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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > What went wrong here
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Old 07-31-2014, 03:12 AM   #1
olotti
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Default What went wrong here

AG Gumballhead clone I'll give the grain bill and a quick synopsis of the brew day but I think it all went south in the mash. Anyway.

Grains
6lbs Red Wheat Malt
5lbs 2 Row US
1 lb Caravienna
1 lb rice hulls added at lhb guy suggestion. not in the original recipe

Figured 1.33qts/lb of grain mash in but I forgot to calculate in the extra 1lb of ricehulls. Mash was very thick wanted 154 and got there after only like 3 min of stirring so I covered the MLT. 15 min later checked the temp it was 150 in the center of the MLT and 155 on the outer edges, Stirred to dissipate heat and covered for another 30 min. Checked heat and it was now 148 in the center and 152 at the outer edges figured leave it. So left for 75 min did a mash out with 1.5 Gal and stirred like crazy, closed lid, rechecked in 15 min and the temp was only 160 on the outer edges and 155 in the middle. Vorloufed and sparged with 3 Gal of 185 deg water, stirred let sit and temp only got to 164. Then just drained all to collect my volume, got my 7 Gal. Then wanted 5.5 into fermenter and in the end of a 60 min boil got just over 5 Gal with all the trub and liquid I could get out of the BK with a OG of 1.055 per hydrometer. I Use a hop spider and squeezed it dry. Was it my miscalculation on the mash in water volume that got this OG so low?

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Old 07-31-2014, 04:32 AM   #2
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Is this your first time using this equipment?

My scratchpad calculation says you were around 70% efficiency. What were you expecting to see for final volume and final gravity?

Based on what others report here for 5 gallon batches, you're in range of normal (65-80%). 10G brewers tend to report more on the order of 85-95% efficiency.

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Old 07-31-2014, 05:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schematix View Post
Is this your first time using this equipment?

My scratchpad calculation says you were around 70% efficiency. What were you expecting to see for final volume and final gravity?

Based on what others report here for 5 gallon batches, you're in range of normal (65-80%). 10G brewers tend to report more on the order of 85-95% efficiency.
6th AG batch. Fg is 1.015 with 5 gal bottling volume. I've been getting 80% mash efficiency per beersmith but I still can't get my boil off correct. One batch its 1 gal boil off the other like tonight I boiled off 1 gal in a half hour. Still alot to figure out I c but the beer iveade so far had been really tasty.
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:19 AM   #4
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Make sure you've punched in all relevant information into beersmith's equipment wizard correctly.

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Old 07-31-2014, 04:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by olotti View Post
6th AG batch. Fg is 1.015 with 5 gal bottling volume. I've been getting 80% mash efficiency per beersmith but I still can't get my boil off correct. One batch its 1 gal boil off the other like tonight I boiled off 1 gal in a half hour. Still alot to figure out I c but the beer iveade so far had been really tasty.
FG is irrelevant to your issue here. It doesn't sound like you're that far off your numbers.

What are you using to heat your kettle - Propane burner outside? Stove top?

Were your other 5 attempts using the same grain bill with the same grinder?

How are you determining volume?

If you boil off too much you can always add a little top off water at the end of the boil to make up.
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schematix View Post
FG is irrelevant to your issue here. It doesn't sound like you're that far off your numbers.

What are you using to heat your kettle - Propane burner outside? Stove top?

Were your other 5 attempts using the same grain bill with the same grinder?

How are you determining volume?

If you boil off too much you can always add a little top off water at the end of the boil to make up.
I use a propane Bayou Classic burner in my garage. I realized yesterday that it just has a finicky open/shut valve, if I lower it to much the flame keeps going out, and if its to open it to vigorous of a boil.

Similar grain in the fact I used 2 Row but this is first time using wheat as the major grain along with rice hulls. All bought from my LHBS which per Beersmith has yielded brewhouse efficiencies from 68-72%.

To determine volume I have lines marked on my mash paddle, while not 100% accurate its close enough to give me an idea of if I'm in the ballpark of my volumes.
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Old 07-31-2014, 06:29 PM   #7
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Less water isn't going to lower your OG. It sounds to me that you got bad mash efficiency and higher than expected grain absorption.
(science time), Og measures the amount of sugar in solution. Adding more solution medium (water) just decreases the amount of solubles (stuff in solution) per a certain quantity of solution.
You need to worry less about your volume and more about raising your grain efficiency.
If you're really concerned about trying to sort boil off, add 1 gallon of water to your boil kettle, bring it to a boil, then as soon as it hits boiling start a timer for one hour. after that hour, pull it off the heat and measure how much water you have left. Dont ballpark it, actually measure with a measuring cup, and dont spill anything because that will 100% ruin your test and you'll need to start over. That difference in what you are left with and what you started with is going to be expressed as a "loss in gallons per hour".
After you have this number, everything else you lose in volume is going to be ether grain absorption or spillage.

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Old 08-01-2014, 03:51 AM   #8
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I don't think rice hulls absorb much.

I always lay them on the bottom and try not to disturb them when I gently stir the grain bed.

They are supposed to leave open trails for the wort to channel down to the drain spout.

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Old 08-01-2014, 03:51 AM   #9
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1.055 is nice OG for a decently alcoholic beer.

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Old 08-01-2014, 04:10 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the responses. I just think I wasnt expecting the grain absorption maybe it was the wheat, never brewed predominantly wheat beer before and since I prob shouldve mashed in with a little more water this prob dropped my efficiency. In the end I wasnt to far off only dropped the OG by a couple points and depending on how the 05 does it may drop the FG a little lower to achieve the 5.9% goal sure itll be a little drier but I'm sure it'll be drinkeable. If it hits FG of 1.015 which per Beersmith is my projected FG it'll be 5.3%, no big deal.

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