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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * Januray 20, 2004 * Lowering my final gravity < Previous Next >

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Alcohol for sanitizing(isopropyl)PalerThanAle13 01-06-04  03:55 pm
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Mike Mayer (152.163.252.67)
Posted on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 12:08 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Any idea's on how to lower my FG's? Seems like I am always hovering around 1.018 to 1.022 (after several weeks in secondary) regardless of what I am brewing (pale ales, wheat, porter, kolsch...etc.). I always use a single step mash of 153F for 75 minutes and mashout at 168 for about 10 minutes.

I am adding a HERMS to my system so that I can do multi-step mashes, will this help???
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 02:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What yeast strains are you using? Are you making a starter if using liquid yeast and how are you aerating the wort?
 

Brewzz (66.82.160.1)
Posted on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 04:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If your final gravities always seem high, have you checked your hydrometer for acuracy?
Brewzz
 

Jim Layton (67.31.239.53)
Posted on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 04:53 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You might want to check your thermometer against a certified one as well.
 

Pivo Cerveza (172.163.96.25)
Posted on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 09:00 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My experience was similar even when pitching onto the yeast cake of a previous batch and aerating with pure O2 for 2 minutes. It was okay for the porters because the residual sweetness wasn't as noticeable, but my pale ales always finished a few points higher than the target.

Even though I'd read that a protein rest isn't necessary for well modified grains and may actually result in a thin beer with poor head retention, I decided to start experimenting by doughing in at 130 for ten minutes and then heating it up to the low 150's for an hour or so. So far I've really liked the results and have had no problem with watery beers or poor head retention.

If you have already checked your other variables (pitching enough yeast, good aeration, accurate hydrometer/thermometer, etc.), you may want to try a quick protein rest on your next beer to see if it helps.
 

Fredrik (62.20.8.114)
Posted on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 09:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I don't have much mash experience so but suppose you get some 63% real fermentability at 153F(does that make sense?), and add to that a poor attenuating strain or poor yeast performance then maybe you may be down to of 49% if all trisaccharides are left which is about 1.020 for OG of 1.050. While 100% depletion of fermentables should give 1.012?

I would guess that if 63% is a correct guess any 1.050 with reasonable fermentation performance should fall approximately into 1.012-1.020 depending on strain and pitching rate?

Maybe both increasing pictching rates and lowering the mashtemp will help?

/Fredrik
 

Brandon Dachel (63.238.222.190)
Posted on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 12:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> of 153F for 75 minutes and mashout at 168 for
> about 10 minutes.

Drop your mash temp a few degrees F.
 

Mike Mayer (205.188.208.75)
Posted on Saturday, January 03, 2004 - 01:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill,

I primarily use 1056 slurry from my local brew shop. Otherwise I have used Kolsch, and Heffewiesen yeasts, and yes, I make a 1/2 gallon starter if I'm not pitching onto a cake from the previous batch.

Brewz,

Yep, did that, my hydrometer is .005 high, but I have already accounted for that.

Jim,

Checked my thermometers in ice, boiling water, and against a couple of other thermometers, all within a degree of each other. Although, I did this all about a year ago, so maybe it's time to check again.

I'll try a protien rest on my next batch. I'm installing a HERMS system so that I can do multi-step mashes. I tried a multi-step mash using direct heat once, and had lots of problems, so I have avoided it until now. I'll be ready to try again here in a couple of weeks.

Mike
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Saturday, January 03, 2004 - 01:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

How much yeast slurry are you pitching? Try pitching about a quart of slurry and aerating the wort well.
 

chumley (63.227.171.5)
Posted on Saturday, January 03, 2004 - 05:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The multi-step mashing suggestion is a good one. Try a step at 135-140°F for 15-45 minutes, depending on how dry you want the beer, followed by a boiling water infusion to get the beer to 152-157°F. I find that mashing in at a 1 qt per pound, followed by a boiling water infusion of 0.25 qt per pound, usually does the trick.

Also, try substituting 10% of your base malt with sugar or honey. That will lower your final gravity, too, without necessarily thinning the beer too much.
 

Bill R (198.81.26.39)
Posted on Sunday, January 04, 2004 - 05:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

One might consider this, It happened to me in fact after breaking my hydrometer I bought a hew one from them on every thing seemed to come out too high. Suspicious, I checked it out by testing in distilled water at 60 deg F (should read)0. It read below 0, The paper scale inside had somehow slipped, Now If I have to buy a new one I check it before trusting it.

Otherwise most problems are due to the fact that most homebrewers don't use enough yeast & to further that, active yeast, yeast that is either at a high Krausen state (as in a starter) or just fermented a batch. In my experience (15 years) all these specially designed O2 injectors are not needed & if fact some if poorly designed & maintained can invite infection. With enough active yeast, just splashing the wort into your fermenter does plenty enough areation. 5,130 gals of sucess is proof enough for me.
 

Mike Mayer (152.163.252.67)
Posted on Monday, January 05, 2004 - 02:45 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill P.

When I use slurry, I pitch a quart for a 10 gallon batch. As far as aeration goes, having been burned by under aeration before, I am reasonably sure that it has been sufficient. My aeration process is to run my wort through a s/s strainer as it goes into the bucket, then I shake the s&&t out of the bucket for a couple of minutes.

Bill R.

Good point, my hydrometer could possibly be the culprit. Although I have checked it before (using a process defined in this forum a while ago), I noticed that there is a loose partical of lead weight in the bottom of the glass. That was not there before, and it's possible that the paper may have shifted. Before my next brew I will re-check everything (hydrometer and thermometers.

Thanks everyone!
 

Andrew Bales (65.28.61.181)
Posted on Tuesday, January 06, 2004 - 03:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My mashes were at "153F" also, but really the bottom of the pan was more like 160F and I was getting high finals for awhile just like you. I started mashing at "150F" (with the bottom at 155F) and got beers that would finish at 1.012 again. Your hydrometer is unlikely to be that wrong. For CAPs I mash at 148F.

Latent heat in the kettle (I use a converted keg, they have much latent heat that seeps into the mash during the rest) can raise the temp even after the fire is off.

Its either mash temp, o2 [your strainer should do it], too cold of fermentation, hydrometer bad, or your yeast [use different strains]. At the worst that hydrometer would be off 2, maybe 4 points and that still makes your 1.022 a 1.018, still to high really - so I doubt it is. Too cold - what is the temp in the room you ferment at [68F, not 61F or something crazy like that is it]? And since you have done multiple ones I suspect that is not it. I would say bump the yeast to gallon starter and mash lower.

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