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Old 11-10-2011, 03:35 AM   #1
hardyhop
 
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Hi All,

I am making an Extract Porter:
5 lbs LME
3 lbs DME
1 lbs molasses

Full boil: OG 1.087, pitched 2 packs of S-05 at 70F fermented in freezer chest at 66-68F until activity appeared to have slowed to where I could see no activity out of my blow-off tube.
Wonderful activity, racked into secondary at 9 days, Gravity reading is 1.026. Tastes pretty good, but kind of sweet. I would like this beer to finish out a bit more.

Should I pitch more yeast? Should I leave it in secondary for an extended amount of time? Should I have left it in primary longer?

Thanks for any input you all have on my situation.

 
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Old 11-10-2011, 03:54 AM   #2
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You're at 70%, so it isn't going much further. However, I'd pitch some new yeast with a higher attenuation.

By the way, that's a huge amount of molasses. I've used 8 oz and found it to be excessive.
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Old 11-10-2011, 04:07 AM   #3
hardyhop
 
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Thanks for the reply!
Any suggestions as to what would be an appropriate yeast that could help finish this beer? Would I have been better off maybe choosing a different yeast strain in the beginning?

It's going to be a vanilla whiskey porter so I think the molasses flavors will be fairly well hidden (or at least I hope).

 
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Old 11-10-2011, 04:10 AM   #4
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Some extracts are only 70-75% fermentable, so it's possible you're done regardless of how much yeast you pitch. You could also see more attenuation without doing anything more than waiting. What brand and type of extract did you use?
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Old 11-10-2011, 04:39 AM   #5
hardyhop
 
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The ingredients are all from Morebeer.com. LME was light 5 lbs (states 75% fermentable); All the DME is apparently Briess (states 75% also)2 lbs amber DME; and 1 lbs of dark DME. and then the 1 lbs of grandma's liquid molasses.

Thanks for your help. I am just now learning about attenuation, and am understanding what your are saying. I guess I just figured that all my beers should be ending in the 1.014 range like all the "lower" gravity beers did!
I am now seeing that I am probably about as finished as I am going to get with this bigger beer at 70%. Maybe I can hope to get down to 1.022 or so in secondary.
Is it better to leave these bigger beers in primary longer, or get it off the trub and try to finish in secondary?
Thanks

 
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:17 AM   #6
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Molasses is only about 75% fermentable. So it's going to leave quite a bit of residual sugars for you as well. So I'm guessing your numbers are just about right, maybe slightly high. Might have been able to pull a couple more points by leaving in primary for longer. Also depends on how your boil went. (i.e. If you scorched the extract or molasses, or a created maillard reaction somehow.) Just some thoughts.

 
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hardyhop View Post
Is it better to leave these bigger beers in primary longer, or get it off the trub and try to finish in secondary?
In general, the bigger the beer, the longer it will take. There are lots of other contributing factors (pitch rate, fermentation temps, yeast strain, etc.), but the general trend holds. Expect anything over 1.060 or so to take well over a week to finish up, and even get to terminal gravity. Many people suggest leaving big beers in the primary fermentor for up to 4 weeks (or more), and while this isn't always necessary, it's generally not bad as long as you keep the temps low. Since it's in a second fermentor/carboy now, try raising the temp a few degrees to get a little more attenuation. I expect you might see a bit more over the next week, though it will happen very slowly at this point.

Molasses can ferment up to around 75-80%, as stated above, or much less, depending upon the type you use. Light molasses will ferment on the high end of that range, blackstrap just doesn't have enough sugar ferment down much. I couldn't guess at a number accurately, but it's probably around 60% or possibly less.
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Old 11-11-2011, 02:18 AM   #8
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I assume you made 5 gallons. If so, then I think your OG is wrong. Those ingredients will only give you about 1.070.

As a quick check, of all 9 lbs of ingredients were pure cane sugar (46 gravity p[oints, the best you would get would be 1.083, which says your 1.087 is wrong.

If you started around 1.070, then your 1.026 is less than 65% attenuation.

 
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Old 11-11-2011, 01:55 PM   #9
hardyhop
 
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Oops, just reviewed my recipe, I had another 1 lbs of light DME in there also for a total of 10 lbs of sugars. Beersmith calculated my EST OG at 1.079. I got 1.087... It was five gallons.

 
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Old 11-12-2011, 01:22 AM   #10
hardyhop
 
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My local homebrew store suggested pitching a wine yeast to finish the beer a bit further, since I don't want to be stuck at 1.026. I took about 3 ounces of wort and "swirled" in some D47 into a sanitized pint glass. Agitated it for a few minutes and pitched in into my secondary carboy. So I'm going to leave it in secondary for a few weeks. anybody out there have any experience (good or bad) pitching a wine yeast to finish larger beer?

 
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