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Old 08-12-2009, 07:36 PM   #1
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Default Table suger to lower gravity??

I was reading a post which said

Quote:
"Don't be afraid to add sugar to help bring your gravity down. I have used up to a pound of table sugar in extract batches w/ no perceivable cidery off flavors in the finished product."
OK - what are the dynamics of this - would this be like adding AHS alcohol booster? Would adding table sugar lower the gravity from 1.012 to 1.006 making the brew drier?

I can't seem to get below 1.012 - am I not pitching enough yeast? (I always have a starter).


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Old 08-12-2009, 07:42 PM   #2
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What is your mash temp?

What is your grain bill?

What is the yeast strain?

Maybe you have considered these, but without this information, I think it would be a little drastic to go and start adding sugar to brews to lower the gravity.

Your FG is 1.012, what was your attenuation?

I have easily gotten below 1.008 with S-05



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Old 08-12-2009, 07:48 PM   #3
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Yea - I hear S-05 keep going lower then most yeast - I've been using Pacman lately. Mash temps are typically 152ish - normally 3-6 lbs of lightest extract with 4-6 lbs of grain.

I'm typically in the 1.055 to 1.060 OG range. Ferment at 68ish for 3-4 weeks before bottling.

Use 2 cups of starter. I can understand when I use British yeast but for Pacman or the American Ale Wyeast or White Labs it's always about 1.012.

in 35 batches I've never been below 1.012

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Old 08-12-2009, 07:54 PM   #4
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Yea - I hear S-05 keep going lower then most yeast - I've been using Pacman lately. Mash temps are typically 152ish - normally 3-6 lbs of lightest extract with 4-6 lbs of grain.

I'm typically in the 1.055 to 1.060 OG range. Ferment at 68ish for 3-4 weeks before bottling.

Use 2 cups of starter. I can understand when I use British yeast but for Pacman or the American Ale Wyeast or White Labs it's always about 1.012.

in 35 batches I've never been below 1.012

Well, in all honesty...

1.055 to 1.012 is 78% attenuation
1.060 to 1.012 is 80% attenuation

That is pretty damn good IMHO... getting over 80% is generally not typical for most yeasts. When I get 1.008, my OG is like 1.040

Also, I have heard that extracts can contain more unfermentables due to how they are processed. Since you arent all grain, you are accepting whatever sugars you get from your extract.
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Old 08-12-2009, 07:54 PM   #5
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What are you trying to brew that you want to get below 1.012?

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Old 08-12-2009, 07:58 PM   #6
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If you replace some of your extract or grains with corn sugar lets say, you could keep the same OG and lower your FG to a degree. Corn sugar is completely fermentable, so that would work. But again 80% attenuation is pretty high attenuation

Obviously you wouldnt be adding sugar after the ferment to get it lower.

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Old 08-12-2009, 08:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
What are you trying to brew that you want to get below 1.012?
I don't know - I just hear claims like Pols "I have easily gotten below 1.008 with S-05" and have attenuation envy I guess.

If I'm within the norm then I'm OK with it.
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I don't know - I just hear claims like Pols "I have easily gotten below 1.008 with S-05" and have attenuation envy I guess.

If I'm within the norm then I'm OK with it.
There are a couple of variables that control attenuation:

- the fermentability of the wort, which is determined by mash temperature. (temps up to around 150° favor beta-amylase and temps higher and approaching 160° favor alpha amylase)
- yeast health and viability

As I recall, you are PMing on the stovetop, right? Some systems are able to maintain precise temperatures better than other. I mash in a 10 gallon Rubbermaid cooler - but I also use a thermocouple K-probe thermometer which I know is dead-on accurate. Household digital thermometers can be quite inaccurate, so it is possible that your actual mash temperature is several degrees higher than your thermometer indicates.

However, if you are satisfied with the results, the rest of this discussion is just academic.
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:30 PM   #9
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Yah, I got 1.008 with S-05, but that is with an OG of 1.040!

You will never get a 1.060 beer to finish that low with S-05... (highly unlikely)

You cannot look at FG to determine if the yeast it doing what it should, you have to look at attenuation.

78-80% attenuation is excellent and totally normal for a low temp. mash.

If you want a lower FG, you need to get a lower OG... as your yeast is only going to eat through 78-80% of that sugar.

Attenuation isnt a goal, I mean you want to hit a target range for most beer types, the goal isnt to attenuate the heck out of all your beers. The goal is to reach the target for the style, and most styles are between 1.012 and 1.018 lets say. 1.008 is extremely low IMHO.

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Old 08-12-2009, 08:40 PM   #10
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fly - Mini mash / full boils

Pol - thanks makes sense

fly - very satisfied with results for the most part.



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