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Old 06-30-2011, 03:43 PM   #1
MetuchenBrewerNJ
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Default Miracle Ale - Disaster Officially Averted

A few weeks ago I did my second all-grain. My first was a Sam Adams Summer Ale clone. I hit 63% efficiency, not too shabby, and brewed this second one before I ever tasted the first (which I have since tasted - almost dead on to the real thing).

This second one was a Brooklyn Brewery Summer Ale Clone, and was a near disaster. After mashing and sparging (BIAB), I calculated about 30% efficiency. I seriously considered just tossing it, but instead decided to take a change and mess around with it. I went inside and took out anything sugary. I added 5 oz of dextrose and about a pound of honey (note: I’m not experienced enough to think of keeping DME or anything on hand beforehand, so I improvised).

After all was said and done, I had an OG of 1.058, but was obviously worried that there would be no body to it. Well, I tasted it yesterday, and wow, what a miracle. Decent body (not as much as I would like, but certainly enough) and no strong alcohol taste, despite the 6.2% ABV with no body to back it up. It was light and refreshing, exactly what a summer ale should be. It has a very very very slight honey aftertaste, but not so much to actually notice it without knowing honey was in it (I’m not a big fan of honey, but I still really like this beer). So all in all, I averted what appeared to be a disaster and made a really solid, light, refreshing Summer Ale. And so, I'm now calling it the Miracle Ale!

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Old 06-30-2011, 04:12 PM   #2
EBloom97
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Glad it turned out well, but I think something is seriously wrong if you're getting 30% efficiency on a batch. With those kind of numbers I would expect that your grains went in completely uncrushed, or your temperature was like 20 degrees too low.

I'd buy yourself a mill and a high quality thermometer. They are worth the investment IMO.

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Old 07-01-2011, 04:55 PM   #3
MetuchenBrewerNJ
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After brewing I posted on here and we figured I had a bad thermometer (I never calibrated it because I didn't know it could be off). Turns out it was 15-20 degrees off. We did another all grain IPA and it seemed to go really well, so I'm attributing our bad mash to the thermometer, so hopefully problem solved.
A mill is definitely on the shopping list though, thanks for the advice!

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Primary 1 / Primary 2:
Secondary 1 / Secondary 2: Dogfish 90 Minute IPA
Conditioning:
Bottled: Bourbon Barrel Stout
Kegged: Hopback Amber

"He was a wise man who invented beer" ~Plato
Cheers, and thanks for all the help
- Chris

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Old 07-01-2011, 11:26 PM   #4
terrapinj
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unless you had a really really large grain bill you must have gotten better than 30% efficiency if you ended up with 1.058 OG after adding only 1 lb of honey and 5oz of dextrose

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