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Old 08-13-2007, 12:33 AM   #1
griffondg
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Default 1st AG - missed SG by 8 points

Today I brewed a Honker's Ale Clone from AHS that was supposed to have a SG of 1.050 and I ended up with 1.042

Here are the details:

9lbs 2 row
1/2 lb crystal 40l
1/2 Cara Munich

1 oz Northern brewer : 60 Min
1/2 oz Cascade: 15 min
1/2 Willamette: 15 min
1oz Cascade : 5 min

I pre-heated my 10 gallon MLT with 2 gallons hot water (175F)
I used 1.25 quarts/lbs so used 12.5 quarts water
Mashed for 1 hour and added about 2 quarts water when my mash temp fell below 150F about 1/2 hour in
Vorlaufed about 2 quarts and ran half sparge water
Vorlaufed about 2 quarts and ran rest of sparge water
Ran enough sparge water to collect about 6.5 gallons wort

Brought wort to rolling boil and boiled for 60 minutes
Chilled in Ice bath (No chiller yet) until I hit 78F
Moved to 6.5 gallon carboy (there was a TON of break material so I ended up leaving some wort behind and adding about 1/2 gallon fresh water to bring it up to 5 gallons)
Took gravity reading and heat adjusted to 1.042
Pitched White Labs English Ale and 4 hours later it's starting to show some activity

The wort smells and tastes GREAT and overall I'm happy with my first AG but wondering what I need to do to hit my SG readings.

Thanks!

Eric

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Old 08-13-2007, 12:52 AM   #2
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I'm not sure if 8 points is something to worry about. I'm sure there's more knowledgeable folks here who could help more, but me personally I wouldn't worry about it. My first two AG batches, I missed my OG by 15-20 points!!! The beer still turned out really good. However, I might have left it in the MLT for 10-15 minutes longer if I had to make a temp correction at any point during the mash. But, again, just my .02 cents.

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Old 08-13-2007, 01:09 AM   #3
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Don't worry Eric, it will be great. I don't check OG any more as I have been brewing since 1972 and liked every brew I ever made. Missing your OG is like using less malt and unless you really miss it a lot it will be fine.

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Old 08-13-2007, 12:47 PM   #4
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Thanks guys - I'm not too worried about it as I'm sure it'll still taste good, I'd just like to know if there's something different I should be doing in future batches. I guess I can always add more grain

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Old 08-13-2007, 04:38 PM   #5
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I calculated your brewhouse efficiency as 57%, 68% would have got you the OG you targeted. You can adjust your OG by measuring the SG of your sparged wort and then calculate how much DME to add to get the SG you need at the end of your boil. Adding more grain is also an option - and you can calculate how much using your apparent brewhouse efficiency.

If you want to improve your efficiency I would recommend you brew the same recipe several times and measure volumes, gravity etc at every step to see where you are losing gavity points. Post your results here and you will get plenty of tips on how to fix whatever part(s) of your process is inefficient.

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Old 08-13-2007, 05:34 PM   #6
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I found that it took a few batches to get a good feel for how the brewing system went and refined my process. If you are batch sparging one of the first things to determine is the quality of the grain crush. My initial 2 brews were done with Morebeer grain and my efficiency suffered. I got a mill and yield improved but it is an added expense but provides a reliable level of control.

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Old 08-13-2007, 05:57 PM   #7
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Adding the topup water to your kettle instead of the fermenter would have got you closer. You'll have to learn how much post boil volume you need in the kettle to make 5 gallons in the fermenter to know if you have to do this or not.

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Old 08-13-2007, 06:59 PM   #8
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"Moved to 6.5 gallon carboy (there was a TON of break material so I ended up leaving some wort behind and adding about 1/2 gallon fresh water to bring it up to 5 gallons"

That right there could be some of it.

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Old 08-13-2007, 07:31 PM   #9
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I'm not sure of the calculation but if I'd have left out the 1/2 gallon at the end and just settled for 4.5 gallons I would have been much closer to my target.

I had my grain crushed from AHS so I assume it was a good crush.

I think I calculated a mash efficiency of 67% based on my recipe and my pre-boil gravity of 1.038 for 6.5 gallons. I used Palmer's method of calculating efficiency but maybe I'm off. Here's my calculation:

9lbs 2 row 37 x 9 / 6.5 = 51.2
1/2 lb Cara 35 x .5 / 6.5 = 2.69
1/2 lb Crystal 40 34 x .5 / 6.5 = 2.61

Total of 56.5 points so 38/56.5=67%

Is my math correct?

I'm figuring my ABV should be around 4.2% which if it tastes good I'll be happy

Thanks!

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Old 08-14-2007, 09:56 AM   #10
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Yea, you said you left some wort behind. I doubt that is all 8 points, but should definitely account for some of it. When you only miss by 4 or 5 points, it's really not a big deal.

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