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Old 03-21-2011, 11:44 PM   #1
thomaswilder
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Default New to all-grain. In need of Original Gravity help.

I brewed a beer last night.

2 ROW 5 lbs
CARAPILS 4 lbs
CRYSTAL 20L 4.5 lbs


STRIKE 5.1 GAL 152-153˚F
SPARGE 3.3 GAL HEATED TO 181˚F POSSIBLY TOO HOT?

With calculations for 75% efficiency I was expecting an Original Gravity of 1.071. However, I got 1.051.

The grains mashed for 10 minutes after the hour because I forgot to heat the sparge water (I know, stupid). Would this have anything to do with it?

I cannot figure out why else it would be that low. Any feedback appreciated!

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Old 03-21-2011, 11:54 PM   #2
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Your original gravity is the least of your worries, I'm afraid. You have 8.5 lbs of speciality grains and only 5 lbs of base grain. This is not a good ratio. 90/10 base to speciality is more standard.

Base grains include barley malt (like the 2 row), wheat malt, pilsner, munich or vienna malt can also be considered a base malt. Roasted barley, chocolate barley, crystal or caramal, carapils, caramunich, or any other cara-, are speciality grains.

What kind of beer would you like to make? There are a lot of great recipes in the recipe section here. Maybe pick a tried-and-true one for your next all-grain, that way you will eliminate one variable and know that the recipe is a good one.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

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Old 03-22-2011, 12:05 AM   #3
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That is going to be one chewy beer, lots of unfermentables making up the 1.051 there with the carapils and crystal.

For future reference, letting the mash sit for up to two hours is no problem at all, normally you get good conversion if your grain bill is properly adjusted to account for enzyme levels in the base malts used in about 30-45 minutes, but the longer you let it sit the more starches get converted to sugars (the tried and true recipes mentioned by Pappers will definitely account for the enzyme levels.) So, no, the additional ten minutes didn't hurt, but maybe helped in this case as the mash had more time to use up what enzymes would be left and convert as much sugar as possible from your grains.

The problem with your grain bill is that carapils and crystal malts produce loads of dextrins and unfermentable sugars which leave more body in the beer. I would be surprised if this fermented below 1.020 based on the grain bill.

Going to have to agree with Pappers, sorry to bear the bad news but realize that we've all rushed into these things as we get excited early on in the hobby. All grain has lots of options and can be a little overwhelming at first, so you can get carried away with the specialty grains sometimes and its gotten the best of all of us - maybe just a little more so in your case.

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Old 03-22-2011, 12:26 AM   #4
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There are lots of free resources online for beer making instructions. Check out How to Brew, Dennybrew and any of several threads on this site.

I'd concur with the above posters that starting out with someone else's recipe is the way to go at first. When you understand the different grains better, you'll have better results experimenting with them. I certainly have plenty to learn.

Your procedure looks sound though.

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Old 03-22-2011, 12:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pappers_ View Post
Your original gravity is the least of your worries, I'm afraid. You have 8.5 lbs of speciality grains and only 5 lbs of base grain. This is not a good ratio. 90/10 base to speciality is more standard.
Yes, sorry to say that the recipe is badly flawed. Using only 5 pounds of basemalt and 8.5 pounds of crystal malt won't make a traditional beer.

Next time, use 1 pound crystal malt (either crystal or carapils) and 10 pounds of two-row and you'll have a good start.
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Old 03-22-2011, 12:47 AM   #6
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Also how accurate are you measurements for volume, SG, temp. Make sure all are taken at the calibration temperature of your hydrometer. Temperature messes with hydrometer readings.

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Old 03-22-2011, 01:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomaswilder View Post
2 ROW 5 lbs
CARAPILS 4 lbs
CRYSTAL 20L 4.5 lbs


Is this correct?
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Old 03-22-2011, 01:55 AM   #8
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FWIW, 181 degrees is a bit high to sparge with too. You may extract tannins above ~170 degrees. It shouldn't impact your OG by making it lower though, if anything it would've improved extraction.

I agree with the others. Pappers described your typical base malts. Those particular grains are malted to produce a grain that has the enzymes available to convert the starches to sugars. John Palmer's "How to Brew" covers brewing fundamentals and chapter 14 introduces the mashing process. The malted base grains are typically mashed in the Beta/Alpha amylase temperature regime to ensure good grain conversion. The specialty grains are produced such that the starches aren't as convertible (as base malts). The result is that you won't be able to extract the sugars from them like you would base malts.

Out of curiosity, do you use brewing software?

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Old 03-22-2011, 01:30 PM   #9
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Thanks for the help guys! I didn't realize my blunder until you guys all so graciously pointed it out. I originally brewed this beer with extract. I wanted to find out what exactly what was in the extract and then use those ingredients. I found out that the particular extract I was using was a mixture of 2Row and CaraPils. I thought that carapils was a base malt. OOPS! I have re evaluated this particular beer of mine to be the following:

10lbs 2Row
1.5 carapils
1.5 crystal 20L

Does this sound about right? I'll be brewing this again, and again... I made it for my wedding and it was INCREDIBLE. But I used extract and that ship has sailed. So I'm attempting to get as close as I can.

Hops I use are simcoe and target. I get about 77ibu with them. Any tips will be great. It's meant to be an IPA.

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Old 03-22-2011, 01:31 PM   #10
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Out of curiosity, do you use brewing software?[/QUOTE]

Yes I use an iPhone app called brewpal. It's pretty great.... I think

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