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stuck at 1.020

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curnes:
Greetings,
My buddies and I regularly brew 15 gallons of all grain ales and usually have a starting gravity in the range of 1.060.  As consistently, our fermentation seems to always stop between 1.020 and 1.019.  Occasionally we get it to ferment a bit lower, to 1.016 or so.  Our beer tastes good but seems to be a bit "starchy."  We usually mash at 149, then raise the temp to 155, then raise it again to 165 and sparge for 60-90 minutes with boiling water.  We also use about 3/4 gallon of yeast starter.  I should mention that we our grain bill is usually about 30lbs of 2row and a couple of pounds of crystal 60.  Hops can vary.

Any suggestion as to how to get our final gravity down a bit for a dryer beer?  I would be happy with something between 1.015 and 1.010.
Cameron
McMinnville, OR

thetooth:
Sparging with boiling water is not a good plan.  You are likely extracting harsh tannins, which may or may not be the "starchy" flavor you are referring to.  Whether it is a contributor to this issue or not, I highly recommend sparging with boiling water.

Have you ever tried doing a simple infusion mash.  Basically a rest around 152 degrees for about an hour, then sparge with around 170-ish water?  That's pretty much all I do (I'll go lower to 148-ish for more attenuation and up to 156 for beers where I want more body).

oly:
I'm sure thetooth meant:  I highly recommend "NOT" sparging with boiling water.  :)

You'll do much better to keep the grainbed < 170F which usually works with sparge water at ~ 185F, so as not to pick up tannins.

What yeast are you using? That may be a contributor if you're using a low attenuating yeast. Something like US05/1056/WLP001 should get you to 1.012 with that grainbill. Also, you might check on MrMalty.com about the appropriate starter size, to see if 3 quarts is sufficient for your 15gals at 1.060. You might  need a bigger starter.

I also agree with thetooth that, with your grainbill you might as well do single infusion around 150-152 and baseline your beers' FG that way.

jeffy:
A common cause of underattenuation is the lack of oxygen in the cooled wort.  How are you aerating it?

thomasben:
Dealt with this problem for two years. Now I have an 02 system. Beers are fermenting completely now. Totally worth it

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