Final Gravity always high

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Wade V, Aug 1, 2018.

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Should I rather start all grain brewing?

Poll closed Aug 15, 2018.
  1. Yes

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  2. No

    1 vote(s)
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  1. Wade V

    Wade V New Member

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    Hi guys

    I am new to the forum and new to home brew.

    I have been experimenting with different styles of beer and have made my fourth batch last week.
    But they never turn out exactly like they should.

    The problem I have is that the final gravity always ends at 1.02. They should be fermenting further and it's quite frustrating.

    Does anyone have any ideas? I do partial mash brews.

    Wade
     
  2. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    What temperature are you mashing at? If you go too high, you're going to get more unfermentable sugars which would lead to a higher FG.
    Also, what temp are you fermenting at? Too cold and the yeast will get lazy. If you can, maybe try warming it up a little and giving the carboy or bucket a little shake. Get the yeasties up and about and back to work.
    I don't think it's necessarily to do with your brewing method (partial mash, all grain, extract, etc.)
     
  3. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Also also, what kind of beers have you brewed so far? Some styles just end up with a higher FG but the alcohol and/or hops would help to counter that so it tastes good
     
  4. Wade V

    Wade V New Member

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    Hey dude, thanks for your response.

    I always mash at 68 degrees celsius and sparge at 70/77 deg celsius.

    The fermenter has a strip with a thermometer on it. It seems to range from 16 to 20 deg Celsius. I will try that now, just gave the fermenter a shake and covered it with a blanket.

    I have brewed a American Pale Ale, Blonde Ale, Amber Ale and another American Pale Ale (currently fermenting).

    I haven't tasted the last two yet. But the first APA was good and the Blonde Ale was terrible! (too sweet)
     
  5. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    No problem. Those beer styles should have finished with a lower gravity
    All those temps seem ok too.
    When you say a range for the fermentation temp, do you mean it goes up and down during fermentation? Or that it stays relatively steady? Google "swamp cooler" for an easy and cheap way to stabilize the temp a little better.

    And I just thought of another possibility, maybe your hydrometer is a little inaccurate? Any way you can test it in either water or against another hydrometer?
     
  6. Wade V

    Wade V New Member

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    The fermentation temp - The carboy has an adhesive thermometer stuck to the side of it. See here: https://www.beerlab.co.za/collections/equipment/products/adhesive-thermometer

    3 numbers are highlighted on it (16, 18 and 20), so I assumed that is the temperature range.

    Will Google the swamp cooler. Do you have a link to a online store so that I can have a better look?

    Hmmm I'll check out the hydrometer in some water later and check the reading.

    Could water quality be another possibility for the high final gravity?
     
  7. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Are you using the same yeast every time? I don't see what you're using mentioned anywhere.
     
  8. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    All you need for the cooler is a plastic bin big enough to fit your fermenter. Fill with water. Then dump frozen water bottles in periodically. A wet t-shirt or towel on top helps too.

    As long as it's good to drink, I don't think that'll effect the gravity. Just be sure to dechlorinate with some campden tablets (beat you to it @Nosybear)
     
    Trialben likes this.
  9. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    You could try a 62c .mash for 40-60 mins next then.you "Should" have more simple sugars for the yeast to ferment.

    What yeast are you using?
     
  10. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    I had the exact same problem- most of my extract beers with an OG of 1.050 stopped at 1.020. It's actually been given a name: "The 1.020 Curse".

    It's mostly due to the infermentability of some extract types and brands. The fix is to always use the lightest extract you can find (usually a pilsen dry malt extract), and go easy on additions of less fermentable grains and sugars like crystal malt.

    Are you buying kits or building your own recipes? We can help you build a more fermentable recipe by designing it from the ground up.

    Even though you might like it to go lower than 1.020, if the beer tastes really great, then really 1.020 is just a number.
     
  11. Wade V

    Wade V New Member

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    Wow, thanks for all the suggestions.

    I have decided to go and test my hydrometer at the beer shop to see if it is accurate.

    Regarding yeast: I am using all different types of yeast: Safale, Nottingham, etc.
     
  12. Wade V

    Wade V New Member

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    Damn, I see. The beer shop I go to only stocks this one type of extract. I will try and source different kinds then.
    I am either building my own recipes or taking recipes off this site and making slight adjustments.

    What recipes do you suggest?
     
  13. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    Well, you can do any recipe really but some are more suited to a higher FG, like an oatmeal stout or a big maibock. What kind of extract do you have available?
     
  14. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I generally use Briess DME when I use extract - haven't had problems with stalling. Of course, that's n=1.
     
  15. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    You could try ordering something online if there is a place that ships to you. Even if it's a bit older if you can get different stuff it might verify if it's the extract you're using.
     

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