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Old 02-03-2009, 09:35 PM   #11
PKsBrew
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I have been having the exact same problem. I steep my specialty grains in about 3 gal of water for 45 min at 150 deg. then add DME for boil. Once chilled I top off with preboiled water.
My thought are:
1) I should start using crushed grains for the steeping, in effect doing an oddball mash/sparge.
2) Wash (sparge) the grain bag with pre-boiled water once I remove the grains from the steeping pot.
3) I generally top off in fermenter to 5.5 gal. Next batch I think I will take gravity readings at 4.5, 5 and 5 gal to see where I actually hit the intended OG. Possibly I'm diluting my wort too much.
These are just my thoughts, obviously I have spent way to much time thinking about this.

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Old 02-03-2009, 11:18 PM   #12
ArcaneXor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CouchFarmer View Post

3.) Here's the outline for my latest, the Travelin Man Ale (details omitted because I'm not sure on the rules for posting someone else's recipe)-

Extract-
8 lbs Ultralight

Grains-
13 oz various grains

Hops
2.5 oz assorted hops.
Those ingredients should produce an OG anywhere from 1.058 to 1.061 OG in 5 gallons according to BeerSmith.

I'd reduce your boil volume slightly, or extend your boil duration so that you end up with 4.5 gallons into the fermenter. Then add top-off water until you hit the desired final gravity. You'll still be very close to a full boil that way (i.e. the difference in hop utilization should be very small), and while it sucks to end up with slightly less than 5 gallons, you'll end up with a better beer.
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Old 02-04-2009, 02:05 AM   #13
Fat Guy Brewing
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You should be steeping in about 1 gal./pound of grain. I tend to go over slightly so the grain bag is mostly underwater. By steeping I mean heat water to 150*, then put in your grains for about 30 minutes. Remove the gain bag, let it drip into the pot, then using a strainer to hold the grain bag and pour 170* water over it and into the pot (sparge). To whoever adds top-off water up to 5.5 gallons, thats too much. That's 10% extra water. I top-off to a little over 5 gallons, but not that much. Make sure you mix the wort good with a long handle spoon before taking your hydro readings.

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