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Old 12-28-2011, 03:15 PM   #1
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Ive been making beer for about 2 years now off and on. Most of my beers turn out really good. It seems to me that my fermentation is stabilized or something. No matter what I do my final reading on my Hydrometer is 1.020, I can use 10 lbs of extract, two packs of yeast or just one and have a good high starting gravity but alway seem to end up the same. I let my last batch go for 14 days in the fermenter and still the same. I tested my Hydrometer and it was good, I even bought a new one to compair and it was the same. Any Ideas on what I may be doing wrong.



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Old 12-28-2011, 03:19 PM   #2
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You're doing extract brewing right? There's what is known as the 1.020 curse, where a lot of extract batches tend to peter out at that point. Making sure you have put in plenty of oxygen and yeast on brew day helps. But some beer seem to stick regardless. A lot of that I think has to do with wort caramelization, where both the process of making and boiling the extract produces or converts some of the sugars into unfermentable ones.



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Old 12-28-2011, 03:26 PM   #3
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Is there a way to combat this? like a shorter boil or shaking it up after the initial fermentation?

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Old 12-28-2011, 03:27 PM   #4
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And Yes its an extract brew, with some grain steaping at the start.

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Old 12-28-2011, 03:29 PM   #5
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All-Grain

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Old 12-28-2011, 03:37 PM   #6
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Is there a way to combat this? like a shorter boil or shaking it up after the initial fermentation?
Some of the caramel reaction has occured in the creation of the extract, so you are stuck there, unless you use dme, and even if you use liquid, use the lightest extract possible. Also, look up late extract additions on here, and do that too.

Also make sure you pitch the correct amount of yeast for the gravity of the beer (making starters for liquid yeast for all beers above 1.020 og.

And make sure you delivier plenty of oxygen prior to yeast pitch.

(Never add any o2 after fermentation begins unless you're making an extremly high grav beer where it's recommended to add more only within the first 12 to 24 hours) adding o2 to fermenting beer can cause oxidation and make the beer taste like liquid cardboard.
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Old 12-28-2011, 04:16 PM   #7
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From your original post,it sounds likea high gravity brew with 10lbs or more of malts. I found out with my 1st higher gravity that high OG = High FG. For example,my Burton ale was OG 1.065,FG stopped at 1.020. I swirled the FV gently to get some yeast back in suspension,& covered the tee shirt already on it with an old fleece lined CPO. Got it down to FG 1.018, within the range it should've finished in.
So 1.020 in that instance would be close to the mark,ime so far.
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Old 12-28-2011, 05:10 PM   #8
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Also make sure you pitch the correct amount of yeast for the gravity of the beer (making starters for liquid yeast for all beers above 1.020 og..
That seems kind of low, did you mean 1.050 or.060, those are numbers i have seen advised .
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Old 12-28-2011, 05:12 PM   #9
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when i brewed all extract, i often fell victim to this 'curse'. most of my brews, and almost all made with LME as the base, finished in the high teens to low 20's. i tried pitching more yeast, higher attenuating strains, utilizing late or flameout LME additions. still i got higher that desired FGs. so i started using mostly DME, which did produce dry, better attenuated beer. but i digress, i didn't really start hitting the FG i desired until i started partial mash brewing (BIAB, see DeathBrewer's sticky). i've found that mashing with even a small amount of base malt (even just a pound or so) really helps. i usually mash as much as i can handle, regularly 4+ pounds of base plus my specialty grains, and i now get my beers to dry out as much or as little as i desire. not to mention there's a noted improvement overall in my beers.
BIAB brewing is really no harder than brewing extract w/grains and needs almost no extra equipment, some paint strainers is about all. it does add an extra 1 1/2 or so hours to the brew day, but IMO, that's a good thing.
if you're looking to have your brews finish lower, turn out lighter in color and to have more control over many aspects of your homebrew, i'd really suggest giving BIAB a go.

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Old 12-28-2011, 05:19 PM   #10
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That seems kind of low, did you mean 1.050 or.060, those are numbers i have seen advised .
No, I meant what I said. If you start running the numbers in MR Malty, the first gravity of a beer where you actually having it say that it requires MORE than a single tube or smack pack of yeast is 1.030....SO if a beer is below that you don't need one. BUT at 1.030 or above a starter, EVEN A SMALL ONE is needed.

Especially if it's not a brand new packet of yeast.

Others may advise differently...but I go by what I say.....


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