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High FG Questions


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#1 Elvish

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 02:06 PM

Hey guys, new to AHB so here go's.

Just started getting back into homebrew and since last time my taste in beer has changed alot so this time I tried brewing my first old ale. Got a bunch of new equipment I have been playing around with aswell. This is the first time I have used any type of specialty grains in a batch. 

Recipe:

 

(Specialty grains steeped for 30min)
250g Crystal Malt
250g Carapils
180g Manuka Smoked

180g Carafa II

100g Extra Special Roast

100g Chocolate Malt (Dark)

375G Dark Crystal

 

1kg DME Dark
1.25kg Briews CBW Porter malt extract

350g Malto Dextrin

500g Lactose

 

36g of Fuggles at 60 minute boil for bittering. 

 

A whirlflock and using Safale 04 hydrated and pitched at 18*c

 

Starting OG was 1062.
It has been brewing in a temperature controlled deep freezer set at 16*C (which I read was optimum temp for safale 04) for 23 days now

I just siphoned from the glass carboy into a 30l plastic secondary fermenter with tap to get ready to bottle. 

I took a hydrometer reading and taste test and the beer taste very good but is only at 1032 SG? I would have expected after 23 days it would be much lower. Beer does not taste overly sweet as I would have expected from such high SG. This is the first time I have used specialty grains and less fermentable sugars like lactose. How should I know when it is ready to bottle? Could it be just fermenting slowly because of the lower temperature? 

 



#2 razz

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 03:47 PM

It's a bit hard to tell without plugging all those ingredients into software like Beersmith but I'd say barely 50% ADF maybe correct. There is 1.4 kilos spec malts, the lactose will leave a fair bit of body as will the maltodextrin. Steady gravity readings over successive days will tell you if it is finished.

Edited by razz, 26 September 2016 - 03:48 PM.


#3 Elvish

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 03:49 PM

Hey Razz thanks for the reply, what does ADF stand for?



#4 Lyrebird_Cycles

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 05:06 PM

You didn't mention the volume: from the figures given, somewhere about 18 litres?


Edited by Lyrebird_Cycles, 26 September 2016 - 05:07 PM.


#5 manticle

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 05:46 PM

You have an awful lot of unfermentable/semi fermentable stuff - maltodextrin, crystal and roast, lactose plus it's a malt extract so I'm not surprised at all.

Do a fast ferment test to see if it's got more potential to drop.

#6 Lyrebird_Cycles

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 06:41 PM

That's why I was asking about the volume: a rough back of envelope calc on the ME, maltodextrins and lactose gets about half of it being fermentable by S04. I can't see that you'd get much fermentable extract from a 30min steep of that grain bil, either.



#7 manticle

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 09:00 PM

And on the sweetness - dextrins will add body and mouthfeel and contribute to higher fg but aren't especially sweet. Lactose is not an especially sweet sugar. If your beer was stalled and there was unfermented maltose, you might expect sweetness.

#8 razz

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 11:14 PM

Hey Razz thanks for the reply, what does ADF stand for?

Apparent degree of fermentation.

#9 MHB

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 07:53 AM

Again just rough numbers, ignoring the grain, just from the malt extract, MDex and lactose, I get an FG around 1.030 in 20L so I suspect its done.

If you wanted to get it lower an addition of Dry Enzyme would be the only answer, Personally I think I would bottle it and leave it for as long as you can.

High FG beers tend to taste better with more age.

Mark



#10 dannymars

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 11:48 AM

It's an old ale, so you could always add some Brettanomyces to it, might dry it out a bit more and add some complexity :)



#11 Elvish

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Posted 28 October 2016 - 02:47 PM

Thanks for all your replies guys, lots of great info. I waited another day and the FG didn't move so I assume It has finished, bottled it and am enjoying a glass right now. Turned out great!


Edited by Elvish, 28 October 2016 - 02:48 PM.


#12 black_labb

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Posted 03 November 2016 - 04:51 PM


It has been brewing in a temperature controlled deep freezer set at 16*C (which I read was optimum temp for safale 04) for 23 days now

...

Could it be just fermenting slowly because of the lower temperature? 

 

 

Was I the only one to notice that he was fermenting S04 at 16*C?

 

S04 can be known for stalling early and floccing out, especially at low temperatures. I see no issue fermenting at 16* at the start but I would be warming it up as it starts to slow down, probably up to 21*. At this point I would be warming it up to say 23* and swirling (not splashing) the fermenter to rouse the yeast or racking as described in the bottom of my post. The first part of the fermentation process is where most of the esters and yeast derived flavours come from and warming it up at the end doesn't tend to change or add to the yeast character to any appreciable degree as long as you don't go overboard.

 

As others have pointed out you have a lot of unfermentable sugars in there so you won't have it dropping too much lower, but I expect it will still drop a couple points. You would be quite lucky to have S04 finish a ferment at 16*C in my opinion. Then again you have given it adequate time so it may have completed. I wouldn't risk it if you were bottling. If you keg it's up to you if you are happy with the FG or if you would prefer it a bit less chewy.

 

I would consider racking it into a second fermenter/cube if you have one spare, maybe with a touch of dextrose/sugar to wake up the yeast and produce a bit of CO2. The racking will tend to collect a bit of the top layer of yeast (last to drop so the most active/attenuative) and separate the beer from the bulk of the old yeast so that you don't have to worry about autolysis from the beer sitting on the yeast cake for so long. Then you can leave it at 21-23* for a few days and see if you get any more of a drop in gravity points.

 

Edit: Just noticed the date. Hope I'm not right if he is bottling


Edited by black_labb, 03 November 2016 - 04:54 PM.


#13 Elvish

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 11:34 AM

Thanks black_labb I didn't know that about S04. I have already bottled it and it seemed to work out ok, not over-carbonated, no explosions ;). Is s05 similar to s04 in the fact that it should be warmed to finish the fermentation? I am currently fermenting an American Pale Ale using s05 at 18*C. 

Was I the only one to notice that he was fermenting S04 at 16*C?

 

S04 can be known for stalling early and floccing out, especially at low temperatures. I see no issue fermenting at 16* at the start but I would be warming it up as it starts to slow down, probably up to 21*. At this point I would be warming it up to say 23* and swirling (not splashing) the fermenter to rouse the yeast or racking as described in the bottom of my post. The first part of the fermentation process is where most of the esters and yeast derived flavours come from and warming it up at the end doesn't tend to change or add to the yeast character to any appreciable degree as long as you don't go overboard.

 

As others have pointed out you have a lot of unfermentable sugars in there so you won't have it dropping too much lower, but I expect it will still drop a couple points. You would be quite lucky to have S04 finish a ferment at 16*C in my opinion. Then again you have given it adequate time so it may have completed. I wouldn't risk it if you were bottling. If you keg it's up to you if you are happy with the FG or if you would prefer it a bit less chewy.

 

I would consider racking it into a second fermenter/cube if you have one spare, maybe with a touch of dextrose/sugar to wake up the yeast and produce a bit of CO2. The racking will tend to collect a bit of the top layer of yeast (last to drop so the most active/attenuative) and separate the beer from the bulk of the old yeast so that you don't have to worry about autolysis from the beer sitting on the yeast cake for so long. Then you can leave it at 21-23* for a few days and see if you get any more of a drop in gravity points.

 

Edit: Just noticed the date. Hope I'm not right if he is bottling



#14 black_labb

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 02:14 PM

US05 behaves better at lower temperatures so not such an issue. S04 drops out leaving a clear beer very easily where US05 tends to not floc out very easily and takes more effort to clear the beer. The problem with S04 is if it is a bit cool they can floc out before the beer has finished fermenting.

 

If you start to get the beers being overcarbed you can vent the bottles by opening and recapping them. It isn't ideal but it works, just don't wait until they are so bad you risk bottle bombs.


Edited by black_labb, 07 November 2016 - 02:17 PM.


#15 Vini2ton

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 05:03 PM

I reckon simple recipes are a great base to build on. As earlier said, you have a shit-load of sweet unfermentables in your recipe that even a bitch like champagne yeast couldn't gobble up. Or maybe this is a piss-take?



#16 Stouter

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 05:24 PM

Seems a complex bill for an old ale, even more so for someone 'just getting back into brewing'. Hat's off!

Personally, it's taking me a while to get my specialty grains diverse enough to count up to 4. Even right now using three of those I'm not seeing the need to expand much.

 

Maybe Elvish is a balls and all kind of guy/gal!?



#17 Elvish

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 09:59 PM

I


Edited by Elvish, 22 November 2016 - 10:15 PM.


#18 Elvish

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 09:59 PM

I reckon simple recipes are a great base to build on. As earlier said, you have a shit-load of sweet unfermentables in your recipe that even a bitch like champagne yeast couldn't gobble up. Or maybe this is a piss-take?


I think your totaly right in hindsight this recipe was way overboard, it was the first time I used speciality grains and got a it excited haha. It was OK to drink but definitely not close to a old ale too sweet will use alot less unfermentables next time. Since then I have been doing mostly single malt single hop brews to get a feel for what each ingredient add to the brew.

Edited by Elvish, 22 November 2016 - 09:59 PM.


#19 Elvish

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 10:07 PM

Seems a complex bill for an old ale, even more so for someone 'just getting back into brewing'. Hat's off!
Personally, it's taking me a while to get my specialty grains diverse enough to count up to 4. Even right now using three of those I'm not seeing the need to expand much.

Maybe Elvish is a balls and all kind of guy/gal!?


Haha Stouter nah I am just still learning. I have alot more equipment and space these days so been trying alot of different things. It was way to complex since then I have only been using 250g of carapils and 250g light crystal in most brews and playing around with different hoping methods.

#20 Stouter

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 10:17 PM

Nothing wrong with having a bit of a play.  I'm still amazed with the variations I can try aside from the different grains, like yeasts, hops, fermenting temps, water......etc....

But if you don't experiment a bit then you don't learn new things.  I recently learnt not to add too much licorice root to my stouts after doing a bit of creative measurements.  I'm hoping it'll mellow out with age, but I'm probably just fooling myself.