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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > OG 1.030 instead of 1.060, is this why?




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Old 04-06-2009, 04:51 PM   #1
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Default OG 1.030 instead of 1.060, is this why?

Ok, did my first AG batch yesterday, following a recipe as close as possible. Expected the OG to be 1.060, but two different readings said 1.030. I've read up on the mashing process, and I'm thinking I made a bunch of different mistakes that might have caused it. Would you expect these to have caused a .030 drop in OG?

- 12 pounds of grain
- 6 gallons 165F in mash tun -> ice -> 155F
- after 60 min -> 154F
- collect 5 gallons wort
- add 2 gallons to mash tun 185F
- 6.5 gallons in brew kettle

Mistakes:

- Too much water in the initial mash for 12 pounds of grain?
- Didn't stir it at all after adding the grains
- Drained the wort out as fast as the valve would let it, let it drain until it stopped, then added 2 more gallons at 185F and immediately drained that out just as fast, again until all the liquid was out.

Should I have stirred the mash occasionally during the hour of mashing? Was 185 too hot for the sparge water? Should the sparge water sit in the mash tun for a while before you collect the second runnings?

And would all of this have caused such a huge drop in the OG?

Thanks!



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Old 04-06-2009, 04:54 PM   #2
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Did you have the LHBS crush your grains?

Seriously...a 1030 where a 1060 should be and a terrible crush is the first thing I look to. Your process...while maybe not exact....was good enough to get you to 1050 or above.



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Old 04-06-2009, 04:56 PM   #3
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Stir between mashes or you're not effectively rising grains. This could definitely kill your efficiency (OG)
Also, what was the temp of the sample when you took your reading? Hydrometers are generally calibrated at 60* and should be read with the sample @ 60* although it probably wouldn be 30* off. Crush would be a good place to start.
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Old 04-06-2009, 04:56 PM   #4
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Ha, I crushed them myself, and actually I did do a terrible job. They had two DIY mills in the grain room, and I assumed they were the same... nope. Turns out the one I used ground it a lot finer than it was supposed to be. They told me all I had to worry about was a stuck sparge, though, and it drained fine. Would too-fine grain have caused this?

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Old 04-06-2009, 04:58 PM   #5
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The temp of both readings would have been around 65F, using the cheapo hydrometer that came with our old True Brew kit.

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Old 04-06-2009, 04:59 PM   #6
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calibrate the hydrometer in 60* water. Should read 1.000

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Old 04-06-2009, 05:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jajabee View Post
...Turns out the one I used ground it a lot finer than it was supposed to be....
If your crush was too fine, I'd suspect you had a whole lot of dough balls in your mash. Dough balls are dried lumps of grain that don't dissolve unless thoroughly mixed and can result in low efficiency. I've seen dough balls the size of a softball before.

I use a paint mixer in my power drill to mix my grains into my water.

How did you add your grains to your water?
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Old 04-06-2009, 05:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
- Too much water in the initial mash for 12 pounds of grain?
- Didn't stir it at all after adding the grains
- Drained the wort out as fast as the valve would let it, let it drain until it stopped, then added 2 more gallons at 185F and immediately drained that out just as fast, again until all the liquid was out.
My guess is the second two things. Mashing too thin might cause a difference but nothing like the drastic difference you got.

You def need to stir after adding the grains. First, to get all the grain mixed with the water thoroughly. Then you should at least occasionally stir to keep the temperature uniformly distributed throughout the mash.

I don't batch sparge so maybe someone else can help you here but I would think draining too fast could def be a problem...it would certainly be a big efficiency hit in my fly-sparging rig/process. Especially if you didn't stir.

My suggestion would be to write out your steps before brewday. Brewing is similar to Baseball in that...there are extended time intervals where nothing happens then...BAM...it's show time and you have to perform several things consecutively...then back to 'hurry-up-and-wait' mode. When you get to those points where you have to 'work'...it's nice to have things written down so you know you're not forgetting anything. If nothing else it will make it more relaxing.
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Old 04-06-2009, 05:09 PM   #9
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The only real problem that would cause efficiency issues I can see is not stirring after adding the grain. Do you mean you added water to the tun, dumped in the grain and closed the lid? Or, did you stir the grain in.

If you did no stirring at all you likely had a giant dough ball, which will cause problems. I'm not sure how much for sure though.

edit: looks like I'm just piling on with the same answer...

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Old 04-06-2009, 05:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BierMuncher View Post
How did you add your grains to your water?
I was using one of those big orange cylindrical rubbermaid coolers, fitted with a false bottom and a thermometer (yay borrowed equipment!). I poured about 3 gallons of 165F strike water in, covered and let it sit for a few minutes to warm up the plastic, then dumped all 12 pounds in. Stirred it a bit with a plastic spoon (a little tricky cause of the thermometer probe sticking into the middle of it, and the shortness of my spoon), added more hot water to bring the temp up, then covered it and didn't touch it again.

So the stirring should be pretty intense, then? I'd heard I shouldn't disturb the grainbed, so I didn't want to touch it. And yeah, I'm definitely writing this down... my 6 foot five heavy-lifting assistant and I had a great time brewing yesterday, the borrowed equipment meant the whole process was only 4 hours, including cleanup, and other than the super low OG it all went very smoothly. Smell's amazing, too, and the bubbling sounds coming from the bathroom are driving the dog nuts. I'm thinking I might try a do-over batch of the same beer tomorrow, try to correct the OG problems, and then compare the two batches when they're ready.

Thanks for the troubleshooting, this is very helpful.


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