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Old 08-17-2009, 10:38 PM   #1
WatereeBrew
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Default Low O.G. what happened?

I just did an all grain terrapin rye squared clone and my hydrometer says 1.035. what may have gone wrong and how can I fix it? heres what i did...

Terrapin rye squared IPA clone
9 lbs. Pale malt
2 lbs. Rye malt
½ lbs. Honey malt
¼ lbs. Chocolate malt
pitched to grain at 170 degree's, let steep for 90 minutes at 155 degree's, then strained, reheated, and fly sparged.
Strained and heated to rolling boil.
1oz. Magnum @ 60 minutes
1 oz. Fuggles @ 30 minutes
1 tbsp. Irish moss @30 minutes
1 oz Fuggles @ 20 minutes
1 oz Cascade leaf hops @ 10 minutes
1 oz Cascade @ 2 minutes
Used Wort chiller and pitched high gravity yeast at 75 degrees

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Old 08-17-2009, 10:40 PM   #2
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well the process you're using should do a fair job of extraction, if you kept temps near 155, then you should get good extraction, but its possible your crush was a bit weak, you may want to make sure you get a better crush next time. Did you do it yourself or did LHBS do it?

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Old 08-17-2009, 11:19 PM   #3
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My local Homebrew store milled it for me., i've had my grain milled there before with no problem. and the grain looked good and crushed, and had a good aroma. Would I be better off leaving it alone and have a low alcohol beer with alot of hoppiness... or should I mix a few lbs. of diluted malt extract into my fermenter, i've got a little room in the primary.

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Old 08-17-2009, 11:23 PM   #4
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I haven't got the final tweaking down on my efficiencies yet and they can fluctuate a bit on me. I like to keep a couple pounds of an appropriate style DME on hand in case my OG is looking lite towards the end of the boil. It has saved me once on twice on some poor efficiencies.

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Old 08-17-2009, 11:31 PM   #5
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I would let it be now and enjoy a mild summer beer. But usually at the
Finnish of a boil you should pull a sample of wort stick it in the freezer
to cool it down a bit then check the gravity just to make sure your
in the ball park. If not dump some light dme in and boil for another 15 mins.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:51 PM   #6
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I have a few questions about your process. You said:
"pitched to grain at 170 degree's, let steep for 90 minutes at 155 degree's, then strained, reheated, and fly sparged.
Strained and heated to rolling boil"

You mashed for 90 minutes, then "strained and reheated" how? How much water did you use for the mash? And how much water did you use for the sparge?
How did you "strain" the sparge?

That will help me visualize exactly what you did, and how, and come up with some ideas on why your efficiency was under 50%.

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Old 08-17-2009, 11:55 PM   #7
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I will say that if your OG is indeed 1.035 for five gallons, you will want to boil up some DME and add it to bring your gravity up. I've never had that beer, so I don't know what it tastes like, but you've got yourself about 72 IBUs in a 1.035 beer which will be pretty undrinkable. That's an IBU/SG ratio of over 2.

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Old 08-18-2009, 05:54 PM   #8
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I'm using an electric turkey fryer with a heating element about an inch off the bottom of the cooker. I heat the water to 170 degree's and drain from the ball valve at the bottom of the cooker over the grain bed in my mash tun. the mash tun has a cpvc grid at the bottom with holes facing down. thats what I mean by "staining". I'll take a gallon or two of mash and re-circulate it through my cooker with the ball valve cracked about half way and let it get back up to about 165.
Then I "strain" it all back into the cooker (because I dont want any particals sitting around my heater element) and a use a hop bag.
then i swap out my mash tun for my wort chiller

I agree about the IBU's i'm going to add some DME, any suggestions on what kind or how much? i'm using a high gravity yeast. with not many fermentables isnt that yeast going to be hungry?
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Old 08-18-2009, 06:00 PM   #9
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Why do you take the runnings out and put them back through the cooker?

What are you doing for sparge water? Are you adding more fresh water after the mash?

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Old 08-18-2009, 06:06 PM   #10
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It sounds like you're doing a no sparge. Yooper asked how much water you used in the mash because that's one place you could have gone wrong. Based on your ~12 pound grain bill, you don't want to mash with more than 6 gallons of water max. Based on absorption of about 1.5 gallons, you'd have to sparge with about 2 gallons. I don't see anywhere in your process where you heat up separate sparge water.

In my opinion, what you want to do is thicken up your mash as I've suggested, drain that into a bucket, then sparge.

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