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Old 12-30-2012, 09:07 PM   #1
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Default First PM not so successful

I've been an extract brewer for 3 years. Austin Home Brew had the Kolsch PM on sale, so I decided what the hell and bought it. I'm not going to go through my hop schedule, but here's the process for my PM and extract.

2 lbs. Kolsch malt grains (premixed by AHS). Steeped between 152 and 155 for 45 minutes. Then put the bag in a colander on the pot. Sparged with one quart of 170 degree water. (I hope I understand correctly that yo use one quart per 2 lbs grain, hence the one quart sparge.) It only took about 5 minutes or so to rinse, and I wonder if that was the problem. Then I let the remaining water drip out, shook the grain bag a bit to get out any other water, then added five lbs Pale LME. The rest proceeded like an extract recipe.

My projected OG was 1.044. My actual OG was 1.32. Pitched Wyeast 2565. After 14 days I'm at 1.014, a whopping 2.4% beer. The flavor's there, but I really missed the mark with my gravity numbers.

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Old 12-30-2012, 09:34 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by truckndad View Post

2 lbs. Kolsch malt grains (premixed by AHS). Steeped between 152 and 155 for 45 minutes. Then put the bag in a colander on the pot. Sparged with one quart of 170 degree water. (I hope I understand correctly that yo use one quart per 2 lbs grain, hence the one quart sparge.) It only took about 5 minutes or so to rinse, and I wonder if that was the problem. Then I let the remaining water drip out, shook the grain bag a bit to get out any other water, then added five lbs Pale LME. The rest proceeded like an extract recipe.

My projected OG was 1.044. My actual OG was 1.32. Pitched Wyeast 2565. After 14 days I'm at 1.014, a whopping 2.4% beer. The flavor's there, but I really missed the mark with my gravity numbers.
Well, as long as the flavor is there, you're good. 2 pounds of grains would use 1.5-2 quarts of water per pound of grain, so call it 3-4 quarts of water in the mash. Then, you can sparge with up to .5 gallon per pound, or a gallon of water in the sparge. You can just pour 170 degree water over the grains in a grainbag in a colander, as that's pretty easy. The low volume (a quart?) sparge is probably to blame for lowered efficiency from the mash, but two pounds of grain would only give you about 5-9 OG points anyway, in a typical efficiency. So I think missing the OG by 12 points is due to something else, and not just the partial mash! You could have a quart of water more in the wort instead of exactly 5 gallons, and that could make a small difference also, for example.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:56 PM   #3
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I wonder if you had more than 5 gallons of wort in the fermenter? I just did a quick look, and it looks like with 5 pounds of liquid malt extract, you'd get 1.036 or so just from the extract. Either that, or an inaccurate hydrometer reading.

I'd just shrug it off, if the beer tastes great, and assume the OG was at least 1.036.

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Old 12-30-2012, 10:16 PM   #4
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Two things....First I noticed you said use 3-4 quarts water in the mash for 2 lbs grain. For the mash, just following AHS instructions, I used a full two gallons. Could that explain my numbers?

Second, my brew room was closed up while people were here for Christmas, and it got real cold in there. I'm thinking my fermentation may have gotten stuck as well. I gave the carboy a little stir to mix up the yeast cake and am going to let it sit another week before taking another reading and probably just bottle next week no matter what.

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