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Old 06-19-2007, 05:50 AM   #1
bigben
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Default Yay...brewed first Mini-Mash. Only missed OG my .2 !!!!!

wtf...o well. It's my first mini mash and the OG read 1.36. The recipe calls for 1.56. I hope my hydrometer is broke. O well, at least I got to drink a few sam adams boston ales.

Next batch I make I am definitely getting a cooler. My freakin mash temps were all over the place..which is why my OG is low I guess. Now the only question is...do I go all grain and get a 10 gal cooler + turkey fryer set or, just get a 3-5gallon cooler for some more mini mashes....

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Old 06-19-2007, 05:58 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigben
Now the only question is...do I go all grain and get a 10 gal cooler + turkey fryer set or, just get a 3-5gallon cooler for some more mini mashes....
If you're thinking about the 5gal round cooler. Spend a few bucks more for the 10gal. When you go all grain, no anxieties should you do a big beer. 5 gal coolers at Lowes were $23. 10 gal at HD were$39. You'll feel like a pro with those big ugly orange barrels!
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Old 06-19-2007, 05:58 AM   #3
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what was the recipe? Off by 0.2 is alot.

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Old 06-19-2007, 01:06 PM   #4
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I'm guessing you mean 1.036 and 1.056 and that you were off by 0.02 - in which case, I agree with Brewsmith, that's way off - you're only at less than 65% of your target gravity.

What % of your recipe was grain, vs. extract? In my case, I only mash about 3 pounds of grain so for many beers I couldn't miss my OG by that much even if I forgot the mash and only used the extract called for in the recipe. So I'm guessing that the grain was a more significant part of your recipe?

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Old 06-19-2007, 02:01 PM   #5
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Yes, sorry... .02 off.

4 lbs of grain and 4 lbs of extract. I dont know if I had enough mash water either. My grains didn't look fully submerged, so I had to add more water...which brought the temp down, and started my temperature roller coaster. They may have been clumped together too.

So you're saying that even if you left out the grains your OG wouldn't be .02 off? What the heck could it be then???!!!

O and about the cooler...I definitely want a 10 gallon. But if Im going to do more mini mashes, I've read that the 10 gallons are too big and will cause a shallow grain bed or something.

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Old 06-19-2007, 02:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigben
So you're saying that even if you left out the grains your OG wouldn't be .02 off? What the heck could it be then???!!!
With 3 pounds of grain and like 5-6 pounds of extract, the grains are contributing less than 40% of the OG, so yeah, even if I left them completely out, I'd still be at more than 60% of my target OG.

Since you are using more grain and less extract than I do, your mashing does have more of an effect on your OG. Did you take any measurements of the specific gravity of the wort you got from mashing (prior to adding any extract)?

Unless you forgot to add a couple of pounds of extract or something, it seems like you need to check typical mash problems. I'm no expert here, but I'd suggest: making sure your grain is properly crushed, using a good mash schedule (temperatures and water volumes), making sure the mash is thoroughly mixed, etc.
It's probably not a bad idea to take a SG reading of the wort that you get from the mash, to make sure you're actually extracting something, and I also like to do the iodine test to see if the mashing process actually worked (starch converted to sugar). Tasting that wort is also a simple sanity check - it should be sweet, and not too watery.

I've got a little documentation of my first partial mash, which may give you something to compare to:
http://eegeek.net/content/view/72/39/
The wort I collected after the mash was 1.076 SG and after sparge was 1.068, tasted sweet, and showed no starches with the iodine test
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Old 06-19-2007, 02:56 PM   #7
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Thanks for the help.

I'm pretty sure my mash sucked. O well...the beer should still taste good right? Just won't be as strong alcohol wise??? I hope.

I think Im definitely getting a 5 gal cooler for my next mini-mash. That way I can be sure the grains are not clumped and I can hit my temps a lot better.

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Old 06-19-2007, 03:30 PM   #8
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What style is the beer? 1.036 is still in the 'normal' range where people intentionally set their OG for certain styles, just today I saw someone asking about an english bitter they were making with an OG of 1.035.

I'd expect it to be pretty light, but will probably come out fine - I'd say RDWHAHB!

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Old 06-19-2007, 03:38 PM   #9
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My last batch was an ordinary bitter with an OG of 1.039. There's nothing wrong with lower gravity beers, and even if it's not what you expected to make it'll still be drinkable. Alcohol content and body will be lower, but it's still beer.

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Old 06-19-2007, 03:43 PM   #10
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I assume that if you are looking to buy a turkey fryer you didn't do a full boil. So you topped up with water right? If you took the hydrometer reading without mixing that really well that can lead to low OG readings (the heavier wort sinks to the bottom).

Depending on what type of extract (LME v. DME), you could get almost 1.036 from the extract alone. I am sure you got some sugar from the malt. I think you should re-guess your OG by taking the FG and back-calculating using the yeast average attenuation, I think you will see it is higher. Also, as suggested before, next time take a hydrometer reading of the total wort you get from the grain before you add the extract, that along with the volume will tell you your efficiency.

Any way, I predict good beer.

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