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Old 09-07-2012, 02:26 PM   #1
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Default all grain gone wrong

I tried doing an all-grain recipe with 6lbs of red wheat, 1lb torrified wheat, and 5lbs of 2 row.

I tried doing it in my 6 gallon pot, in a mesh bag. it was messy but I was able to keep the temp pretty close to 155 for an hour, I then sparged by taking 2 gallons of 168 degree water and poured over grains on a large stainer.

I know this isn't the perferred method but I tried to do it with the materials at hand. I had to add about 2 gallons of water by the end of the boil to get the 5 gallons i wanted. Put lid on top and shook the hell out of it and immediatley took a gravity sample and added yeast. Then took reading of sample and It was very low at 1.03 my aim was 1.06.

I added about 34 ibu of bitterness to it so I'm worried with that low of a reading it going to be too bitter. when I opened it up after I shook the hell out of it there was a large layer of foam on top when I took my reading Because I added a lot of oxygen could that have possibly affected my reading?

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Old 09-07-2012, 02:58 PM   #2
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My questions would be how much water did you use? Do you know the boil off rate with your system? Did You stir the mash really good making sure there were no dough balls in the middle? Your beer will be more bitter with that low of gravity

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Old 09-07-2012, 04:37 PM   #3
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Did you just shake it, or did you stir it completely? There are about 1,000 threads on low OG readings because folks didn't thoroughly stir after adding the regular water and when they take the reading, they're measuring too much water and not enough of the wort.

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Old 09-07-2012, 05:01 PM   #4
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I think you just didn't use enough water. Do you know what your strike volume was? A good rule of thumb is 1.25 - 1.5 quarts per pound of grain. Given the limited size of your vessel I might go with the 1.25. That would be 3.75 gallons at dough-in. The grain is going to absorb about a pint (1/8 gal) per pound so your first runnings should yield 2.25 gallons. Your sparge volume would be the difference between that volume and your pre-boil volume, if you are boiling in the 6 gal pot I'd have a pre-boil volume of maybe 5.5 gals, that won't leave you much space for boil overs so keep an eye on it. Your sparge volume would be 3.25 gallons. Your post boil volume will only be around 4.25 - 4.5 gallons though.

I think your efficiency was low given the small sparge volume and a lot of the sugars were left on the grist.

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Old 09-07-2012, 05:12 PM   #5
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So much to learn....so much to learn... great post naiek

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Old 09-07-2012, 05:36 PM   #6
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Thks for the help, I didn't stir it but I did shake the hell out of it so I'm pretty sure it was mixed well, but like you said, I think I didn't use enough water at the beginning.

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Old 09-07-2012, 05:59 PM   #7
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Did you just shake it, or did you stir it completely? There are about 1,000 threads on low OG readings because folks didn't thoroughly stir after adding the regular water and when they take the reading, they're measuring too much water and not enough of the wort.
Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. 2 gal is a good amount of top up water and just shaking it probably didn't mix it in all the way.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:21 PM   #8
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nah I put in about 1 gallon in first in the fermenting bucket, then added wort which was about 3.5 gallons then topped off with .65 gallons, put the lid back on and rocked the hell out of it, so much so that there was prob a good two inches of foam, so i think its mixed in pretty well. the sample test was a bit bitter and the color was a bit too light, but it didn't taste bad, hopefully it will turn out ok, or should I chuck it and start a new batch?

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Old 09-07-2012, 07:58 PM   #9
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Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. 2 gal is a good amount of top up water and just shaking it probably didn't mix it in all the way.
This. Virtually impossible to fully mix in that much top off water via shaking alone. I'd be willing to bet that if you took three readings - top of the fermenter, middle, and bottom - you'd get three different readings.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:05 PM   #10
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nah I put in about 1 gallon in first in the fermenting bucket, then added wort which was about 3.5 gallons then topped off with .65 gallons, put the lid back on and rocked the hell out of it, so much so that there was prob a good two inches of foam, so i think its mixed in pretty well. the sample test was a bit bitter and the color was a bit too light, but it didn't taste bad, hopefully it will turn out ok, or should I chuck it and start a new batch?
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This. Virtually impossible to fully mix in that much top off water via shaking alone. I'd be willing to bet that if you took three readings - top of the fermenter, middle, and bottom - you'd get three different readings.
^that.

But don't toss the batch, it's beer yo!!
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can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
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it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
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