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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > 2nd All Grain batch question
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:11 AM   #1
Gigemags05
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Default 2nd All Grain batch question

For my first all grain batch, my OG was a little low. I think I've addressed some of the efficiency errors I made, but I'd like to cover all the bases, so to speak, for my next batch.

Do I take a gravity reading BEFORE I start the boil and AFTER the mash? If not, how would I know to add the DME for the boil?

Should I:

have some DME on hand to add to the boil if the mash doesn't go as planned?

Do I take a gravity reading BEFORE I start the boil and AFTER the mash? If not, how would I know to add the DME for the boil?

I've read that 1 lb of DME will add 1 point to the OG for a five gallon batch. Is that pretty accurate?


OR Should I:

Just go ahead and add a little more grain to the bill and adjust my recipe that way.

If I go this route, I am not sure how much to add. My efficency was about 60% but I think it was because I let my mash temp dip to about 151 and my sparge water wasn't quite hot enough. Also, I think I misjudged how much water to use and didn't get a complete sparge.


Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Here is the recipe I brewed:

Recipe:

Hazelnut Brown Nectar Clone

8.25 lbs Great Western 2-row Pale Malt
9 oz. Hugh Baird Brown Malt
1.5 lbs Munich Malt
5.6 oz. Crystal Malt - 15L
1 lb Crystal Malt - 75L
5.6 oz. Crystal Malt - 120L
3.8 oz. Pale Chocolate Malt
.86 oz. Perle Hops @ 9% AA (60 min.)
.50 oz. Saaz Hops @ 3.5% AA (30 min.)
Wyeast 1056 or WL001

1/8 oz. Northwestern Extract Hazelnut Flavoring

Mash at 154 F for 60 min.

Add extract at kegging.


Here is the one I am about to brew:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f66/thir...ber-ale-66354/

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Old 03-27-2012, 04:02 AM   #2
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Any ideas?

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Old 03-27-2012, 04:08 AM   #3
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Take a reading post sparge. Make sure to stir well before sampling. Also you can add more sparge water to help your efficiency. I usually heat mine to about 185 or so. Check out the mash and sparge calculator at brew365.

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Old 03-27-2012, 04:13 AM   #4
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As far as the DME goes I couldn't tell ya, I don't add it. I personally never had to. I take a gravity reading after my run off before boiling, during the boil, and after. This information along with your grain bill will help in figuring efficiency. If you take a reading toward the end of the boil andyor just short on your expected you can always boil a little longer to get where you need to be if it's just a little off. If you have access to most software it can really be beneficial because you can adjust your grain bill by changing the factor for your systems efficiency. Also are you batch or fly sparging?

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Old 03-27-2012, 04:17 AM   #5
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From my first to second AG batch I drained the first wort and sparge at a slower pace. I used 190° sparge water to get the grain bed as close to 170° as possible, instead of the recommneded 168° in BeerSmith, and I stirred the grain bed really well once the sparge water was added. I went from 67 to 73% efficiency.....better, but not mind blowing.

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Old 03-27-2012, 04:30 AM   #6
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I really think the first few brews of any new (or majorly modified) setup should be written off from the start. That is I would worry to much about hitting exact numbers (e.g. adding DME to top up the SG). Basically what I do is run the setup first time with an average beer and an assumption of what the efficiency will be - say 5.5 gallons of 1.050 beer at 65% effeciency at the end of the boil. Then I can back check on how the setup actually did, say I actually got 5 gallons with 60% eff - so I got a little less beer that is a little weaker but still drinkable. Now I can tweak a few things to try get the eff up and reduce loses if I can and start the process again. Once I think I have squeezed all I think I can out of the setup, a couple of brews to confirm the average effciency and losses and I'm good to write down that I get XX% efficiency, and XX gallons loses.

Basically what I trying to say is figure out your setup efficiency first and then adjust your grain bill to suit that. Most brew programs should have a function to adjust the effciency but roughly if it is a recipe with only a small amount of specialty you should be able to just up the base malt by "their eff / your eff". For your example I'm guessing the recipe post was for 70% eff - you would go 8.25 * 70 / 60 = 9.625# base malt

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Old 03-28-2012, 01:37 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the advice. I think I have some good info on what to do to improve efficiency and get to my target OG.

AG batch no. 2 is happening Sunday

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Old 04-02-2012, 06:08 PM   #8
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well, the 2nd batch went a lot better than the first. I was actually able to get right over 80% efficiency and I hit my target OG on the nose.

Main adjustments I made were temperature related.

Now we'll see if it was just a fluke or if I can repeat it.

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