Author Topic: high final gravities  (Read 3601 times)

Offline boris4

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high final gravities
« on: October 28, 2012, 06:58:28 PM »
i have been home brewing for a year and half. i like to make stronger beers with o.g's of around 1.080. i double pitch yeast(typically white labs) right into the wort. i do a mash of around 128 for 30 minutes then up to 140 for 20 minutes and then 154 or so for 90 minutes. i boil for 90 minutes. my efficiancy averages about 65% which is disappointing but my final gravities seem high, usually between 1.020 and 1.025. for most styles i brew this makes the beer overly sweet. am i doing something wrong or how can i get better attenuation from the yeast. i was thinking about trying a 104 for 30 minutes 140 for 30 minutes and then 156 for 90 minutes after doing some reading in my library of books. but would like as much help as possible to improve efficiancy and attenuation.

Offline mudman

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Re: high final gravities
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2012, 07:06:23 PM »
I am by no means expert but I have now done one brew around 1.080 and got it down to 1.010.  I read in Brew Like a Monk that most of the brewers making big Belgian beers ramp up the temp to finish off the  fermentation.  I started in the low 60's and ramped up to about 74 and some of the examples in the book go up into the 80's.  I think this may be one of the keys of getting a fuller fermentation.
Mike

Online denny

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Re: high final gravities
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2012, 07:29:16 PM »
In situations like this, looking at your thermometer calibration is a good place to start.  You could be mashing at a higher temp than you think you are.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: high final gravities
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2012, 03:20:14 AM »
Try mashing a batch at about 152-154F only and see what happens.  That range produces the most fermentable wort. 
Most malts don't need that much of a protein rest.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: high final gravities
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2012, 07:13:09 AM »
In situations like this, looking at your thermometer calibration is a good place to start.

Make sure you check your hydrometer, too.
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Offline mihalybaci

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Re: high final gravities
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2012, 07:43:09 AM »
You might also try different yeasts, and be sure to use a strain that can tolerate alcohol fairly well. Making a starter might help as well if you pitch at the height of activity.

Offline saintpierre

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Re: high final gravities
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2012, 08:26:52 AM »
+1 to checking your thermometer and hydrometer.
A few other things that came to mind, are this all malt beers or are you using adjuncts as well? What yeasts are you using and what sort of attenuation are you getting?
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Offline corkybstewart

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Re: high final gravities
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2012, 08:55:26 AM »
Bigger beers also need a lot more oxygen or they will stall prematurely, I know this from experience. This is not as big a problem with dry yeast, but more oxygen might help. Also rehydrate your yeast before adding it to the wort.  Water allows the cell wall to prepare for the onslaught of sugars, I read an article from one of the big yeast labs that over half the yeast cells can die if not rehydrated first.
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Offline tom

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Re: high final gravities
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2012, 12:39:35 PM »
+1, how do you aerate the chilled wort, and how big of a yeast starter are you using?
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Offline boris4

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Re: high final gravities
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2012, 10:23:24 AM »
i am going to try and reply to all of you. i always calibate my thermometer before each mash begins and have checked my hydrometer. both ok. my avg og is 1.080 and finals stop at 1.020(about) i am all grain bewing with very little adjuncts. i am going to change my mash schedule to 104 for 30 140 for 20 and then 154 for 90. skipping my previous 130 rest. i heard the 104 rest helps get the enzymes going in the mash. i typically use white labs yeast with out a starter. i just shake the wort after it falls into the carboy. i am going to invest in a aerator finally and look at  a heater to keep temps up this time of year. hope this answered all of you and thank you guys alot. anything other ideas?

Offline mihalybaci

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Re: high final gravities
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2012, 10:34:46 AM »
i typically use white labs yeast with out a starter.

which strain of white labs yeast are you using?

Offline tom

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Re: high final gravities
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2012, 04:02:28 PM »
Please make a yeast starter.  Check out www.mrmalty.com for lots of info on yeast starters.  Happy yeast make happy brewers.

A 1.020 f.g is pretty standard for a 1.080 o.g.  You may need to swap out some malt for sugar to lower the final gravity.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: high final gravities
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2012, 05:19:34 PM »
Please make a yeast starter.  Check out www.mrmalty.com for lots of info on yeast starters.  Happy yeast make happy brewers.

A 1.020 f.g is pretty standard for a 1.080 o.g.  You may need to swap out some malt for sugar to lower the final gravity.

+1 on both points. If you really don't want to make a starter, pitch 2 packs of dry yeast instead. One white labs vial is not going to be happy chewing down a 1.080 beer.

What style of beers are these? For things like IIPA's and Belgians, I would generally target about 10% of the fermentables to be from simple sugars. For something like a doppelbock or RIS, 1.020 is a perfectly acceptable FG in my book.
Eric B.

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Offline boris4

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Re: high final gravities
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2012, 10:47:00 PM »
i always double pitched yeast. but after reading on mr malty that isnt enough. so i will start doing a starter, i have an aerator on the way. new mashing temps  and fermenting temps. hopefully all this will get me to where i want. :D