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Old 05-22-2009, 02:20 AM   #1
paradoc
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Default 1st all grain - disaster! Can it be saved?

Greetings,

The wort is cooling from my first all grain batch, and I'm bummed! It did not go as planned. Can it be saved??

Recipe is for a Double IPA as follows:

14 lbs 2 row malt
0.75 lb Carmel 60L
0.5 lb Victory Malt
0.25 US Aromatic Malt

Predicted preboil gravity: 1.061
Actual preboil gravity: 1.038
Predicted original gravity: 1.072
Actual orignal gravity: 1.042

I mashed at 152 and was only 1 degree off. I didn't lose any heat during the 60 minute mash. I mashed in with 1.25 quarts/pound. I collected 2.5 gallons of 1st runnings. I did 2 batch sparges at 170 degrees with 2 gallons each, for a total preboil volume of 6.5 gallons. My post boil volume was 5 gallons. I extended my boil by 20 minutes figuring that would help me get closer to my predicted OG... what I probably should have done was added some DME at knockout when I realized how far off I was on my preboil gravity... but I didn't. I thought the longer boil might get me there.

So... now the wort is cooling in the fermenter before I pitch. So my questions are:

1) Any thoughts on what I did wrong? I think one problem was the crush from the mail order brew shop sucked. Does anything else explain my poor efficiency?

2) Can I do anything to save it at this point? I've got some corn sugar around... I could add some of that to the wort to try and get the gravity higher... or, I can just chalk it up to experience, pitch my yeast, and enjoy a very light IPA :-)

Cheers!
Jim

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Old 05-22-2009, 02:28 AM   #2
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You could add corn sugar but DME would be better. I have added extract the day after pitching so if you can get some Friday I think it would be OK. I don't know your hopping schedule but if highly hopped then the addition would benefit the beer to get it more in balance with the gravity.

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Old 05-22-2009, 02:32 AM   #3
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I've got some LME, but not DME. Can I add LME to cooled wort? I'm kicking myself for not adding it at the end of the boil so it would pasturize.

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Old 05-22-2009, 02:59 AM   #4
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I would personally leave as is and skimp on the dry hopping.
You can boil up some LME in high concentration and add it to primary.

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Old 05-22-2009, 03:11 AM   #5
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Depends on how much your heart was set on the full IPA vs a lighter one. Also depends how much room you have in the carboy for additional volume.
You can add the LME after boiling it. As Spludge stated your concentration of liquid would have to be pretty high to keep the additional liquid volume in check.
I suppose you could pull some of your wort out of the fermentor and boil additional LME right into the original wort as well. Obviously the more you play with the wort the higher your risk of contamination.

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Old 05-22-2009, 03:37 AM   #6
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Better just let this one fly, and cut your losses... which aren't really that much-- you can still make a good beer just adjust hops accordingly, and learn from your mistakes. If it is the crush and this remains a problem, you could save up and get a grain crusher. Hope all works out for you no matter what you do! Just don't monkey with it too much and you can salvage a fine beer from this, IMO. Good luck.

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Old 05-22-2009, 04:27 AM   #7
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Well... I went ahead and did a mini-boil with 3 lbs of LME and added it. We will see how it goes. My OG is now 1.052, so it is closer to style (and my taste buds preferences). I'll learn from it either way! I'm getting a refractometer, so should be easier for me to check my preboil gravity, and adjust my additions according in the future.

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Old 05-22-2009, 04:41 AM   #8
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Living dangerously huh? I might have been tempted to do the same thing. I do love a full bodied IPA. I will be moving toward a full grain batch very soon and definitely will have a couple lbs of DME on hand for late boill addition in case I flub my efficiency.

Good Luck
Cheers.

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Old 05-22-2009, 12:05 PM   #9
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I'd have left it, myself. Although I do love an extra extra pale ale. For your first AG, your turnout is about typical for most people. Neo didn't jump across the buildings the first attempt, and no one gets good efficiency on their first AG batch.

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