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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > a lower than expected gravity reading - cause for worry?
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:22 PM   #1
snailsongs
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Default a lower than expected gravity reading - cause for worry?

before you even start, yes I know how to read the hydrometer!

I brewed this IPA 10 days ago (recipe below).......

yesterday I racked it to secondary and I got a reading of 1.010-1.009. I was really surprised due to the fact that I used an english ale yeast and have consistently been underattenuating my beer with this type of yeast. The other thing that worries me a bit was the flavor of the fermented stuff: the heat was prominent but not overbearing (check), but there was very little else in the way of malt flavor, and it smelled hoppy and delicious but tasted very....off....though at 9 days I should probably expect that from this kind of beer.

so, to my question: Is this beer overattenuated, and is there anything I can do to bring back some of the malty balance here? also, why did this beer attenuate so completely(any ideas)?

Amount Item Type % or IBU
12.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 82.0 %
1.00 lb Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM) Grain 6.6 %
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 3.3 %
0.50 lb Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM) Grain 3.3 %
0.25 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 1.6 %
2.00 oz Cascade [5.40%] (60 min) Hops 32.7 IBU
1.50 oz Williamette [3.40%] (30 min) Hops 11.9 IBU
1.50 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00%] (15 min) Hops 11.3 IBU
1.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00%] (2 min) Hops 1.3 IBU
1.00 oz Oak Chips (Secondary 14.0 days) Misc
0.50 lb Piloncillo Sugar, Dark (50.0 SRM) Sugar 3.3 %
1 Pkgs British Ale (Wyeast Labs #1098) [Starter 125 ml] Yeast-Ale

I also added 4 ancho chilis to the boil in the last 10-minutes for some heat and a touch of smoke.

Est Original Gravity: 1.066 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.016 SG
Bitterness: 57.1 IBU

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Old 03-13-2009, 05:19 PM   #2
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Most likely a low mash temperature gave you a highly fermentable wort. Pure sugars can throw the calculation off as they ferment 100%, but you only had a half-pound. Check your thermometer.

As far as flavor goes: chilies, oak and young could give you strange flavors. It will get better.

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Old 03-13-2009, 08:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
Most likely a low mash temperature gave you a highly fermentable wort. Pure sugars can throw the calculation off as they ferment 100%, but you only had a half-pound. Check your thermometer.

As far as flavor goes: chilies, oak and young could give you strange flavors. It will get better.

thanks. the thermometer/mash temp was one thing I was pondering as a possible cause.

I was thinking I might add some lactose to bring back a little sweetness and body, what do you think (It would also counter the heat from the chili's a little)? a pound, maybe?

I know this is going to be a weird beer, and I'm by no means the kind of expert that deserves to be putting together weird beers, but hopefully it won't be a loss altogether. I had a MW kit for an IPA and it seemed a bit boring, so i was having fun with it.
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