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Old 05-05-2012, 11:21 AM   #1
scottvin
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Default Final Gravity Frustration

The last three beers I have brewed have not finished as low as I would have liked. Below are my recipes with starting and final gravities. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
All beers had starters, I did not take notes when brewing (I have on all brews after this). However, the mash temperatures were between 150-162.
The fermentation temps were around 59-63. (were these too low?)


Deception Cream Stout - (Others have said this didn't end low because of the lactose.)
42 days fermenting
OG - 1.062
FG - 1.028

Code:
Ingredients:
------------
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
7 lbs                 Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM)          Grain         1        60.6 %        
1 lbs 5.0 oz          White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM)               Grain         2        11.3 %        
12.0 oz               Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)    Grain         3        6.5 %         
12.0 oz               Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM)               Grain         4        6.5 %         
12.0 oz               Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM)               Grain         5        6.5 %         
1 lbs                 Milk Sugar (Lactose) (0.0 SRM)           Sugar         6        8.7 %         
0.50 oz               Magnum [14.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min         Hop           7        25.1 IBUs     
1.0 pkg               London Ale Yeast (Wyeast Labs #1028) [12 Yeast         8        -
AHS ESB
46 days fermenting
OG - 1.060
FG - 1.022
Code:
Ingredients:
------------
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
9 lbs                 Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)           Grain         1        85.7 %        
1 lbs                 Caramel/Crystal Malt - 90L (90.0 SRM)    Grain         2        9.5 %         
8.0 oz                Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)    Grain         3        4.8 %         
1.50 oz               Willamette [5.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min      Hop           4        31.7 IBUs     
0.50 oz               Willamette [5.50 %] - Boil 15.0 min      Hop           5        5.2 IBUs      
1.0 pkg               English Ale (White Labs #WLP002) [35.49  Yeast         6        -
AHS Belgian Stout
41 days fermenting
OG - 1.058
FG - 1.027
Code:
Ingredients:
------------
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
9 lbs                 Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)           Grain         1        84.7 %        
12.0 oz               Special B Malt (180.0 SRM)               Grain         2        7.1 %         
8.0 oz                Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM)               Grain         3        4.7 %         
4.0 oz                Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM)               Grain         4        2.4 %         
2.1 oz                Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM)          Grain         5        1.2 %         
1.75 oz               Willamette [5.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min      Hop           6        34.9 IBUs     
0.25 oz               Willamette [5.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min       Hop           7        1.0 IBUs      
1.0 pkg               Wyeast Belgian Stout 1581PC (Wyeast #158 Yeast         8        -
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Last edited by scottvin; 05-05-2012 at 11:25 AM. Reason: added fermenting days
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Old 05-05-2012, 11:37 AM   #2
beerman0001
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150 to 162 mash temps is a wide margin. The ones mashed at 150 should have been down in the 1.10 range. Have you calibrated your thermometers? Most likely you are just mashing at too high of a temp.

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Fermenting.
On tap: World wide lager, Dopelbock, Apfelwein, American Wheat, DFH 90, Dortmunder export, Skeeterpee, Chinook/Citra ipa.
Waiting on a tap. Maibock, Two Hearted, Pliny the elder, Chimay White, Roggenbrier, DFH60
Fermenting:Apfelwein
On Deck:
Hiding in dark corner: Lambic, Flanders red, Oud Bruin, DFH 120(in bottles)
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Old 05-05-2012, 12:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerman0001 View Post
150 to 162 mash temps is a wide margin. The ones mashed at 150 should have been down in the 1.10 range. Have you calibrated your thermometers? Most likely you are just mashing at too high of a temp.
+1 On mash temps, 1 to 2 degrees away from target is tolerable but twelve degrees will really change the fermentability of your wort. Have you checked your hydrometer? It should read 1.00 in 60 degree distilled water. Hope this helped.
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Old 05-05-2012, 12:55 PM   #4
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Ugh, just checked the mild brown ale that is 30 days in the fermenter.
OG - 1.044
SG - 1.024

Code:
Ingredients:
------------
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
5 lbs 8.0 oz          Maris Otter (Crisp) (4.0 SRM)            Grain         1        74.5 %        
1 lbs 8.0 oz          Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)    Grain         2        20.3 %        
6.1 oz                Chocolate (Briess) (350.0 SRM)           Grain         3        5.1 %         
1.00 oz               Fuggles [4.50 %] - Boil 45.0 min         Hop           4        18.7 IBUs     
1.00 oz               Fuggles [4.50 %] - Boil 15.0 min         Hop           5        10.1 IBUs     
1.0 pkg               SafAle English Ale (DCL/Fermentis #S-04) Yeast         6        -
Yes, I have checked the hydrometer and it is accurate. Also, I have a thermapen that is only a month or two old so I am pretty sure it is accurate.

I guess I am having trouble keeping the mash temps accurate. Here is my brew log from the mild brown ale and as you can see, the mash temp went steadily down throughout the hour:

Code:
11:03	Mash Initial Temp/Start	164 F 	 
11:23	20 Minute Temp	160.2F	 
11:43	40 Minute Temp	156.2F	 	 
12:03	60 Minute Temp	152.2F	 
	Adjustment	156.7F	

12:23	80 Minute Temp	154.2F	 
	Sparge Temp	170 F	
			
			
	 	 
12:43	Start Boil	 	 
12:58	First Hop	45min 	1oz Fuggles
13:28	Second Hop	15min	1oz Fuggles
			 
13:28	Whirfloc Tab/IC		 
13:38	Yeast Nutrient		 
13:43	Flame Out		
14:00	Chilled to Pitch Temp	70 F	
	
	Starting Gravity	1.044	 
	Gallons in Fermenter	4.75
What about the fermentation temperatures? Are they too low?

Thanks again for all of your help, just kind of bummed about all these high final gravities.
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:00 PM   #5
beerman0001
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No your mash temps are way too high. Most of the conversion happens in the first 20 to 30 min. You where still at 160 at 20 min that is a very bad thing. Is you ferment temp the wort or ambient?

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Fermenting.
On tap: World wide lager, Dopelbock, Apfelwein, American Wheat, DFH 90, Dortmunder export, Skeeterpee, Chinook/Citra ipa.
Waiting on a tap. Maibock, Two Hearted, Pliny the elder, Chimay White, Roggenbrier, DFH60
Fermenting:Apfelwein
On Deck:
Hiding in dark corner: Lambic, Flanders red, Oud Bruin, DFH 120(in bottles)
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:04 PM   #6
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What are you mashing in? Are you pre heating you mash tun? What are you using to calculate you strike temps?

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Fermenting.
On tap: World wide lager, Dopelbock, Apfelwein, American Wheat, DFH 90, Dortmunder export, Skeeterpee, Chinook/Citra ipa.
Waiting on a tap. Maibock, Two Hearted, Pliny the elder, Chimay White, Roggenbrier, DFH60
Fermenting:Apfelwein
On Deck:
Hiding in dark corner: Lambic, Flanders red, Oud Bruin, DFH 120(in bottles)
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:05 PM   #7
scottvin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerman0001 View Post
What are you mashing in? Are you pre heating you mash tun? What are you using to calculate you strike temps?
I do BIAB so I am mashing in my brew kettle. I am using Beersmith to calculate the temps but the temperature of the water never gets own to what it should using the calculations.
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerman0001 View Post
No your mash temps are way too high. Most of the conversion happens in the first 20 to 30 min. You where still at 160 at 20 min that is a very bad thing.
Ahh, I didn't realize that. I thought that a higher mash temp gave more mouthfeel, etc?
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:11 PM   #9
beerman0001
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SO on the last batch what was you strike water temp and what temp did you want to mash at?

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Fermenting.
On tap: World wide lager, Dopelbock, Apfelwein, American Wheat, DFH 90, Dortmunder export, Skeeterpee, Chinook/Citra ipa.
Waiting on a tap. Maibock, Two Hearted, Pliny the elder, Chimay White, Roggenbrier, DFH60
Fermenting:Apfelwein
On Deck:
Hiding in dark corner: Lambic, Flanders red, Oud Bruin, DFH 120(in bottles)
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottvin View Post
Ahh, I didn't realize that. I thought that a higher mash temp gave more mouth feel, etc?
True but that meant you beer finishes at a higher fg.
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Fermenting.
On tap: World wide lager, Dopelbock, Apfelwein, American Wheat, DFH 90, Dortmunder export, Skeeterpee, Chinook/Citra ipa.
Waiting on a tap. Maibock, Two Hearted, Pliny the elder, Chimay White, Roggenbrier, DFH60
Fermenting:Apfelwein
On Deck:
Hiding in dark corner: Lambic, Flanders red, Oud Bruin, DFH 120(in bottles)
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