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Grain bill critique

Hello all,
My last beer, trying a session ipa, seems to be finishing pretty high. OG - 1.050 and only got down to about 1.019-1.020. Purposely mashed on the high side according to what most people are doing for the style. Anyway, here’s the recipe. I don’t think the unfermentables are too high but let’s see what you think. 18 gallon batch:
25 lb vienna
3 lb light Munich
1 lb Maris otter (not in original recipe but ended up in there or some reason)
2 lb crystal 60
2 lb victory
1 lb carapils

This beer is not overly sweet. It’s really full flavor for for low abv which is what I was going for but I expected this to go down to 1.015 at least. Any thoughtS?
Yeast was harvested from heady topper and pitch rate was good if not on the higher side.

cut the crystal 60 and cara in half or more. You may not even need them at all with the different base malts you have, or very low percenages.

high mash temp to give you some more dextrins and body to compensate for the low abv.

Google up Bear-Flavored’s session version of heady topper. IIRC he gets to a SIPA version of heady with good body only by means of a higher mash temp and virtually no melanoidin-rich malts.

Your specialty malts are at just about 15%, I’d call that high for this style of beer. With a Vienna/Munich base I don’t think all that much specialty help is called for. If you want a little “chew” you could leave the pound of Carapils but I’d lose the crystal 60 and Victory. Replace that four pounds with additional pale malt. If you want a color adjustment use a small amount of a darker crystal or a touch of dark roasted like Carafa or Chocolate.

I think the grain bill’s fine. If you research conan you will see others find it ends up finishing higher. So what, FG is just a number. If it tastes good, enjoy it.

How high is “high”??

I think the grain bill looks just fine.

If you mashed at like 156-160 F, that’s too high. Try mashing at 148 F next time and you’ll probably be fine.

If you mashed at 153-155 F, that seems on the slightly high end but not bad. If so, perhaps your mash thermometer is way off and you were actually mashing closer to 160 F???

Check your thermometer, mash lower next time, and you’ll be fine. No grain bill tweaks required.

I think in the midwest, more ‘amber’/maltier IPAs/hop-forward beers are preferred and generally brewed. Jamil noted this when he would send his hoppy beers to midwestern comps, the judges would almost always want more malt and more caramel.

Not trying to say what the preference of posters here is, but something I thought to be noteworthy (just as West Coast IPAs are typically drier, and the ‘new’ east coast IPA’s finish a bit sweeter and are slightly heavier body).

However, as others have said, OG/FG are just numbers. If you like the way it tastes, who cares? My comment above was based on my preference for drier/less malty hop-forward beers.

I guess it would help if you could state what you were going for in the beer and where (if anywhere) it fell short.

What I was going for was an All Day IPA type. I like west coast regular and double IPA. Love them bone dry. But the research I did on doing lower gravity IPAs said they need more crystal, higher mash temp etc. otherwise you would have a watery hop bomb. I was actually shooting for lower OG but efficiency was higher than expected. It just seems that this beer should have gotten down lower. Time will tell. It’ll be ready to keg soon and I will post results.

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