Extract brews often do not go below FG of 1.020

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flars

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I have seen this statement often in the forum. I do not think it is a true statement, just a repeated statement. Perhaps a poll of extract brewers could be done. The question would be; how often has your FG stuck above 1.020 and was not due to brewers error.
What is your experience?
 

CA_Mouse

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I brewed 15 or 16 extract batches before I went to all grain, only 1 time did I have an extract batch finish below 1.024 and that was a very light beer (SG was 1.036 and FG was 1.005).
 

Homsar66

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They all did until I started picking better attenuating yeasts and recipes without too much steeped grain. Can usually get 80% out of them now.
 

ram5ey

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The only extract brew I had finish that high was a milk stout that finished at 1.020. I'm always making starters and controlling fermentation temps.
 

Challenger440

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Extract isn't quite as ferment able as all grain for several reasons as a by product if the process of making the extract. That is exacerbated when the extract is added at the beginning of the boil which causes further caramelization. You can aid the fermentability of the wort by adding the extract right before the end I the boil
 

brewcephus

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I have brewed 12 Extract batches to date and they have all finished below 1.020... most of which finished around 1.014
 

mtnagel

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Many of my extract batches didn't get below 1.020. Some I didn't even measure FG so I have no idea what it was :eek: But that's when I was just sprinkling the dry yeast in the fermentor.
 

Hello

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I've had most finish under 1.020 but my porter has been sitting at 1.020 for weeks and my stout was definitely finished at 1.030 (my recipe failure, not the yeast). So I'm not sure I buy that extract batches do not all finish below 1.020. I do believe it is possible that many can be done around that gravity though. I think the porter is done. It's not sweet but it just hasn't moved. FG should have been 1.015.
 

amie

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I think the biggest issue with extract recipes is the variability of what additives are already present in the extract. I generally use gold LME that is made from 2-row and a bit of carapils or carafoam to increase body and head retention. Other extracts may have malto-dextrine added instead for that purpose, leaving a much higher amount of unfermentable sugars in the final product and resulting in a higher FG reading.

Regardless, I tend to sub in a small amount of highly fermentable sugar in my extract brews if I want the finish to be drier than I think the extract alone will attenuate.
 

boydster

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I see that statement made a lot too, and the only part I take issue with is the "often" part. I've had one that finished higher than 1.020 that was supposed to get down lower, but it was made with all LME that was added at the very beginning of the boil and likely carmelized on the bottom of the kettle. Since it was a dark beer, I figured I didn't care if the color darkened and so I'm pretty sure the reason it didn't finish lower was my flawed reasoning.

I think LME is the culprit almost exclusively when someone has a recipe finish at 1.020 and it wasn't supposed to - it's what I see most often when people list their recipes and logically, it just makes sense since it will sink to the bottom of the kettle and can be hard to get fully stirred into solution, especially for a new brewer that is using LME for the first time and doesn't know what to expect. Yeast health potentially be compounding the issue, as a new brewer is much more likely to make a huge beer and severely underpitch. A new brewer using a metric sh*t ton (scientifically speaking) of LME added at the beginning of the boil, along with some crystal malts and pitching 1 vial or unhydrated packet of yeast into 6 gallons of wort is probably something that happens more often than we know.
 

Arrheinous

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How many people are using starters or pitching properly to get a healthy population of yeast? That's the other half of the problem (on top of wort fermentability), isn't it? And something could be said about temperature control too.
 

Brewtah

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I have had only 1 extract/PM beer finish above 1.020 out of 28 batches. My first 10 batches were extract with steeping grains. The next 18 all PM. The beer with high FG was a cream stout PM batch.
I prefer DME over LME and use mostly light and golden light malt.
 

Upthewazzu

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So far I've done 7 extract brews and 1 of them (Imperial Porter) ended at 1.020. The rest fermented down to the 1.010 - 1.014 range.

Built a 17 gal mashtun and bought a 9gal kettle over the holidays so it looks like I'm done with extract.
 

Larzean

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I had a stout with a pound of lactose and I think 4oz of maltodextrine which finished above 1.020, otherwise everything has been between 1.010 & 1.015, within a point or two of the kit instructions or what I got on beer smith.

I think improper aeration can also be a culprit here?
 

Tapout

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I've had one as low as 1.008 and one at 1.009. I have had plenty of others between 1.010 and 1.015.
 

Dmlsys23

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Out of my 8 extract batches, only one stuck at 1.020. The rest have all finished at 1.012 or so.
 
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