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What are your tips and rules to get a thin bodied beer?

Obviously if you want to get your FG close to 1.000 you would use less grain, but what are some of your ways and “go-to” to lower the FG and thin out the body of the beer?

Also. If I am confusing anyone just let me clarify: I brew ales with most of them finishing up at 1.008-1.012 range but would like to get something closer to 1.000 without significantly reducing the grain amount. I thought about candy sugar but am not totally sold on that route since FG may not be the issue. The body of most of my ales are “thick and heavy” and I am looking to lighten it up.

Thanks in advance for the ideas and inputs!

Can you supply a recipe you are having issues with?

This is a recipe I would have liked to have a lower FG, but it also goes for my stouts and porters too. I know that they are a thicker bodied beer but if I wanted to thin them out I was wondering what a good route would be considered.

Pumpkin Spice Ale

5 lb (60.4%) Maris Otter
2.5 lb (30.2%) 6 row
7.5 oz (5.7%) Crystal 60
5 oz (3.8%) chocolate malt

28 oz canned pure pumpkin (added to mash)
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice (5 days secondary)

Safale Us-05 yeast

OG: 1.040 (1.044 target)

FG: 1.009 (1.010 target)

Stout

8 lb (66.7%) 2 row pale
19 oz (9.9%) chocolate malt
10 oz (5.2%) aromatic
10 oz 95.2%) biscuit
10 oz (5.2%) black patent
10 oz (5.2%) crystal 120
5 oz (2.6%) roasted barley

nottingham ale yeast

OG: 1.040 (1.061 target)

FG: 1.013 (1.013 target)

What temperature are you mashing at? Lowering mash temperature is one way to make the wort more fermentable. Another would be to lower the amount of crystal malts. A third would be to replace some of the base malt with simple sugar. All have some trade-offs, but it seems you are getting very low fermentibility for those recipes, which points to mash temperatures which are too high (perhaps caused by an inaccurate thermometer?). Also, your mash efficiency seems very low. It is possible that too high a mash temperature could cause that as well, as the enzymes get denatured before they are done working perhaps?

Maybe try a different yeast? I’ve been reading the French Saison strain from wyeast is really attenuative. With other pumkin pie flavors, the spicy notes from the yeast should compliment the recipe pretty well.

+1 to the French Saison Yeast! The saison we brewed last spring dropped down to 1.002 for FG! It tasted amazing too.

Mash at 148 F for 90 minutes, and use Belle Saison yeast, fermenting at about 60 F, and you will hit 1.002 or less guaranteed. Fermentation is a bit slow, might take 3-4 weeks, but it is worth the effort if you want a dry beer.

  1. Reduce unfermentables in your beer. Add some sugar…table sugar will work as well as anything else. Wort composition is the #1 key to fermentability.
  2. Mash low and long…even overnight
  3. Many saison yeasts will attenuate well, but I assume you don’t always want to make saison! Remember, wort composition is the #1 key to fermentability.

+1 to the French Saison Yeast! The saison we brewed last spring dropped down to 1.002 for FG! It tasted amazing too.[/quote]

3711 does attenuate super well, but it doesn’t exactly leave a thin body behind in my experience. That’s one of the main reasons I like it so much, it can make a super dry beer without a watered-down mouthfeel.

+1 to the French Saison Yeast! The saison we brewed last spring dropped down to 1.002 for FG! It tasted amazing too.[/quote]

3711 does attenuate super well, but it doesn’t exactly leave a thin body behind in my experience. That’s one of the main reasons I like it so much, it can make a super dry beer without a watered-down mouthfeel.[/quote]

Yeah…it certainly didn’t have a watered down feel to it…but it was very easy to drink…almost too easy coming in at over 6%!

I typically mash at 154 degrees but willing to try 148 degrees for 90 mins first since I won’t have to attempt to adjust my recipes too much.

My efficiency was super low (around 50%) at first since I was BIAB but I made a mash/lauter tun so I now hit around 75-80%. The stout SG was low due to the fact I sparged with way too much water but the pumpkin was more or less on the money.

I think I will purchase some iodine to test the wort for conversion since I will be attempting a low mash for longer time.

Also I should note that I use a glass stove top to mash so the temp usually runs a few degrees hotter than what I shoot for so that is why I want to try the change in mash temp first. The glass stove top is not ideal, I know, but it is what I have to work with at the moment.

Thanks for the input guys.

Keep in mind that the iodine test is not necessarily reliable.

[quote=“TheNerdyGnome”]I typically mash at 154 degrees but willing to try 148 degrees for 90 mins first since I won’t have to attempt to adjust my recipes too much.

My efficiency was super low (around 50%) at first since I was BIAB but I made a mash/lauter tun so I now hit around 75-80%. The stout SG was low due to the fact I sparged with way too much water but the pumpkin was more or less on the money.

I think I will purchase some iodine to test the wort for conversion since I will be attempting a low mash for longer time.

Also I should note that I use a glass stove top to mash so the temp usually runs a few degrees hotter than what I shoot for so that is why I want to try the change in mash temp first. The glass stove top is not ideal, I know, but it is what I have to work with at the moment.

Thanks for the input guys.[/quote]
154 is reasonably high, and having the mash run a few degrees hotter makes me think you are right to try lowering the mash temp first. Sounds like you are controlling temperature via directly heating the mash in a kettle on your stove top. You are right that is not ideal, and you may be surprised at how cheaply you can upgrade to something that is easier and works better. Check out this page:

http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/
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