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Fermentation seems to be coming up short

I don’t know why, but it seems that my FG is almost always higher than Beer smith says it should be. I just did a double IPA which had an OG of 1.076 (i think) and was supposed to finish at around 1.018, instead after a week in primary and 2 weeks in secondary, the gravity is still stuck at around 1.024. Why am I not hitting my gravity?

Our buckets and carboys are all covered and kept at about 65, we have always had good starters, and if our OGs are good then the problem has to be in the fermentation/ yeast. Right?

So what am I doing wrong!?

any help/ thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

All-grain or extract? Extract brews will often finish slightly higher. If you are brewing all-grain you should check your thermometer. Higher mash temps will also make a wort less fermentable. For extract you could use a pound less DME or LME and sub in some corn sugar to help dry it out and lower you FG ( I think 10% is the limit for adding sugar).

Beersmith doesn’t actually calculate an FG, just does an estimate based on the manufacturer’s attenuation data for the yeast you choose.

Yep, and that info is for comparing one yeast to anothr, not to really predict your attenuation. The fermentability of the wort is the real key to attenuation and neither Beersmith nor any other calculator can truly account for that.

1 week in primary is way too short for a 1.076 beer, IMO. Maybe I’m misreading/understanding and you didn’t really rack after a week? If you did, that’d be the first thing I’d change. Even if it’s an extract batch, you should be able to get your FG close to 25% OG. FG’s of my recent extract batches: Rye Stout 1.013, Hefe 1.011, American Rye 1.012, Dry Dock SS Minnow Mild 1.009.

:cheers:

Maybe it was a little more than a week in primary, but not much. I’ll try keeping it in primary longer. 2 weeks maybe? I’m pretty careful about cleaning everything, but is there any fear of keeping it in the bucket for that long?

I thought our temps might be the culprit, mid-low 60’s seems like it might be a little low, but I’m not sure.

it is an all grain beer. I think I forgot to mention that.

So it seems like I should be mashing lower and holding it in primary for longer?

Thanks again for all the advice!

[quote=“Gr8abe”]So it seems like I should be mashing lower and holding it in primary for longer?[/quote]There are several things you can do to encourage a lower FG. Limit the use of crystal malt. Mash lower. Replace some grain with sugar. Thoroughly aerate/oxygenate the wort and pitch lots of healthy yeast. Use an attenuative yeast. Make sure the yeast are done before racking (three weeks in primary will not cause any off flavors). Any one of these can make a difference and use two or more and you’re going to see your FG drop for sure.

+1 to all of this ^^^^

And make sure your thermometer is calibrated. If your off by even just a few degrees that could be making your wort less fermentable and lead to a higher final gravity.

[quote=“Gr8abe”]Maybe it was a little more than a week in primary, but not much. I’ll try keeping it in primary longer. 2 weeks maybe? I’m pretty careful about cleaning everything, but is there any fear of keeping it in the bucket for that long?

I thought our temps might be the culprit, mid-low 60’s seems like it might be a little low, but I’m not sure.[/quote]

In my opinion you should leave ALL your beers in the primary for at least 2 weeks.

there is no fear of leaving it on the yeast that long. i just kegged 2 beers that sat in the primary for 7 weeks. they taste awesome

[quote=“Gr8abe”]Maybe it was a little more than a week in primary, but not much. I’ll try keeping it in primary longer. 2 weeks maybe? I’m pretty careful about cleaning everything, but is there any fear of keeping it in the bucket for that long?

I thought our temps might be the culprit, mid-low 60’s seems like it might be a little low, but I’m not sure.[/quote]

I do a minimum o 3 weeks in primary and often 4 weeks.

Low-mid 60s is fine. I prefer low 60s for most of my beers.

This has already been said multiple times but I will reiterate it if for no other reason than reminding myself. Just take the time to wait for your beers. I know you want to get it out of there but time is your friend. Especially with big beers that you are fermenting at the lower end of the spectrum.

[quote=“Denny”]

I do a minimum o 3 weeks in primary and often 4 weeks.

Low-mid 60s is fine. I prefer low 60s for most of my beers.[/quote]

+1 If I’m doing a 1.040s beer or smaller, then 2 weeks, but otherwise, what Denny said. Oxygenation is of no concern to me while using buckets. I did a 1 gallon batch of apple jack and left it in the primary on the cake for 18 months. Recently bottled and consumed. I can’t believe how good it is. I’m making more very soon, this time 5 gallons.

I don’t brew Belgians, so for me, lower temperatures and longer primaries are the norm. Frankly, I use US-05 at close to lager temperatures for a week or so and then take it out of the swamp cooler to finish for a couple weeks. With cooler temperatures, you have to give it time, but it sure cuts down on the esters and produces clean beer.

:cheers:

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