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2 dark beers with high FG... what to do?

Hi All,

this is frustrating…
I have 2 dark beers (extract) that the FG won’t go below 1.018.
(meanwhile I have an ESB that’s doing fine)

st paul porter, OG 1.052, after 3 weeks, FG 1.018 at 66*
used 05 dry yeast slurry, 2 weeks old, but active fermentation for at least 5 days.
I moved up to warmer temps am swirling occasionally.

Dry irish stout, OG1.042, after 2 weeks, FG 1.018 at 66*
04 dry yeast,

what’s going on here?

should I move stout up to warmer temps too?
I hesitate to move to secondary yet…

thanks for any thoughts!

They are fine. Not much you can do about the fermentablity of extract short of adding sugar. It’s time to bottle/keg them.

Just make sure you test those FGs for 3 consecutive days. If they stay stable that whole time, go for it. Bottle/Keg and enjoy!

ok, thanks…
I’ll check gravities and prepare to bottle this week.

in the future, to make sure I get full attenuation…

Pitch enough yeast (looks like you did.) You can also raise the temp as fermentation slows. With extract your stuck with what the extract does.

Use only light extract, and get your color from specialty malts. Dark extracts are notoriously unfermentable.

the extract probably isn’t going to determine attenuation; yeast variety and temps are what i would focus on…not really disagreeing with anything, just defending extract.

edit! i should have said, “although the extract could be the issue…”. i spoke out of my arse.

i guess my only suggestion would be to ensure that you are aerating adequately; before i pour my wort into the fermentor, i pour it back and forth from the kettle into a bucket about five times, making it frothy enough that i usually have to wait for froth to subside before getting it all into the carboy…i do that with the balance of water to make up the volume of the carboy as well; of course i don’t get froth then.

another factor might be fluctuating temps during the course of your day, depending on where you stick your fermentor.

edited…and what a10t2 says…that is actually an extract issue; i stick with the gold or light when using LME and munton’s extra light when going the DME route.

I have to disagree. I’ve found wort fermentability to be the biggest factor in attenuation.

I have to disagree. I’ve found wort fermentability to be the biggest factor in attenuation.[/quote]

i am no expert and corrected myself a little after a10t2’s post reminded me about “dark” extracts; my opinions are based solely on my experience and as an amateur brewer i learn new things all the time.

as i have been brewing partial mash and slowly moving to all grain, i am coming to a greater understanding of fermentability and get what you said; i still push my friends who are beginning to brew, to understand yeast and temperature before they spend time doing all grain and then sprinkle yeast over the top before setting the carboy in the window.

wow, thanks everyone!
I appreciate all the tips and knowledge.

I will note all of this.

I’ll move that stout to the warmer spot.


What makes you think they were supposed to end up lower? Sounds close to being right to me.

I agree…sounds right to me as well.
Have you tasted the result? In the end, the taste is far more important than the numbers.

I agree…sounds right to me as well.
Have you tasted the result? In the end, the taste is far more important than the numbers.[/quote]
Both of my St. Paul’s have finished at 1.019. You’re gravy! :cheers:

I guess I would have expected the Stout to go a little lower, but if the fermentables were dark, maybe not.

from what I’ve read, I expect the FG to be lower…
st paul porter was only 64% attenuation and the stout just 51% so far.

BUT, the porter tastes great! bottled yesterday.

I’m waiting on the stout, but it tastes great too!
I moved it warmer, swirling once in awhile.

just don’t want bottle bombs.

now, this issue with dark LME, this must be why the recipes in Brewing Classic styles ALL use lighter LME?

I may make my first batch from a recipe in there for the porter.

thanks everyone, I am worrying less, and enjoying my beer more.

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