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Old 02-29-2008, 02:21 PM   #1
maltMonkey
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Default All my FG's are high

I am getting high FG's in everything I brew & I don't know what's going on.

My first beer was a Cooper's extract kit supposed to hit under 1.014, petered out at 1.020.
Did a couple mini mashes--one of which (an English pale ale) was supposed to hit 1.014 and never got past 1.020.
Then I switched to all grain and did another English pale ale. It stuck at 1.017 (supposed to get down to 1.014).

so far this isn't so bad, but:

I have an amber ale that's been in primary for 10 days, stuck at 1.026. I also have a nut brown ale (2 weeks fermenting) that's been stuck at 1.025 for the last week.

--Fermenting temps are perfect.
--I've checked 3 different hydrometers.
--I've taken samples over several days.
--They are all using different kinds of yeast--some reused, some new--all had starters.
--I've tried rousing the carboys to get the yeast back into suspension.



I have racked my brain trying to figure this out. Here are the only possible explanations I can come up with:

--I've mashed all my AG's so far @ 158, and the recipes use a lot of crystal malts so maybe there are a ton of unfermentables?

--Bad yeast (All 5 different strains I've used.)

--Bad luck.

--I can't read a hydrometer or am using it wrong.

-- ????


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Old 02-29-2008, 02:22 PM   #2
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My money is on the mash temp. Try your next one at 152 and see what happens.


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Old 02-29-2008, 02:23 PM   #3
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Try using no more than 1/2lb of Crystal for 5 gallons and pitch rehydrated Nottingham yeast. For mashing, mash around 152F because IMO 158F is pretty high. I guarantee you'll get below 1.020...
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Old 02-29-2008, 02:25 PM   #4
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I rarely get a beer to finish below about 1.018. One theory to consider is whether or not you are adequately aerating the wort before pitching yeast. I think it could be the root cause of some of my problems. Just shaking the fermenter only gives a certain percentage of oxygen, using a aeration stone is better, and pure oxygen with the stone is the best.

Someplace I read how much each method affects the oxygen content of the wort, but I can't remember where right now.
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Old 02-29-2008, 02:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soulive
Try using no more than 1/2lb of Crystal for 5 gallons and pitch rehydrated Nottingham yeast. For mashing, mash around 152F because IMO 158F is pretty high. I guarantee you'll get below 1.020...
You might be right--the amber had 1.5lbs of crystal and the brown had 1.25lbs.

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Originally Posted by McKBrew
I rarely get a beer to finish below about 1.018. One theory to consider is whether or not you are adequately aerating the wort before pitching yeast. I think it could be the root cause of some of my problems. Just shaking the fermenter only gives a certain percentage of oxygen, using a aeration stone is better, and pure oxygen with the stone is the best.

Someplace I read how much each method affects the oxygen content of the wort, but I can't remember where right now.
I do know that aeration is one of my weak points--I remember on the amber that I put it into a 7.9g bucket and shook the holy $*#! out of it to aerate, but normally I just stir it a lot with a long-handled spoon.
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Old 02-29-2008, 02:44 PM   #6
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Definitely consider mashing lower and using the dry yeast (Nottingham)...
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Old 02-29-2008, 03:26 PM   #7
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....So if it's mash temp + crystal malts, then why doesn't Beersmith factor that into the FG estimate? It's telling me I should be hitting around 1.015 most of the time.
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Old 02-29-2008, 03:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maltMonkey
....So if it's mash temp + crystal malts, then why doesn't Beersmith factor that into the FG estimate? It's telling me I should be hitting around 1.015 most of the time.
Because Beersmith doesn't adjust the attenuation % of your yeast. If I'm mashing higher/lower, I go into the yeast's profile and change the attenuation %. The number is usually in the mid 70s range, mashing higher drops that number. Beersmith does take the Crystal into account though. Eventhough you're only getting down to 1.020, you should be lower even with the Crystal...
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Old 02-29-2008, 04:27 PM   #9
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Hmmm....I'm not sure what to do with these two 1.025 beers I have. I guess I'll pitch more yeast and see what happens. It will be different yeast than what I started with, hope it turns out OK.
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Old 02-29-2008, 05:18 PM   #10
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Wow, yeah, 158 is high. Real high. I have never mashed that high not even for stouts or anything like that. You are going to have lots of unfermentables in there. Luckily for you, this can be solved pretty easily. Sprinkle some of this in there, give ti another 3 days or so, and voila.


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