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Old 01-13-2014, 09:44 PM   #1
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Default Weird day and weird efficiency

Today was the weirdest brew day. Like all brewers, I've had those brew days where nothing went right--today wasn't that bad but was weird. I was brewing a brown porter that was only supposed to be 1.041 OG. It was based on Jamil's Who's your Taddy and the grain bill was adjusted for my usual efficiency (about 85%) and my own tastes. I started by checking the calibration of my refractometer and pH tester. The pH tester would not calibrate until I removed and reinstalled the batteries. I got my water additions done, then found I had less Maris Otter than I thought and had to sub in 2.5 lbs of US Pale Malt. I made the changes in Brew Smith and Bru'n Water, and showed negligible change.

Then, even though I haven't missed a mash temp for almost a year, my mash that was supposed to be 152 came in at 144--what??!!! Before you ask, I was using a quality digital thermometer and the probe has only been used in two previous batches; I also preheated my mash tun. I boiled some water and got this added in and the temp brought up by about 20 minutes into a 60 minute mash. I added another 15 minutes to my mash (so it was a total 75 minute mash). I started lautering and noticed my numbers were quite high (I batch sparge everything these days). Once my sparge was done, with everything well stirred and blended my efficiency somehow came out as 105%--what?

All through the boils, my calculations showed what was supposed to be a nice session beer was somehow going to hit 1.061. I figured "What the heck, just finish it and enjoy what I get."

The boil ended dead-on my volume expectation (5.5 gallons) but was 1.055. Good, not too high for style. I double checked and this was the right figure. Of course this means my efficiency wasn't as high as earlier reading showed it to be. Of course, if I could get 105% efficiency I wouldn't complain--too bad I can't get my bank account to do that.

I won't complain though. I spent another day making good beer, so what is there to complain about? I just wish I could figure out what happened.

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Old 01-13-2014, 09:52 PM   #2
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I would question your grain measurements.

Occasionally I will lose track (not drinking either) and have that moment when I realized I lost track. I weigh out 2lbs at a time, after doing it 5-10 times it gets confusing. "Did I say 14 lbs after I added the last 2 to the grinder or before?".

Probably could have diluted it and adjusted hop additions accordingly, but who's go time for that?

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Old 01-13-2014, 10:33 PM   #3
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It is possible that I added 4 pounds of US Pale instead of 2. I remember while grinding it, wondering if I did that? I am assuming that is what happened. I never dilute, and I'm not too worried about the hop yield--until I redo the batch later. Sometimes these things happen and you end up liking it. It will be good no matter, so I am not going to sweat it.

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Old 01-13-2014, 10:38 PM   #4
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Agreed. I did the same thing last week. I just let it ride. Less stress = better.

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