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Can never get OG lower than 1.022

Discussion in 'General Brewing Techniques' started by Tyson, 9/10/19.

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  1. Tyson

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    Posted 9/10/19
    Hey guys need some help. I've done 4 batches of various types of beer lagers,ales, and just recently belgian wit. I can never seem to get lower than 1.022 I'm fermenting only in a primary. I fermented 23L on a heat pad on my first brew. Stopped using that then brought a tub filled it with water sat my fermenter in it like a bath and then used a aquiruim heater to keep temputure constant. I aerate the beer before I pitched the yeast I always pitch yeast at the right temp. Im using extract malts and dextrose mainly and recently wheat extract and malt extract. I sanitize everything thoroughly before fermentation.

    Im really at a loss as what I'm doing wrong.

    Recent batch OG 1.050 FG 1.022 after 2 weeks.
    1.7kg black rock whispering wheat
    Briess Bavarian wheat
    15g coriander seeds
    2tbsp Orange zest
    Mangrove jack m21 belgian wit yeast
    Fermenting was fast but no bubbling in airlock suspect gasket leak pitched yeast at 25c and brewed at 24c.
     
  2. Tyson

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    Posted 9/10/19
    And yes hydrometer is reading fine in water
     
  3. LorriSanga

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    Posted 9/10/19
    Hey Tyson...that would be FG.

    I had this problem in the early days.
    My problem was mash temps wern't accurate. Mash to high by accident leaving behind unfermentables.
    How long are you leaving the yeast to ferment?
     
  4. philrob

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    Posted 9/10/19
    Not surprising if you are using two kits in one brew, that is if I read your post correctly.
    The Black Rock and Briess kits on their own are designed to be used with 1 kg of sugar or equivalent for a single batch.
    Instead, you are using a tin of each\ in a single bacht?

    If I'm correct you'll never get much lower than you did.

    You are using enough malt to make 2 batches.

    Try using half of each and add 1 kg of sugar or dextrose for a single batch..
    You'll find you will end up with a much lower FG, as you would wish.

    Don't worry about the half used tins, they'll keep fine in the fridge until you do your next batch. I use tins for my starters, and they do me for several batches over a period of months, and never a problem.
     
    thehomebrewchef and razz like this.
  5. Tyson

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    Posted 9/10/19
    Hey mate cheers for the reply yeah I'm using a beer kit I purchased from a brwq
    Cheers for reply mate I'm leaving yeast in to ferment for about 2 weeks. Sprinkling it directly on top. Cheers
     
  6. Tyson

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    Posted 9/10/19

    Not sure what happened in my reply before I tried to say I'm using a brewkit I brought from aussiehome brew store no suguar or dex was in the kit so I thought it might of fermented out abit more. Do you think adding 1kg of dex will help get a lower FG. Cheers.
     
  7. philrob

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    Posted 9/10/19
    Sure will. If you use the equivalent of 1 can plus the dextrose, you'll definitely get it lower.
     
  8. MHB

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    Posted 9/10/19
    Couple of things worth thinking about.
    For a start OG is short for Original Gravity, you are actually talking about FG or Final Gravity. Not nitpicking but its good if we all use the same terminology.

    When we measure SG (Specific Gravity) we are just comparing how heavy a given volume of a liquid is when compared to water. An OG of 1.050 means that the your wort weighs 1.050kg/L, if you had 23L of 1.050 wort the total mass would be (23*1.050) = 24.15kg.
    The other way we measure the density of a wort is with the Plato scale. Plato (oP) it says that the wort is the same density as a given %WW Sucrose in Water solution. WW means Weight : Weight, for example if you dissolved 100g of sugar in 900g (mL) of water you would have 100g/kg or 10% or 10oP solution.
    There is a rough conversion between SG and oP it is SG = (4*oP)/1000+1 (not an exact answer but more accurate than we can measure across the 1.000-1.100 range where do our brewing).
    If we look at that 10oP solution we can say that it is also has an SG of 1.040.
    What makes your wort heavier than water can be called Solids, from the above if we take an SG reading we could for example say a 1.040 wort was 10% solids, if we had 23L of 1.040 wort we know there would be (23*1.040*10%) or (23*1.040*0.1)=2.392kg of solids dissolved in the wort.
    In your case you have 23L at 1.050 or 12.5oP. Or (23*1.050*12.5)=3.02kg of solids

    Liquid Malt Extract and kits are very close to 80% solids and 20% water. You have added a 1.7kg kit and 1.5kg of LME for a total of 3.2kg, At 80% solids that 3.2*0.8 = 2.56kg of solids in solution.

    If you compare the 2.56kg you added and the reported 3.02kg required to get 23L at 1.050, it might not surprise you that I don't trust your reported OG, if we cant trust the OG its hard to trust the FG either.
    Its very easy to get measurement errors especially as a starting out brewer. Sorry about the long winded explanation above, but if I just said I don't trust your readings that isn't worth much, showing why at least gives a reason to think about it.

    One mistake a lot of brewers make is to not flush the tap out before taking a sample. When using extract the contents of the tap are a lot heavier than the rest of the wort, well worth taking samples carefully next time.
    This includes the temperature you take your readings at, remember hydrometers are only accurate at a given (usually 20oC) temperature, at any other temperature you need to make corrections.

    The other possibility that occurs to me is that you might be cooking your yeast. If we cant really trust your SG readings its fair to worry about your temperature readings, if you are only a couple of degrees hotter than the 24oC you think you are brewing at, you could easily be cooking your yeast so it isn't finishing.

    Worth having a long hard look at your Volume, Hydrometer and Temperature readings and how you are taking your measurements. Cool your ferment down to around 20oC the yeast will preform better and your beer will taste better.
    Mark

    PS
    Just to be clear, adding Sugar or Dextrose (Sugars) wont lower the gravity, both are 100% fermentable, if you replace some or all of your LME that is about 65% fermentable with sugar, that is 100% fermentable from the same OG you will get a lower FG.
    Doesn't apply to Lactose that is 0% fermentable clearly that will add the same amount to your FG as it contributes to your OG. Maltodextrin that might be 35% fermentable...
    Just remember that its the bits that don't ferment that give beer a lot of its body, head and flavour.
    M
     
  9. Tyson

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    Posted 13/10/19 at 1:06 PM
    My og was 1.050 21L. Really appreciate your time to write out such a detailed reply it's going to help me out. Cheers mate
     

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