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Old 10-14-2012, 04:59 PM   #1
spittingglass
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Default First all-grain brew question

I posted this in the Beginner forum and got absolutely no love, can someone here help me out with this?

I just finished brewing an IPA (as my first all-grain brew!) via the BIAB method; nailed my OG thanks to 80.7% mash efficiency. However, I forgot to take boiloff into account and ended up with 4 gallons instead of 5 into the fermenter.

As a result, my OG of 1.066 took a hit to an OG of ~1.052 after adding 1 gallon of top-up water to the fermenter.

I'm thinking of boiling up a solution of 1/2 gallon water to 1.5 pounds table sugar and adding it into the fermenter after primary fermentation is done to take it back up to around 1.066. I was hoping to hit my ~7% ABV target on this, but as it stands, BeerSmith is predicting 5.6% after my absent-minded boiloff oopsie and water top-up.

My question being, how much of a thinning effect (or anything else unpleasant) will this amount of added sugar post-primary fermentation have on my beer? Could the original recipe stand up to this sort of addition with little ill effect? In the recipe below, it would equate to 11.1% of the grain bill, knock the 2-row down to 81.5% and the 40L to 7.4%

If it helps, I mashed at ~153F for an hour. The temperature dropped a bit (to around 148ish) and stayed at that temp for about 15 minutes, and I added hot water to bring the temp back up, and repeated this 2 more times. So during the mash, it was probably at 148-150 for a total of 20 minutes, but around 152-153 the remainder of the time.

Original recipe:

11 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 91.7 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 8.3 %
1.00 oz Centennial Hops [9.70 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop
1.00 oz Centennial Hops [9.70 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop
2.00 oz Centennial Hops [9.70 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop
1.0 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) [50.28 ml] Yeast
1.00 oz Centennial Type Hops [9.70 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days


And here's a screencap from BeerSmith:



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Old 10-14-2012, 06:46 PM   #2
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I'm new too, so take this advice with a grain of salt, but I would not add the water/sugar. It will make the brew drier, with higher alcohol, but will also dilute the flavors. I'd add DME/water if anything.
It sounds like your final efficiency was less than calculated (measured at SG instead of OG).
How was your grain crush?
Did you squeeze like a mad man?



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Old 10-14-2012, 06:50 PM   #3
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Congratulations on your first All-Grain brew! Why not boil up some DME rather than sugar or just leave it as is? There is nothing wrong with a 5.6% beer.

I've used sugar in Saison's to create a light and dry ale, but 1.5 lbs seems like a lot to me. According to Papazian's Joy of Homebrewing, if you have 20+% of your fermentables as simple sugars can leave a “cidery” flavor in the beer. At 11% your probably OK other than creating a light and dry IPA.

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Old 10-14-2012, 08:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spittingglass View Post
nailed my OG thanks to 80.7% mash efficiency.
After reading this comment I couldn't help but think something was off. When I plugged this into Beersmith and with four gallons, that grain bill, and that OG I come up with a 61% efficiency.


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Old 10-14-2012, 08:39 PM   #5
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Gratz on the AG batch! Personally, I would leave it alone. Good excuse to brew another batch and a great lesson about your equipment. I would make a bet that your beer turns out pretty good. If its not what you wanted it to be, you know why. If you make a rescue attempt and it still isn't what you wanted, the problem could be the rescue attempt and you are kind of back to square one.

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Old 10-14-2012, 08:39 PM   #6
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1 lb of DME will raise it 1.008 points

(1/5) * 38=7.6 or 1.008

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Old 10-14-2012, 09:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev2010 View Post
After reading this comment I couldn't help but think something was off. When I plugged this into Beersmith and with four gallons, that grain bill, and that OG I come up with a 61% efficiency.


Rev.
I'm pulling that number from BeerSmith via the pre-boil gravity that I measured:



I adjusted for temperature when doing all hydrometer readings, so I don't know what's off.

I think the consensus is to leave it alone, so I think I'm just going to do that. Renamed it to Math is Hard IPA.
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Old 10-14-2012, 10:07 PM   #8
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If your pre-boil gravity was 1.070, then your post boil gravity was about 1.086. Diluting that by 1 gallon of water gives an approximate OG of 1.066.

Thus, your likely problem is that you didn't adequately stir the wort after adding the top-off water before taking the gravity reading. Wort can be fickle with dilution since it doesn't readily mix well just by pouring water into it, so I think you're actually right on and are good to go.

EDIT: Assume you missed your OG by up to 2 points. So, just go with 1.063 or 1.064 and you'll get your true efficiency within a couple percentage points.

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Old 10-14-2012, 11:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kylevester View Post
If your pre-boil gravity was 1.070, then your post boil gravity was about 1.086. Diluting that by 1 gallon of water gives an approximate OG of 1.066.
OK, I'm still not getting this. He doesn't mention his preboil gravity and says at 4 gallons it was 1.066 but after topping off with another gallon of water it was 1.052. If I put this 4 gallon OG and grain bill into Beersmith with an 80.7% efficiency it says the OG should be 1.088. Since he got 1.066 Beersmith indicates that's a 61% efficiency. I did an English Ale yesterday with an 8.87lb grain bill with 81% efficiency. I got 1.054 at 5 gallons. If he got 1.052 OG with 5 gallons, or 1.066 at 4 gallons, how is that an 80.7% efficiency with 12lbs of grain?


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Old 10-15-2012, 12:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev2010

OK, I'm still not getting this. He doesn't mention his preboil gravity and says at 4 gallons it was 1.066 but after topping off with another gallon of water it was 1.052. If I put this 4 gallon OG and grain bill into Beersmith with an 80.7% efficiency it says the OG should be 1.088. Since he got 1.066 Beersmith indicates that's a 61% efficiency. I did an English Ale yesterday with an 8.87lb grain bill with 81% efficiency. I got 1.054 at 5 gallons. If he got 1.052 OG with 5 gallons, or 1.066 at 4 gallons, how is that an 80.7% efficiency with 12lbs of grain?
I had to have misread an OG reading at some point for it to come out at 1.70 preboil, 1.066 post and 1.052 after top-up. I guess it will remain as a mystery ABV beer no matter what course of action I take due to that.

I really appreciate your effort in trying to unravel this ball of twine I've made with this brew, but I think I'm just going to take this as a lesson in being more diligent with my calculations and get a bigger pot so I can still do 5 gallon BIAB.


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