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Old 09-01-2011, 05:12 PM   #1
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Default Higher gravity then possible?

So I made a blonde ale with about 20 pounds of grains. (10gal batch) I have to double batch sparge because my tun is too small but my gravity after boiling should be 1.048 based off beersmith. I ended up with 1.053-1.054.

How is that possible? Does beersmith list somewhere what the gravity should be before boiling or do I have to figure that out myself?

Trying to figure out what I did wrong.

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Old 09-01-2011, 05:20 PM   #2
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The question is whether your estimate (Beersmith) is wrong, or put differently, if you are using Beersmith correctly, or why was your efficiency so high?

If you post your recipe and also explain more what you mean by 'double batch sparge because my tun is too small', that would help us ferret out some possible answers. Also, what is your efficiency set for in Beersmith? And did you hit your final volume exactly, or are you estimating that?

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Old 09-01-2011, 06:06 PM   #3
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Also, you're not getting a higher gravity than possible - you're just getting a higher gravity than beersmith is estimating. You'll have to check within beersmith, but it defaults to a certain efficiency level (I think brewtarget, which I've used a little, defaults to 75%). It's possible that your process is just a little more efficient than the beersmith default.

Not only did you probably do nothing wrong, you probably did something very right. Do a few searches on calculating efficiency, start to keep track of what efficiency levels your process is getting you, and then adjust the efficiency (and thus, your recipes) appropriately in beersmith.

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Old 09-01-2011, 06:11 PM   #4
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Sounds like you got better efficiency. As Strat noted, it was probably a difference in your efficiency or perhaps more boiled away than would have been expected. Another explanation would be that you didn't use as much sparge water as you should have.

Regardless, there's nothing about a slightly higher OG that would indicate that anything is wrong.

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Old 09-01-2011, 06:35 PM   #5
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Well that is good to hear. I gotta jet to work but will post more details when I have a chance and answer your questions. Thanks everyone. Actually here lemme knock this out real quick...

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Originally Posted by Pappers_ View Post
The question is whether your estimate (Beersmith) is wrong, or put differently, if you are using Beersmith correctly, or why was your efficiency so high?

If you post your recipe and also explain more what you mean by 'double batch sparge because my tun is too small', that would help us ferret out some possible answers. Also, what is your efficiency set for in Beersmith? And did you hit your final volume exactly, or are you estimating that?
By double batch sparge I mean I mash then I have to sparge twice to make up my entire boil volume. I have never changed the efficiency in beersmith so whatever the default is. I think I missed my boil volume by a tiny bit. Was suppose to have 13.5gals and I believe I had 13.1 gallons so still pretty close.

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Originally Posted by stratslinger View Post
Also, you're not getting a higher gravity than possible - you're just getting a higher gravity than beersmith is estimating. You'll have to check within beersmith, but it defaults to a certain efficiency level (I think brewtarget, which I've used a little, defaults to 75%). It's possible that your process is just a little more efficient than the beersmith default.

Not only did you probably do nothing wrong, you probably did something very right. Do a few searches on calculating efficiency, start to keep track of what efficiency levels your process is getting you, and then adjust the efficiency (and thus, your recipes) appropriately in beersmith.
So what happens when I adjust my efficiency in beersmith? It just recalculates my og and fg for me correct? I want to try and figure out what my pre boil gravity should be because I think beersmith doesn't do that. Hopefully I did do something right heh. This is the 4th time I made this beer but the second with the revised recipe but everything has gone smoothly everytime,

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Originally Posted by dime1622 View Post
Sounds like you got better efficiency. As Strat noted, it was probably a difference in your efficiency or perhaps more boiled away than would have been expected. Another explanation would be that you didn't use as much sparge water as you should have.

Regardless, there's nothing about a slightly higher OG that would indicate that anything is wrong.
I ended up with almost 11.5 gals after a one hour boil so pretty close to what I wanted. Definitely used enough sparge so I think that is all ok. I just wish I could have a bigger tun so I can only sparge once but maybe in the future.
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Old 09-01-2011, 06:39 PM   #6
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adjusting your efficiency in BeerSmith means you need a little less malt than everyone else for the same result... it's a good thing.

keep in mind, that next batch could be lower - you will develop a "brewhouse efficiency" but one batch may be an outlier.

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Old 09-01-2011, 07:08 PM   #7
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Was Beersmith set for 11.5 gallons? That would also throw off your OG estimate, as well as the efficiency setting I mentioned earlier.

Your 'double sparge' isn't related. Many of us do two or three sparges.

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Old 09-01-2011, 07:10 PM   #8
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Also, as I understand it, many people still split their sparge into 2 sparges specifically to improve their efficiency. I'd really focus on keeping track of efficiency and plan accordingly, rather than trying to reduce your efficiency.

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Old 09-01-2011, 07:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stratslinger View Post
Also, as I understand it, many people still split their sparge into 2 sparges specifically to improve their efficiency. I'd really focus on keeping track of efficiency and plan accordingly, rather than trying to reduce your efficiency.
Right. The problem isn't your brewing or efficiency, its how you are using Beersmith to estimate your OG.
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:25 PM   #10
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Beersmith will give you your expected pre and post boil volumes, and the expected eff for both. It should show you all of that on the brewsheet.

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