ABV Low WHY?

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100million

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Hey Guys

My name is chris and i have been brewing for about 6 months all grain beer.

I have only been brewing High Gravity Beer. My system is made up of 10 gallon igloo false bottom mash tun... I boil water till 175 and pour it on the grain ( 20-28 lb ) in the mash tun, then wait 60 mins, i strain it off and then pour more water in the masn tun and wait 30 mins and strain it off,, then i pour more water in and strain it off at 15 mins. this gives me about 9 gallons of wort. Each time i strain off my wort, the grain temp is about 150.

I boil it down to about 7.5 gallons and then start my boil.
After my boil i cool the wort down with my own home built reverse wart cooler. 1 inch id garden hose with 3/8 id copper tube. It will cool down wort from boiling to 60-70 in one pass.

Then I use a bubbler to add Oxygen to the cooled wort.

Then I pitch wyeast

__________________________________________________________________


Ok so here is the question.

All my beers OG start off betweet 1.104 at lowest to 1.130 highest

And all my beer FG finish at about 1.020 at lowest and 1.030 at highest.


So I mad a beer with Irish Wyeast and it had a OG of 1.104 and FG or 1.042

I want to know Why did it not go down to about 1.020.

What makes it not go low?

This is the Recipe i used

Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
10 lbs Brewer's Malt, 2-Row, Premium (Great Western) (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 38.4 %
7 lbs 12.0 oz Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 2 29.8 %
3 lbs 8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 3 13.5 %
2 lbs 4.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 4 8.7 %
2 lbs 4.0 oz Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 5 8.7 %
2.1 oz Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 6 0.5 %
2.1 oz Peat Smoked Malt (2.8 SRM) Grain 7 0.5 %
0.55 oz Chinook [13.90 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 8 14.6 IBUs
0.45 oz Warrior [18.20 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 9 17.2 IBUs
1.00 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 10 -
2.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 11 4.2 IBU
1.0 pkg Irish Ale (Wyeast Labs #1084) [124.21 ml] Yeast
2.0 Cascade [5.50 %] - Dry Hop 10.0 Days Hop 15 0.0 IBUs


Thanks for all the ideas If i get any :)
 

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I would guess it's your initial mash step. Try mashing cooler it will produce a beer with less body but more fermentable sugar. That's because of the way alpha and beta amylase work together. ( to make a long story short)
 

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do you make a starter with your wyeast? just adding the pack, as-is, won't be enough yeast for that much high-gravity wort. you need to increase the yeast population with a starter. without one, the yeast might tire out before they finish the job (and create some off-flavors becase they're stressed out).

I would guess it's your initial mash step. Try mashing cooler it will produce a beer with less body but more fermentable sugar. That's because of the way alpha and beta amylase work together. ( to make a long story short)

the OP states that he's mashing at 150. that's pretty low and should make a very fermentable wort. so either he's not hitting 150 (and is in fact mashing at a higher temp, thus making a less fermentable wort) or mashing temp isn't the issue here.
 

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Could the combined 5# 12 oz of Crystal 80 and cara-pils also have something to do with it? Also boiling from 9 gallon down to 7.5 and then "starting the boil". Would seem to be quite a bit of caramelizing happening.
 
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100million

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I would guess it's your initial mash step. Try mashing cooler it will produce a beer with less body but more fermentable sugar. That's because of the way alpha and beta amylase work together. ( to make a long story short)

You mean start off at 170? Because when it is done it is about 150-155 before i start the boil
 
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100million

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do you make a starter with your wyeast? just adding the pack, as-is, won't be enough yeast for that much high-gravity wort. you need to increase the yeast population with a starter. without one, the yeast might tire out before they finish the job (and create some off-flavors because they're stressed out).



the OP states that he's mashing at 150. that's pretty low and should make a very fermentable wort. so either he's not hitting 150 (and is in fact mashing at a higher temp, thus making a less fermentable wort) or mashing temp isn't the issue here.

Thanks for your input... I use about 175 water and after i stir it up it is about 165 and when I pull the wort off after 60 min it is about 150.

HOW do I take my bag of yeast and make a starter with it? is it the same as useing 2 bags?
What I do is I pop the inter bag and then leave it out for about 3 hours and dont pour it in the cooled wort until it is full of air.

There is never any off flavors.... Well to my taste buds :)

We live in BEER CITY USA and I know what good beer taste like but leearning how to make it :):fro:
 

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^^^ You say your starting mash temp is at 165? That is way to high. If your mash tun is well insulated you should be only losing like 1-2 degrees. Bring your starting mash down to 151-152, and let it lower to 150ish, depending on the style of beer.

Searh yeast starter. There are alot of threads on the subject. It is really easy to make one..
 
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100million

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Could the combined 5# 12 oz of Crystal 80 and cara-pils also have something to do with it? Also boiling from 9 gallon down to 7.5 and then "starting the boil". Would seem to be quite a bit of caramelizing happening.

This is a Red beer and the color is perfect :) well to me it is :ban::mug:
 

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Thanks for your input... I use about 175 water and after i stir it up it is about 165 and when I pull the wort off after 60 min it is about 150.

HOW do I take my bag of yeast and make a starter with it? is it the same as useing 2 bags?
What I do is I pop the inter bag and then leave it out for about 3 hours and dont pour it in the cooled wort until it is full of air.

There is never any off flavors.... Well to my taste buds :)

We live in BEER CITY USA and I know what good beer taste like but leearning how to make it :):fro:
going from 165 to 150 during your mash isn't a good idea. 165 is too high to start with, and you shouldn't lose that much heat - you want to be much more stable. as an example you want to start at 154, and end at 152 or 151.

are you using a mash-tun? or just doing it in a pot? if you're just using a pot, you might need to add some heat to make up for what you're losing. it's tricky business, trying to figure out when and how much flame to add to the pot to keep the temp stable. much easier to use a mash-tun: it's an insulated cooler that you add the grains and water to. the insulation ensures that everything stays pretty much at the same temp. more info.

HOW do I take my bag of yeast and make a starter with it? is it the same as useing 2 bags?
What I do is I pop the inter bag and then leave it out for about 3 hours and dont pour it in the cooled wort until it is full of air.
A-HA! i think we may have found the source of your problems: you've been under-pitching (not adding enough yeast). your yeast has been too tired and stressed to bring your FG down any lower. with a small population, you had less chance of having robust cells that could continue fermenting despite the presence of alcohol.

no, making a starter is not the same thing as popping the pack in the smack-pack. that nutrient pack invigorates the yeast in the pack and proves that they are active, but it doesn't increase the population of yeast.

the idea of a starter is to make a small amount of weak, well-oxygenated wort and let the yeast ferment it out. this creates a forgiving environment where the yeast can reproduce and grow the population. you then cold-crash the starter, decant (pour off) the spent wort and keep the newly-increased yeast. you then pitch this "boosted yeast" into your beer.

read these:
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Starter
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/how-make-yeast-starter-video-177635/
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/how-make-yeast-starter-pictorial-76101/

use mr. malty to calculate how big a starter you need: http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

making a starter is like using two or three packs at the same time - but much cheaper. just takes a little time.
 
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100million

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going from 165 to 150 during your mash isn't a good idea. 165 is too high to start with, and you shouldn't lose that much heat - you want to be much more stable. as an example you want to start at 154, and end at 152 or 151.

are you using a mash-tun? or just doing it in a pot? if you're just using a pot, you might need to add some heat to make up for what you're losing. it's tricky business, trying to figure out when and how much flame to add to the pot to keep the temp stable. much easier to use a mash-tun: it's an insulated cooler that you add the grains and water to. the insulation ensures that everything stays pretty much at the same temp. more info.


A-HA! i think we may have found the source of your problems: you've been under-pitching (not adding enough yeast). your yeast has been too tired and stressed to bring your FG down any lower. with a small population, you had less chance of having robust cells that could continue fermenting despite the presence of alcohol.

no, making a starter is not the same thing as popping the pack in the smack-pack. that nutrient pack invigorates the yeast in the pack and proves that they are active, but it doesn't increase the population of yeast.

the idea of a starter is to make a small amount of weak, well-oxygenated wort and let the yeast ferment it out. this creates a forgiving environment where the yeast can reproduce and grow the population. you then cold-crash the starter, decant (pour off) the spent wort and keep the newly-increased yeast. you then pitch this "boosted yeast" into your beer.

read these:
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Starter
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/how-make-yeast-starter-video-177635/
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/how-make-yeast-starter-pictorial-76101/

use mr. malty to calculate how big a starter you need: http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

making a starter is like using two or three packs at the same time - but much cheaper. just takes a little time.

What i use is a igloo with false bottom 10 gallon... do i need to put 160 hot water in it to heat up the igloo?
How about using two packets of yeast?

Thanks for all the help
 

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going from 165 to 150 during your mash isn't a good idea. 165 is too high to start with, and you shouldn't lose that much heat - you want to be much more stable. as an example you want to start at 154, and end at 152 or 151.

are you using a mash-tun? or just doing it in a pot? if you're just using a pot, you might need to add some heat to make up for what you're losing. it's tricky business, trying to figure out when and how much flame to add to the pot to keep the temp stable. much easier to use a mash-tun: it's an insulated cooler that you add the grains and water to. the insulation ensures that everything stays pretty much at the same temp. more info.


A-HA! i think we may have found the source of your problems: you've been under-pitching (not adding enough yeast). your yeast has been too tired and stressed to bring your FG down any lower. with a small population, you had less chance of having robust cells that could continue fermenting despite the presence of alcohol.

no, making a starter is not the same thing as popping the pack in the smack-pack. that nutrient pack invigorates the yeast in the pack and proves that they are active, but it doesn't increase the population of yeast.

the idea of a starter is to make a small amount of weak, well-oxygenated wort and let the yeast ferment it out. this creates a forgiving environment where the yeast can reproduce and grow the population. you then cold-crash the starter, decant (pour off) the spent wort and keep the newly-increased yeast. you then pitch this "boosted yeast" into your beer.

read these:
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Starter
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/how-make-yeast-starter-video-177635/
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/how-make-yeast-starter-pictorial-76101/

use mr. malty to calculate how big a starter you need: http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

making a starter is like using two or three packs at the same time - but much cheaper. just takes a little time.


Very well explained and great advice!
 

sweetcell

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What i use is a igloo with false bottom 10 gallon...
yup, that's a mash-tun... but i'm surprised that you're going from 165 to 150 in an hour. most people would expect to lose 2, maybe 3 degrees over an hour.

yes, you should add warm water to the empty mash-tun and let that water warm up the cooler - essentially you want to pre-heat the cooler so that it doesn't suck up warmth from the actual strike water. if you do the pre-warming thing, you strike water won't need to be as hot. you might want to use an online calculator, like http://www.brewersfriend.com/mash/

after you mix the grain and the strike water and let their temperatures even out in the mash tun (should take a minute or so), if you find you are below your desired temp it's OK to add a little extra boiling water to raise the temp. be sure to mix in the new boiling water so that its heat gets spread around, add only a little at a time, and take readings so you know when to stop. once you hit the desired temp, close up the lid and let 'er sit.

you wrote "when I pull the wort off after 60 min it is about 150" - what are you measuring to get that 150? it the thermometer inside the mash-tun? or are you measuring the wort after you've pulled it out of the mash-tun? hopefully you are taking the temperature of the wort/grains inside the MT, before you drain it off. the wort will cool several degrees by the time you pour it out to your boiling kettle.


How about using two packets of yeast?
for beers that big, you should indeed be using several packs. how much you need to use also depends on how old the packs are - yeast start to die off. after 1 week about 10% of the yeast have died. after a month, about 25% have died (this is why mr. malty asks you for the date printed on your yeast pack). but making a starter saves you from having to use all those packs.

for example, 5 gallons of 1.100 wort require 3.7 packs of 1-week old yeast... or a just one pack and a starter of 1.66 liters (using intermittent shaking - mix up the starter as often as you can). it would take even less starter if you use stir plate (a machine that continuously stirs the starter for you).

Thanks for all the help
very welcome!
 

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PART of the reason your FG is so high is that you have 21+% crystal malt in this recipe. That's a ton. Almost none of the sugars contributed by these malts are fermentable, which means the end up in your finished beer giving you that serious sweetness. Cut way back here, and consider upping the darkness of the crystal you're using, rather than the amount to get the color you want.

You also certainly need to mash lower and insulate your mash tun (I use towels) so you don't lose so much heat, as many have stated. The reason that you don't want to start out at 165 is that you may denature many of the enzymes (inactivate them) that make short, fermentable sugars from your grain's starches. Finally, many others are correct in suggesting using a huge yeast starter for big batches.

Your long boil is also probably contributing to reducing the amount of fermentable sugars via kettle caramelization (again, also previously mentioned).
 
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Sweel Cell said
" for example, 5 gallons of 1.100 wort require 3.7 packs of 1-week old yeast... or a just one pack and a starter of 1.66 liters (using intermittent shaking - mix up the starter as often as you can). it would take even less starter if you use stir plate (a machine that continuously stirs the starter for you)."

The question i have is when i make a starter how long can i keep it in the refer? and how many starters or washes can i make out of one wyeast...
 

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Sweel Cell said
" for example, 5 gallons of 1.100 wort require 3.7 packs of 1-week old yeast... or a just one pack and a starter of 1.66 liters (using intermittent shaking - mix up the starter as often as you can). it would take even less starter if you use stir plate (a machine that continuously stirs the starter for you)."

The question i have is when i make a starter how long can i keep it in the refer? and how many starters or washes can i make out of one wyeast...

You can keep yeast in the fridge a long long time.

Using these instructions: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/yeast-washing-illustrated-41768/ , you can use one wyeast pack for probably 10+ brews.

I just used some rinsed/washed yeast today for a 10 gallon batch, and I have done it at least three times already with the one package of yeast.
 
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100million

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You can keep yeast in the fridge a long long time.

Using these instructions: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/yeast-washing-illustrated-41768/ , you can use one wyeast pack for probably 10+ brews.

I just used some rinsed/washed yeast today for a 10 gallon batch, and I have done it at least three times already with the one package of yeast.

Is there a way to make like 10 ready to use batches? out of one bag? I think this is my question.

Thanks for all the help

I REALLY MEAN IT

Chris from Beer City USA
 

sweetcell

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The question i have is when i make a starter how long can i keep it in the refer? and how many starters or washes can i make out of one wyeast...
just like in the smackpack, yeast cells will start to die in the fridge. so i wouldn't make it more than a week before you plan on using it, otherwise you'll want to make extra starter to account for the loss. i generally make my starter 48 hours before i plan to pitch. so i start it on friday night, give it 24 hours, then cold-crash on saturday night, take it out of the fridge on sunday afternoon, let it warm to room temp, decent the spent wort just before pitching... then pitch.

you pitch all your starter into the wort. you can re-use the yeast after that batch is done. you can pitch another batch of beer directly on top of the yeast cake, or the other option is to wash the yeast before re-using it. do a search on this forum for "yeast washing", there are some really helpful tutorials and videos. generally people caution against using the same yeast more than 5 or 6 times (generations). however, you can get more than 5 or 6 batches from a single smack-pack by washing and then using only some of the second-generation yeast (you might have to make a starter with it, depending on how much you use). after you use that second generation yeast for a batch, you can wash that yeast and now you have third-generation yeast which can be used for multiple batches.

theoretically, if you split each generation in half (two batches), you'll have 1 batch out of the original smack-pack, 2 batches out of second generation, 4 batches out of third generation, 8 batches out of fourth and 16 out of the fifth. that 1+2+4+8+16 = 31 batches out of a single smack-pack! you'll need to do a LOT of brewing to use all that yeast. in fact, your yeast will probably start dying off faster than you could use all that. it's much more common to make a batch, wash some yeast, use it in a second batch, wash it, use it in a third batch, etc. that way the yeast is always freshest.
 

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I don't have much to add in terms of advice/help, but if I lived it Bend I would just live at the Deschutes Brewery and probably drink myself to death in a few days.
 
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I don't have much to add in terms of advice/help, but if I lived it Bend I would just live at the Deschutes Brewery and probably drink myself to death in a few days.

That is EXACTLY what I thought when I saw the OP!! :tank:

OP, I see a couple things here, all of which have been covered so I'll just second them. First off, 21% caramel malt is way too much, and will contribute to a higher FG. Your mashing schedule is most likely also producing too many unfermentable sugars, I would recommend using brewing software of sorts to assist you as far as things like what temp to heat your strike water to, how much water to use and how much water to sparge with. And I also have to reiterate what others have said about making a starter. Your brewing very high gravity beers, and you NEED a starter for those. Read the sticky on yeast starters, it'll help a lot.
Other than that, keep at it, you'll get your process dialed in. And do us all a favor and go over to the Deschute's pub and have a pint for each and every one of us who contribute to this thread! :ban: Mirror Pond for me, please! :ban: :ban:
 
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100million

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NordeastBrewer77 and emetcalf you guys need to check out http: //www.boneyardbeer.com/boneyardbeer/Boneyard_Beer.html

If you havent you are ready for a treat in store for you

Emetcalf send me a private email and we will get together

Thanks for all the advice

Chris
 
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