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Old 02-23-2013, 01:00 PM   #1
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Default Gravitational mystery

Hi all,

Trying to figure out what my problem was on a recent brew. I've narrowed down the possibilities, but I could use some other brewing perspective to avoid this problem in the future.

Waaay back in May 2012 I brewed an ordinary bock, but life, travel, and work intervened to the point that I wasn't able to rack it into a keg until earlier this week. So that made about 8 months of lagering at 41F. I remember nothing about making this beer, as a result, but I have BeerAlchemy statistics recorded for it.

Apparently, I over-estimated efficiency (actually, I think I spilled some of the first runnings) and ended up with OG 1.059 instead of 1.065. When I racked it out, I took a FG reading and thought it would be a little low, since the OG was low. Nope. Instead of 1.016 I hit 1.021!

Tasting the beer revealed no off-flavors. It didn't seem thick enough or sweet enough to justify 1.021, but it was flat and very cold when I tried it, so I will have to try again after it carbs up and see what I've got.

Mashing was apparently done at 154. Thats what the recipe says. I made no note at the time of mashing any higher. The grain bill included:

9lb 13oz Munich (of the german variety 5-6L)
11oz Caramunich 60L
10oz Caramel 120L
10oz Carahell 10L

Did I perhaps mash higher than 154, or was there not enough diastatic power in the grist for the Munich to convert itself and the carahell? Right now I think it must have been a combination of the two, but even then I'm surprised the FG is 5 points high, when the OG was 6 points low.

Another possible factor: the yeast was a strain I never used before, WLP940 Mexican Lager which BeerAlchemy estimates at 70-78% attenuation and "produces crisp, clean lagers". My initial taste test agreed it was crisp and clean. The yeast had been stepped up by making a steam-beer batch that had some acetaldehyde problems (probably from under-pitching). So the yeast could have been unhealthy, but taste-wise they seem to have done their job.

If I learned anything from this site, its that when something didn't work out the way you expected, it often still works out. Seems like it will be a good batch, just wondering why I had so little control on the process this time around.

Primary: RIS — Baja Common — Apfelwein
Secondary: Show Mead — Celery and Beetroot Wine
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Bottled: B'more Malty Pale Ale — Orfy's Bitter — Swinging Hammock Summer Kφlsch — Dry-Hopped Bitter — Apfelwein — Pumpkin ale — B'more Malty Pale Ale — Kitchen Sink Red — Cider — Spontaneous Cider — Armistice Barleywine
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:06 PM   #2
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From what I can see about 20% of the recipe was basically crystal type malts which is a lot and you mashed at the higher temperature range making the wort over all, less fermentable resulting in a higher finish of the beer.

If everything tastes good and stable then package it and enjoy it. Next time either cut back on some of the malts to like 10% total grain bill and lower the mash temp and it should finish lower for you.

Nothing Left to do but smile and drink beer.....

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Old 02-23-2013, 03:14 PM   #3
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Lol, OH! Sorry, thought this might be a black hole discussion.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:45 PM   #4
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Did you correct your gravity readingg for temp?
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