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Old 09-19-2010, 01:21 PM   #1
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Default Bad Brew Day... so confused right now.

I'm no expert, but I've got a good number of brews under my belt I can pretty well design and execute recipes from beer smith with repeatable results.... until yesterday.

I brewed a recipe for an AIPA that I've done before (sadly this is even for a small comp.). It's actually one of my favorite brews. It is mainly pale malt with some crystal and then enhanced with 3# DME. I was extra careful as I mentioned it was for comp. Did it Sat morning and didn't touch any beer to my lips or have any distractions. Did my water conditioning and measured water out by the gallon and quart. Checked it against my marked yard stick. Checked pre-fermentation gravities with hydrometer and refractometer. Everything went pretty smoothly although the hot Louisiana afternoon made it's presence known and the boil off was like 25%. This is not too out of the ordinary though and usually just requires top off (my brew buddies get the same thing from time to time), but when pitching I realized something had gone horribly wrong and the numbers don't make sense to me. If anyone has any ideas I'd love to hear them. I can only think that I got horrible efficiency and bad measurements caused me to not notice it until the end, but considering the double checking I did it seems very odd.

Into boiler 6gal @ 7 Brix, 1.028 --> matches recipe est
Add DME for 13 Brix, 1.053 --> matches recipe est
Into Fermenter = 3.5gal @ 15.4 Brix, 1.063 --> should have been min of 4.3gal and gravity in 70s
After top off of 1.5gal = 11.9 Brix, 1.048 --> a 6.6% brew is now 4.8% optimistically!

I mean to get those sorts of miscalculations my volume into the boiler would have been off by almost 1.5 gallons meaning both my grain would have been a super sponge and my measuring stick would have been off by almost 2 inches. Also, all other measurements were with the same stick so how did it read the other volumes correctly? I mean it said 3.5 post boil and so do the marks on the fermenter. I'm just at a complete loss right now. This puts my eff. at like 47% and it's never been lower than 65% when I first started using this equip.

So depressed right now. I don't even have an extra fermenter empty to redo it and the comp forms have been sent.

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Old 09-19-2010, 01:44 PM   #2
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You may be OK...

Are you adding your topoff water directly to the primary? When did you take your post boil OG hydro reading? Right after transferring to the primary and topping off? If so, did you aggitate the primary before taking the OG reading? If not, you may have gotten a lot of top-off water in your sample...reducing your OG.

Read here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/orig...oo-low-193432/

John

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Old 09-19-2010, 02:26 PM   #3
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You may not be boiling off more as much as you think, your hops can absorb a lot of your wort. I'm assuming you used pellets and they usually suck up around .6 quart of water/oz of hops. A typical IPA with 5oz of hops will reduce your post boil wort by .75 of a gallon. Then, by topping off, your watering down your beer. With a batch that gave you low efficiency (which happens time to time with us all), the hop absorption could have compounded your problem. With an IPA I do a lot of math to compensate for this, sometimes with good results. Adding more grain and increasing your batch size to compensate for this can be a brain tease sometimes. Hopefully you can just chalk this off to a bad brew day and the next will be better.

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Old 09-19-2010, 05:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnodon View Post
You may be OK...
I thought about that, so I stirred waited tested, stirred waited tested for a while letting it cool the last 5-10 degrees before pitching. Always the same.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammy71
You may not be boiling off more as much as you think, your hops can absorb a lot of your wort.
I think you may be right. I used 5.0oz of whole hops and while I let it drain a while it def. soaked some wort up.

I am boiling 2 lbs of DME I had for another brew in 0.5 gal and I will add that when it cools. Won't taste quite like expected, but it should get my gravity in range. I'll live, but it sure was an ego blow.
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