters, stouts, hefes, dunkels, all consistently end up at 1.020. some are there in a week and a half, others i have left in the primary for 4-5 weeks and still the same final. i had one that went to 1.018, otherwise they are all 1.020-1.021. and yes i have checked my hydrometer against regular water. and actually i have used two different hydros too. any idea what might cause this? seems weird to me. i guess they are pretty good, so i'm not overly concerned, but there has to be a cause. theroies anyone?

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Old 01-09-2012, 02:43 PM   #2
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You're doing extract brewing right? There's what is known as the 1.020 curse, where a lot of extract batches tend to peter out at that point. Making sure you have put in plenty of oxygen and yeast on brew day helps. But some beer seem to stick regardless. A lot of that I think has to do with wort caramelization, where both the process of making and boiling the extract produces or converts some of the sugars into unfermentable ones.

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Old 01-09-2012, 02:44 PM   #3
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That's what she said Sorry had to do it.

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Old 01-09-2012, 03:01 PM   #4
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Rev,

i had read on that with extracts on here, and i figured that was it. but i went to all grain about 6 batches ago, and its been the same thing. i just did an all grain stout, took a sample last night, guess what. 1.020. so i'm thinking its gotta be in my process somewhere, but i can't figure out where. as soon i get my dunkel kegged tonight or tomorrow i will have another ag batch to check, but i'm expecting the same thing there. like i said, it tastes good to me, but if i try to do a little drier fizzier beer for the wife's family i might want it to finish a little lower.


and mitchar, i've heard it from her too before. guess i should've told her to RDWHAHB

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Old 01-09-2012, 03:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techrunner View Post
Rev,

i had read on that with extracts on here, and i figured that was it. but i went to all grain about 6 batches ago, and its been the same thing. i just did an all grain stout, took a sample last night, guess what. 1.020. so i'm thinking its gotta be in my process somewhere, but i can't figure out where. as soon i get my dunkel kegged tonight or tomorrow i will have another ag batch to check, but i'm expecting the same thing there. like i said, it tastes good to me, but if i try to do a little drier fizzier beer for the wife's family i might want it to finish a little lower.
Need to look at your mash temps, seems like you're creating some unfermentable sugars.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:16 PM   #6
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I had this problem, and I traced it back to two things.
1. I wasn't aerating the wort well before pitching the yeast
2. My mash temps were on the high side 158-160.

Since I've made a few beers, mashed at 152-155 and all aerated well. They've all attenuated nicely.

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Old 01-09-2012, 03:27 PM   #7
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Are you using a refractometer?

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Old 01-09-2012, 03:31 PM   #8
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Disregard that...I see now that he uses a hydrometer...

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Old 01-09-2012, 03:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brickwalker
I had this problem, and I traced it back to two things.
1. I wasn't aerating the wort well before pitching the yeast
2. My mash temps were on the high side 158-160.

Since I've made a few beers, mashed at 152-155 and all aerated well. They've all attenuated nicely.
I will add to that and say that if you're trying to control your ferment and your temps are going too high, cooling the beer down to the temp you want will make the yeast susceptible to just dropping out instead of finishing out the last few gravity points. It's better to let yeast gradually rise all the way to the ferment then to swing back and forth. Just another possibility.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:47 PM   #10
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Make sure you pitch enough yeast. Conspicuous by its absence in your original post is any discussion of specific strains, pitching rate, etc. As others have noted, mash temperature and wort aeration could be issues as well.

If you answer these five questions, we will be able to pinpoint your problem:

(1) What strain(s) are you using?

(2) What is your pitching rate and temperature?

(3) What is your process for aerating your wort?

(4) What are your mash temperatures?

(5) What is your fermentation temperature?

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