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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > 1.01 final gravity, consistently
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:52 PM   #1
digphish
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Default 1.01 final gravity, consistently

So for the past 3 beers that I've brewed, I have gotten a final gravity of just about 1.000-1.002. I've been using safale-04. I did a blonde ale with a gravity of 1.052, a pale with a gravity of 1.054, and an oktoberfest with a gravity of 1.064. The only issue I've been having is keeping the temperature down. All three fermented at 78-80 degrees. I know this is way too high, but they all turned out well. Now that it is colder I can get that temp under control. But is that really the reason they are finishing so low? I've never had a beer finish under 1.010 before and now I'm getting them down to 0? I did check my hyrdrometer to make sure it works and water at 60 degrees is 1.000. Any thoughts and what is going on?

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Old 10-31-2012, 06:46 PM   #2
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Are you an extract or AG brewer?

Low FGs like that would suggest that you are an AG brewer and you are mashing at lower (under 150F) temps, or maybe just losing a significant amount of heat during your mash instead of keeping it fairly consistent. The lower mash temps activates enzymes that break grain carbohydrates down into mostly simple sugars that any yeast can easily consume. Mashing closer to 156F, or making sure you are maintaining your mash temp more consistently above 150F would help, as those higher mash temps activate completely different enzymes that break down grain sugar into a mix of simple sugars the yeast can eat and a smaller % of long-chain complex sugars that the yeast can't eat, so they are not converted during fermentation, contributing to the "malty" taste of beer and the typical FGs you are looking for.

If you are an extract brewer, the only real way to consistently get low FGs like that would be if you are ADDING some sort of simple sugar like honey, brown sugar, cane sugar, candy sugar, etc. to the wort. Same concept as the above, just without the enzyme activity - those simple sugars increase the % of simple sugars in the wort, making it easier for the yeast to eat them, and increasing attenuation.

Either of those ring a bell when you think of your process on those beers?

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Old 10-31-2012, 06:55 PM   #3
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check your hydrometer.

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Old 10-31-2012, 07:31 PM   #4
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I'd think if you were getting down to 1.000-1.002 there is something besides safale-04 in your fermenter.

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Old 10-31-2012, 08:46 PM   #5
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Topher,

I am an All grain brewer. I admit, I have been a bit lazy lately when checking my mash temperatures. I dump 180 degree water in my igloo water cooler, let it sit for 5 minutes, then dump the grains in, mix it up and let it mash for 60 minutes. I stopped taking temps because this setup always got me to 152-154. I did not measure on those last two brews that ended up with such a low FG. However I did take better measurements on the brew last weekend because I needed a lower mash temp of 148. I also used liquid yeast (2 different strands, one per fermenter) for the first time in a year. Maybe that will make a difference?

I did check the hydrometer yesterday and it read 1.000 at 60 degrees.

If I had some type of wild yeast living in my buckets, wouldn't cleaning and sanitizing with star san take care of that?

by the way, thanks guys for your help

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Old 10-31-2012, 09:02 PM   #6
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As far as getting rid of wild yeasts, no cleaning and sanitizing might not git rid of them especially if you are using buckets to ferment. You might have a scratch that these solutions can not get into. I would replace the buckets if you think it is that. It is basically impossible for beer yeast to get down to 1.000 without some sort of help.

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Old 10-31-2012, 09:08 PM   #7
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that makes sense. Would I notice any off-flavors or anything? My last two brews were delicious. I brewed 10 gallons of each, and they lasted 2-3 months each and they got better and clearer with each pull from the tap. In fact, they have been some of the clearest beers ever. I have been using clarity-ferm during fermentation to help eat up the gluten. Does that have anything to do with it?

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Old 10-31-2012, 09:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
It is basically impossible for beer yeast to get down to 1.000 without some sort of help.
That might be true for the types of beer we are talking about in the OP, but higher gravity beers (Belgian Trips/Quads especially) commonly have FGs down to 1.000 and below. This is because ethanol has a gravity of 0.800, so when you have enough of it, it starts to bring the FG down.

You can't get 100% real attenuation (the max is around 80), but you can get 100% measured/apparent attenuation due to high real attenuation + ethanol content.

DIGFISH, I'd definitely be more careful with measuring and maintaining mash temps in the future.

I mash almost everything at 154F, and looking at my last recipe, BeerSmith shows that 10 lbs of grain at 76F added to 7.2 gallons of strike water (I BIAB) at 162.9F bring the temp back to 154F.
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:20 PM   #9
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Will do. I'll let you know how last week's brew come out in regards to FG. I'm also fermenting them at a much lower temp now that my garage is cold. They've been fermenting at 64 degrees.

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Old 10-31-2012, 10:35 PM   #10
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Topher, have you made a beer that resulted in 1.000? I understand your point but even so I have never heard of that before... not that it isn't possible

Dig, does the beer taste like it has some funkiness?

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