Author Topic: High Final Gravities  (Read 1669 times)

Offline maxieboy

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Re: High Final Gravities
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2011, 11:15:33 AM »
Have you always step mashed? Maybe try a single infusion on the next batch to eliminate a variable.
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Offline yaleterrace

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Re: High Final Gravities
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2011, 11:23:44 AM »
Okay, here goes:

-I condition malt before milling with a 2 roller mill.
-I dough-in at around 120 degF, and make three rests:
     Protein at 126-129 for 15-20 min
     B-amylase at 146-148 for 20-45 min
     A-amylase at 158-160 for 20-45 min
(saccharification rests total 60-90 min on avg.)
     Mash out at 166 for 5-15 min
-Transfer to lauter tun with false bottom
-Drain 1st runnings (55-60% of original mash H2O avg)
-Batch sparge & drain sparge runnings (105-115% of sparge H2O)
-Recombine 1st and sparge runnings in kettle, bring to boil, skim
-Boil 60-90 min depending; remove hops
-Passive chill in kettle overnight
-Drain to fermenters (aerate) and pitch with starter made with wort from batch

I use pH strips (I know!) to test pH at all 3 rests and mash-out; Use hydrometer and refractometer to monitor gravity during mash, lautering, post-boil, at pitch and during fermentation.  Fermentation temps anywhere from 75 degF in the summer to 65 degF in the winter, (I only brew ales.)  Am I forgetting anything?  At work and don't have my recipe matrix with me...

Offline denny

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Re: High Final Gravities
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2011, 11:29:37 AM »
Although I really doubt it has anything to do with your problem, why the heck are you doing a protein rest with Rahr pale malt?
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Offline yaleterrace

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Re: High Final Gravities
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2011, 11:39:34 AM »
Good question.  I prefer a stepped-infusion mash for all of my beers, and I like to keep my process similar for every ale.  I have experimented with unmalted, under-modified and otherwise highly proteinaceous (sp? Ha!) adjuncts, and in the end, hot break is more robust, beer is clearer, yeast seems to be healthily fermenting, etc., as opposed to single-step mashes or skipping the protease attention.  Do I need to?  Probably not, but if I do, it doenst hurt.  I did, however, notice the extensive drain analysis on the Rahr sack compared to Breiss and although I own Technology Brewing and Malting, I do not understand all of the info (on the Rahr tag OR in the book).

Offline redbeerman

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Re: High Final Gravities
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2011, 01:11:21 PM »
One thing that sticks out to me is the sachrification rest.  Worst case would be 20 min beta rest and 45 min alpha rest.  This would make for a very dextrinous wort and more likely give you the high FGs you are seeing in the end.  All in all, for a Saison, for instance, you may want to do a sachrification rest at 145 to 150 F for 90 - 120 minutes to get a more fermentable wort producing a beer that is very dry. JMO   For your other beers I would keep the alpha rest shorter than the beta rest, perhaps in the 30%/70% range.
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Offline dcbc

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Re: High Final Gravities
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2011, 09:59:37 AM »
I ran into this on my last two batches after upgrading my kettle from 15 to 20 gallons.  Increased my boil off percentage from 10% to 12% for my most recent batch and hit my numbers precisely.  You didn't mention any equipment changes.  But consider your boil off  rate.
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: High Final Gravities
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2011, 10:03:27 AM »
I ran into this on my last two batches after upgrading my kettle from 15 to 20 gallons.  Increased my boil off percentage from 10% to 12% for my most recent batch and hit my numbers precisely.  You didn't mention any equipment changes.  But consider your boil off  rate.

would this effect the final gravity? wouldn't it just give you lower volume at higher OG?
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Offline jeffy

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Re: High Final Gravities
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2011, 11:12:52 AM »

How are you measuring your FG?  Tell me you're using a refractometer :)

I never saw that the OP answered this question.  Measuring the final gravity with a refractometer is about the only thing that accounts for this as far as I can see.
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: High Final Gravities
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2011, 11:19:59 AM »

How are you measuring your FG?  Tell me you're using a refractometer :)

I never saw that the OP answered this question.  Measuring the final gravity with a refractometer is about the only thing that accounts for this as far as I can see.
Use hydrometer and refractometer to monitor gravity during mash, lautering, post-boil, at pitch and during fermentation.

He says he uses both. I feel like if it was just a measurment issue he would be able to taste that. a saison that sweet would just taste wrong and if it doesn't taste wrong than perhaps it is just a measurement issue.
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Offline yaleterrace

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Re: High Final Gravities
« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2011, 08:35:58 AM »
Hey everybody, back after a few days (just got a chest freezer and did the kegerator conversion routine).  So I tried a quick fermentation test with Safale US-05 and S-04 packets, no results.  I did try pitching a super high gravity yeast (WLP-099) on one of my stuck fermentations in the carboy, and it got right to work.  I also plan on checking all of my thermometers with a friend's that don't reside in my brew room.  Otherwise, I'll be adjusting my mash schedule somewhat, although I am still left puzzled as to why I began having these issues about 10 batches ago, (well after switching to a 20gal Blichmann mash tun).

On a side note about the saison, the grain bill was formulated to get a high FG beer, since I don't like the bitingly dry traditional style.  Instead of getting a dry and thin beer, I was looking to replace dry for hoppy bitterness, and let this offset the residual sweetness.  Toward the end of secondary, I pitched an Abbey Ale yeast starter on the whole shebang to play up the Belgian influence, and the results were great, until I got a much higher FG on the last attempt.  Oh, and the sacc. rests were 45 min @ 147 and 25 min @ 158.  Cheers!
« Last Edit: March 05, 2011, 08:39:08 AM by yaleterrace »

Offline a10t2

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Re: High Final Gravities
« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2011, 08:46:10 AM »
Have you calibrated the hydrometer? I think a beer that finished at >1.030 would be all but undrinkable for most people. Can you buy or borrow a second hydrometer to verify the readings?
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Offline tom

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Re: High Final Gravities
« Reply #26 on: March 05, 2011, 09:18:56 AM »
Just to double check, you are measuring the final gravity with a hydrometer, not just a refractometer?
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Offline oscarvan

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Re: High Final Gravities
« Reply #27 on: March 05, 2011, 09:58:27 AM »
Have you calibrated the hydrometer? I think a beer that finished at >1.030 would be all but undrinkable for most people. Can you buy or borrow a second hydrometer to verify the readings?

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