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Missing Gravity Points

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giftedeye2

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If I am a week into a lager fermentation and I haven't seen any change in a couple of days with the OG can I add something to help boost the ABV?
 

Breck09

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Are you saying you checked the gravity and it hasn't moved from what your original gravity was a week ago? Sorta confused by your question. If you feel you have hit your final gravity you could add more fermentables to your beer and if the yeast is still active it will consume and possible raise the ABV. What was your original gravity and what is the gravity at now?
 
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giftedeye2

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My original gravity was 1.048 my new gravity is 1.019, but it should be about 1.013
 

Breck09

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What is the temp of your fermenter right now? If you haven't already you could raise the temp for a diacetyl rest and you will more than likely get down to your expected final gravity of 1.013.
 

dmtaylor

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What is the temp of your fermenter right now? If you haven't already you could raise the temp for a diacetyl rest and you will more than likely get down to your expected final gravity of 1.013.
+1, I was going to say basically the same thing.... if you are going to add anything, try adding a few degrees temperature first. If that doesn't work, then you can consider adding another pound of sugar (any sugar, including DME, LME, white sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, etc.). However I see the latter as more of a last resort. Higher temperature should get you there hopefully.
 
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giftedeye2

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Ok sweet. I am sitting at 51 degrees. Should I go up to like 62 degrees for diacetyl rest?
 
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giftedeye2

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Cranked it up to 64 and gave her a shake. We are getting some airlock action now. Thanks everyone.
 

Jag75

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Just an idea on lagers . What I have found to work really well is gradually ramping the temp up about 3 degrees a day once you hit 75% fermentation. Go up to mid 60's then hold for 3 days . Then go backwards gradually until your high 30's then package . This is what i learned here by some brewers.
 

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Cranked it up to 64 and gave her a shake. We are getting some airlock action now. Thanks everyone.
I had exactly what happened to you happen to me as well. Did the diacetyl rest for three days at 64 and now taking it down 4 degrees per day until I hit 34. My gravity points are the same as your start 1048 and now holding at 1018. I anticipate holding at 34 for about two weeks before I keg it. It should read about 1013 at that point. I brew with the Grainfather system so I dumped my yeast a couple of days ago at the end of the 64 degree diacetyl rest . BTW the brew I am making is an Octoberfest. I think I've got this - first laager.
 
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giftedeye2

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I had exactly what happened to you happen to me as well. Did the diacetyl rest for three days at 64 and now taking it down 4 degrees per day until I hit 34. My gravity points are the same as your start 1048 and now holding at 1018. I anticipate holding at 34 for about two weeks before I keg it. It should read about 1013 at that point. I brew with the Grainfather system so I dumped my yeast a couple of days ago at the end of the 64 degree diacetyl rest . BTW the brew I am making is an Octoberfest. I think I've got this - first laager.
Ha that is awesome, this brew is my first Oktoberfest Lager too!
 

catalanotte

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My Ocktoberfest with 34/70 stopped at about 1.017 (OF 1.063). Was hoping to get a little lower but just wouldn’t get there. It only got to 73% attenuation, which seems pretty typical for a high percentage of Munich (40%). Here’s hoping it is not too sweet or heavy. Some of the higher FG gravity could be from the Munich. Not sure if this is what’s going on, but it’s what I noticed with my last batch.
 
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giftedeye2

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Ok so I did the Diacetyl rest still no gravity change.... I am lost and sad. What do I do?
 
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catalanotte

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You could try and pitch another packet of yeast but it sounds more likely that the wort just has less fermentable sugars that desired. What was your grain bill and mash schedule? What was you yeast strain and pitch rate?
 
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giftedeye2

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You could try and pitch another packet of yeast but it sounds more likely that the wort just has less fermentable sugars that desired. What was your grain bill and mash schedule? What was you yeast strain and pitch rate?
11 lbs Munich
1lb Vienna Malt
.5lb Cara Munich

I used one packet of WL820 in a starter that I made with the "Proper Starter" Can
 

catalanotte

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11 lbs Munich
1lb Vienna Malt
.5lb Cara Munich

I used one packet of WL820 in a starter that I made with the "Proper Starter" Can
I suspect that because of the high percentage of Munich you have a very low fermentability of the wort. Particularly if you used a single infusion mash in the mid to high 150s. It would also appear that you pitched a low cell count. I’d guess you got 200B cells at best, and needed closer to 350B.

Did you tase the beer? If it’s to heavy or sweet you could try and make a second batch of mostly Vienna and Pilsner malt, step mash (144/160), pitch at the 350B level, and hope for 1.010 or so. Then blend the two to get 10 gal of beer at about a 1.013 or 1.014 FG. Good luck.
 

rsquared

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I suspect that because of the high percentage of Munich you have a very low fermentability of the wort. Particularly if you used a single infusion mash in the mid to high 150s. It would also appear that you pitched a low cell count. I’d guess you got 200B cells at best, and needed closer to 350B.

Did you tase the beer? If it’s to heavy or sweet you could try and make a second batch of mostly Vienna and Pilsner malt, step mash (144/160), pitch at the 350B level, and hope for 1.010 or so. Then blend the two to get 10 gal of beer at about a 1.013 or 1.014 FG. Good luck.
Munich and Vienna are both considered base malts. Munich doesn't have a lot of extra diastatic power to convert more than just itself, but you should be able to do a 100% Munich beer without issue... Of course that's assuming this wasn't dark Munich.

@giftedeye2 What was the mash schedule (temps and times)? And are you sure the thermometer you used is correct.
 
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giftedeye2

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Munich and Vienna are both considered base malts. Munich doesn't have a lot of extra diastatic power to convert more than just itself, but you should be able to do a 100% Munich beer without issue... Of course that's assuming this wasn't dark Munich.

@giftedeye2 What was the mash schedule (temps and times)? And are you sure the thermometer you used is correct.
1 hour at 157? now I am questioning everything. I think it may have been warmer then I would have hoped for.
 

rsquared

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157 is pretty high. Playing around with your recipe, scaled to my system and to your 1.048 OG shows FG around 1.013 mashed at 149 and 1.016 at 157.
 

catalanotte

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Munich and Vienna are both considered base malts. Munich doesn't have a lot of extra diastatic power to convert more than just itself, but you should be able to do a 100% Munich beer without issue... Of course that's assuming this wasn't dark Munich.

@giftedeye2 What was the mash schedule (temps and times)? And are you sure the thermometer you used is correct.
@rsquared Curious of a good source for this, I have read a few articles that steer away from using Munich alone as a base malt, as it only has about 1/4th of the diastic power of a typical base malt, marginally enough, but far from ideal. Particularly with a high mash temp. Also see conflicting information about Vienna, as some sources list the diastic power as 45-50, similar to Munich but others state over 100 (Braukaiser). Not picking a fight, just looking for more information to help design quality recipes.
 

rsquared

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@rsquared Curious of a good source for this, I have read a few articles that steer away from using Munich alone as a base malt, as it only has about 1/4th of the diastic power of a typical base malt, marginally enough, but far from ideal. Particularly with a high mash temp. Also see conflicting information about Vienna, as some sources list the diastic power as 45-50, similar to Munich but others state over 100 (Braukaiser). Not picking a fight, just looking for more information to help design quality recipes.
From that article:

"They are both capable of being the primary base malt in beer, but that’s about where the similarities end."
"Munich malt has a lower enzyme concentration and cannot be relied on to convert starch from enzyme-deficient adjuncts and special malts." [emphasis mine]

Munich should (at the right temperature) have enough diastatic power to convert itself. If it were a specialty malt in place of the Vienna, I would completely agree that the Munich couldn't convert it, but as the recipe stands I figured the 88% Munich and 8% Vienna should be enough for the 4% specialty malt.

Of course, that was assuming a typical 149-152ish mash temp. That goes out the window once you start to denature what little enzymes the Munich has.

Edit: Perhaps it's just the wording of "base malt" you're questioning, and that I can understand. I've heard the definition of base malt as any malt that has enough diastatic power to self convert, which Munich falls under but only barely. The Oxford Companion to Beer definition "Base Malt is malt that has enough enzymatic activity, notably diastatic power, to ensure that starch conversion occurs during mashing." has different wording, but seems to agree. Munich is mentioned on that page "Traditional German märzenbier can be made from 100% Munich malt"
 
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giftedeye2

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So should I call it a loss as far as ABV boosting or put in some sugar or?
 

dmtaylor

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Might be time to add more sugar. You mashed too warm, and WLP820 is a sh***y yeast with low attenuation. Adding more sugar is the best you’re gonna be able to do with this recipe.
 

catalanotte

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So should I call it a loss as far as ABV boosting or put in some sugar or?
I think a low alcohol, high FG beer may be too cloying to enjoy, but taste it. If you don’t like it either spike it with 1-2 lbs of corn sugar and/or DME (boiled with some hops and cooled) or blend it with a more attenuated batch.
 
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giftedeye2

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Well .....crap lol. Can i just boil 5oz of priming sugar in minimal water and throw it in?
 
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giftedeye2

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Whelp I decided not to mess with it. Now it's in the carboy. I'll leave it there til October keg and carb then try then enjoy my 3.5% beer lol
 
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