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Old 03-05-2012, 11:10 PM   #1
Bisco_Ben
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Default Undershot my OG!

Hey guys, I have taken wayyyyy too long to finally start caring about my gravity readings but the time has finally come. Today I brewed Edwort's Rye IPA and am fairly confident that my final volume is close enough to what it should be. However, with an expected OG of 1.064, I wound up with 1.050. Can anyone explain to me why this could be happening? Also, should I do anything to boost the OG a bit, or should I just leave it be and enjoy a "light" version of this beer?



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Old 03-05-2012, 11:12 PM   #2
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On a side note, this has definitely been a consistent issue with all of my brews.



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Old 03-06-2012, 12:19 AM   #3
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Who crushes your grains? The quality of the crush determines the efficiency with which you can extract the sugars. There is a trade off between getting poor efficiency with grains that are coarsely crushed and getting wonderful efficiency if you could just drain the runnings with that stuck sparge. Most LHBS would rather have you get poor efficiency than constantly dealing with stuck sparge.

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Old 03-06-2012, 12:29 AM   #4
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You could just use a light or extra light DME to boost low OG. Take some of the wort and boil it again. Put in some DME and boil for 10 to 15 minutes.

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Old 03-06-2012, 12:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bisco_Ben
Hey guys, I have taken wayyyyy too long to finally start caring about my gravity readings but the time has finally come. Today I brewed Edwort's Rye IPA and am fairly confident that my final volume is close enough to what it should be. However, with an expected OG of 1.064, I wound up with 1.050. Can anyone explain to me why this could be happening? Also, should I do anything to boost the OG a bit, or should I just leave it be and enjoy a "light" version of this beer?
If you want it balanced, hops to alcohol you could have added DME at the end of the boil until you hit the OG. Boil longer and that will raise the OG also. Missing the specified OG could have happens in the mash, water calculations etc.
Sparge? But you missed it by 14 points. I don't know what the hop additions were, but my guess would be that it's going to be bitter, might be good. Something is going on in the mash area though, crush, never fully converted?
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:29 AM   #6
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I mashed for 70 minutes at 154 degrees and did not lose ANY heat during that time period. I have a feeling that my LHBS might be the culprit with a too-coarse grind. I added the yeast already so i suppose that the extra DME situation is already out the window. time to just sit back and enjoy it for what it is?

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Old 03-06-2012, 01:52 AM   #7
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I agree with the crushing of grain. I'm a batch sparger. I have had vast differences using two different companies crushing the grain. At first I didn't think there could be that much difference. But I have found I had to use almost 2 pounds more grain from a certain businness I purchase from to get the same OG, using the same method of mashing and sparging.

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Old 03-06-2012, 01:11 PM   #8
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You could still boost the alcohol content by boiling some DME in water, chilling, and then pitching directly into an active fermentation. Can't say it will do much for the flavor though. Never done it myself but I know it's possible.

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Old 03-06-2012, 01:45 PM   #9
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Logically what would make sense to me as a more novice brewer is:

Your not boiling down enough (however you are getting down to your desired volume)
Your equations for estimated OG are off, and you aren't using enough grain, the enzymes aren't being activated enough in the mash tun to convert starches, which would be the logical result of not enough initial aggravation or, the grains are milled a little coarser. You could try your current approach with a 90 minute infusion step, which should extract more from coarser grains, or ask your home brew supplier to move the wheels a bit closer in the mill for you in order to end up with slightly finer milled grains. Logically I wouldn't do this if you have had stuck sparges. Alternatively you could be not using enough sparge water to effectively rinse the grains of wort. I would increase the temperature 2 degrees, and increase the infusion step time to 80-90 minutes, see if you do not see an equally consistent rise in your OG. I am a novice, and learning myself so just trying to interact with the little I know

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Old 03-06-2012, 01:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riffraff3055 View Post
You could still boost the alcohol content by boiling some DME in water, chilling, and then pitching directly into an active fermentation. Can't say it will do much for the flavor though. Never done it myself but I know it's possible.
It's easy to get to where you want to be on the OG just by adding some DME. Boil it in a little water for 10 minutes or so, cool, then gently add to the fermenter.


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