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1.049 Final Gravity?

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fightguy

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In mid-December, a buddy and I made the Old Monster recipe out of Brewing Classic Styles.

The recipe called for:

16.7 lbs LME
1 lb corn sugar

1 lb Crystal 15
1 lb Crystal 80
.25 lb Pale Chocolate Malt
.25 lb Special B

2.45 oz Magnum hops
1 oz Chinook
1.5 oz Centennial
1.5 Amarillo

OG 1.115
FG 1.022

So anyways, we let it ferment for two weeks at 68-70 degrees in the primary and fermentation went just as we thought it would. Before racking to the secondary, we took the gravity and it was sitting at 1.049. We figured that we just had a stuck fermentation so we rehydrated some more yeast and pitched it last Monday, but the gravity doesn't seem to be changing at all. Is it possible that this is going to be the final gravity? That seems dangerously high to consider bottling the beer. What do you guys think?
 

Bobby_M

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What kind of yeast are you using. Perhaps it's not tolerating the high alcohol very well. Big beers like this really need starters. You could have added the sugar after the gravity dropped too.
 
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fightguy

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We used 2 packets of Wyeast 1056 American Ale, and also added yeast nutrient
 

sirsloop

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damn... thats gotta taste like sugar beer!! Its only 8.5% ABV presently... I'd image most yeast can do at least that much. What yeast did you use? I'd drop 22g of Nottinghams on that bad boy and let em rip...
 

extexan

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Generally speaking, if it ferments down to 1/4 of the OG, you it's probably done.
 

sirsloop

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No way... that should get at least into the 30's (if not 20s). I've made beers with a SG lower than 49!!
 

zoebisch01

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sirsloop said:
No way... that should get at least into the 30's (if not 20s). I've made beers with a SG lower than 49!!

115/4 = 28.75 :D :cross: :tank:

at any rate 1.049 it is not done by any means.
 

raceskier

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From Wyeast on high gravity wort:

"Increased wort gravity causes increased stress on yeast due to increased osmotic pressure and increased alcohol levels. It is necessary to increase your pitch rates when increasing the wort gravity. A general rule of thumb is to pitch one million cells per milliliter per degree plato. So a 20 degree plato (1.080 s.g.) wort would require 20 million cells per milliliter per degree plato."

So for a 1.115 SG (28.75 P), you would need 28.75 million cells per milliliter or 550 billion cells.

2 activator packs of packs of 1056 would give you 200 billion cells, a bit under pitched.

In addition the 1056 is only listed as tolerating 10% ABV. Going from 1.115 to 1.049 puts you right about 10% ABV.

You may want to toss in something like a White Labs 002 which will stand 15% ABV.
 
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fightguy

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raceskier said:
From Wyeast on high gravity wort:

"Increased wort gravity causes increased stress on yeast due to increased osmotic pressure and increased alcohol levels. It is necessary to increase your pitch rates when increasing the wort gravity. A general rule of thumb is to pitch one million cells per milliliter per degree plato. So a 20 degree plato (1.080 s.g.) wort would require 20 million cells per milliliter per degree plato."

So for a 1.115 SG (28.75 P), you would need 28.75 million cells per milliliter or 550 billion cells.

2 activator packs of packs of 1056 would give you 200 billion cells, a bit under pitched.

In addition the 1056 is only listed as tolerating 10% ABV. Going from 1.115 to 1.049 puts you right about 10% ABV.

You may want to toss in something like a White Labs 002 which will stand 15% ABV.
That's weird, because the beer is supposed to come out at 12.5 ABV and that is the yeast that was recommended by Zainasheff for the recipe.
 

david_42

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Since you've already pitched some dry yeast and it isn't helping, we need to ask about the LME you used. You may have to buy some alpha Amylase to break down the unfermentables a bit.
 
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fightguy

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david_42 said:
Since you've already pitched some dry yeast and it isn't helping, we need to ask about the LME you used. You may have to buy some alpha Amylase to break down the unfermentables a bit.
Can you elaborate a bit? I'm not familiar with what you are referring to

And the LME I used was from Northern Brewer
 

FSR402

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david_42 said:
Since you've already pitched some dry yeast and it isn't helping, we need to ask about the LME you used. You may have to buy some alpha Amylase to break down the unfermentables a bit.
I have not use that myself but I have heard/read that it can be a bitch to stop once it starts.

This is what I would do. I would rack it to a different carboy to get it off that yeast, then I would pitch two viles of White Labs 002 and hold it at 68* for two weeks then check it. If it's down I would rack it again for clearing for two weeks then keg. If it's not down, your screwed. I would then get a new hydromitor and check it again. If it'still showing that high I would keg/bottle it, because it's not getting any lower.
 

DUCCCC

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I don't mean to sound like an expert or anything, but I'm looking at this specific recipe in the specific book right now. Page 255 says "Use 21 grams of properly rehydrated yeast, 4 liquid yeast packages, or make an appropriate starter."

So, you under pitched.

Secondly, not only does the recipe say nothing about a secondary, the book itself advises against it on page 42, stating "Racking to a secondary fermenter is not recommended except for beers requiring a long maturation, such as lagers, or beers requiring a second fermentation, such as sour ales and fruit beers. Specific instructions for secondary fermentation will be given in the recipe."

So, you didn't follow the recipe or the book's instructions. I just wanted to make sure that this instance isn't a reflection on the book.

Sorry to sound like a jerk, but any advice given here by the veteran brewers should be followed to the tee.
 

FSR402

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ma2brew said:
I don't mean to sound like an expert or anything, but I'm looking at this specific recipe in the specific book right now. Page 255 says "Use 21 grams of properly rehydrated yeast, 4 liquid yeast packages, or make an appropriate starter."
Holy hell, that's lke $28 in yeast :eek: Dude that being the case you should have stepped a starter up like 5 times. Dude, you way under pitched.
 

Bobby_M

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Well, not really.. it's $3 worth of dry yeast (21 grams is two packs). Hell, I'd really go nuts and pitch 4 packs in this really large beer. I'm going to do a barleywine in the near future but pitch it directly on a slurry from a pale all. A megastarter of sorts.
 

sirsloop

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Bobby_M said:
Well, not really.. it's $3 worth of dry yeast (21 grams is two packs). Hell, I'd really go nuts and pitch 4 packs in this really large beer. I'm going to do a barleywine in the near future but pitch it directly on a slurry from a pale all. A megastarter of sorts.
5 gallon starter! :rockin: :rockin: :rockin:
 

TheJadedDog

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Well, you've got a lot of issues here:
1) Underpitched
2) LME may be unfermentable
3) Racked WAY too soon.

Let me elaborate a bit on point 3. When you got that high SG reading, it should have been an indication that the beer was not finished fermenting and therefore should not be racked to secondary. Also, two weeks is no where near enough time for a beer that big.

I would do as others have recommended; rack to another carboy and repitch a whole lotta yeast.
 

FSR402

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Bobby_M said:
Well, not really.. it's $3 worth of dry yeast (21 grams is two packs). Hell, I'd really go nuts and pitch 4 packs in this really large beer. I'm going to do a barleywine in the near future but pitch it directly on a slurry from a pale all. A megastarter of sorts.
I was talkin about the "4 liquid yeast packages".
Pitching onto a yeast cake would be a great way to go. :mug:
 
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fightguy

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Thanks for the input guys. I think we might have bitten off more than we could chew on this batch
 
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