Pliny - how does he get FG so low?

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agusus

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Ok, so I know there have been several other threads on Pliny the Elder, but the one thing I haven't been able to figure out after reading them all is - how does Vinnie (Russian River brewer) get his FG so low? How do you get a super low FG with a high OG recipe? I know adjuncts / corn sugar are one way. But I'm already including the recommended 0.75lb dextrose in my 5 gallon recipe and that doesn't get me anywhere close to the necessary low FG.

According to the Russian River website, Pliny is 1.071 OG, 8% ABV which puts it at 1.010 FG. (according to: http://www.brewersfriend.com/abv-calculator/ )

I've read Vinnie's writeup on how low FG is important for good IPAs (in his opinion), and I tend to agree - the dry light body of Pliny is a key factor in what I love about it.

The other thing that can help with low FG is high attenuation yeast. But all the Pliny recipes I've seen recommend an american ale yeast (S-05, Wyeast 1056, or WLP Cali) which is medium attenuation. Even if you use high atten yeast that still doesn't get the FG down to 1.010.

All the brewing tools I’ve tried seem to indicate a 1.010 FG is not possible with a 8% ABV brew and only 0.75lb corn sugar. The corn sugar adds 7 gravity points, or 0.65% ABV for a 5g batch.
Using this tool:
http://www.brewersfriend.com/allgrain-ogfg/

it says that 13lbs 2-row would be needed to get to 8% ABV with a high attenuation yeast, but that puts my FG at 1.018 – significantly higher than Pliny. And a medium attenuation yeast, like most that are recommended with this recipe, would require 14lbs 2-row and result in FG 1.024!
I know these values are approximations. But 1.024 is way off from 1.010, that’s not within the realm of statistical error or approximation error.
I got similar results in BeerSmith – 13.5lb 2-row + 0.75lb corn sugar + Pasteur Champagne yeast (75% atten) = 8% ABV, OG 1.080, FG 1.019.

So – how is it possible to get an FG of 1.010 on an 8% ABV beer?
 

KayaBrew

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My answer would be to mash at a lower temp. like 150ish or in the high 140's.
 
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agusus

agusus

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Yeah, I've read stuff saying to mash at lower temps (results in higher fermentability wort / lower FG), but it seems like BeerSmith doesn't take this into account? If I change the mash profile from high temp to low temp (158->150), the FG estimate does not change.

I'd love to get an accurate FG estimate of what my recipe is expected to turn out at so I don't have to discover this by trial and error and do several batches of Pliny before I start to get it right (Pliny batches are expensive!).

Also unfortunately I can only do partial mash, so about 60% of my recipe will be pilsner liquid extract. I've heard extract has a higher FG than a low temp mash. It'd be nice to find some numbers though about how much the difference is. And I can't get those numbers because BeerSmith doesn't adjust FG based on mash temp apparently. Maybe ProMash does? I'm not sure I want to buy ProMash though just for this - I'm quite happy with BeerSmith otherwise.
 

scinerd3000

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dont go by beersmith on the gravity numbers for the prediction. Mash low and long and use a huge starter....Say 147 for 90 minutes. Build up to a full gallon starter and pitch and it should ferment pretty dry
 
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agusus

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Okay thanks. Sounds like a good plan. I'll either do a big starter or do 2 packs of 11.5g dry yeast. If you have any yeast recommendations too that'd be useful. I'll probably use S-05 but maybe if the FG doesn't get low enough I should think about finishing with champagne yeast or some other highly attenuative yeast.
 

scinerd3000

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Okay thanks. Sounds like a good plan. I'll either do a big starter or do 2 packs of 11.5g dry yeast. If you have any yeast recommendations too that'd be useful. I'll probably use S-05 but maybe if the FG doesn't get low enough I should think about finishing with champagne yeast or some other highly attenuative yeast.
i would suggest against wine or champagne yeast. Stick with wlp001 or whyeast 1056 and use a large starter and you should be fine. 2 packets of dry s05 would work also... Mash temp is really important for this one, ide say moreso than the starter although both are important
 

jkarp

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BIG, healthy yeast pitch. I split the AHS Pliny clone into two batches. Both had and OG of 1.072. First batch was mashed at 150 and it finished at 1.008. Second batch at 156 finished at 1.012.
 

OLB

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How about using Pacman yeast along with the suggestions above for for long, low mash? Might be worth a try. Yooper uses Pacman in her DFH clone and I, and many others, have had good results with it.
 

michaeltrego

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Last weekend I bottled my first attempt at a semi-Pliny clone. OG 1072, a very fresh Wyeast 1056 pack with no starter, very rigorous ferment, and ended at FG 1016.
 

bkov

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edit, didnt see you were already including 12oz corn sugar
 

JKoravos

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Ok, so I know there have been several other threads on Pliny the Elder, but the one thing I haven't been able to figure out after reading them all is - how does Vinnie (Russian River brewer) get his FG so low? How do you get a super low FG with a high OG recipe? I know adjuncts / corn sugar are one way. But I'm already including the recommended 0.75lb dextrose in my 5 gallon recipe and that doesn't get me anywhere close to the necessary low FG.

According to the Russian River website, Pliny is 1.071 OG, 8% ABV which puts it at 1.010 FG. (according to: http://www.brewersfriend.com/abv-calculator/ )

I've read Vinnie's writeup on how low FG is important for good IPAs (in his opinion), and I tend to agree - the dry light body of Pliny is a key factor in what I love about it.

The other thing that can help with low FG is high attenuation yeast. But all the Pliny recipes I've seen recommend an american ale yeast (S-05, Wyeast 1056, or WLP Cali) which is medium attenuation. Even if you use high atten yeast that still doesn't get the FG down to 1.010.

All the brewing tools I’ve tried seem to indicate a 1.010 FG is not possible with a 8% ABV brew and only 0.75lb corn sugar. The corn sugar adds 7 gravity points, or 0.65% ABV for a 5g batch.
Using this tool:
http://www.brewersfriend.com/allgrain-ogfg/

it says that 13lbs 2-row would be needed to get to 8% ABV with a high attenuation yeast, but that puts my FG at 1.018 – significantly higher than Pliny. And a medium attenuation yeast, like most that are recommended with this recipe, would require 14lbs 2-row and result in FG 1.024!
I know these values are approximations. But 1.024 is way off from 1.010, that’s not within the realm of statistical error or approximation error.
I got similar results in BeerSmith – 13.5lb 2-row + 0.75lb corn sugar + Pasteur Champagne yeast (75% atten) = 8% ABV, OG 1.080, FG 1.019.

So – how is it possible to get an FG of 1.010 on an 8% ABV beer?

First of all, those websites are estimations. The estimator you posted does a particularly poor job of estimating corn sugar. Try putting in 5 lbs of corn sugar and a high attenuating yeast. The calculator will tell you that the estimated final gravity is 1.010. In reality, the FG would be under 1.000, since all the solids in solution are fermentable. You'd pretty much have a solution of alcohol and water (and yeast byproducts). The attenuation numbers for yeast are based on a standard wort, corn sugar is a different beast.

Second, the yeasts being used for Pliny are high attenuating. WLP001 gets over 75% easily and with a low mash temp will get close to 80%. With corn sugar in the mix, you can probably get it above 80%.


If you just take the malt portion of the grain bill and assume 80% attenuation, you'll go from 1.064 to 1.013.

If you take the corn sugar portion you'll go from 1.007 to ~0.998.

Combine the two and you get roughly 1.071 to 1.011.

Follow?
 

Dougan

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I use pacman whenever I have the time to build up enough yeast.

I personally believe it ferments out slightly dryer than 1056/S-05. I might be just imagining things, but it certainly isn't less dry than these, so if you're trying to go dryer i would strongly recommend it.
 

StunnedMonkey

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I've done Mike McDole's Pliny clone, with 1.5 pounds corn sugar, and mashed at 150. I went from 1.082 to 1.012 using WLP001 and no other heroic methods.
 

harpo

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OK, I know I'm new here, so if I say something that doesn't make sense, help me out. I did this as my 1st AG batch 3 weeks ago.

My first AG batch I was advantageous. I decided to do this recipe, partially because I love IPA's, partly in order to get my father to be able to taste the beer it needs to be strong.

I decided to change the base malt to Marris Otter. I just preferred the taste to American 2-row. BTW, I was doing a 10 gallon batch (to split with dad). I got 3 vials of WLP-001 California Ale. Made a .75 gallon starter the night before the brewon a homebrew stir plate withe the circuit board from striplates.com.

Brew day proved to make me nervous. Everything went like clockwork. Decided to mash at 150 degrees. 60 minute rest left me at about 146 degrees. Boiled with the multitude of hop additions, and cooled with my new Therminator (thanks Blichmann Eng!) and via a homebrew oxygenation stone (in a sightglass)added plenty of O2 as the wort transferred into the fermention keggle. OG was 1.072.

Fermented at 66 degrees for one week. Transferred to secondary and added the dry-hops (LOTS of dry hops). FG just before transfer--1.009. I thought it was too low!! One week in secondary at 66 degrees, and then transferred to corny kegs to force-carb at 43 degrees last Sunday (11-22-09). Tonight I tried a 1/2 glass to ensure I wasn't over carbing. Not yet, but it tastes AWESOME!!

I have never tried the original, but I hope mine does it justice. I guess I was just lucky for the lower mash temp to achieve drier beer. My advice--make an awesome starter. I haven't ever brewed without one, extract or grain.
 

carnevoodoo

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Is it really that hard? Low mash temp, yeast with a decent attenuation (S-05, WLP001 are perfectly fine for this), and sugar. Doesn't even need to be corn sugar. Just plain table sugar is fine.

Also, to Harpo, a starter with three vials of yeast is super overkill, but that's ok.
 
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Is it really that hard? Low mash temp, yeast with a decent attenuation (S-05, WLP001 are perfectly fine for this), and sugar. Doesn't even need to be corn sugar. Just plain table sugar is fine.

Also, to Harpo, a starter with three vials of yeast is super overkill, but that's ok.
3 vials of new yeast, on a stir palte for the starter, for a high gravity beer and a 10 gallon batch, I would't really call over kill (ok maybe a little ;)) 2 vials on a plate yes would have done the job, but just think of the lag time LOL. What was it like 1 hour?

Yep low FG is from mashing low and long. Getting your fermentables from a good sugar and pitching a good active starter at reasonable temps and you will get there.
 

harpo

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Is it really that hard? Low mash temp, yeast with a decent attenuation (S-05, WLP001 are perfectly fine for this), and sugar. Doesn't even need to be corn sugar. Just plain table sugar is fine.

Also, to Harpo, a starter with three vials of yeast is super overkill, but that's ok.
I did use the corn sugar as well. 3lbs right at the end of the boil.
3 vials might have been high, but better to over-pitch by a little than under, right?


3 vials of new yeast, on a stir palte for the starter, for a high gravity beer and a 10 gallon batch, I would't really call over kill (ok maybe a little ;)) 2 vials on a plate yes would have done the job, but just think of the lag time LOL. What was it like 1 hour?

Yep low FG is from mashing low and long. Getting your fermentables from a good sugar and pitching a good active starter at reasonable temps and you will get there.
Yeah, since I have been aerating and always using starters lag time can almost be measured in nano-seconds. :D

One of these doesn't hurt to try and get as close to saturation as possible...
 

brelic

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Is it really that hard? Low mash temp, yeast with a decent attenuation (S-05, WLP001 are perfectly fine for this), and sugar. Doesn't even need to be corn sugar. Just plain table sugar is fine.

Also, to Harpo, a starter with three vials of yeast is super overkill, but that's ok.
For a DFH IPA clone, how much sugar would you add if there's 13lbs of 2-row and 0.5 lb of amber?
 

humann_brewing

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The keys are a low mash, the simple sugar added and a healthy starter.

I went from 1.075 to 1.010 with my clone. I mashed at 149 and had a 3000ml starter.
 

BioBeing

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For a DFH IPA clone, how much sugar would you add if there's 13lbs of 2-row and 0.5 lb of amber?
None in Yooper's recipe. I get good attenuation with Pacman, and finish around 1.010. Made a split batch last time with Wyeast 1968 in one bucket, and it finished out about 2 points higher. Both taste awesome!

Just got my AHS Pliny clone last night...
 

brelic

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None in Yooper's recipe. I get good attenuation with Pacman, and finish around 1.010. Made a split batch last time with Wyeast 1968 in one bucket, and it finished out about 2 points higher. Both taste awesome!

Just got my AHS Pliny clone last night...
Yeah, I wasn't going to put any either, but got confused by the posts in this thread talking about adding dextrose at the end of the boil.

I'm trying Yooper's DFH clone next weekend. I will definitely make a starter this time to see if it makes any difference. Can't wait!

How big of a starter do you recommend? And, I'll be using Wyeast 1056. If I make a starter, do I need to smack the pack a few days early, then add to starter? Or just smack and add right away?
 

BioBeing

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You don't have to wait for the smack pack to swell if you are making a starter. Just smack it and pitch. And Mr Malty says about 1 L on a stir plate. That's about what I do. I've made 3 10 gallon batches of Yoops DFH. A great recipe :mug:
 

brelic

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You don't have to wait for the smack pack to swell if you are making a starter. Just smack it and pitch. And Mr Malty says about 1 L on a stir plate. That's about what I do. I've made 3 10 gallon batches of Yoops DFH. A great recipe :mug:
I don't have a stir plate, so it recommends 2.5 l starter. Guess I'll go with that.

Thanks.
 

Budzu

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It has been said surely, but I will reinforce the fact that WLP 001 can and will do the job very well! Mashing at 150 or slightly lower and re-pitching from a previous lower gravity batch, I've taken 1.070 to 1.010 no problem. I'm pretty sure 1056 could do the same, and I know Notty will too, but Notty gave me slight or major off-flavors .. I won't use it anymore.
 

DavidSteel

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I'd have to say it's more of the corn sugar with the mash temp (which is 151-152). Mostly due to the corn sugar though.
 

Budzu

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2 days? holy crap! That's pretty intense. That's the yeast I use all the time. May I ask your ferment temp? Was it carefully controlled?
 

pipapat

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i use a big starter, low mash at 148 or so and corn sugar around a pound.
i always get in range for final gravity.
 

pacebrew

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never have an issue drying my beer with our cal ale strain, and adding dextrose... ultimatley its mash temp and additional fermentables.
 

huskrfj

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First all-grain batch i went with a pliny clone. Racked to secondary just now and get a sg of 1.035 ( I know Its not done yet but havent seen any activity in a week. This is day 14 so I racked and dry hopped as prescribed. Using a refractomer so im pretty sure of sg. Will it come down? Is this to be expected? and how do I reach a lower FG in the future. I mashed at ~152 and then batch sparged with ~170 water.
 

mux

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huskrfj said:
First all-grain batch i went with a pliny clone. Racked to secondary just now and get a sg of 1.035 ( I know Its not done yet but havent seen any activity in a week. This is day 14 so I racked and dry hopped as prescribed. Using a refractomer so im pretty sure of sg. Will it come down? Is this to be expected? and how do I reach a lower FG in the future. I mashed at ~152 and then batch sparged with ~170 water.
Refractometers require a correction to compensate for alcohol.
 
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