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Two under attenuated beers in a roll

I have two all grains beers that have stopped at 1.020. One being a cream ale, the other a amber ale.

Mashed the cream @ 150 for an hour. The amber @ 153 for an hour. (I think, I guess my thermometer could be off) Could this be the whole issue. Is there any fix at this point?

What is causing this? Both were fermented at 60 degrees. I have raised the cream ale to high 60’s a swirled to try to get it going again. Three days later. Still the same gravity.

According to bjcp. The cream should finish between 1.006 - 1.012.

The amber 1.010 - 1.015.

Should I pitch more dry yeast? Would this get them going again and get them to drop a few points lower.

When did you last calibrate your thermometer? Is it quality or a $10 Target digital?

Well here is the thing. The first beer the cream was done with this one http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/lab-thermometer.html

Then the second one was started with that one, then I broke it right after putting the strike water into the cooler. Then finished with this one. http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/proa … meter.html

I would get more fermentable sugars at a lower mash correct?

Neither of those is reliably accurate, so it’s quite possible that you mashed higher than you think and made a less-fermentable wort.

So nothing I can do now to get any points lower? Really would like to get both to at least 1.014-1.016 range.

Adding a shot of really active yeast might do something - top-cropping would be ideal - but if the problem is a higher-temp mash you won’t get any action. You could add some sugar - each lb of sugar will lower the FG by 0.002 but it will thin the beer and boost the ABV too.

Sometimes a British type ale yeast will drop prematurely due to fermentation temp dropping. But most likely you’re done. What are the OGs? They probably taste good.

And for the record I use $4 bimetal thermometers and just keepa few on hand to check against each other. One thing about my system, it drops around 5F during a 90min mash so I generally get decent fermentability even when I start out at a higher starting temp (155F).

As for ferm temps, I generally start the fermentor out in a swamp cooler, then as the beer hits its peak I’ll pull it out and let it warm itself a bit as it finishes. The idea is to prevent a runaway ferm from a big temp spike, but letting it stay warmer longer.

[quote=“tom sawyer”]Sometimes a British type ale yeast will drop prematurely due to fermentation temp dropping. But most likely you’re done. What are the OGs? They probably taste good.

And for the record I use $4 bimetal thermometers and just keepa few on hand to check against each other. One thing about my system, it drops around 5F during a 90min mash so I generally get decent fermentability even when I start out at a higher starting temp (155F).

As for ferm temps, I generally start the fermentor out in a swamp cooler, then as the beer hits its peak I’ll pull it out and let it warm itself a bit as it finishes. The idea is to prevent a runaway ferm from a big temp spike, but letting it stay warmer longer.[/quote]

I will have to look at my notes to see what the OG’s where. They were both fermed with US05, one package rehydrated, and in a temp controller chest freezer. I really think it was my thermometer.

I think that is a bit of an overgeneralization. I use both those thermometers as do plenty of other brewers and they work fine. The ProAccurate is/needs to be calibrated. Once you do that, you should be fine with it.

I think that is a bit of an overgeneralization.[/quote]
I’ve used both and found them to not be accurate at mash temps, so I wasn’t generalizing. And you can’t calibrate them at anything other than 0C and 100C without using a better thermometer for comparison at mash temp. Spending $25-$35 on a NIST traceable thermometer with an 8" probe is an inexpensive option - it’ll last a lot longer than two or three of the cheaper ones.

So nothing I can do now to get any points lower? Really would like to get both to at least 1.014-1.016 range.[/quote]

For the record, I agree about your thermometer being off. Personally, I use 3 reliable thermometers on brew day. Temps really are critical and I don’t like having a single point of failure in my brewery.

You can try the bean-o thing. But that is a pot shot, at best. It’ll be fun, but you’ll likely wind up with really crappy beer.

Here’s what I’d do: I’d start blending this batch with your other beers. If you don’t have any, buy a half pack of budmillercoors and use that swill to cut your beer. You’ll wind up with a delicious beer and you’ll learn a bit about blending beers and how flavors work together. Next, buy a six pack of a generic wheat beer and see how that affects your beer, etc, etc.

Let’s face facts: this batch is porked up and there’s very little chance that you can turn it into what you were aiming for, not at this late stage. So this offers you a great chance to explore an area of brewing that a perfect batch wouldn’t afford to you. I’d grab the football and run, if I were you. Blending is one of the most difficult aspects of beer handling, and you have a great opportunity to do some serious work in that domain.

Why assume they don’t taste good?

I just had the same problem ironically with a cream ale and an amber cream ale. Of course The yeast is suspect as I used repitched yeast. The other thing that was suspect was the malt. I got a bag of MaltEurop 2 row and thought I should be able to do an infusion mash with it. After those two batches I looked up the grain analysis and it looks like the malt might not be as modified as I thought so I did a step mash with a protein rest and of course used fresh yeast. The last few batches have finished low F.G and very dry. I was going to blend the last keg of my 1.020 FG beer but it is refreshing and low alcohol which is nice once in a while.

While hitting temps is important, a thermometer off by a few degrees isn’t going to make much difference in the extraction unless you are right at the edge of an enzymes temp range.
Mashing lower and for longer might just make the difference.

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