Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Not hitting my FG

For some reason, the last 5 batches have been off the FG of recipes I’ve done many times before. I’ve done nothing different that I know off and it’s really not a big deal as the beer tastes just fine. It’s more an OCD thing I guess in that my FG have been off about .05. The OG have been pretty much spot on.

I’ve checked Beersmith and it’s set correctly, I use 2 thermometers to gauge the temps and use starters that are fine and hit within a few hours of pitching. These are all IPA’s and fermented at between 66 and 68.
What else should I look for?

How are you aerating? Injecting O2 for 60 to 90 seconds has noticeably decreased my final gravities.

You use a hydrometer? Have you calibrated it lately?

Crush your own grain? Have you checked your gap?

I aerate by first, going from pot to fermenter using a strainer, then stirring the wort for a few minutes then by shaking the fermenter a few minutes.
I crush my own and have never had a problem with OG and it’s only in the last few batches but I guess the gap should be checked, great idea.

I have 2 hydrometers and both show 1.000 in water.

Have you changed your mash scheduled, mash tun, or any other process recently?

probably bad (out of calibration) thermometers.

What about water - are you using tap water that could have changed recently? Are you checking mash pH?

I think it’s the blinker fluid.

What is the duration of your primary fermentation? Maybe you just need to rouse your yeast and give it a few more days. Are the FGs high, or were they just not where they have been in the past. As long as you are not finishing sweet, you should be ok.

I also agree with what Shadetree said.

The best advice I can give is, quit measuring FG. Its going to be whatever it lands on. You say the beer is tasty, thats all that matters. I’m not positive you could tell the difference in a few points of FG anyway.

+1
tom sawyer has it exactly right.
If your beer tastes good, the FG is pretty much irrelevant. I always take a reading, but only to determine that the ferment is done…and a variation in FG between batches of a favorite, proven recipe is normal, as far as I’m concerned.
For most of my longtime tested recipes, as long as the FG doesn’t dip below 1.012, I’m happy. What I pour into my glass is more important than the numbers.

May be you are adding too much of specialty grains

I’m still not sure what the ‘problem’ is but my most recent beer attenuated just fine.
My water is fine as I’ve know brewers who work at my water company and they’ve given me the green light. I do add PH5 but I think the problem was my thermometer which appears to be off on my kettle. I just purchased a Thermapen so that’s that for temps.
Thanks for all the info and help. I’ve got a few more brews planned in the coming weeks and I’ll see where that ends up.

+1
tom sawyer has it exactly right.
If your beer tastes good, the FG is pretty much irrelevant. I always take a reading, but only to determine that the ferment is done…and a variation in FG between batches of a favorite, proven recipe is normal, as far as I’m concerned.
For most of my longtime tested recipes, as long as the FG doesn’t dip below 1.012, I’m happy. What I pour into my glass is more important than the numbers.[/quote]
It may be irrelevant, but I still like to know where my beer finishes, approximate abv, and to know I’m doing something right in my process. If I’m not hitting my FG then more likely than not something is going wrong somewhere, whether it be pH or water issues, pitching enough yeast, aerating enough, etc. I especially hate when I forget to get an original gravity reading before pitching the yeast.

Last year I realized I hadn’t taken a reading right after I pitched my starter. I took the reading anyway and it was right where it should be and ended where it should.
So, I’m not sure reading after pitching is awful if you do it right away. The yeast can’t work that fast, can they?

[quote=“Beerlord”]Last year I realized I hadn’t taken a reading right after I pitched my starter. I took the reading anyway and it was right where it should be and ended where it should.
So, I’m not sure reading after pitching is awful if you do it right away. The yeast can’t work that fast, can they?[/quote]
No, but it’s just annoying when I forget. I don’t want to draw a sample with the precious yeast out. Now, I take a reading by sanitizing my hydrometer and putting it right in the kettle after it’s chilled.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com