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Old 12-17-2012, 06:25 PM   #1
Creten
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Default AG - Brown Ale - Low Final Volume..Need help with why?

Hi All -

New to the HB world and the forum. This is a tremendous site.

A little history: Myself, cousin and friend decided to start brewing beer. We decided to start with AG from the gate and began to secure the equipment needed. Through some Craigslist looking, trips to the local HBS and Lowes we pieced together what we needed. Several passes through the HB bible (How to Brew) we jumped right in three weeks ago and did two AG 5g batches which we just bottled Friday. Will post an update on how they turn out after the new year.

Since we knew we were going to bottle the first batches we decided we should brew another batch that day and it was my turn to make the recipe. I planned out a recipe for a Brown Ale and have listed it below.

My main question in all of this if you decided to read this far is that the final volume that was racked into the fermenter only turned out to be 3 gallons. We planned on a 5g batch and were not drinking while we brewed so I don't think we messed up our measurements.

I have included some final brew notes below the recipe. If after review you have any suggestions on why we were 2 gallons off I would love to hear them. I am hoping the beer will be good, just not so happy in the fact that we wont have very much of it.

If you want more information just let me know!

Thanks again - brew on!
Greg

Recipe specifics:

Style: American Brown Ale
Batch size: 5.0 gal
Boil volume: 6.5 gal
OG: 1.056
FG: 1.014
Bitterness (IBU): 55.3 (yes more then I wanted but bought the Belma Hops in bulk to play with)
Color (SRM): 24.3
ABV: 5.5%

Grain/Sugars:

8.00 lb Two-row (US), 61.5%
2.00 lb Aromatic Malt (Belgian), 15.4%
2.00 lb Crystal 60L, 15.4%
0.75 lb Victory Malt, 5.8%
0.25 lb Chocolate Malt (US), 1.9%

Hops:

1.00 oz Belma (AA 12.1%, Whole) 60 min, 40.0 IBU
0.50 oz Belma (AA 12.1%, Whole) 30 min, 15.4 IBU

Yeast/Misc:

British Ale yeast, 1.0 unit(s), Yeast Pitch at 74

Brew Notes:
Mashed for 60 min at 153 with 3.25 gallons
Sparge/Lauter 3.5 gallons
Boil was 60 min - lid off most of the time
Cooled the wort with an Ice bath (need a dang chiller) took about 30 min to get to pitching temperature of 74

Racked to fermenter with plenty of aeration - pitched yeast and closed her up, noticing we had 3 gallons of soon to be beer.



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Old 12-17-2012, 06:37 PM   #2
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First you used about 1 gallon too little in the mash. At 1.25 qt/#, you should have used 16.25 quarts (just over 4 gallons) for the mash. You would have then sparged with enough to collect your total pre-boil volume (at least 3.5 gallons, most likely). You also need to figure out how much you're boiling off per hour and offset that lose with your mash/sparge volumes. Depending on the mash tun, you'll also need to offset any wort volume left behind.

I would highly recommend using software to figure out things for future batches. I like using BeerSmith 2.x since I can have it on my main system plus my Windows tablet. There's also the cloud offering that lets you share recipes with others. Once you figure out your hardware, you make the preset/preference set for that and use it for future batches.

Also, what yeast (exactly) did you use? If it's Wyeast 1098 British Ale, you pitched far too warm. Get that mother into the mid to upper 60's for the duration. I'm talking about fermenting beer temp, not ambient temp. If you have to, get/make a swamp cooler to do this (plenty of threads about that).



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Old 12-17-2012, 06:38 PM   #3
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A couple if ideas:

Hop loss. Hops soak up volume, which could account for some. Grain absorption. How much volume did you have after your drained the mash tun? Also, did you have enough water at strike? What was your water to grain ratio?

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Old 12-17-2012, 06:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diptherunner View Post
A couple if ideas:

Hop loss. Hops soak up volume, which could account for some. Grain absorption. How much volume did you have after your drained the mash tun? Also, did you have enough water at strike? What was your water to grain ratio?
1.5oz of hops won't absorb nearly enough to impact this one...
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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
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Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine


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Old 12-17-2012, 06:48 PM   #5
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Probably didn't account for enough of the following losses:
Grain Absorbtion
Equipment Loss (my mash tun retains 0.5 gal)
Trub Loss (assuming you didn't rack the entire kettle into your fermenter)
Boil-off volume (My Kettle loses 1.5 gal/hour)

Use this calculator for your next recipe:
http://www.brew365.com/mash_sparge_water_calculator.php

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Old 12-17-2012, 07:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
First you used about 1 gallon too little in the mash. At 1.25 qt/#, you should have used 16.25 quarts (just over 4 gallons) for the mash. You would have then sparged with enough to collect your total pre-boil volume (at least 3.5 gallons, most likely). You also need to figure out how much you're boiling off per hour and offset that lose with your mash/sparge volumes. Depending on the mash tun, you'll also need to offset any wort volume left behind.

I would highly recommend using software to figure out things for future batches. I like using BeerSmith 2.x since I can have it on my main system plus my Windows tablet. There's also the cloud offering that lets you share recipes with others. Once you figure out your hardware, you make the preset/preference set for that and use it for future batches.

Also, what yeast (exactly) did you use? If it's Wyeast 1098 British Ale, you pitched far too warm. Get that mother into the mid to upper 60's for the duration. I'm talking about fermenting beer temp, not ambient temp. If you have to, get/make a swamp cooler to do this (plenty of threads about that).
Thanks for the detailed reply Golddiggie and the other on here.

I think you nailed it with a few things, the biggest being the initial mash/sparge calculations. We mashed in with 3.5 gallons and sparged with another 3.5. Should have done like you said and mashed with 4+ and sparged with 3.5 to 4. We did not have this issue with the first two batches

You have given me some key things to look at/account for in the next brew. I am currently using ibrewmaster on the iPhone and another program BrewR on my android tablet to track/build recipes. Looking like I will pick up BeerSmith tonight.

Sounds like with some water volume adjustments, accounting for boil off, mash retention, and wort leave behind I should be closer to getting a good volume.

The yeast used was White Labs - British Ale 0005 | Currently fermenting at around 62-64 degrees.

Thanks again for all the advice and help

Greg
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:30 PM   #7
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You can try BeerSmith for 21 days for free. It's fully functional, not a limited function trial. Then, if you like it, pay for it. You can [legally] have it installed on two systems you own with the license. This is how I have it on my desktop/tower and Windows 8 tablet.

Personally, I'm no fan of the iphoney or ipaddle for this. Partially due to how I feel about apple as a whole, including how THEY limit you for what you can install (without seriously hacking the devices). I've tried some of the apps available for the Android OS and while they can have good parts, they're no replacement for BeerSmith.

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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
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Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine


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Old 12-17-2012, 07:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
You can try BeerSmith for 21 days for free. It's fully functional, not a limited function trial. Then, if you like it, pay for it. You can [legally] have it installed on two systems you own with the license. This is how I have it on my desktop/tower and Windows 8 tablet.

Personally, I'm no fan of the iphoney or ipaddle for this. Partially due to how I feel about apple as a whole, including how THEY limit you for what you can install (without seriously hacking the devices). I've tried some of the apps available for the Android OS and while they can have good parts, they're no replacement for BeerSmith.
I am right there with you on the Apple thing. I have been jail breaking my phone for awhile now just to get some control over the device. I must say though they make a solid piece of hardware.

I will be pulling down BeerSmith tonight for the trial and plugging all three of our batches in to see where we can improve.

Greg
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Creten View Post
I am right there with you on the Apple thing. I have been jail breaking my phone for awhile now just to get some control over the device. I must say though they make a solid piece of hardware.

I will be pulling down BeerSmith tonight for the trial and plugging all three of our batches in to see where we can improve.

Greg
I don't see anything that justifies the extreme premium they place on the hardware.

Anyway, if you have any q's about using BeerSmith later, shoot me a PM. I would also say that you should enter in your equipment, if it's not already set up as a preset. Also confirm how much is left behind in the mash tun as well as the boil kettle. Boiloff rates can change during the different seasons and even with different weather conditions during the same season. Have a windy day and you'll probably lose less (harder to keep the boil going as hard). Have a still day (or warmer day) and you'll probably boil off more.


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Hopping Tango Brewery

跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine


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