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Old 09-14-2010, 04:24 AM   #1
andrew300
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Default too much attenuation, need help

I made the hoppiness is an ipa last Saturday and I took a gravity rating and it is already 1.009 and there is still airlock activity. My original gravity was 1.065, which means I have a 84% attenuation already! The recipe does not have any simple sugars in it. I mashed at 149 and used wyeast 1056 american ale with a starter. The sample I took was super cloudy with yeast, would this make a difference in the hydrometer reading? The low attenuation seems to happen with most of my beers. What do you think is going on?

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Old 09-14-2010, 11:50 AM   #2
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yeast won't effect hydrometer
@ 149 you'll get lot's of fermentables
next time mash higher ferment cooler

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Old 09-14-2010, 12:37 PM   #3
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I usually get around 85% attenuation by using 1056 and a starter as well. This seems independent on what temp i sacc rest at or how much unfermentables (within reason) i have. I just roll with the punches and choose a different strain when i don't want as high of an attenuation. In the future, if i'm looking for a lower attenuation with 1056, i'll probably NOT use a starter and hope it stays below 80%.

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Old 09-14-2010, 01:44 PM   #4
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Alright, next time I will change it up. I do not know how in Brewing Classic Styles how he can get 1.012 for the finishing gravity with that yeast. Maybe its based on attenuation you get with extract?

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Old 09-14-2010, 03:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzlater View Post
yeast won't effect hydrometer
@ 149 you'll get lot's of fermentables
next time mash higher ferment cooler
+1
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Old 09-14-2010, 03:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew300 View Post
Alright, next time I will change it up. I do not know how in Brewing Classic Styles how he can get 1.012 for the finishing gravity with that yeast. Maybe its based on attenuation you get with extract?
It's all about your mash temps/techniques... When I went from Extract to All-Grain I went from beers always finishing too high to always finishing too low! Took a while to learn the nuances. Mash higher. From 1.065 you should be able to produce a 1.012 FG with a mash in the 153-154 range.
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:00 PM   #7
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I've even gone up to 156°F,and STILL got ~85% attenuation. Like Randar said, it's about knowing your techniques and being able to rely on your own reproducability. Though I'll get flamed, i would suggest trying a smaller starter (or none at all) when trying 1056 again (keeping other variables constant).

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Old 09-14-2010, 06:27 PM   #8
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+1 for super-high attenuation from a 149F mash. A couple of other things to consider ...

1. Did you perform a mash-out before you started sparging?
2. Was your sparge water heated and ready to use once your iodine test showed conversion?

If you didn't mash out and raise the grain bed beyond sacc temps, it's possible that you still continued to get starch conversion all through your sparge. I made a really thin stout this way once.

#2 would produce similar results. I've had mashes before that were showing starch/sugar conversion and ready to sparge while my sparge water was still far to cold to use. In one case, it took me another 20 min to get my sparge water in range. That means the mash spent another 20 min at sacc temps while I was waiting for my water to heat.

I've discovered that enzymes are like yeasts and pretty much ignore what I want them to do. The little buggers won't stop converting starch to sugar just because my kitchen timer is dinging.

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Old 09-14-2010, 06:46 PM   #9
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I had a similar problem and discovered that all of my thermometers were off by considerable amounts...

Definitely do an ice water/boil test on all of your brew thermometers...

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Old 09-15-2010, 12:29 AM   #10
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Do you batch sparge? If so, after taking your first runnings do you let them sit in the pot until you collect your next running or two? That was my problem and was giving me crazy, crazy high attenuation. Now I get my first running boiling right away while I sparge the rest and get normal attenuation...

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