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Old 07-06-2012, 01:21 AM   #1
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Default Low OG

I brewed my 2nd all grain yesterday and my OG was way lower than I hoped. It's supposed to be an IPA with an OG around 1.062, but my OG was closer to 1.04. The fermentation is very active right now, but I am worried my "IPA" is not going to be as bold as I want it to be. I have some space in my fermenter and I am thinking of boiling 2lbs of malt extract in a gallon of water and adding it to the batch on Sunday with an early transfer to secondary (4 days after I pitched yeast). Is this a good or bad idea? Any advice for sprucing up my low OG?

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Old 07-06-2012, 02:27 AM   #2
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I don't see a problem with adding the extract, but I'd probably do it sooner, rather than later. But, why the early transfer to secondary? Personally, I wouldn't move it (if I bothered to move it at all, which I generally wouldn't) until it's at least a week stable at FG.

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Old 07-06-2012, 03:53 AM   #3
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I undershot yesterday for an IPA recipe that was suppose to be in 1.065 range and was more like 1.056ish. I started to worry because I couldn't believe how off I was and I apparently was off on my boil volume as well. I was trying to think of what to do to bring it up(add corn sugar or DME), but then I said F'it. The US-04 will do it's thing and it will be beer and with any luck, the 2oz of Citra and the 1oz of Galaxy that I will be tossing in on the 14th will make it be great beer!

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Old 07-06-2012, 04:56 PM   #4
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On second thought I probably should bypass the transfer to secondary and just add the extract wort to the primary. I may be able to add the additional wort tomorrow, a day earlier than planned, but I originally planned on Sunday because I didn't think I'd have time to get to the HBS and cook the extract until then. Looks like this batch will be my first "partial mash" rather than all grain.

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Old 07-06-2012, 05:18 PM   #5
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Sounds like this could be an easy fix with the extract but the real question is why you undershot by such a large margin. I mean, a point here and there isn't much but 22 points is a pretty big deal. What was your expected efficiency? Did you hit your target volume? How'd the mash go? Was this similar or drastically different result than your first go around?

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Old 07-06-2012, 05:20 PM   #6
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Also, there is no problem with doing all grain with a bit of DME. A ton of people do it, myself included. Especially for bigger beers it just makes it easier than trying to max out my mash tun and stir in a ton of grain when I can just add a bit of powder to the boil

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Old 07-06-2012, 08:20 PM   #7
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I am pretty sure my low efficiency is due to the rapid rate that I sparged. I batch sparged it in under 10minutes. I thought I should slow it down a bit, but I was really hung over 4th of July morning when I brewed. I am also using a 60qt cooler with a single stainless steel braid. I don't think the single braid allows the grain to drain efficiently with that big of cooler. I was much closer to my target on my first AG brew but I went much slower, resulting in a stuck mash a couple times. I ended up with a lot of grain particles in my wort as I didn't recirculate the first quart after each stuck mash. I established a better grain bed this time, so I was happy to see it drain without sticking, but I am sure I let it drain too fast. I am probably going to redesign my mash tun to eliminate the steel braid and replace it with copper pipe for better mash tun floor coverage. I will also try to be more patient.

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Old 07-06-2012, 08:43 PM   #8
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I neglected to measure the gravity before my boil, so I don't know my efficiency. I had a little trouble with the initial temperature when mashing. I mixed 3.75 gallons of 165 degree water into the 12lbs of grain and it fell to under 145 degrees, so I heated up another gallon to 170 and added that to bring the temp up to 149 which only dropped 2 degrees over 60 minutes. My sparge water may have been a little cool, I added in 4.25 gallons of 175 degree sparge water which only raised the temp to 160 degrees. I reached my target volume of a little under 6.5 gallons, which I boiled down to just over 5 gallons.

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Old 07-06-2012, 09:11 PM   #9
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In batch sparging you can drain as fast as you want with out any efficiency effects, so that's not the issue. And sparge water temp doesn't make a noticeable difference either. At such a low mash temperature it is possible that you didn't get full conversion, and need to mash longer. That's probably not the issue though. Typically when you get low efficiency in batch sparging it is from a poor grain crush. Do you crush your own grain?
One other thing is to check that you hydrometer is calibrated. Put it in some tap water at 60F and see if it reads 1.000 or close to it.

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Old 07-06-2012, 10:25 PM   #10
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Good advice on checking the accuracy of my Hydrometer. I will check it out this evening. I purchased the grain crushed from Northern Brewer, I assume they would do a decent crush. It looked like a fairly fine crush. Has anyone had problems with Northern Brewer's crush?

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