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wlp004

Hey all, well it seems I have yet to be able to brew a dark beer (porter/stout) with much luck. I am still pretty green and have had some issues with eff in my beers lately but improving as I go. I had a recipe for a robust porter but with some improvements to my equipment and procedure I had an OG 1.075 instead of the calculated 1.059. I had enough yeast built up and dumped in an est 350 bill cells of the WLP004 just to be safe (called for 275) but beersmith has my FG est at 1.020. So far that program has been dead on and I really don’t want this beer to end that high.

My thoughts are to let it go a full 10 days and see where the gravity reading is. (Fermenting between 65-68F and day 4 now and reading 1.029 but not much action in the airlock) If it doesn’t get down to at least 1.015 (that’s 80% and high for this strain so doubtful.) I want to add some Nottingham to try and get it down the rest of the way. I am also fine with it going lower than 1.015.

Do you think the two yeast strains will be similar enough to pull this off?

Any thought/opinions welcome.

I’m curious why you aren’t happy with 1.020. In my opinion residual sweetness in a porter or stout is much more palatable than in a paler beer and I don’t consider 1.020 to be overly sweet. I would just leave it as is.

What was your mash temp? Wlp004 ferments fast then drops clear. 60% attenuation does seem low. I recently brewed a chocolate oatmeal stout with wlp004, mashed at 155 and went from 1.054 to 1.016- 70% attenuation. Pretty damn tasty I could drink it straight from the fermenter. Try stirring the yeast back into suspension it may have dropped too early. Taste the beer after 2 weeks, and let the taste make the decision.

my mash was at 154, was shooting for 152. I’ve roused the yeast twice but as of this morning there’s hardly any action in the airlock.

When trying to get your FG lower, the biggest factor will be mash temp. Generally if you pitch enough yeast, which is sounds like you did, they will eat what they can and get the gravity as low as they can. If you want your stouts/porters drier (I agree with the stout, but not the porter. But hey, it’s your beer) just mash lower. For a drier beer I will usually mash around 148-150F. You can mash a little longer too like 75-90 minutes. When you start getting up into the 154F range and higher you’re making a less fermentable wort. Think of it as creating the proper conditions for the yeast to do what you want them to do and NOT trying to force them to do what you want with rousing, adding extra yeast, etc.

Yeah, I have a pretty good hold on how that works, not that I always hit the exact temp I am shooting for; this brew I was planning for a medium body. My problem here was/is that I went way over my targeted efficiency. I should have just used some of the nottingham slurry I had on hand instead of using the planned wlp004 starter. Or I could have pulled some of the wort near end of boil and topped off with some water. But those ideas are for next time, for now I just want to get it below 1.020.

I did take a gravity reading again today and it is at 1.028 which doesn’t seem like a good sign. On a good note it has a good aroma and flavor all be it one that is way too sweet for my taste.

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