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Old 06-04-2012, 11:08 PM   #1
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Default ABV Low WHY?

Hey Guys

My name is chris and i have been brewing for about 6 months all grain beer.

I have only been brewing High Gravity Beer. My system is made up of 10 gallon igloo false bottom mash tun... I boil water till 175 and pour it on the grain ( 20-28 lb ) in the mash tun, then wait 60 mins, i strain it off and then pour more water in the masn tun and wait 30 mins and strain it off,, then i pour more water in and strain it off at 15 mins. this gives me about 9 gallons of wort. Each time i strain off my wort, the grain temp is about 150.

I boil it down to about 7.5 gallons and then start my boil.
After my boil i cool the wort down with my own home built reverse wart cooler. 1 inch id garden hose with 3/8 id copper tube. It will cool down wort from boiling to 60-70 in one pass.

Then I use a bubbler to add Oxygen to the cooled wort.

Then I pitch wyeast

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Ok so here is the question.

All my beers OG start off betweet 1.104 at lowest to 1.130 highest

And all my beer FG finish at about 1.020 at lowest and 1.030 at highest.


So I mad a beer with Irish Wyeast and it had a OG of 1.104 and FG or 1.042

I want to know Why did it not go down to about 1.020.

What makes it not go low?

This is the Recipe i used

Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
10 lbs Brewer's Malt, 2-Row, Premium (Great Western) (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 38.4 %
7 lbs 12.0 oz Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 2 29.8 %
3 lbs 8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 3 13.5 %
2 lbs 4.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 4 8.7 %
2 lbs 4.0 oz Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 5 8.7 %
2.1 oz Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 6 0.5 %
2.1 oz Peat Smoked Malt (2.8 SRM) Grain 7 0.5 %
0.55 oz Chinook [13.90 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 8 14.6 IBUs
0.45 oz Warrior [18.20 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 9 17.2 IBUs
1.00 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 10 -
2.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 11 4.2 IBU
1.0 pkg Irish Ale (Wyeast Labs #1084) [124.21 ml] Yeast
2.0 Cascade [5.50 %] - Dry Hop 10.0 Days Hop 15 0.0 IBUs


Thanks for all the ideas If i get any

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Old 06-04-2012, 11:31 PM   #2
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I would guess it's your initial mash step. Try mashing cooler it will produce a beer with less body but more fermentable sugar. That's because of the way alpha and beta amylase work together. ( to make a long story short)

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Old 06-04-2012, 11:41 PM   #3
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^Yeah

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Old 06-04-2012, 11:52 PM   #4
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do you make a starter with your wyeast? just adding the pack, as-is, won't be enough yeast for that much high-gravity wort. you need to increase the yeast population with a starter. without one, the yeast might tire out before they finish the job (and create some off-flavors becase they're stressed out).

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Originally Posted by Double_D View Post
I would guess it's your initial mash step. Try mashing cooler it will produce a beer with less body but more fermentable sugar. That's because of the way alpha and beta amylase work together. ( to make a long story short)
the OP states that he's mashing at 150. that's pretty low and should make a very fermentable wort. so either he's not hitting 150 (and is in fact mashing at a higher temp, thus making a less fermentable wort) or mashing temp isn't the issue here.
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:57 PM   #5
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Could the combined 5# 12 oz of Crystal 80 and cara-pils also have something to do with it? Also boiling from 9 gallon down to 7.5 and then "starting the boil". Would seem to be quite a bit of caramelizing happening.

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Old 06-05-2012, 12:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double_D View Post
I would guess it's your initial mash step. Try mashing cooler it will produce a beer with less body but more fermentable sugar. That's because of the way alpha and beta amylase work together. ( to make a long story short)
You mean start off at 170? Because when it is done it is about 150-155 before i start the boil
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetcell View Post
do you make a starter with your wyeast? just adding the pack, as-is, won't be enough yeast for that much high-gravity wort. you need to increase the yeast population with a starter. without one, the yeast might tire out before they finish the job (and create some off-flavors because they're stressed out).



the OP states that he's mashing at 150. that's pretty low and should make a very fermentable wort. so either he's not hitting 150 (and is in fact mashing at a higher temp, thus making a less fermentable wort) or mashing temp isn't the issue here.
Thanks for your input... I use about 175 water and after i stir it up it is about 165 and when I pull the wort off after 60 min it is about 150.

HOW do I take my bag of yeast and make a starter with it? is it the same as useing 2 bags?
What I do is I pop the inter bag and then leave it out for about 3 hours and dont pour it in the cooled wort until it is full of air.

There is never any off flavors.... Well to my taste buds

We live in BEER CITY USA and I know what good beer taste like but leearning how to make it
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:22 AM   #8
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^^^ You say your starting mash temp is at 165? That is way to high. If your mash tun is well insulated you should be only losing like 1-2 degrees. Bring your starting mash down to 151-152, and let it lower to 150ish, depending on the style of beer.

Searh yeast starter. There are alot of threads on the subject. It is really easy to make one..

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Old 06-05-2012, 12:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueman89 View Post
Could the combined 5# 12 oz of Crystal 80 and cara-pils also have something to do with it? Also boiling from 9 gallon down to 7.5 and then "starting the boil". Would seem to be quite a bit of caramelizing happening.
This is a Red beer and the color is perfect well to me it is
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 100million View Post
Thanks for your input... I use about 175 water and after i stir it up it is about 165 and when I pull the wort off after 60 min it is about 150.

HOW do I take my bag of yeast and make a starter with it? is it the same as useing 2 bags?
What I do is I pop the inter bag and then leave it out for about 3 hours and dont pour it in the cooled wort until it is full of air.

There is never any off flavors.... Well to my taste buds

We live in BEER CITY USA and I know what good beer taste like but leearning how to make it
going from 165 to 150 during your mash isn't a good idea. 165 is too high to start with, and you shouldn't lose that much heat - you want to be much more stable. as an example you want to start at 154, and end at 152 or 151.

are you using a mash-tun? or just doing it in a pot? if you're just using a pot, you might need to add some heat to make up for what you're losing. it's tricky business, trying to figure out when and how much flame to add to the pot to keep the temp stable. much easier to use a mash-tun: it's an insulated cooler that you add the grains and water to. the insulation ensures that everything stays pretty much at the same temp. more info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 100million View Post
HOW do I take my bag of yeast and make a starter with it? is it the same as useing 2 bags?
What I do is I pop the inter bag and then leave it out for about 3 hours and dont pour it in the cooled wort until it is full of air.
A-HA! i think we may have found the source of your problems: you've been under-pitching (not adding enough yeast). your yeast has been too tired and stressed to bring your FG down any lower. with a small population, you had less chance of having robust cells that could continue fermenting despite the presence of alcohol.

no, making a starter is not the same thing as popping the pack in the smack-pack. that nutrient pack invigorates the yeast in the pack and proves that they are active, but it doesn't increase the population of yeast.

the idea of a starter is to make a small amount of weak, well-oxygenated wort and let the yeast ferment it out. this creates a forgiving environment where the yeast can reproduce and grow the population. you then cold-crash the starter, decant (pour off) the spent wort and keep the newly-increased yeast. you then pitch this "boosted yeast" into your beer.

read these:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Starter
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/how...-video-177635/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/how-...ctorial-76101/

use mr. malty to calculate how big a starter you need: http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

making a starter is like using two or three packs at the same time - but much cheaper. just takes a little time.
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What hops should I grow? Hop grower's comparison table. Looking for cheap honey?

Drinking: a farmhouse with ECY08 & brett blend, wet-hopped harvest ale x 2, second runnings dark ale with vanilla
Fermenting: (nothing active)
Aging: imperial chocolate stout, sour cherry mead, oud bruin & a few other sours, acerglyn, a BDSA
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