Ok, so I know there have been several other threads on Pliny the Elder, but the one thing I haven't been able to figure out after reading them all is - how does Vinnie (Russian River brewer) get his FG so low? How do you get a super low FG with a high OG recipe? I know adjuncts / corn sugar are one way. But I'm already including the recommended 0.75lb dextrose in my 5 gallon recipe and that doesn't get me anywhere close to the necessary low FG.
According to the Russian River website, Pliny is 1.071 OG, 8% ABV which puts it at 1.010 FG. (according to: http://www.brewersfriend.com/abv-calculator/
I've read Vinnie's writeup on how low FG is important for good IPAs (in his opinion), and I tend to agree - the dry light body of Pliny is a key factor in what I love about it.
The other thing that can help with low FG is high attenuation yeast. But all the Pliny recipes I've seen recommend an american ale yeast (S-05, Wyeast 1056, or WLP Cali) which is medium attenuation. Even if you use high atten yeast that still doesn't get the FG down to 1.010.
All the brewing tools I’ve tried seem to indicate a 1.010 FG is not possible with a 8% ABV brew and only 0.75lb corn sugar. The corn sugar adds 7 gravity points, or 0.65% ABV for a 5g batch.
Using this tool:
it says that 13lbs 2-row would be needed to get to 8% ABV with a high attenuation yeast, but that puts my FG at 1.018 – significantly higher than Pliny. And a medium attenuation yeast, like most that are recommended with this recipe, would require 14lbs 2-row and result in FG 1.024!
I know these values are approximations. But 1.024 is way off from 1.010, that’s not within the realm of statistical error or approximation error.
I got similar results in BeerSmith – 13.5lb 2-row + 0.75lb corn sugar + Pasteur Champagne yeast (75% atten) = 8% ABV, OG 1.080, FG 1.019.
So – how is it possible to get an FG of 1.010 on an 8% ABV beer?