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Old 01-16-2007, 03:04 AM   #1
rdbeer
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Default final gravity high?

I bottled my California Common yesterday. After I finished bottling, I drank some, thought "hey, that's awesome for a flat beer". Then I measured the FG: 1.026. Way too high! (right?)

Does anyone know what might have gone wrong? Here is the recipe:

6 lbs light dry extract
1 lb crystal 90L
.5 lb crystal 40L
WLP-810 California Lager yeast

I steeped the grain for 30 min in 180degF water that cooled to maybe 165 during that time.

I tried that late extract addition method for the first time (boiled 3lbs, then added 3lbs 15 minutes before the end). OG 1.055.

Cooled to 62degF, pitched, fermented in the primary for 3 1/2 weeks. Ambient temps were between 59-63 deg, and got down to 55 deg one night.

Bottled with 1cup corn sugar.

Is it possible that the steeped grains added unfermentable sugar that made the fg that high?

Should I be worried about bottle bombs?

This is only my third batch, I'm at a loss to figure out what went wrong.

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Old 01-16-2007, 12:38 PM   #2
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Well, lagers take a much longer time to ferment than ales. I had mine in primary for a week or 10 days, did the diacetyl rest at 65 degrees for a couple days, and it's been in secondary 12 days so far. I haven't checked the s.g. recently, but I will soon and see where it is.

There is a formula to figure your attenuation: 100 - ((fg / og) * 100) =

So, 100- ( (26/55) *100) = 52.73

So, you are only 52.73% attenuation, if my math is correct. (And there is a good possibility it is not- I'm mathmatically challenged.)

WAAAY too early to bottle, if you have 53% attenuation. Your yeast is california lager yeast- 2112 California Lager Yeast? Particularly suited for producing 19th century-style West Coast beers. Retains lager characteristics at temperatures up to 65° F, (18° C) and produces malty, brilliantly clear beers. Flocculation - high; apparent attenuation 67-71%. (58-68° F, 14-20° C)

Or WLP 810 San Francisco yeast? Warm fermenting, 65-70 deg. F., bottom cropping lager strain. Highly flocculent. Use for Steam (TM) and Britixh Ales styles of Beer. (72-76%).


Either one should attenuate around 70% or so. The San francisco yeast should be fermented warmer, so that could have been your problem if you used that yeast.

I don't know what to tell you, since it's in the bottle already. Definitely put it somewhere coolish, and in a big container that can contain bottlebombs. Hopefully, I'm wrong (it's been known to happen all the time) and it's fine.

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Old 01-16-2007, 01:23 PM   #3
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A more experienced brewer will have to answer this question, but it sounds like he took the gravity reading after he added the priming sugar. How much would that raise the gravity? Maybe his real FG was OK?

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Old 01-16-2007, 01:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fifelee
A more experienced brewer will have to answer this question, but it sounds like he took the gravity reading after he added the priming sugar. How much would that raise the gravity? Maybe his real FG was OK?
No, 7 ounces of priming sugar in 5 gallons would be negligible, raising the s.g. .004 points. That would still make your f.g. 1.022, changing the attenuation to 60%.

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Old 01-16-2007, 01:42 PM   #5
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Bummer, I though I had something for a second. Oh well. No other ideas here…I defer to the experts.

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Old 01-16-2007, 01:57 PM   #6
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I had a similar problem with my Cali Common. I had an OG of 1.054 and after 2 weeks in primary and 3 in secondary I had an FG of 1.023. I'm not really sure what could have been the problem but it also too something like 4-5 weeks to get good carbonation in the bottles. Looking at my log, it seems like aeration was not as aggressive. Perhaps this strain of yeast needs more O2 than others? Dunno... I just drank my SNAFU and try again...

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Old 01-16-2007, 02:01 PM   #7
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I suspect the temperature cycling interfered with the ferment. Yeast need a steady temperature as much as they need the correct range. If your yeast was 810, you were also too low for much of the ferment.

Monitor the carbonation closely and chill the whole batch once it is done.

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Old 01-16-2007, 09:12 PM   #8
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thanks for all the replies, guys.

I didn't realize that lager yeast is so different from ale yeast. I assumed all fermentations would take 10 days, max. Now that I read Palmer more carefully, I see it's a whole different animal.

I guess my temps did fluctuate too much. Does anyone know how quickly 5 gal of wort changes temperature? I thought that it would sort of average out daily temp fluctuations, but maybe not?

Quote:
Or WLP 810 San Francisco yeast? Warm fermenting, 65-70 deg. F., bottom cropping lager strain. Highly flocculent. Use for Steam (TM) and Britixh Ales styles of Beer. (72-76%).
strange, on the white labs website it says something different:

Quote:
WLP810 San Francisco Lager Yeast
This yeast is used to produce the "California Common" style beer. A unique lager strain which has the ability to ferment up to 65 degrees while retaining lager characteristics. Can also be fermented down to 50 degrees for production of marzens, pilsners and other style lagers.
Attenuation: 65-70%
Flocculation: High
Optimum Fermentation Temperature: 58-65°F
Alcohol Tolerance: Medium-High
so I thought my temps were just about perfect. Maybe I need to wrap a sleeping bag around or put the fermenter in a huge tub of water?

Well, I still don't know what to do with it. I figure either:

a) keep cool, monitor carbonation by opening the occasional bottle, drink
or
b) find out how to fill a carboy with CO2, pour all the beer back in _very_ carefully, finish fermentation.

b seems like a huge pain in the ***, so I guess I'll go with a) and brew another batch once I figure out how to keep the temp stable ( and maybe learn how to make a starter).
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Old 01-16-2007, 09:43 PM   #9
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The problem could be your extract. My LHBS sold me 2 batches of DME and both only fermented to 1.025. Also, a guy I know, an experienced brewer, also tried it and only got a ferment down to 1.025.

If you still have some left over, get some decent dry yeast and ferment a starter and see what it ferments to.

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Old 01-16-2007, 10:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grnich
The problem could be your extract. My LHBS sold me 2 batches of DME and both only fermented to 1.025. Also, a guy I know, an experienced brewer, also tried it and only got a ferment down to 1.025.

If you still have some left over, get some decent dry yeast and ferment a starter and see what it ferments to.
Good idea! I don't have any extract left, but I'll call my LHBS and ask about it. Maybe I'll see if I can get a warm bottle of the stuff to ferment down to a lower gravity. There should be enough yeast in the bottle, right?
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