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Old 11-21-2012, 01:38 AM   #1
walkerlangley
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Default What happened???

So I brewed a variation of this recipe (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f68/none-more-black-vanilla-stout-96969/) using 6 lbs of Dark DME, 0.2 lbs of Roasted Barley, 0.75 lbs of American Black Patent and and 0.75 lbs lactose (with 15 min left in the boil). I had an initial boil of 3.5 gallons and added enough water to the carboy to bring it to about 5.25 gallons. I was expecting the OG to be approximately 1.05 but measured it at 1.03. I made a yeast starter (approx 1.2 L using WLP004, shaking intermittently to add O2) and was fermenting in a wine fridge for the first time. The first few days it was fermenting at about 60 F. I raised the temp (it's at 70F now) and have since stirred up the yeast (thinking they went dormant), but it's been 3 weeks and the gravity is only at 1.02. When I taste the hydrometer readings, it tastes good, but I'm really curious as to why the initial gravity was so low at 1.03. If DME is approx 40 points/lb/gal, what could have I done to make the OG 1.03 using 6 lbs DME? I guess worst case scenario, I keg it and have a super weak but tasty adult beverage.

Any ideas?



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Old 11-21-2012, 01:41 AM   #2
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If DME is approx 40 points/lb/gal, what could have I done to make the OG 1.03 using 6 lbs DME?
Any ideas?
You didn't. It's not possible. What happened was the heavier wort sunk to the bottom, and the top off water was inadequately mixed for the OG reading.

That's not a problem, since the yeast fermented the beer and stirred it all up for you.

It's just the OG reading that was incorrect.


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Old 11-21-2012, 01:57 AM   #3
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Man that was fast! And that makes a lot of sense. This just gives me another excuse to jump up to AG brewing (full volume boils). Now I just need to find a pot for Santa to bring

Thanks a lot Yooper! Hope you have a great Thanksgiving.

Walker.

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Old 11-21-2012, 12:17 PM   #4
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Man that was fast! And that makes a lot of sense. This just gives me another excuse to jump up to AG brewing (full volume boils). Now I just need to find a pot for Santa to bring

Thanks a lot Yooper! Hope you have a great Thanksgiving.

Walker.
Nope, that can't be used as an excuse to jump to all grain. You have to do better than that.

There isn't any reason you can't do full volume boils with extract if your boiling pot is large enough and the quality of beer you turn out with extract may be better than what you make with all grain. There are plenty of opportunities to make crappier beer with all grain.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:29 PM   #5
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When taking my OG, I stir the Wort and take my sample. I take the reading and do my temp correction. I leave the sample and put in water bath to cool. If it is not what I suspected, I stir again and take a new sample. I leave the sample to cool to about 70 and re read. I bought a 50 ml graduated tube to use the weight method but I need to find the instruction again. Since you were using extract, your OG reading was either not properly mixed or not corrected properly. You cannot lose sugar if the volume was correct. The only way to mess that up is to dilute with too much water for the recipe.

With all grain, you can miss the OG because of lots of reasons that are just not factors in extract brewing. Correct OG is 10x more important in all grain, and without good ways of measuring OG, you are flying blind with all grain.

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Old 11-21-2012, 01:35 PM   #6
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Nope, that can't be used as an excuse to jump to all grain. You have to do better than that.
I definitely need a bigger pot, and I'd like to have more control to work on recipe's that I can make my own. I guess that's the former chemist in me. Starting with the basics and seeing what I can come up with. I'm sure there's more room to make mistakes, but I'd like to give it a shot and am looking forward to my next batch of hopefully AG.

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the quality of beer you turn out with extract may be better than what you make with all grain.
I imagine I'll learn this the hard way...

Thanks for all the help guys.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:28 PM   #7
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I'll throw my hat in the ring for "you should perfect extract brewing first before moving to AG".

Contrary to popular belief, if you are having issues with a simple process it will most likely not be fixed by complicating the process.

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Old 11-22-2012, 01:29 PM   #8
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We brewed extract for about 6 months, then went to partial grain for about six months the leaped to All Grain. One thing I would suggest is to get Bigger Equipment if you can afford it. We do bigger batches now but even a five gallon one we do in a 20 gallon BK. You do have a little more waste (loss to equipment) but when you want to move up to 10 gallons, you are ready.

I personally prefer Stout Equipment as it is robust and leaks are not a problem You may have lead time issues as they are "custom" made, but the wait is worth it. If you get equipment from Stout, ask for TC type Themowells. I am sorry that I did not get the electric TC ports as I could add an element if I wanted to.

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Old 11-23-2012, 03:41 PM   #9
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It's funny you say that. I'm going to get a minimum 15 gallon bk and was looking at the Stout tanks in particular. However, I have a friend who's a welder and I'm hoping he can hook me up with a keggle for much cheaper than a stout tank. Plus, the fiance isn't really excited about me upgrading and we're running out of room in the new house, so I'm sure dropping $400+ on just the kettle could cause some problems for me that I'd like to avoid. However, when we decide to move (a few years down the road), I've already decided that I'm going to have a dedicated spot for brewing and if/when I upgrade, I'll definitely look into the Stout tanks.

Thanks for all the help and suggestions.
Walker



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