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Old 03-23-2013, 03:20 PM   #1
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Default Low fg

I know there are MULTIPLE post about low FG's in these forums, but I have not found one they seems to fit this situation.

My buddy bought a Brewers Best Belgian Golden Ale kit and use my equipment to brew. This was his first batch. This morning I racked his to a secondary as I needed the primary bucket he was using for my brew. I quickly too a gravity reading and it is currently settled at 1.004. The OG was 1.071. Now, I should point out that I can't stand Belgian style ale's. The color is... what is should be (Straw) and it smells like it should. Any ideas of why the FG would be low? My Hydrometer is not cracked or damaged, so I ruled that out. The temp of the beer was 64, which is on the low side.....

Recipe:
6 Lb LME
2 lb Golden Belgian Candi syrup
1 lb Soft Candi Sugar

Hops:
2 oz Willamette
.5 oz Mt. Hood

Yeast: Sadly I don't know. I didn't keep the package.

Thanks for any ideas you can provide.


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Old 03-23-2013, 03:30 PM   #2
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Try the hydrometer in RO/Distilled water, or tap water if you don't have something else - should read 1.000. If it doesn't, you'll just need to compensate for that (no hydrometer is perfect...at least not the ones we use).

What temp did you ferment at?

There's a lot of sugar in that recipe and no steeping grains, so i could see your FG getting that low ... especially with a high alcohol content.


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Old 03-23-2013, 03:32 PM   #3
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Yes, with 3 lbs of sugar it is very possible that the reading is right. Sugar is fully fermentable so it is very common. for the beer to really ferment low.

Let it sit for a while and then bottle it up.
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:38 PM   #4
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+1 to the above. Belgian strains are generally big attenuators as well. I usually hit in the 80-85% range even without sugar. 3 pounds is a TON in a five gallon batch...
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewguyver View Post
Try the hydrometer in RO/Distilled water, or tap water if you don't have something else - should read 1.000. If it doesn't, you'll just need to compensate for that (no hydrometer is perfect...at least not the ones we use).

What temp did you ferment at?

There's a lot of sugar in that recipe and no steeping grains, so i could see your FG getting that low ... especially with a high alcohol content.
The temp stayed between 64 and 67 degrees. I will give the hydro test a try, thank you! Thank you all for the great info.... ill wait it out and see what happens.....
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:35 AM   #6
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I saw another thread about Brewer's Best Belgian kits finishing with a very low FG so this does not seem to be a rare thing.

I just did the Brewer's Best Belgian IPA and had similar results. SG was 1.050 and FG after 1 week in primary was 1.004. Airlock activity was strong and steady for about 5 days and the last two slowed down very much but I still saw a few bubbles. Tasted it and it does have a very dry, alcohol taste, but I did not detect any other off flavors. I know I accidentally put in too much yeast nutrient (about 2x). Otherwise, no deviations. I've had kits get stuck on the high side of FG but never on the low side. I racked and dry hopped and I'm hoping for the best. How did your ale turn out? I'm curious to know if this will condition OK or continue to burn towards alcoholic water.
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASM
I saw another thread about Brewer's Best Belgian kits finishing with a very low FG so this does not seem to be a rare thing.

I just did the Brewer's Best Belgian IPA and had similar results. SG was 1.050 and FG after 1 week in primary was 1.004. Airlock activity was strong and steady for about 5 days and the last two slowed down very much but I still saw a few bubbles. Tasted it and it does have a very dry, alcohol taste, but I did not detect any other off flavors. I know I accidentally put in too much yeast nutrient (about 2x). Otherwise, no deviations. I've had kits get stuck on the high side of FG but never on the low side. I racked and dry hopped and I'm hoping for the best. How did your ale turn out? I'm curious to know if this will condition OK or continue to burn towards alcoholic water.
If you fermented in the 70's that could happen. A lot of that will clean up with aging, but you may still get a little rocket fuel flavor*. If you fermented in the 60s it's probably just young beer.

*i've never actually drank rocket fuel
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:31 AM   #8
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Thanks.

I think my fermentation temps stayed between 70 and 64 (most times I checked it was in the high 60s). In any case, I hope it will mellow out with age. Last thing I want is another 5 gallons that isn't great, but also isn't bad enough to be thrown out. Powering through high volumes of mediocre brews it trying my patience with this new hobby.

I was searching the forums for causes of low FG (how I found this thread) and a common suggested culprit for all grain brewers was a mash temp that was too low. This got me wondering if late malt additions (this kit had some) or vigor of the boil could impact the fermentables in the wort derived from an extract kit.

My understanding is with extract this that these characteristics are already set in stone, so to speak. And I'll be the first to admit I haven't been doing this long enough to understand the science to that level but it would be good to know how the boil process on an extract/specialty grain kit could effect FG one way or the other (if at all). My biggest trouble I've had so far has been missing the FG, either too high or too low. Any info that may explain the relationship of the boil and fermentation would be helpful.


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