cant get beers to finish

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jonp9576

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my past three brews(all over this past winter) have not finished nearly as dry as the style or yeast says they should.

my basement has been sitting right around 60*. sometimes its at 58*.

for example. after a week my gravity went from 1060 to 1020. using nottingham yeast. two weeks later its still at 1020. i figured it was done and i kegged it.

would bringing it upstairs for a few days(closer to 68-70* in the living/dining room) help it finish?

i've heard of some people gently stiring the trub to get more yeast into suspension. would this help?
 

cklages

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If its the yeast stopping thats the problem, then yes warming it up a bit would help and certainly doesn't hurt later in the fermentation. Is your fermenter sitting on the bare floor, or is it on a concrete surface that could be even cooler? If that's the case, elevating it onto something could help the temperature come up a couple of degrees.

Just out of curiousity, are these extract?
 
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jonp9576

jonp9576

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this may sound dumb but maybe i'll check my basement steps and see if there is a temperature change as they go up. i could make something to go on the step so the beer could move up a few steps each day.
 
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jonp9576

jonp9576

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yes they are extract and yes they are on the concrete floor. my most recent brew is on a shelf.
 

COLObrewer

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Well, tell us about the brews, are they extract or all grain, partial? How about your wort aeration prior to pitching is it good?
 

unionrdr

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Mine's sitting about 8' to my right near the back wall of a south facing room. I set it on a round end table that's nearly 3' off the floor with an old,fleece lined cpo wrapped around it. Constant 20C (69F).
 

Revvy

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If anything try lifting them off the floor, on some paint cans or something. You're so close to the bottom of most yeast's floccultation temps, that the yeast isn't as active as it could be.
 
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jonp9576

jonp9576

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they are extract brews. my airation is not any different from other brews that have fermented much lower. i pour in the wort dump in the top up water and then shake the crap out of it. as far as pitching, i've never made a starter. i just open the packet and dump it in. i brew in the evening and my morning i always have active fermentation.
 

JonK331

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Yeah sounds a bit cool. Are you oxygenating and pitching lots of yeast? You might be okay in the cool temps if you pitch more yeast. I'd try to bring it up at least a few degrees though.
 
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jonp9576

jonp9576

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my most recent brew is sitting on a shelf. the basement is sitting at 65*. i am using nottingham again. so i hope this one will dry out more for me, especially since its starting gravity was so low to beigin with.
 
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jonp9576

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This is more than likely the truth. 1.020 for extract is VERY common.
i've been using extract for a few years and i have been able to get some down to 1010, but none lower.
come to think of it. is there a posibility that its something to do with my extract. all of these brews recently have been from the same 33# jug of extract.
 

commonsenseman

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Well then you can try warming them but 1.020 seems to be about it for extract these days.
What does that mean? My last extract kit finished at 1.012

If you do everything right, shouldn't they finish out where they're supposed to?

Maybe I'm just a super-genius at extract, but I don't seem to have that problem.

To me it sounds like temperature is the issue, that's pretty darn cold.
 

unionrdr

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Yeah,weird huh? My first two,I had to work or wait another week to get it down to 1.012 From 1.04x's. Whodawtf? The OS lager shoulda got down to 1.006-1.008. But nooooo,1.012. It did come out very tasty,though. So I guess I shouldn't complain...too much. I don't care for really dry,really bitter nuke'em high 250 kiloton hop bombs,either.
But,I can see where a lil dryness to make an other wise rather crisp beer a bit moreso. Sometimes,crisp is good.
 

COLObrewer

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What does that mean?
Simply an observation, I do believe depending on yeast and correct wort oxygenation you can get extract brews to attenuate. I don't know why there are so many extract brews ending at 1.020, I haven't used extract in a while.:mug: Maybe some types of extract have alot more unfermentables than others? Who knows? No-one.

I guess that is a pretty open statement, what with me not knowing what yeast or what brew this is at all.
 

beergolf

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Well then you can try warming them but 1.020 seems to be about it for extract these days.

I have never had that problem with extracts.

The last batches I have done finished at 1.006--1.012--1.013--1.014. and 1.016

4 were with dry yeast and no starter. 3 US-05 and one Nottingham. The real low one was a a Saison using WY3711. All of the ones using dry yeast were fermented at 60-64 degrees.
 

COLObrewer

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Good job, congrats!! Maybe everyone should start listing their extract vendor/type along with their attenuation numbers so we(you's guys) can determine if it's a certain type extract.
 

COLObrewer

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Good job, I forgot to add you should at least have the yeast used also. Carry on. Are these your numbers or the vendors numbers? Vendors numbers might not mean as much.
 

nilo

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Just a quick note about high FG on extract recipes.
It is often that homebrewers scotch/burn the extract on the bottom of the kettle, specially LME.
Than can drive to much more unfermentable sugars I assume, perhaps explainning the high FG they get.
 

COLObrewer

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Yea, I suppose there are a bunch of other "user" variables that could skew these numbers to the point of being inacurate/unuseable, wort oxygenation for one, so . . . . . . . . nevermind. I don't know why I even care anyway.
 

PVH

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OP mentioned using Nottingham. That yeast will have no problem at the temps in your basement if you get the fermenter off of the concrete floor. Neither will the other popular dry ale yeasts like S-04 and S-05. Also, if you are not rehydrating, you are killing a bunch of your yeast right off the bat.

And yeah, raising the temp after primary fermentation is fine, but it's not so much for shaving another couple points off the gravity as it is for allowing the yeast to remove unwanted compounds that may have been produced during fermentation. If your home is just as cold as your basement, you can move the fermenter to the bed and spoon with it for a few days.
 

EPS

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I'm a new brewer but try wraping your fermenter in blankets. And putting your fermenter on a blanket or some towels. My temps were a bit low also that helped and i also just ordered a cheap heat belt witch will help alot i'm sure. Just next kit you order to brew throw a heat belt in with the order. Alot cheaper then ruining batchs by low temps.
 
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