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Old 04-29-2007, 05:29 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Toot
I put 20 pounds of grain in the MLT with 17 quarts of water. I got maybe a gallon and a half of wort out.

Original Gravity of the gallon and a half of wort? Anybody care to guess? Would you believe 1.070?

Second runnings look like they'll come in at around 1.004.
Sorry to hear about your bad luck, dude. But that sounds too bizarre to be true. Even with a poor crush you should have done better than that, especially on your second runnings. How can you go from 70 points to 4 on a thick mash? That just doesn't make sense.

With a thick mash like that, how long did you rest for? How well did the grains get wetted and mixed? (Perhaps that was the problem?)

With your first runnings so low, I would have been tempted to do a second rest with my sparge water at saccharification temp.

Sorry man. Did you actually pitch it on the lawn?
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Old 04-29-2007, 05:35 AM   #12
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I did a 70 minute mash at 156. Pulled one and a half gallons and was happy with that.

Then I took the grav reading as I was heating the sparge water the last few degrees. When I saw the OG was so low, I did exactly what you suggested. I added cold water, dropped the sparge temp to 156, and added it to the MLT and let it sit for 90 minutes. Took the sample, got 1.006 at 130 degrees (I had let it cool for a few minutes). I didn't let the sample cool any more than that. It probably works out to quite a bit more, maybe 1.020 at the normal temp. It was still disgustingly low and I didn't want to hold up the yeast cake waiting for that turd of a beer to ferment, so I tossed it.

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Old 04-29-2007, 05:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toot
I did a 70 minute mash at 156. Pulled one and a half gallons and was happy with that.

Then I took the grav reading as I was heating the sparge water the last few degrees. When I saw the OG was so low, I did exactly what you suggested. I added cold water, dropped the sparge temp to 156, and added it to the MLT and let it sit for 90 minutes. Took the sample, got 1.006 at 130 degrees (I had let it cool for a few minutes). I didn't let the sample cool any more than that. It probably works out to quite a bit more, maybe 1.020 at the normal temp. It was still disgustingly low and I didn't want to hold up the yeast cake waiting for that turd of a beer to ferment, so I tossed it.
Wow -- what did you do to piss off the brew gods?

Something wasn't working for you, but hopefully you can figure it out (perhaps with some help here) before the next 'big' brew.
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Old 04-29-2007, 05:46 AM   #14
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It's gotta be the crush. I was surprised by the size of the Fawcett Optic. It did seem to be a noticeably smaller kernel than the other 2 rows. Can anybody verify this?

In retrospect, it should have been milled finer, but, well, I don't have a mill and I thought it was good enough. It looked ok, just not quite as good as the other milled grains I'd gotten. I thought I'd get by with an extended mash and a lower temp sparge if needed.

There's no way around it. I'll buy a mill and then grab two 55 pound sacks of 2-row. At that point, it'll be half paid for. Throw one of those 55 pound sacks into a barley wine, split the other between an Imperial Stout and a smaller barley wine and I'll have recouped half the cost within two weeks.

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Old 04-29-2007, 03:16 PM   #15
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The Og is always low until you boil it down.
Also the minimum you should have mashed with should have been 1 Qt per pound of grain. you lost a lot from that alone.

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Old 04-29-2007, 04:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boo boo
The Og is always low until you boil it down.
Also the minimum you should have mashed with should have been 1 Qt per pound of grain. you lost a lot from that alone.
Actually, the gravity of the first runnings should be a bit on the high side - you haven't added any sparge water to the mix yet. Once all the wort has been collected after sparging, the pre-boil gravity will be a touch lower than post-boil.
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Old 04-29-2007, 07:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boo boo
The Og is always low until you boil it down.
Also the minimum you should have mashed with should have been 1 Qt per pound of grain. you lost a lot from that alone.
What Yuri said. And I lost water volume, but I should not have lost fermentable sugars. As long as everything is adequately wet and the temperature is right, you're going to get conversion. I had standing water on top of the grain, just a tiny bit, so I know everything was wet.
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