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Old 08-23-2006, 08:41 PM   #21
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monk,
I think you may be on to something with the carmelization theory. I had a couple of batches that I found to be too sweet for my taste and I decided to try making as big as a boil as possible (I only have a 4 gallon brewpot so I can only boil about 3 to 3 1/2 gallons.) and to be as careful as possible in adding the DME / LME, to prevent carmelization at the bottom of the kettle. What I do is I heat the water to 170, then turn the burner off for the entire steeping. when the steep is done I'm at about 130 when I mix in my LME / DME /Maltodextrine. I mix the heck out of it, and only then turn on the heat to boil. getting to to boil takes for ever and is a huge pain, but I;ve had cleaner tasting beers since then.

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Old 08-23-2006, 09:35 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennys Fine Consumptibles
Have you tried another hydrometer?
No...don't have access to one. It seemed to work fine on previous brews...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennys Fine Consumptibles
The yeast may have been old/bad. How is the saf 56 doing?
Maybe the first packet, but the second one was added in a starter. The starter was fermenting nicely when I pitched it in. That's why I think it's either a high quantity of unfermentables or a bad hydrometer. Because that starter batch of yeast was ready to go, and after about 6 hours there was NO activity. Nothing I've added (including the safale repitch) produced any discernible activity or change in hydro reading.

When you did your 90 min boils, what was the total boil volume and size of kettle? Just curious.

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Old 08-23-2006, 10:08 PM   #23
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21 Qt. canning pot.

Try some champagne yeast. Lalvin 1118 works great. Rehydrate 2 packs for optimum results.

If it is a problem with unfermentables that will at least ferment all the fermentables left, leaving just the unfermentables behind.

Try saying that 3 times quickly.

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Old 08-23-2006, 10:27 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennys Fine Consumptibles
21 Qt. canning pot.

Try some champagne yeast. Lalvin 1118 works great. Rehydrate 2 packs for optimum results.

If it is a problem with unfermentables that will at least ferment all the fermentables left, leaving just the unfermentables behind.

Try saying that 3 times quickly.

That's a good idea. I might try that if, after I've taken a hydro reading again, there's no change in gravity. I'd like it to be below 1.020, at least. Thanks, DFC.

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Old 08-24-2006, 02:37 AM   #25
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Just bottle and drink it. If the gravity is not moving let it be and move on. If this is an issue for every batch thats one thing, but an isolated occurance is another. All this talk about a high FG and I don't recall any mentions of how it tasted.

Let me switch gears but will come back to the first part. If you are able to prime and bottle with good results than it sounds like there may be something that the yeast can't break down and ferment leaving the high gravity. Adding more yeast, oxygen, swirling etc. is not going to change this. In this case something like Beano (I believe that's what it is called) might break it down so it will ferment out. Someone please correct me if I am wrong, I have only read about it in other posts and understand this is how it makes for a drier beer.

Back to what I started to say. If you taste a sample and is something you can live with then why not move on. I have recently had a couple batches finish a little sweeter than I wanted, changed my recipe and brewed more. Before the revisions were ready to drink, the original was long gone and wished I had paced myself better so I would have not run out of finished product.

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Old 08-24-2006, 02:45 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PT Ray
In this case something like Beano (I believe that's what it is called) might break it down
Are you kidding? Beano will break down some unfermentable sugars and allow fermenation to continue? It doesn't sound too hard to believe, and I like it. Somebody has to know more about this...please post!!!
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Old 08-24-2006, 03:35 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PT Ray
All this talk about a high FG and I don't recall any mentions of how it tasted.
I didn't mention that it tastes sweet because, frankly, that doesn't give anyone very much information. If I post a message that says, "my beer tastes too sweet!" what kind of responses will I most likely get? Recipe modifications, questions about what I normally "like" my beer to taste like, etc. Gravity is a quantifiable attribute and is the focus of my problem. I was really more interested in hearing from people who might give me usable advice on that issue than boring everyone with my subjective opinion and/or vague descriptions of my wort.
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Old 08-24-2006, 05:13 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage
Are you kidding? Beano will break down some unfermentable sugars and allow fermenation to continue? It doesn't sound too hard to believe, and I like it. Somebody has to know more about this...please post!!!
I have read a little about some folks using Beano but it makes a very dry beer.It contains an enzyme that is similar to the one in malt wort. Look here at question #35 for a quick explanation. >http://hbd.org/forums/bvfaq.html#FAQ35
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Old 08-25-2006, 01:53 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monk
I didn't mention that it tastes sweet because, frankly, that doesn't give anyone very much information. If I post a message that says, "my beer tastes too sweet!" what kind of responses will I most likely get? Recipe modifications, questions about what I normally "like" my beer to taste like, etc. Gravity is a quantifiable attribute and is the focus of my problem. I was really more interested in hearing from people who might give me usable advice on that issue than boring everyone with my subjective opinion and/or vague descriptions of my wort.
I fully understand. Had I replied earlier in the thread my post would have been soley focused towards obtaining a reasonable FG. However, I caught it after three pages of replies and several prior attempts with no luck. This far into the game left me unclear if it was still a focus on lowering the gravity and/or having closure to the cause or having something that would still be a decent product.

Again, it sounds as if there is something that brewers yeast will not break down. This is based on being able to prime and bottle and have a secondary fermentation. I think this can also be confirmed by boiling some sugar and adding it to your fermenter. If this causes some activity, I don't see that you have a stuck fermentation.
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Old 08-25-2006, 04:51 AM   #30
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I think you're right, PT Ray. My speculation was more along the lines of trying to understand why this type of thing happens, than merely to get the batch into a drinkable condition. With the help of others, I've pretty much eliminated the other possibilities and come to the same conclusion you offer: there's stuff in there that can't be fermented; my yeast is not to blame. Why is there unfermentable stuff? I don't know. And it looks as if I'm not in any position to find out. So I shall follow your other advice at this point: just bottle it and drink it. But in plastic two-liters...just in case.

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