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Old 11-28-2012, 02:59 AM   #1
BillJacks
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Default OG 1.011?? AG IPA. What did I do wrong?

Hoping to avoid posting, I've read through many, many posts about people not hitting their target OG, but none quite the same situation as I have.

I was brewing an AG recipe for a Racer 5 clone. This is only my second AG, but the first (a St. Rogue Red Ale clone) has been in the bottle for almost 4 weeks and is awesome, so perhaps I had inflated confidence. All went well with the mashing process, I hit the all the temps, right amounts of grain and water, and the color was actually a little darker than I anticipated for a Racer 5 clone. Nevertheless, the boil went as expected and I cooled, transferred to primary fermentor (had about 6 gal post boil so no new water added) and took an OG . . . 1.011. I doubted it, so i tinkered a bit with the positioning of the hydrometer in case it was stuck, and still the same. Tested plain water, and it was 1.000.

I went ahead and pitched the yeast and it was bubbling within 18 hours, but finished within 48 hours. It's still in primary (10 days now, with no action in 8).

2 things come to mind as possible culprits (beside simply a faulty reading for whatever reason): First, this being my second AG, I really don't know what a good crush on the grain should look like. I used the grain mill at the local brew store, and ran it through twice. Same store and grain mill from which I got my first batch for the Rogue clone 3 wks prior, for which I only ran through once and hit all the right OG/FG readings. But being new, I still don't know exactly what the crushed grain should look like - - to me it didn't look THAT much different than it did before the crush, but just chalkier; it didn't look broken up or ground up, and there was little any powder.

The second issue was that inside my mash tun (chest cooler), i was using a 3' braided stainless steel as a filter, and i think a lot of grain may have gotten under it, resulting in much of the liquid being drained coming from high in the grain bed.

But 1.011? Even with uncrushed grain, is that possible? In all the posts I've read, I don't see anything CLOSE to that low, regardless of what's gone wrong. Any ideas? (and I'll gladly accept brewmaster-error feedback if that's the problem).

Grain bill:

12.5 lb Pale Malt(2-row) America
1.8 lb Wheat Malt America
0.7 lb Crystal 20L America
0.5 lb Caramel Pils Malt Belgium

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Old 11-28-2012, 03:05 AM   #2
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The only thing I could think of would be the crush. Perhaps someone changed the spacing on the mill at the LHBS?

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Old 11-28-2012, 04:13 AM   #3
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It will be interesting to see what the FG is.

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Old 11-28-2012, 04:25 AM   #4
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+1 on the crush but if that was it you should have noticed that the mill didn't crack any of the grains, that OG would be ridiculously low. That OG is so far out of whack if the grain were crushed even very poorly the OG would be higher than that.

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Old 11-28-2012, 04:35 AM   #5
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What was the temperature of the sample you took? If it wasn't cool yet, the OG would read low. Is it possible it was still warm? Either way, signs of fermentation are good, as you probably wouldn't have gotten that if the OG had really been that low.

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Old 11-28-2012, 06:35 AM   #6
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Wow that is seriously low. That works out to 11% Mash efficiency. Even at 50% you should of been around 1.050. I'd say either your crush or your thermometer are drastically off.

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Old 11-28-2012, 07:20 AM   #7
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I always check the gravity after mashing and change the hop schedule accordingly.
My first mash efficiency was 45% and after I started stirring the mash every 15 minutes or so, the efficiency has been over 70%.

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Old 11-28-2012, 02:28 PM   #8
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Thanks for the feedback.

The temp when I took the reading was right about 70 . . . can't remember exactly but close enough that a temp correction would make little difference. I hope it was a faulty reading, either equipment or operator error. I'll go ahead with the process (which calls for dry hopping) and take a reading then, and post the results. I'll also stop into the LHBS and ask some questions about their mill and for some guidance (which I should have done when I purchased the grain to begin with).

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Old 11-28-2012, 02:47 PM   #9
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Did you taste the wort at all? 1.011 would have tasted very similar to tap water.

I'm thinking there's no way that if you cracked the grains at all and hit all your temps and times you would end up with efficiency that bad. How much wort did you extract? Did you batch sparge? If you pulled 6 or 7 gallons of pre-boil wort from the MLT I can't imagine that your efficiency could have been THAT poor, even if you did leave some sugars behind in the tun...

My vote on this goes to one of the following options (possibly both):

- somehow you got a sample of your wort that wasn't representative of the whole thing--did you add any water at the end to top up? You might have been sampling mostly water
- did you correct your SG reading for temp? If your temp was high, that would cause your SG to read low. However, not THAT low--even at 150F, the correction is only 12 points SG. But this may have been part of the problem?

Let us know what the FG is, and how the beer turns out.

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Old 11-28-2012, 02:59 PM   #10
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I could be wrong, but if he said the color was a touch darker than the original, wouldn't that mean that there was at least some sort of major conversion with the sugars? correct me if that's a faulty assumption...

At what point did you pull your sample? did you take a pre boil og reading, or just after the wort was cooled? I usually check my preboil gravity just incase it is low and adjust with boil time or even a little extract. Let us know how it turns out!

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