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Old 11-18-2010, 08:41 PM   #1
cbiblis
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Default Watery Beer Help.

I ordered a all grain kit from brewmasters. http://www.brewmasterswarehouse.com/recipe/d66b18b3/ The kit was for making 5 gallons. The instructions call for 3.5-4 gallons for Mashing @ 80 minutes. Then 4.5-5 gallons for spargeing. Then boiling for 60 minutes while hopping. I did this on a stove top. I used a lid throughout the process. When i was done i had 7 gallons to ferment. I had to add about a cup of sugar to get the SG up. After fermentation the beer is watery. Was i suppose to leave the lid off the hole time? I though it was kinda odd that for a 5 gallon batch i end up with 7. Thanks for any help you can offer. I reordered the kit for another try.

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Old 11-18-2010, 08:46 PM   #2
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rule number 1 DO NOT BOIL WITH THE LID ON! Boil off is important not only to concentrate the wort but also to drive off volatile compounds. I expect your beer with have some serious DMS.

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Old 11-18-2010, 08:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maida7 View Post
rule number 1 DO NOT BOIL WITH THE LID ON! Boil off is important not only to concentrate the wort but also to drive off volatile compounds. I expect your beer with have some serious DMS.
OK. Thanks for the info. I will read up on that. Is that also why there was 7 gallons instead of 5?
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:58 PM   #4
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Having the lid on kept all the steam in. No steam out=no boil off=7 gallons instead of 5.

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Old 11-18-2010, 08:58 PM   #5
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Another thing to think about - the instructions that came with your kit pertain to a certain setup. You may not have needed all that water due to mash tun geometry, heat, grain temps, humidity, planet alignment etc.

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Old 11-18-2010, 09:07 PM   #6
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Having the lid on kept all the steam in. No steam out=no boil off=7 gallons instead of 5.
Great that's what i needed to know. Thanks for the help maybe my next batch will be better.
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by RobBug View Post
Another thing to think about - the instructions that came with your kit pertain to a certain setup. You may not have needed all that water due to mash tun geometry, heat, grain temps, humidity, planet alignment etc.
Yeah, i read somewhere that it's better to use less water before you know your efficiency. Cause one can always add more water. Thanks for the reply.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmud0314 View Post
Having the lid on kept all the steam in. No steam out=no boil off=7 gallons instead of 5.
Not totally true. Unless you have a pressure cooker that you boil your beer in, you will still have evaporation. Regular pots aren't a sealed environment, so they will still let some steam out.

The reason you don't boil with a lid on is because during the boil you produce DMS. Normally, this evaporates and floats off into the ether. If you leave the lid on, the steam (containing some DMS) condenses onto the cooler surface and then drips back into the wort. Not what you want.

If you straight up followed the directions, that's where you went wrong unfortunately. It seems like it calls for around 8 gallons total, which would make sense since you boiled for an hour and got 7 gallons. In the future, you want to measure your first runnings from your mash and subtract that from your desired preboil volume. That is the amount that you want to sparge with and if you do it this way you will always get the amount of wort that you need to boil down.

Always heat up more water than you think you will need, but you don't have to use it necessarily.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:53 PM   #9
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if you keg you can probably salvage at least the mouthfeel of this batch by adding some malto-dextrin to the keg...it works like a charm for thin beers.

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Old 11-19-2010, 05:57 PM   #10
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You can measure your boil off rate, just measure the volume of liquid at the start of the boil, then again after 60 min, with the lid off. I usually get about 0.5 gal/hour on my electric stove on the highest setting, but if you're outside, using a propane burner, you may get 1 gal/hour or more. Then do what devilishprune said and only sparge with enough water to get to your preboil volume.

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