Author Topic: High FG past 3 batches  (Read 1299 times)

Offline hazefodaze29

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High FG past 3 batches
« on: February 12, 2017, 06:31:01 PM »
Hey everyone,

Seeking some advice on a topic I am sort of stuck on. My past 3 batches, 1 of which is on day 5 of fermentation, have ended with a significantly higher FG than expected. For the first batch, I used harvested yeast (did not make a starter with it) and it was roughly a month old. It fermented down to 1.020 after 14 days. I was expecting between 1.012-1.014.  The second batch was a white ipa using WLP400. I used http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html  to get the correct pitching cell count and made a starter. Again, after 10 or so days, it fermented down to 1.019. Was expecting 1.010-1.012.  The third and current batch is in the fermentation chamber. I brewed the Julius clone from the BYO magazine. I used harvested yeast, but made a starter with it. After 5 days, it is at 1.032.  Will this end up being much higher like the rest? I am stuck as to where this is all going wrong. I ferment in a temperature controlled freezer at around 68 degrees F. Any and all help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Very frustrating when brew day goes off with no issues and fermentation kills it all!.  I must mention that all 3 batches had an OG in the 1.060's.  The julius clone that is on day 5 had a OG of 1.064/1.063

Offline natebrews

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Re: High FG past 3 batches
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2017, 06:34:39 PM »
Have you calibrated your hydrometer?  Sometimes the paper inside can slip up/down and then you will always get readings that are off by however much it slipped.  Try just measuring some room temp water and see if it comes in at 1.000 or if you get 1.005 or something.  I had this happen, I was very confused by it for a while until I figured out what was going on.
Risk of failure should be no deterrent to trying.

Offline hazefodaze29

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Re: High FG past 3 batches
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2017, 06:40:02 PM »
I did read up on that and I did try some room temp water after the 2nd batch. It came in perfect at 1.000.  It is calibrated for 68 degrees. I will double check again and see if it works properly. It is also worth mentioning that my wort that I use for my yeast starter always ends up in the 1.030 to 1.040 range. Never over .040

Offline hazefodaze29

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Re: High FG past 3 batches
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2017, 06:43:38 PM »
Yup,  Hydrometer is fine... came in right at 1.000 with room temp water. Does this batch of beer have any shot and continuing to ferment down to the teens? It was still bubbling  today and definitely high krausen at the top.

Offline natebrews

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Re: High FG past 3 batches
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2017, 06:48:49 PM »
There is always hope. 

If you are doing all grain brewing, is your thermometer calibrated correctly (as in, you aren't mashing at 165 and not knowing it are you)? 

Do you have temperature control for your ferment?  If the temperature is dropping as fermentation slows down a bit, the yeast might be giving up and dropping out.  If you can warm up the fermentor a few degrees when the krausen starts to drop you will decrease your likelihood of that happening. 

Also, do the other batches taste right?  If the yeast got cool and gave up then there would probably be some fermentation off flavors in there (butter, green apple).
Risk of failure should be no deterrent to trying.

Offline hazefodaze29

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Re: High FG past 3 batches
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2017, 06:55:23 PM »
Yes Nate, these were all grain batches. I use 2 different thermometers and the mash temps end up being where I need them. The first to batches were at 150, the one fermenting away now was at 154. I don't believe that temp during fermentation is an issue. I did just warm it up to 71 degrees. I have a probe taped to the bucket and I have a ferm wrap on the other side of the bucket. The first batch was a simcoe/amarillo ipa with london ale 3 yeast. It came out tasting way too sweet/malty. My guess is cause of the high FG. The white ipa using WLP400 actually came out pretty good. The FG bothered me still and I was hoping this wasn't going to become a trend. The current batch is also using London ale 3. Harvested then made a 1.4 ish liter starter. I did taste the sample from today and I didn't detect any real off flavors? But then again... I am not a professional judge. Nothing blaring about the taste though.

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Re: High FG past 3 batches
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2017, 06:56:03 PM »
Could be a fermentability issue. Is it extract or all grain?


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Offline denny

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Re: High FG past 3 batches
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2017, 07:01:00 PM »
Unless you're WAY off, mash temp may not make a huge difference.  First question is, what lead you to expect those FGs?  Have you made those recipes before?  Second, let's see the recipes.  That's often the cause of it.  If not, at least we can rule it out.
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Offline natebrews

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Re: High FG past 3 batches
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2017, 07:01:39 PM »
Hm, well I'm kind of out of ideas for the moment.  Everything sounds like it is in line.  Can you post the grain bill for the first batch? 

Risk of failure should be no deterrent to trying.

Offline hazefodaze29

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Re: High FG past 3 batches
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2017, 07:07:20 PM »
All grain. First batch and most recent batch was mostly 2row. The most recent batch was 11.2 pounds of 2row, .5 pounds of honey malt,  .5 pounds of carapils, .75 flaked oats and 8ozs of turbinado sugar. 

I believe the simcoe/amarillo was roughly 12 pounds of 2 row, roughly 1/2 pound of crystal 20 and a pound of flaked oats.

The white ipa was 8 pounds pilsner malt, 4 pounds of 6 row,  1.75 flaked wheat.

Honestly, the only other thing I could suspect... Could it be the crush of my grains? I recently bough a barley crusher and I am trying to recall if I used it prior to the past 3 batches.... I started to think that it is milling the grains a little too fine? Would that potentially be an issue even though the OG is where it should be?

Offline natebrews

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Re: High FG past 3 batches
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2017, 07:16:04 PM »
I've never heard of grain crush size affecting fermentability, not to say that it can't.  I think that it mainly just changes the efficiency that you get.  For sure, I've never seen any change from crush size (I usually grind pretty fine).

From the recipes, I would expect them to ferment down to the mid to low teens.
Risk of failure should be no deterrent to trying.

Offline hazefodaze29

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Re: High FG past 3 batches
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2017, 07:19:31 PM »
Right. So considering temp really isn't an issue. It has to do with my pitch rate? What could I potentially do differently?  The crazy thing is I have made 4 or so starters prior these last 3 batches and they all had no issues with fermenting down properly.

Offline hazefodaze29

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Re: High FG past 3 batches
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2017, 07:48:52 PM »
I am going to guess, that I decanted some of the yeast. I am pretty sure I cold crashed the last 3 batches of yeast starters and either the yeast didn't completely settle out or I decanted some off of the bottom. If that isn't it, than I have no idea what my issue is. I am going to rebrew the white IPA next week and if that ferments down lower than the first time, than I will know I have solved the issue. Fingers crossed.

Offline Ellismr

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Re: High FG past 3 batches
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2017, 01:30:57 AM »
You might want to check the thermostat that's controlling your fermentation chamber if it's not reading correctly like an independent thermometer inside you could be cooling down below optimal temperatures and making the yeast sluggish


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Offline scribo

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Re: High FG past 3 batches
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2017, 02:19:03 AM »
I wonder what the temp is inside the freezer.. Controllers may give a few degrees leeway before kicking in. If the temp is getting really high it might make a difference. Heat transfer from air is slow. Maybe have some wet towels pre chilled to wrap or set it in water or even just have a a few gallons further water in there. I used to cool in a fridge run off a crude controller & it was pitiful to hear the controller start the fridge off/on every 3 minutes during krausen.

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