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Old 03-15-2006, 11:57 PM   #1
RiversC174
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Default Lower Range Attenuation Question

I just did some reading up on the terms attenuation and flocculation and I fully understand them both. The yeast I am going to use for my next ale is Wyeast Northwest 1332. Its attenuation is in the range of 67-71% which is, from what I read, on the lower end. I was planning on using one Coopers Real Ale kit and 3 lbs. of amber DME for my wort. I know that is a little above the normal amount of fermentables for a 5 or 5.5 gallon batch but I was aiming for a little higher ABV than my first ale. Now the question is, since the attenuation of the yeast is in the lower range, will the extra DME just make my ale taste real malty and sweet because the yeast is consuming a lesser percentage of the sugar? Should I order a WLP or Wyeast with a higher apparent attenuation to cope with the extra fermentables or am I freaking out and becoming the poster child for "Relax, Have a Home Brew?" Haha, thanks guys.

Joe

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Old 03-16-2006, 12:03 AM   #2
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It may be malty, but that really depends on how many IBUs you have to balance the sweetness. That is the other part that needs to be calculated. What hops/amounts are you planning to use?

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Old 03-16-2006, 12:30 AM   #3
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The only hops will be whatever is in the 3.75 lb Coopers Hopped Malt Extract (Real Ale). I do have another 3.75 lb can of hopped malt extract that I got by mistake and wouldnt be opposed to the idea of using 1-2 lbs of that for extra hops and chucking the rest then using DME to top up fermentables to about 6.5 lbs.

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Old 03-16-2006, 01:49 AM   #4
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Rivers,
I would say you have a couple of options, depending on how you like your ale. If you want a dryer brew with more ABV, another yeast strain wouldn't be a bad idea. but then if you prefer malty beers, it could be fine the way it is. The prehopped kits I have used have used had enough hoppiness in them to allow for extra DME. Personally, my preference is towards hoppiness, and I might try adding some hops to the boil and or dry hopping it to balance out the malt. (but then again you might want to take my advice on the subject of hops with a grain of salt. I like hops so much I recently recomended to my wife that she use hops instead of perfume. It didn't go over too well)

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Old 03-16-2006, 03:12 AM   #5
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I'm not sure from what wort the attenuation of yeast is actually derived. The attenuation of the final beer will depend on the maltose/dextrin ratio of the malt extract and the attenuation of the yeast. If you have a less attenuative yeast, there is a pretty good chance that you will get a maltier and sweeter finish.

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Old 03-16-2006, 03:56 AM   #6
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I am not so worried about the flavor, I tend to enjoy maltier flavored beers anyway. I was just aiming for a little higher ABV this time around and I figured that would be achieved by adding more fermentables (i.e. the 6.5 lbs malt extract for this 5.5 gallon batch as opposed to 5.5 lbs for my last batch). I just wanted to know if the ABV wouldnt go up based on increasing the amount of fermentables even though I chose a yeast strain with a lower attenuation (67-71%). If the only consequence to increasing malt extract is a maltier and sweeter flavored beer, im cool with that. I just wanted to know if the ABV would increase using this yeast and the extra malt extract. The yeast I used for my last batch was Coopers and Im pretty sure its attenuation is in the range of 72-76%. I do enjoy the taste of a stiffer beer which is why I was trying to increase the ABV. Any ideas?

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Old 03-16-2006, 09:41 AM   #7
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The yeast will eat whatever sugars it can. So yes you will get a higher ABV by adding the extract. Here's an example:

Brew 1 has an OG of 1.040 the yeast attenuates 72%. You get an FG of 1.011 and an approx. ABV of 3.9%

Brew 2 has an OG of 1.050, the yeast attenuates 72%. You get an FG of 1.014 and an approx. ABV of 4.8%

If you used the same amount of hops in both, Brew 2 will have a sweeter, maltier taste.

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Old 03-16-2006, 12:04 PM   #8
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Flingdingo, perfect. Thats exactly what I was looking for. So then the higher attenuative the yeast is the more sugars it will convert and the more the hop character will come through? I think I got it. Thanks everybody, got some good stuff from all the replies.

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Old 03-16-2006, 12:46 PM   #9
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You might want to play around with some basic brewing math. I kindof enjoy doing it by hand, but the beer recipator site (http://hbd.org/cgi-bin/recipator/recipator) is very handy for calculating things. If you aren't ready to formulate your own recipes, you can just type in recipes from a book and get a feel for how it all adds up.

On the Beer recipator, you have to estimate your own final gravity--you can get an edicated guess at that number by multiplying the OG times the attenuation rate of your yeast strain.

Basic math:

1 lb LME in 1 gal water = 1.037

1 lb DME in 1 gal water = 1.044

So, if you used the 3.75 lb can and 2 lbs of DME in a 5 gallon batch, that'd be...

3.75/5 * 37 = 27.75 points for the LME

2/5 * 44 = 17.6 points for the DME

27.75 + 17.6 = 45.35; so that's an original gravity of 1.045.


As far as hoppiness, it's hard to guage except by experience with the pre-hopped kit, since you don't control the hops or how much of them there are.

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