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Old 04-18-2009, 07:10 AM   #1
CharlosCarlies
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Default Overly fermentable wort. Boil down more?

Well, this was my 4th AG and honestly I made more mistakes tonight than I did on my first. Maybe I just got lazy and thought I had this stuff down. Oops!

This is Ed's Rye IPA fwiw.

Anyways, I was testing out my new electric HLT (Brewmation...really really pleased with it so far) and new chiller. I heated my strike water to 180F and let it drop back to my strike temp of 165F. Normally I've been hitting my temps dead on, but for whatever reason the mash settled in at 150-152 depending on where I measured. The target temp for the recipe was 154. From what I've read, I'll be dealing with a slightly more fermentable wort no? If I continued as is would this be overly dry? (Beersmith has me at 77 IBU's and ~1.070 OG at ~5 gallons).

I'm using just one pack of US-05 (didn't bother re-hydrating) and I know this is generally considered a good attenuator, so I boiled down to 4.5 gallons to increase the OG. My thinking is this would make the yeast peter out a little earlier leaving a little more sweetness to balance out all those IBU's.

Is any of my thinking flawed? I know I need to get better at nailing down my processes for consistent results, but that will come with time I'm hoping! I took really detailed notes this time at least.

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Old 04-18-2009, 11:15 AM   #2
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Your thinking is a bit flawed, at least how I'm understanding things (it is early in the AM!).

Boiling down to 4.5gal will indeed increase the OG, but it won't help the fact that you missed your mash temp for the style. Mashing at a lower temp will result in a wort with more fermentable sugar in it compared to a wort mashed at a higher temp. Boiling down will only increase the concentration of that wort, not change the ratio of of fermentable to non-fermentable sugar.

That being said, roll with it as it will turn out fine....it might be a bit different beer, but it will be fine. These things happen as you bring in new equipment and get it up and running. Always tough to dial in new equipment and/or procedures.

Since you brought it up, for that gravity wort I'd try to pitch more than one packet of SA05. Mr. Malty says that you should be pitching either 2.7-5g packets or 1.2-11.5g packets. That is properly rehydrated too. Just saying...pitching the proper amount of yeast might be a bigger factor in how your beer comes out than worrying about hitting/missing mash temps.

Hope this helps!

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Old 04-18-2009, 02:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Boiling down will only increase the concentration of that wort, not change the ratio of of fermentable to non-fermentable sugar.
But if said yeast only attenuates X%, wouldn't adding more sugars *possibly* lead to more sugars being left over after fermentation?

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2.7-5g packets or 1.2-11.5g packets.
Yeah I pitched an 11.5g pack. I know it's cutting it close, but I haven't ever had any problems w/o re-hydrating. My beers have all come out great so far. Would I still be better off pitching two? If so, would it be ok to just drop it in now? It looks like fermentation is just starting to fire up!
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Old 04-18-2009, 03:24 PM   #4
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Charlos...

YOU are right... If you increase your OG by boiling off more water, you will end up with a higher FG and THUS a maltier beer to balance your IBUs, good thinking.

THOUGH, I have to say, if you missed your mash temp by 2F... you probably wouldnt notice much more than a 1-2 point decrease in the FG. NOW, if you were talking 158F to 150F... it would be very noticeable.

You did well, good thinking, but 2F isnt much to worry about.

Pol

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Old 04-18-2009, 06:26 PM   #5
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But, the ratios will stay the same and the IBU/ABV balance doesn't change. If necessary, you can use a little maltodextrine and/or lactose to counter the dryness.

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Old 04-18-2009, 06:34 PM   #6
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It is a couple degree F... how much attenuation will he really gain?

Heck, most people cannot HOLD a temp within 2F... thier beers must be all over the place with attenuation. Right?

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Old 04-19-2009, 12:02 AM   #7
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Well I did do a 70 min mash and my temps dropped to 148-150ish for the last 20 min or so. It sounds like it isn't THAT big of a deal but I always like to know the hows and whys of what I'm doing.

I also tend to prefer a little bit drier beers anyways, so who knows maybe I'll luck my way into something tasty.

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Old 04-19-2009, 01:08 AM   #8
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Dry isn't necessarily a bad thing, expecially with beer like this... if it's a stout or something, some residual sugars can be a good thing. I think you'll be fine. The belgian pale ale I have dry hopping right now was mashed at 148, and went from 1.061 to 1.007 in six days. It already tastes great, and it's not too "dry".

Belgians always shoot for high attenuation, and they call those beers "digestible". I think you are actually better off with your lower mash temp.

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