Two Extract Brews With F.g. 1.018?

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Hi Guys,
I was hoping that you could help me with my problem. I'll try to explain it, and what i've done as best I can.

I just recently got into proper home-brewing (previous attempts were along the lines of dodgy ciders in soft drink bottles) and have run into the same problem in both my first and second batches.
I have bought an amber ale kit, and have split it into two 10L batches with the intent of brewing with different yeast to get an idea on how this affects the taste etc. The problem is that both of these batches have finished at about 1.018...

The first batch went from 1.043 down to 1.018 in 6 days. I then checked it again in 3 days and it hadn't moved. I carefully swirled it around to try to get the yeast back into suspension, and checked again in 5 more days... Still the same for 8 days in a row. On advice given, I made a starter with some new yeast (US-05 i think, i forgot to write it down) and pitched this in. Checked back again in 4 more days, and it was still 1.018. I guessed this must be as much as it can do, so I bottled it (PET bottles) and put it away for a while. I taste tested one the other day (29 days total) and it was definitely not right. It was waaaaay to sweet (obviously) and really malty. It had a reasonable carbonation (1cm head that stuck around for about 10-15 seconds) but only in appearance. There was no carbonation mouthfeel at all. I've been checking them every 4/5 days just to make sure they dont get too pressurised, but they seem to get to a similar level as the one i tested and no more.

Recipe #1:
800g Morgans Royal Oak Amber Ale LME
750g Briess CBW Sparkling Amber LME
100g Black Strap Molasses
- Kit Yeast (Morgans Royal Oak)
Beersmith Estimated O.G. 1.046
Beersmith Estimated F.G. 1.011

The second batch was pretty much a repeat of the first, but with a different yeast (and some oats). In 7 days it went from 1.047 down to 1.019, then 4 days later it was 1.017, then 4 more days and it was still on 1.017. I then racked this to a secondary and added another starter (same yeast), but after 6 more days it was still at 1.017... I test bottled some, but havent tried it yet.

Recipe #2:

900g Morgans Royal Oak Amber Ale LME
700g Briess CBW Sparkling Amber LME
100g Black Strap Molasses
100g Oats
10g Diamminium Phosphate
- WYeast 2046
Beersmith Estimated O.G. 1.045
Beersmith Estimated F.G. 1.012

Both were fermented at around 18-20 degrees, all readings are with a reasonably accurate hydrometer.

I'm kinda at a dead end with this one... Not sure what is wrong.

I would try a fast ferment sample and see if it gets any lower.

Take an SG sample and stick it in a sanitised stubby, cover the top with foil and stick it in a warm room somewhere. Give the stubby a good shake/swirl whenever you remember. Check the SG of the wort in the stubby after a couple of days and see if it has dropped. This should tell you what your potential FG is for the wort in the fermenter. If it stays at 1018 then you can be confident its finished.

I have also found Beersmith tends to give lower est FG values for extract. My last extract brew finished at about 1017, Beersmith gave an estimated FG of 1011.
I've got about 1/2 a bottle left from my taste test, I might try that thanks!
I've found that the Briess dry extract gives me a fairly lower FG than other extracts (Coopers & Bintani are ones I've used), usually below 1.010 or bang on. Sometimes as low as 1006, if there's any sugar in the recipe replacing a small potion of it.
What does Craftbrewer sell? Thats where I've been buying my DME, they don't mention the brand.

I should also mention that the brew I had that finished at 1017 had an OG of 1060.
It seems it has to do with the extract (morgans or breiss)- they possibly could have a higher amount of unfermentable sugars than other brands. Do the same recipe but change the brand of lme. Also maybe change the amber lme to half amber, half light\pale or all pale it might not get the f.g down but should reduce the sweetness.
Id say your brews are right where they should be.

1. You split what is designed to be 23 litres in 2 x 10 litres....

2. Youve added a good whack of mollasses to both.

3. You have a fair whack of extract as well.

Let it age for 2 more months then give it a taste. Will be much better, but still sweet Id expect.
The fast ferment was kept next to my computer in a room that has been sitting at about 28 degrees, and this morning the fast ferment was sitting at 1.016, so it managed to drop two more points...
I'll check again in another day or so as well. Must be on the verge of finished I guess?
OT: Weird, I cant seem to edit my post any more, so excuse the double post.

The quick ferment for the second batch has dropped down to 1.015 (two points as well).
I'll bottle them on the weekend, I need to make way for the mead so that I can free up a secondary for my cider, so that I can put on another brew ;)

From my experience and some reading, that is pretty much par for the course with a lot of extract brewing.

You can replace part of your fermentables with dex (not all sugar is bad - depends how you use it), pitch larger amounts of healthier yeast and/or oxygentate better. Fresh dry for some reason seems to give a slightly better result than fresh wet, fresh anything gives a better result than old anything.

Extracts though, in my experience and from what I see here constantly finish higher than KK and AG.
Ok cool thanks. All bottled now.

Not really happy with the taste at the moment, but will leave it and check again in a month or so.

Now to plan my next batch (which i'll post up later for comment)

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