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Old 12-27-2011, 10:45 PM   #11
singram
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Way to be proactive! I got fooled my first 2 batches(at 6 now) till I read another thread on the subject. I think the biggest problem is that extract recipes(Brewers Best, at least) call for a partial boil of 2gals. Why not boil the full 5gals.? I assume its because they assume that,as a beginner, you dont have an adequate sized kettle to account for boil-overs?

Further research tells me that full boils are superior when extract brewing, and thus would eliminate the need for top-off, giving you an accurate OG, correct? I've also read posts mentioning negative issues with steeping specialty grains in a full boil. Is this an accurate concern? Hopefully I didnt derail the subject too much

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Old 12-27-2011, 11:33 PM   #12
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This might be a stupid question, but when mixing it up afterwards could you use one of those mixers for speckle and a drill?

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Old 12-27-2011, 11:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by singram
Way to be proactive! I got fooled my first 2 batches(at 6 now) till I read another thread on the subject. I think the biggest problem is that extract recipes(Brewers Best, at least) call for a partial boil of 2gals. Why not boil the full 5gals.? I assume its because they assume that,as a beginner, you dont have an adequate sized kettle to account for boil-overs?

Further research tells me that full boils are superior when extract brewing, and thus would eliminate the need for top-off, giving you an accurate OG, correct? I've also read posts mentioning negative issues with steeping specialty grains in a full boil. Is this an accurate concern? Hopefully I didnt derail the subject too much
I have the same questions. I would much rather do a full boil.
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Old 12-28-2011, 02:19 AM   #14
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Thanks, Rev, my first brew day was with a friend and he was confused by this very issue. A google search brought me here for the answer and I've been a lurker and contributor ever since. It's one of those first hurdles for everyone. Just remember, extract brewers, if your volume and amount of extract is correct, your OG should be spot on.

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Old 12-28-2011, 01:49 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by feelinhopy View Post
This might be a stupid question, but when mixing it up afterwards could you use one of those mixers for speckle and a drill?
You could, but I would not recommend it. You have no idea what may be on the drill or mixer, or what will surly land in the fermenter. I put the lid on and shake the heck out of it, after just dumping the wort in the bucket. Remove the lid and pitch the yeast on top of all the nice bubbles. Cheers
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:49 PM   #16
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I consistently have this problem. For my last two batches I poured the cooled wort back and forth a half dozen times from one fermentation bucket to another from a pretty decent height in order to aerate and mix it. I have a really hard time understanding how the 3 post boil gallons weren't well mixed with the 2 additional gallons of cold water. There is a very substantial amount of foam created in the process, usually up to the top of the 6.5 gallon fermenters that I use. Could the foam be partially to blame for my measurement problems? I am using a wine thief to take my sample which means that it is coming from near the bottom, but for a 1.063 SG beer I measured 1.072 and for a 1.077 SG beer I measured 1.084. I'm sure the software is right, but I'm concerned that when I switch to AG or PM that I'll just have no idea what is going on.

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Old 02-03-2012, 04:15 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by AnthonyCB View Post
I consistently have this problem. For my last two batches I poured the cooled wort back and forth a half dozen times from one fermentation bucket to another from a pretty decent height in order to aerate and mix it. I have a really hard time understanding how the 3 post boil gallons weren't well mixed with the 2 additional gallons of cold water. There is a very substantial amount of foam created in the process, usually up to the top of the 6.5 gallon fermenters that I use. Could the foam be partially to blame for my measurement problems? I am using a wine thief to take my sample which means that it is coming from near the bottom, but for a 1.063 SG beer I measured 1.072 and for a 1.077 SG beer I measured 1.084. I'm sure the software is right, but I'm concerned that when I switch to AG or PM that I'll just have no idea what is going on.
How sure are you that you have exactly 3 gallons of post-boil wort? If you had a higher boil off rate than you expected, you could end up with a higher gravity wort than your software expected. Also, have you calibrated your hydrometer?
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Old 02-03-2012, 04:59 PM   #18
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So if you brew a full 5gals of wort do you need to worry about this. I know it is probably hard to do this with evaporation and what not, but to me the boil will help mix everything together. Just a thought, but yes great post!

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Old 02-03-2012, 05:19 PM   #19
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Hey thanks for heads up Revvy, I've brewed a few batches now but my most recent was a simple Hefe and I came up way over the target OG. I was making a conscious effort to measure all my liquid amounts at various points (partly since I just picked up BrewSmith and wanted to dial in my boil off numbers). So I was having trouble figuring out the discrepancy. Anyhow this could very well explain the issue the only other explanation was the bulk LME I bought was misweighed (I didn't weigh it I just assumed the LHBS had it right) any somehow they gave me almost a pound extra LME.

One thing I did differently this time which likely added to this effect is to top off as opposed to having my water already in the bucket and adding wort to that, which I had done on my first couple of batches. So I wasn't particularly worried just confused, but I think this explains it pretty well.

So lesson for the future stir more once I add wort.
So I wanted to test exactly how much this could potentially effect my readings. The next beer I brewed I treated the same as I had with the hefe I topped off my concentrated postboil wort with water and stired a bit (about as much as I had been previously).

I took a reading from the top half with a thief and from the bottom via the bucket spigot. My expected OG was ~1.070 from the top I got 1.051 and from the bottom I got 1.090.

I mixed the batch again but this time vigorously and throughly, again took two readings. This time both gave the same reading 1.071 so leason learned mixing is very important if you want an acurate reading.

Of course I've now switched to full boils so for myself it might be a moot point.
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:50 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TTB-J View Post
How sure are you that you have exactly 3 gallons of post-boil wort? If you had a higher boil off rate than you expected, you could end up with a higher gravity wort than your software expected. Also, have you calibrated your hydrometer?
I have two True Brew 6.5 gallon buckets that are marked from 2 to 5 gallons at half gallon increments, so if the markings are good my measurements are good. The volumes certainly seem in the ballpark of what I would expect, but I haven't actually calibrated the buckets. I have calibrated my hydrometer, but it's certainly within a .001 as far as I can tell.

As I have said, I'm not so concerned now that I'm doing extract brews, but I anticipate doing a BIAB brew in the next month or so and don't have a refractometer or any expectations about what sort of efficiency I will get.

I'll try taking a top sample as well to see if it's a function of poor mixing or if my wort seems homogeneously out of whack.

Thanks,

Anthony
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