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-   -   High FG, need help. (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/high-fg-need-help-384747/)

PFBrew 01-26-2013 04:08 PM

High FG, need help.
In my first attempt at a non-kit extract brew I decided to do an Old Ale. Here is the breakdown:

5 gallon batch
Briess Specialty Dark LME 6.6 lbs
Briess Pilsner DME 3lbs
2oz Mt. Hood Hops 5.8% @ 60 min
Safbrew S-33 yeast

My estimated OG using iBrewMaster was 1.062 with a 1.011 FG for a nice 6.7 ABV. My actual reading when I put the wort in the primary was 1.082! So I messed up somewhere. The S-33 according to what I've read will ferment up to 13% though, so I figured it might be ok. I pitched at 71 degrees at stored at 64 degrees for 10 days while it violently went about its business. At 10 days activity had pretty much ceased and a thick yeast cake had formed on the bottom so brought it up to a room at 70 degrees for another 5 days. The last 3 days have all given me 1.032 gravity readings so I know it's done. It has an ok taste but its pretty sweet.

My question is do I cut my losses, chalk up to experience, and bottle? If so, since fermentation is done, do I add the corn sugar or do I worry about creating gushers because of all the remaining sugar already present?

Or, should I go get another yeast to try to bring the FG down? Is it still possible?

I'm pretty new to brewing so I'm reaching out for some advice.

aiptasia 01-26-2013 04:24 PM

Holy crap, two cans of Briess special dark! :) Your problem was using the specialty dark LME like a base malt. This malt is designed to bring dark color and roasty flavors to beers like porters and stouts. It is chock full of non-fermentable sugars. In fact, the FG of 1.032 is a testament for the powerful yeast that S-33 really is.

What you're stuck with is a very sweet, malty beer that you may or may not like. There's little risk of creating a gusher if you prime properly (1 cup or so of dextrose or DME for a 5 gallon batch dissolved in boiling water). It's going to take about three weeks at room temperature to carbonate up fully.

Next time, have a look at the recipes section links at the top of any HBT page. Old ales and Barleywines are no different than other ales and lagers. They're designed around highly fermentable base malts like the DME you used in your beer. They do use roasted malts in them but usually more along the lines of a 5-10% addition of Special B, 120 lovibond Crystal Malt and/or roasted barley that can just be added to your brewing as a steeping grain. Use just enough to get to the color and flavors you need (typically a half pound or less in a 5 gallon batch) and let the base malt do the rest.

PFBrew 01-26-2013 04:29 PM

Thanks, aiptasia! I thought I had done my homework, but I guess I missed some details. I didn't really get into the fermentable versus non-fermentable sugars. I appreciate the insight and I'll definitely check the recipe threads. I am gonna bottle and see what I get. Either way it's a learning experience.

Caveman3141 01-28-2013 03:33 PM

What you have will probably be fine (although not what you were going for). My main concern would be that since you were originally going for a tripel that you won't have enough bitterness to balance the sweetness.

PFBrew 01-31-2013 01:39 AM

Caveman, I think you are going to be right on. When sampling my beer right before bottling I had a faint hoppiness, but the sweetness was definitely powerful. At least I had good color and I learned how to use a blowoff valve. It's bottled and will age for a few weeks before I test it. I'll post results. Thanks for the insight.

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