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FG too low on first oktoberfest

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zam216

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Ok so I brewed an oktoberfest back in august with an OG of 1.050 and FG of 1.008. I was shooting for 1.015. I just kegged it and it tasted a little light not very malty as it should be. This is the second all grain brew I have gotten low gravities on. The grain bill was

5lbs 2row pilsner
3.5lbs munich
1lb vienna
.5lb 60L crystal

I mashed at 152 for one hour. My thermometer is calibrated correctly. I pitched a vial of oktoberfest in a 2L starter about 4 days before. I aerated it by pouring back and fourth between two buckets then pouring it into my carboy. I did add a tsp of yeast nutrient. I did my primary at 56 degrees did my diacetyl rest at 65 for 2 days and then lagered at 35 for 4 weeks. Im not sure what exactly is going wrong here but I would like to fix it before I start doing bigger beers that need higher FG. Please help.
 

giraffe

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What yeast did you use? Are there any off flavors at all/any chance of infection? Does your mash tun hold temp for the duration of the mash, did you measure the temp at the end? Do you mash out (probably not important)?

And by calibrated correctly, you mean tested with ice water, and boiling water, not just calibrated to another thermometer, right?
 
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zam216

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I used oktoberfest lager yeast from white Labs, there is really no strong off flavors that I can pick out it just tastes watered down, my mash tun holds my temps within a degree for the entire time and I keep my thermometer probe in the entire time, I do not mash out, and the temps are consistent with my glass thermometer at boiling and freezing
 

giraffe

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I got nothing. 83% attenuation is very high for that yeast at normal mash temps.
 

TrickyDick

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Ok so I brewed an oktoberfest back in august with an OG of 1.050 and FG of 1.008. I was shooting for 1.015. I just kegged it and it tasted a little light not very malty as it should be. This is the second all grain brew I have gotten low gravities on. The grain bill was



5lbs 2row pilsner

3.5lbs munich

1lb vienna

.5lb 60L crystal



I mashed at 152 for one hour. My thermometer is calibrated correctly. I pitched a vial of oktoberfest in a 2L starter about 4 days before. I aerated it by pouring back and fourth between two buckets then pouring it into my carboy. I did add a tsp of yeast nutrient. I did my primary at 56 degrees did my diacetyl rest at 65 for 2 days and then lagered at 35 for 4 weeks. Im not sure what exactly is going wrong here but I would like to fix it before I start doing bigger beers that need higher FG. Please help.

Well, I think a planned FG of 1.015 is too high, and equates to a 69% apparent attenuation. With a health starter and appropriate pitch rate, you had 83% AE, which is probably in line with what that yeast is supposed to do, without checking the specs. Give yourself a pat on the back already!

There is a good article about this style in the current BYO. It talks about several misconceptions about the style. It is not supposed to taste sweet, but be balanced and easy to drink beer with malt flavor, not malt sweetness, nor malt dominant, but balanced. Many commercial examples go overboard. It's not a dopplebock. Curious how your color was. Your mash temp probably on the lower end of where I would do a mash for Oktoberfest, I might try 156-158 next time. What was your hop schedule and BU:GU ratio?

TD


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zam216

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I only went from the numbers on beer smith. I have never made an oktoberfest before so I don't know how it should have been. The color was good a medium gold color. The IBUs were 24.2. not sure what the ratio is
 

d3track

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Things you could try:
Mash more in the 154-158 range
Less bitterness to try to skew the balance
Balance the Vienna and Pilsner malts, and use German maltsters (you may have already done that part).
 

lostcheesehead

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I have been having low FGs pretty consistently lately, and I think that the "problem" is that I am giving my yeast the best possible start in their lives, and they are living up to their full potential. Wait, that's not a problem - that's awesome! The actual problem is I am calculating my FG from BeerSmith, which doesn't always assume full yeast attenuation (I guess BS assumes I'm a mediocre brewer!). I have since tweaked that aspect, and am now able to more accurately predict my FGs.
 

TrickyDick

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I only went from the numbers on beer smith. I have never made an oktoberfest before so I don't know how it should have been. The color was good a medium gold color. The IBUs were 24.2. not sure what the ratio is

The ratio is the IBU divided by gravity last two digits: 24.2 / 50 = 0.484.

From that article I referenced, it is suggested 0.5 is optimal. You're a slight bit toward bitter end, but in acceptable range. Degree of calculated IBU compared to actual IBU is also a real variable, so you could be under 24.2 even.

Many lager yeasts can exceed 80% AE. To me sounds like you probably nailed it.

Agree that mashing a bit higher might be helpful. Certainly German malt might help, but maybe not. Overall sounds like you probably nailed it. How does it taste?

TD


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Bensiff

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That doesn't sound over attenuated to me at all for that gravity and all grain brewing. While probably not an issue, double check your thermometer at mash temps. Even one that is on at boiling and freezing can be off enough at mash temp to really impact things. I use a NIST traceable glass thermometer to calibrate my PIDs.
 
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zam216

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The taste is a good u can taste the malt with the kind of fruity lager taste, it's just very thin and a little watered down
 

QuercusMax

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How is the carbonation? If it's not carbonated enough, it may feel a bit thin. You may also want to add some dextrin malt (carapils) for some added body.

Your OG is also on the low end for a Marzen - I shoot for 1.058 for mine, I like them a little more robust.
 
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