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Old 02-15-2011, 07:50 AM   #1
Donrob
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Default Beer Fg coming out high consistently.

Hey, I'm relatively new to homebrewing. I've made 3 batches, all with extract so far. The last 2 batches have come out a bit high at about 1.020, although they seem to taste pretty good. One was a belgian wit, from a kit came out tasting fine although a little "extracty." The other, an export pilsner, has come out fine too. I have an ipa in primary right now, has been there for about a week and a half and I fear it may have stuck at 1.020 again.

Is this something I should be concerned about or is there something I could be doing wrong?

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Old 02-15-2011, 07:57 AM   #2
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What was the OG of your brews?

Also depends on the yeast you're using, how you aerate, and what temp. you are pitching at.

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Old 02-15-2011, 08:05 AM   #3
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Yeah all those beers finishing at 1.020 is a too high a final gravity, especially for the Wit and the Pilsner which should finish on the dryer side.

For a good educated guess at where you may be going a bit astray we would need the recipe and the process. Are you extract with a recipe, or kit? Type of yeast, are you doing a starter, etc.

A couple quick things that may apply.
- How are you measuring your final gravity? If you are using a hydrometer are you correcting for temperature? There are corrections for using the hydrometer available on the web, although I doubt you would get more than a point or two different from your reading after correction.

- What temperature are you fermenting at? Many yeasts will go inactive once the temperature gets into the low 60's or cooler and cease fermenting. Check the recommended fermentation range on the yeast you are using and try to stay in that range, usually on the lower end of the range.

- How long are you waiting until you take these readings. Assuming all other conditions are correct you normally would not expect most yeasts to finish fermentation and cleanup sooner than 7-10 days, and most benefit from a bit more time on the yeast.

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Old 02-15-2011, 09:34 AM   #4
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BUMP.....

Having the same issue here as well. I'm only on my 2nd batch (3rd if you count an all extract intro kit). My first batch had an original of 1080 and finished at 1028 (shoulda been 1022). (66% extract, 24% unconverted malts, 10% crystal malts.) I suffered very low ferm. T's (35-60F) and really only got it up above 65 for a few days max. I was impatient and moved it to my 2ndary earlier than suggested as well. My second batch is in the 1ary now and has been so for 9 days (OG 1077, exp FG 1014). Once again, I can only keep the T between 60-65. Krausen has settled, bubbling slowed, and todays SG read 1022.

Yeah, I'll keep it in the 1ary for another 10 days or so, but should I expect the same??

Could I give the 1ary a swirl, dump in another vial of yeast? Make a starter and add it? Or go all out and make a yeast cake? (The reason I ask is that here in AK, I'm 3 hours from my LHBS, so I gotta plan ahead for big trips into the city.)

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Old 02-15-2011, 10:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smthgfshy View Post
BUMP.....

Having the same issue here as well. I'm only on my 2nd batch (3rd if you count an all extract intro kit). My first batch had an original of 1080 and finished at 1028 (shoulda been 1022). (66% extract, 24% unconverted malts, 10% crystal malts.) I suffered very low ferm. T's (35-60F) and really only got it up above 65 for a few days max. I was impatient and moved it to my 2ndary earlier than suggested as well. My second batch is in the 1ary now and has been so for 9 days (OG 1077, exp FG 1014). Once again, I can only keep the T between 60-65. Krausen has settled, bubbling slowed, and todays SG read 1022.

Yeah, I'll keep it in the 1ary for another 10 days or so, but should I expect the same??

Could I give the 1ary a swirl, dump in another vial of yeast? Make a starter and add it? Or go all out and make a yeast cake? (The reason I ask is that here in AK, I'm 3 hours from my LHBS, so I gotta plan ahead for big trips into the city.)
smthgfshy:

The things I'm going to tell you are all very important to get your gravity down on beers with such high starting gravity.

1. You must make a starter before you put the yeast into the wort with starting gravities that high. The yeast you get in a vial is not enough to handle high gravity beers with starting gravities over 1.060. You should really make a starter with all your beers, but especially with ones over 1.060
If you do not have a stir plate then you should shake and swirl your starter as much as possible for a day and try to make 1500-2000 ml if you can

2. You must keep your fermentation temperatures between 65 and 70. You may need to relocate your fermentor to a warm room or use an electric blanket. The yeast will go to sleep and stop working once it starts getting below 60.

Also adding more yeast into your beer that already has a lot of alcohol in it will shock the new yeast and they may not be very helpful. It could work if you grew your new yeast in a starter first, but you have to get your fermentor temperatures up into the mid to high 60's first.
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:47 PM   #6
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thanks for the advise oh zen master. reading the directions on the yeast it said it would handle 1070 and I thought my OG would be 1066. it ended up being 1077 due to my miscalculation. I live in a one room cabin in AK, no electric (just one outlet) and the best my heater can do is about 65....on an average 20 degree day....

Sometimes I get real ghetto and turn the oven to stay warm....

This is why I brew high gravity beers....to stay warm...

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Old 02-16-2011, 03:19 AM   #7
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Ok, so for the belgian wit I used a kit from my local brew store. The recipe was
1 can of munton's wheat malt extract,
2 lbs of extra light dme,
1 oz bittering hops,
1 oz flavoring hops dried orange peel,
1 pack of spices,
60 minute boil.
1 pack munton's dry yeast pitched, fermented around 68F.

For the Export pils
1 can munton's export pilsner extract
2 lbs light dme
added 1oz extra hops during boil
30 minute boil
1 pack muntons dry yeast pitched, fermented around 68F.

For the current Export ale
1 can Mountmellick Export ale extract
3 lbs extra light dme
1 oz Mt. Hood hops
45 minute boil
Mountmellick ale yeast pitched
fermented around 68F

I'm taking readings with a hydrometer and have waited 7 days to take 1st reading.

Unfortunately I did not take OGs on any of them.

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Old 02-16-2011, 03:29 AM   #8
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You're under-pitching your yeast. Pitch two packets or make an appropriate sized starter. Check out MrMalty's Yeast Pitching Rate Calculator to see how much yeast you need to pitch.

Also for a Belgian yeast you'd really get better results with the appropriate liquid strain. Belgian Wit's are very yeast derived in flavor, and you really can't get those flavors from a package of muntons.

Most homebrew stores will tell you "Oh yeah you're fine pitching straight from the pack unless you're making a barleywine." If I'm brewing anything over 1.042 I'm making a starter. If for some reason I'm using dry yeast I pitch more than one packet. I think that the only beer I don't make a starter for are my milds and they're in the 1.030s.

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Old 02-16-2011, 07:09 PM   #9
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Oh, that makes sense thanks alot for the help.
My current brew has been in primary for about 10 days and is not going any lower than 1.020, is there any way to remedy this?

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Old 02-16-2011, 11:12 PM   #10
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You can try rousing the yeast (a gentle swirl) and upping the fermentation temperatures a few degrees. There's no guarantee it will work, but it's your best bet.

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