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Old 07-01-2009, 12:57 AM   #1
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Default sugar after fermentation

I know I have a thermometer problem, but I need to fix this batch before bottling. It's an AG Porter which started at 1.054. After 1 month in primary it finished at 1.030. Way too high.

I added 2 lbs. of sugar to lower FG, but am considering pitching a packet of champagne yeast. Would this help at all maybe convert some of the more complex sugars?

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Old 07-01-2009, 01:07 AM   #2
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I know I have a thermometer problem, but I need to fix this batch before bottling. It's an AG Porter which started at 1.054. After 1 month in primary it finished at 1.030. Way too high.

I added 2 lbs. of sugar to lower FG, but am considering pitching a packet of champagne yeast. Would this help at all maybe convert some of the more complex sugars?
Maybe. It depends on how much you have in there in the way of unfermentables. If the high FG is because of a high percentage of unfermentables, then champagne yeast won't help much.

If you added two pounds of sugar, you would definitely thin the body of the beer, but it wouldn't lower the FG. It would raise the OG, but it shouldn't lower the FG if the FG is high because of the unfermentables in there.

What's the recipe, and the temp problems? Maybe you just have a very thick, dextrinous wort.
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:12 AM   #3
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More yeast won't help a stuck fermentation caused by incomplete conversion. Amylase enzyme is the only readily available product that will break down starches and complex sugars so that they can be fermented. Unfortunately, amylase enzyme is nearly impossible to stop when added to the fermenter. There are a few possible fixes:

Gently stir the beer and see if you can rouse the yeast back into action. Perhaps conversion was more complete than you thought, and the yeast just pooped out early. Along the same lines (but more expensive), adding a big starter or another packet of dry yeast may help.

If conversion was indeed incomplete, you are in a bind. Beano (the anti-gas pill) will add amylase enzyme to break down the complex sugars. Unfortunately, unless you stop the yeast when the desired FG is reached, the beer will finish VERY dry.

To stop the yeast you have two options: pasteurization, which will denature the enzymes and also kill the yeast, or sulfates (Campden tablets).

To pasteurize, bring the beer up to 170° for about 10 minutes, then chill it again. Avoid aeration. When bottling you'll need to add both yeast and priming sugar.

To sulfate, add one crushed Campden tablet per gallon of beer. With this option, you'll need to force carbonate.

One last option when using Beano in the fermenter is to just let it finish dry, then backsweeten to taste with lactose or Splenda. Bottle as usual.

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Old 07-01-2009, 01:40 AM   #4
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This is the third batch this has happened to since I got home from school, and I assume my thermometer was broken during the move. My Brown Ale finished at 1.022, and my stout at 1.025, and now 1.030. I believe adding sugar should lower FG because alcohol is thinner than water so adding alcohol will lower FG, but the main purpose is to boost ABV up from 3%. The champagne yeast is 60 cents so it's no big deal, I just want to do what I can to lower FG and boost ABV.

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Old 07-01-2009, 01:44 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by mezak1gd View Post
This is the third batch this has happened to since I got home from school, and I assume my thermometer was broken during the move. My Brown Ale finished at 1.022, and my stout at 1.025, and now 1.030. I believe adding sugar should lower FG because alcohol is thinner than water so adding alcohol will lower FG, but the main purpose is to boost ABV up from 3%. The champagne yeast is 60 cents so it's no big deal, I just want to do what I can to lower FG and boost ABV.
You'll boost the ABV. I don't imagine that you'll lower the FG though, because of the unfermentables. Is it terribly sweet?
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:45 AM   #6
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Adding sugar will boost the ABV, but it will likely not significantly lower the FG. You have a lot of residual sugar and starch in that brew. If it tastes good, let it finish, and just bottle it.

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Old 07-01-2009, 02:08 AM   #7
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you keep saying "thermometer problem" do you mean "hydrometer problem"?

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Old 07-01-2009, 02:12 AM   #8
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No, he's concerned about conversion in the mash, not the accuracy of his SG. It seems a logical place to start diagnosing issues with all grain brewing.

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Old 07-01-2009, 02:40 AM   #9
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Yah I mean I've been mashing at "152*" but I haven't been getting full conversion, and I did 3 batches before I started to bottle and noticed. 1.030 is very high but I don't necessarily mind it if I can boost ABV. Are there any bad side effects to pitching the champagne yeast such as off flavors? I already have 2 lbs of table sugar in there I don't need any more off flavors.

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Old 07-01-2009, 02:43 AM   #10
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Champagne yeast won't hurt anything at this point. I'm pretty sure it won't help, either.

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