High FG -> 1.030

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Bills Brew

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I have an IPA that has been in the secondary for 2 wks. No visible air lock activity, and the gravity has been at 1.030 for the last two days.

Here are the brewing particulars:
9 lbs of ultralight malt extract
1.5 lbs crystal grains
OG: 1.048 - (75^F) which is lower than the estimated gravity of 1.060-1.065
Yeast: (1) packet of Nottingham dry yeast. I made a starter by taking about a cup of the wort (cooled to 80^F) and rehydrated the yeast.
Aeration: I poured the cooled wort from the brew pot to the fermentor, back to the brew pot and then back to the fermentor. Looked like lots of aeration.
Fermentation: Lag time was a matter of hours, with a two three inch high Krausen.
Temperature: 68^F - raised to 72^ the last couple of days to try to get some fermentation activity to lower the gravity.

Seems like it has a long ways to go. Do I add more yeast?

A sweet beer at 2.4% alcohol doesn't seem worth saving.

Thanks for any suggestions.
 

Mikey

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Sounds like your hydrometer or your measuring techniques might be off. 9 lbs of malt extract will give you 1.063 in a 5 USG batch or 1.055 in a 6USG batch. The crystal malt might add another .05 if done correctly.

A 1.030 beer will taste quite sweet- does your?
 
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Bills Brew

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Yes it is pretty sweet. I tested my hydrometer in tap water, and it was at 1.000.
 

El Pistolero

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I agree with Mikey...your OG was a lot higher than 1.048. My guess would be you took your sample right after topping off before stirring well, so you ended up testing a diluted sample.

How long did you steep the crystal for? It might very well be that you got a lot of unfermentables out of the crystal malt, thus accounting for the high FG. My guess is you're done...go ahead and bottle it. It'll be sweet for an IPA, but still drinkable...definately not something you would consider dumping.
 

SwAMi75

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Even if it started around 1.060, 1.030 is way too high in my book. I'd give the fermenter a good swirl to rouse the yeast a bit, and see if you can get them re-started. I'd even contemplate re-pitching.

Also, the process you listed above isn't making a starter. Basically all you did was rehydrate with wort. To make a starter, you'll want to do it a few days in advance so the yeast have a chance to really multiply before pitching.
 
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Bills Brew

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The grains were steeped for 30 minutes at 160^F.

So with a OG of around 1.060+, or so, my alcohol will be around 3.9. Just have to drink more of them.

Thanks for all of your inputs.
 

flingdingo

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I had this happen with my first three batches. I used different yeasts, made starters, did everything my LHBS suggested. It turned out the extract manufacturer (Alexander's) had screwed up and mashed at too high a temperature, resulting in lots of unformentable sugars. Might be something to check.
 

El Pistolero

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flingdingo said:
It turned out the extract manufacturer (Alexander's) had screwed up and mashed at too high a temperature, resulting in lots of unformentable sugars.
Not that I'm doubting you, but how would you know that? Does Alexanders publish that info on a batch by batch basis?

It does make sense tho...I've had several batches lately end up way too sweet with a high FG, and I used Alexenders LME in all of them.
 

Kaiser

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It sounds to me, that the LME would be a very likely culprit for this (as the others already pointed out). Even if there was 100% extraction efficiency on the crystal, the FG should not be that high. And fermentation seemed to be healthy. Especially the warm temps make a stalled ferment unlikely.

Maybe you guys should start a new thread and see who else uses Alexanders LME.

Kai
 

greyhair

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Something like that happened to me.
I had some Laaglander DME that I used with a partial mash
(about 50% grain and 50% DME)
The FG hung in at 1.025 for about a week, which is too high for me.

I took a shot at some beano and it brought the FG down to about 1.012 after about 3 weeks. It took about 6 hours to restart.

Greyhair
 

Kaiser

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greyhair said:
I took a shot at some beano and it brought the FG down to about 1.012 after about 3 weeks. It took about 6 hours to restart.
what do you mean with this ?
What is beano?

Kai
 

greyhair

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Kaiser said:
what do you mean with this ?
What is beano?

Kai
Kai,

When the grains are mashed at higher temps, a lot of polysaccharides are created which the yeast are not able to eat.
Beano is an enzyme (available in a supermarket) that breakes down the polysaccharides into simple sugars that the yeast can eat. The result is a lower FG. The problem is that there is no mashout so the enzyme can go "wild" and reduce the FG too far making a high alchohol beer that is too thin.
All depends on what risks you want to take.

Greyhair
 

Kaiser

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greyhair said:
Kai,

When the grains are mashed at higher temps, a lot of polysaccharides are created which the yeast are not able to eat.
Beano is an enzyme (available in a supermarket) that breakes down the polysaccharides into simple sugars that the yeast can eat. The result is a lower FG. The problem is that there is no mashout so the enzyme can go "wild" and reduce the FG too far making a high alchohol beer that is too thin.
All depends on what risks you want to take.

Greyhair
Thanks,

I heard of people using enzymes in the fermenter.

Is your FG still dropping? I'd imagine that you should have only the limit-dextrins left at the end when everything else has been converted to maltose or glucose. If not, I wonder what is actually stopping this enzymatic reaction.

Kai
 

greyhair

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Kaiser said:
Thanks,

I heard of people using enzymes in the fermenter.

Is your FG still dropping? I'd imagine that you should have only the limit-dextrins left at the end when everything else has been converted to maltose or glucose. If not, I wonder what is actually stopping this enzymatic reaction.

Kai
Looks like the FG stabilized.
The C)2 production stopped and the measured FG seems to have stopped dropping too.
So It went into the bottle yesterday.
Mouth feel was still there however. So there still some dextrins left that the enzyme could not break down.

Greyhair
 

flingdingo

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El Pistolero said:
Not that I'm doubting you, but how would you know that? Does Alexanders publish that info on a batch by batch basis?

It does make sense tho...I've had several batches lately end up way too sweet with a high FG, and I used Alexenders LME in all of them.
My LHBS got a lot of complaints, and contacted Alexander's. When I asked at the store, that's what they said.
 

Kaiser

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I wonder how consistent the fermentable/unfermentable ratio is with malt extract. It shouldn't be that hard if you have a well controlled process like any other commerzial brewery.

You could find out the attenuation of various MEs and then keep well and poorly attenuating MEs around and mix them to hit a specific FG.

just a thought.

Kai
 

cweston

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Kaiser said:
You could find out the attenuation of various MEs and then keep well and poorly attenuating MEs around and mix them to hit a specific FG.
I think this is exactly what the Szamatulskis (sp?) do in their recipe books (Clone Brews, Beer Captured, etc). All of their extract recipes tend to call for some amount of M&F DME plus some amount of various specific brands of LME.

Oddly enough, the AG versions of their recipes all seem to call for a 150 degree mash. You would think they might vary this a little for the same reason--controlling FG. Their AG recipes don't seem to be as well thought out as the extract versions. (Maybe they figure AG brewers only need the general guidelines.)
 

Kaiser

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cweston said:
Oddly enough, the AG versions of their recipes all seem to call for a 150 degree mash. You would think they might vary this a little for the same reason--controlling FG. Their AG recipes don't seem to be as well thought out as the extract versions. (Maybe they figure AG brewers only need the general guidelines.)
I thought, that I noticed differences in the mash temp for the AG recipes.
But yes, hitting a desired FG is for me the high art of AG. It has a lot to do with your system. Once you have a done a frew brews with varied mash-temps and times you should be able to get into the ballpark of the desired FG.

Kai
 
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