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Any way to "dry" out a beer?

I have an extract Black IPA that started out at 1.079. I used a healthy yeast starter of WYeast 1335e British Ale II. After a very active fermentation and 18 days in primary. I transferred to 2ndary and too a gravity reading. 1.022… It tastes great but I was hoping that it would be drier. Maybe 1.012ish. Is there anyway to dry it out further?

Can’t do much with the extract version of that beer at least not now that it’s made. Mine and others have finished at about the same FG. Next time though, you can swap some of the LME with sugar. The sugar will fully ferment. Dark LME (like I think NB puts in that kit) has a lot of unfermentables. If/when you switch to all grain you can control the FG by mashing a lower temperature. So there’s not much you can do for this beer, but next time take out some of the extract and use some sort of sugar to up the SG and lower the FG.

You could try pitching a packet of US-05 and see if that takes it down any further. Not sure how much further you’ll get, but you can try it.

One of the old Jamil show episodes said that you can make extract more fermentable by mashing a few pounds of 2-row with it at a “low” mash temp (145-150). Maybe this would be a viable option if you are already steeping? Replacing some extract with sugar is an easy alternative if it gets it dry enough for you, the guideline is ‘up to’ 20% sugar by weight. And like dobe says, dark LME has more crystal malt than gold LME, so you’re naturally going to introduce more unfermentables.

The real question though, if it tastes great what’s the problem? Do you feel like the beer is too ‘thick’ and less drinkable, or are you just going by the FG reading? 1.022 doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be sweet, but it does mean it’s going to be more viscous.

I just checked my Black IPA last night and it finished at 1.014 with US-05. I think finishing at 1.022 is more because of the yeast not unfermentables. English strains are typically more flocculent, causing lower attenuation since they drop out of the beer sooner. You can try swirling the beer to get the yeast back into suspension and get them to chew through more sugar. Also try raising the temperature to coax them along. If that doesn’t work, you could probably pitch some US-05 to shave off a few more points.

Edit: Just reread your post and see that you’ve moved it to a secondary. The only way you’ll get it any lower is to pitch some more yeast in it.

Thanks for all the replies.
This wasn’t N.B.'s kit. It was a hybrid between N.B.'s and Breiss’s with a bunch of my own tweaks.
If I remember correctly(recipe isn’t in front of me) I used 3lb Pilsen light DME and 3lb Sparkling golden DME for the 60 min boil and then a late addition of 3 lb of dark LME and 1 lb of corn sugar.
Steeping grains were Midnight wheat, carafa III and a little chocolate.

It’s very drinkable, Just a little “thicker and sweeter/maltier” than I had anticipated.

It’s amazing. I’ve been extract brewing for just over a year with almost 50 batchs under my belt. The more I learn the more I realize what I don’t know.

I’m not certain I have any US-05 right now…not that I can’t get some. I do have some champagne yeast though…any thoughts on that?

Right now it’s siting in 2ndary around 68F I can bring it up stairs to around 74F and re-pitch. Otherwise I’ll just dry hop it and be happy with it and try another batch.

I’ve never used champagne yeast but I’ve read that it could impart some nasty flavors. If you can easily get your hands on the US-05, use that. It’s so clean and is a freaking machine! I brewed the NB Black IPA kit and Midnight Wheaton Porter using 05 yeast. The IPA was 9lb Dark LME, 1lb corn sugar. OG 1.075 to FG 1.014. Porter was 2lb 2-row, 1lb choc. wht, 0.5lb carm. wht mashed and 6lb wheat LME. OG 1.062 to FG 1.012.

I was surprised at how well both of these beers attenuated considering the amount of dark malts in them. Especially the IPA. The sample I tasted last night was amazing. Still roasty and chocolate but those hops just slap you silly!!

:cheers:

If a fermentation is really stuck, it takes a lot more yeast than that to restart it.

I just checked my Black IPA last night and it finished at 1.014 with US-05. I think finishing at 1.022 is more because of the yeast not unfermentables. English strains are typically more flocculent, causing lower attenuation since they drop out of the beer sooner. You can try swirling the beer to get the yeast back into suspension and get them to chew through more sugar. Also try raising the temperature to coax them along. If that doesn’t work, you could probably pitch some US-05 to shave off a few more points.

Edit: Just reread your post and see that you’ve moved it to a secondary. The only way you’ll get it any lower is to pitch some more yeast in it.[/quote]

I REALLY don’t think it’s a yeast problem. I’m almost positive it’s an unfermentable problem.

My thinking is that with my batch, I used 9lbs dark LME. Eichen’s was 3lbs dark LME and more fermentable DME (6lb) and sugar. He used an English strain, I used a wort workhorse. His wort should have been more fermentable. I think had he used a stronger yeast, he may get more attenuation. But if Denny says it’s a fermentability problem, I’d believe him.

:cheers:

I’m kind of with Denny. I used a 1 gallon yeast starter that I had intended to split between 2 brews. I realized I wasn’t going to have time for the 2nd so I pitched the whole decanted starter in this one. Fermentation started within 2 hrs and was one of the most vigorous I’d seen.
With that said, will it hurt to throw a pack of 05 in there? I just picked 1 up.

[quote=“mvsawyer”]My thinking is that with my batch, I used 9lbs dark LME. Eichen’s was 3lbs dark LME and more fermentable DME (6lb) and sugar. He used an English strain, I used a wort workhorse. His wort should have been more fermentable. I think had he used a stronger yeast, he may get more attenuation. But if Denny says it’s a fermentability problem, I’d believe him.

:cheers: [/quote]

If you’re saying that LME is less fermentable than DME, I’d have to say that hasn’t been my experience. It seems to depend more on color than type pf extract.

Agreeing with Denny here. Extracts finish with higher gravity then all grain. Darker extracts have more crystal and unfermentable sugars. I’ve never noticed LME to ferment more or less then DME, but to be honest I’ve only used LME a few times. So an extract beer, using a good about of darker LME or DME is gonna finish a little high on gravity.

When I did extracts I quickly switched to using only extra light DME and adding color and flavor with steeping grains. Almost all my beers went from finishing around 1.018 to 1.022 down to about 1.014 to 1.018. Of course going to all grain made a big difference now I can control my gravities much better… can get beers to finish anywhere from 1.006 up to 1.022. It really is nice to have so much control with all grain. Something that just wasn’t possible with extract.

^^^ Agree with Denny and Dobe. The form (LME-DME) isn’t more fermentable, the variety and brand can be. More DME than LME will give you a higher OG, though.

I’m not trying to be argumentative, just want to get my facts straight. When I said that DME was more fermentable I meant that the light DME was more fermentable than the dark syrup. This is where my logic may be flawed. Basing my thoughts on that, my recipe was 9lb dark and eichen323 was 3lb dark with 6lb of light DME (more fermentable than dark syrup?). Since only 1/3 of his recipe was dark syrup, I would expect that recipe to finish lower than mine as long as we used the same yeast.

Based on the comments of the other homebrewers, pitching more yeast won’t accomplish anything.

If its good why futz with it? Just make notes for changes to the recipe next time you make it.

Whether the extract is liquid or dry doesn’t matter…dark will always be less fermentable than light. Is that what you were getting at?

Yes! I thought since my recipe was all dark extract and the other was 1/3 dark with similar gravities, the other recipe should have finished lower.

Well, I brought it upstairs to about 70F ambient and pitched 1 packet of US-05. I figured it wouldn’t hurt. There’s been no activity and no drop in gravity…So I’ve decided to dry hop as planned and bottle early next week.
Thanks for all the help. Guess I’ll be trying all grain sooner than I’d thought

[quote=“eichen323”]Well, I brought it upstairs to about 70F ambient and pitched 1 packet of US-05. I figured it wouldn’t hurt. There’s been no activity and no drop in gravity…So I’ve decided to dry hop as planned and bottle early next week.
Thanks for all the help. Guess I’ll be trying all grain sooner than I’d thought[/quote]

NB’s Black IPA extract kit is what pushed me to partial mash and then all grain shortly there after. I liked the beer, but it was just too sweet and under attenuated. I really like black ipa’s so I switched to partial mash and made my own version which was decent. Earlier this year I made my own all grain version and it was fantastic. I like my IPA’s and even APA’s a little more dry which is easily accomplished when mashing all grain. Not so easy with extract.

Don’t let all grain scare you off. It’s crazy easy, adds a whole new level to the brewing experience and truly lets you have complete control over your finished product.

:cheers:

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