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Old 07-06-2012, 01:02 PM   #1
GoldenShowerGladiator
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Default couple questions about my last brew

i tried brewing Jamil's ordinary bitter and had a few things i wanted to try and better understand...

target preboil gravity: 1.035
actual preboil gravity: 1.037

target SG: 1.043
actual SG: 1.046

beings that it's only my 2nd all-grain brew, i'm still not quite sure what causes the gravity to be higher or lower than anticipated. i mashed between 151.5 - 152.7 for 60 minutes which was a victory for me. i tried to use 1.5 quarts per pound but used roughly 1.9 quarts due to temp adjustment. i batch sparged with the proper amount. i used 200 degree water which raised the grain bed temp to 171. so yeah, any insight is appreciated.

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Old 07-06-2012, 01:19 PM   #2
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Batch-to-batch variations in the malt itself, inaccurate data in the brewing software, the crush of the grains, lautering method and, of course, volumes all affect the gravity numbers.

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Old 07-06-2012, 01:23 PM   #3
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It looks like you may have gotten slightly higher efficiency from your mash. No big deal. If it continues to happen you can always adjust for it in your brewing software. Also, as an aside, you might consider not sparing with water that's 200 deg as it could pull some tannins out of the grains.

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Old 07-06-2012, 01:58 PM   #4
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I've noticed that when I brew a recipe from Jamil's book that I end up with a higher SG. I don't know what his expected efficiency is, but mine is usually 75-85%. Once you use your system enough you'll know what efficiency to expect and you can adjust your grain bills accordingly. As ArcaneXor says there are many variables that contribute to your extract efficiency. I'd say the most important is to have a consistent grain crush.

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Old 07-06-2012, 01:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcaneXor View Post
Batch-to-batch variations in the malt itself, inaccurate data in the brewing software, the crush of the grains, lautering method and, of course, volumes all affect the gravity numbers.
+1 to this

Since this is only your second batch be sure you are taking good notes during your process and keep track of all the above mentioned items. As you do more batches you will generate a general average that you use to dial in your system and process to improve your consistency from one batch to the next.

In AG brewing there will always be variables you need to control all determined by style, grain bill, mash process, water volumes, etc. As you become more experienced and knowledgeable about these items and your system everything will become easier.
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:55 PM   #6
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You have a stronger beer! I used to pay real good attention to that stuff but after 2 , years I take a reading and write it down. I am usually within 5 points. I am more concerned with fermentation than gravity reading.
Add long add I am in the ball park I am good..

What apound or two of base malt? Couple bucks? Big deal.

Good luck!

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Old 07-06-2012, 11:14 PM   #7
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I guess it never occurred to me to be concerned with a variation that slight. I've got maybe ten or so AG brews more than The poster, and measured data has always deviated from expectations, and the beer is always still pretty good.....

I say no big deal, personally. Save the worrying for world peace, don't sweat this stuff.

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Old 07-07-2012, 03:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakeintoledo
I guess it never occurred to me to be concerned with a variation that slight. I've got maybe ten or so AG brews more than The poster, and measured data has always deviated from expectations, and the beer is always still pretty good.....

I say no big deal, personally. Save the worrying for world peace, don't sweat this stuff.
This. One of the big things is tuning in to your system. After a good number of brews, you see how your equipment works and you'll be able to adjust recipes & process for those times when the exact numbers are essential.
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Old 07-07-2012, 02:12 PM   #9
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yeah, i felt like i did pretty good this time around compared to my first and obviously i'll get better as i learn more. i just figured i would have hit my numbers a little closer. i was shooting for a 1.035-ish OG and will more than likely hit something a little north of 1.042. not only that but i only pitched a single yeast packet which would have sufficed but with the extra fermentables i'm not sure if it'll be enough

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Old 07-08-2012, 01:42 PM   #10
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In my experience--only 30-ish batches but in 9 months--I miss my OG due to missing water amounts. Too much = missing low; boiling off too much = too high. FWIW.

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Piratwolf: "I've heard that Belgian Blondes can be "panty droppers" but they're not particularly high IBU nor cheap."

jmendez29: Haha! I get it! :ban:
Wait. You're not talking about beer, right?
You're talking about beer. That could have been a whole lot more fun.
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