So I just bottled my first all-grain batch and I'm also reading John Palmer's "How to Brew" (great read so far).
My attempt was/is a Dogfish Head 90 Minute clone (one of my fav. brews) via BeerSmith2. The taste at bottle time was inspiring. It truly had that toast-taste I was hoping for.
That said, my numbers and the color were/are way the funk off. Starting with the OG being low and the color being way too light. Don't get me wrong. At the end of the day I just want a good beer to drink! However, this was a quest; A quest to replicate (or in band-terms, to a killer cover-tune). I learned a ton and have had a ball.
Ok, here's the gist of this post; My FG was way lower than any kit I've ever brewed and much lower than the spec of this clone. My OG was 1.054 @ around 80 degrees F. The FG was 1.002!!!! @ 72 degrees F. I've never seen my hydrometer lower than around 1.010.
So I'm just getting into Palmer's read and he's getting into AG brewing. He's talking about temps (at a high-level) and how they affect the brew. He's talking about the target temps of 150-155 generally being the target. He's saying higher results in more dextrinous wort while lower temps result in more fermentable batches. Again, generalizations applied here.
So I had a newly built cooler-mash tun and had only performed a simple leak test so I really had no clue as to how much temperature I'd lose as I added my 18 lbs of grain to my ~160 degree water. I ended up steeping at around 140-142 for an hour.
So to summarize, I thin this lower temperature resulted in such a low FG number.
If I wasn't sold on AG brewing before, I certainly am now. The amount of granular control over your end product cannot be over stated.