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-   -   consistently low OG w/ mini mash (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/consistently-low-og-w-mini-mash-411604/)

JLivermore 05-18-2013 06:59 PM

consistently low OG w/ mini mash
 
Not sure what the problem is here. If I brew extract I hit very close to OG.

I've tried mini mash 4 or 5 times, the only difference being mashing the grains in the nylon sack longer (45 mins), then sparging - 1 quart per 2 lbs grain.

I've tried as the directions indicate -- pour 170 degree water over the grains, and the deathbrewer method, soaking the bag in the 170 degree sparge water.

Either way I'm usually a full point under OG. I got pretty close with a darker ale once. 3-4 attempts with a few different IPA recipes all too low...

Any ideas what I can do to get more accurate?

Captain Damage 05-18-2013 08:23 PM

1 quart per 2 lbs is a pretty thick mash. We usually do 1 to 1 quarts per pound, and thinner mashes are not detrimental. Also, you can squeeze the grain bag a little (not a double entendre :) ) to get a little more sugar out.

BlindFaith 05-18-2013 08:52 PM

I am AG only and have never mini mashed, but Capt. Damage is right; 1 qt per 2 lbs is very very thick. I usually shoot for 1.25-1.5 per lb. Like I said, I am not sure if the mini mash is any different, but I wouldn't think so. What are you mashing at?

chickypad 05-18-2013 11:40 PM

Agreed, mash thinner and use a big enough bag to make sure the grains are loose.

CA_Mouse 05-18-2013 11:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JLivermore (Post 5204385)
Not sure what the problem is here. If I brew extract I hit very close to OG.

I've tried mini mash 4 or 5 times, the only difference being mashing the grains in the nylon sack longer (45 mins), then sparging - 1 quart per 2 lbs grain.

I've tried as the directions indicate -- pour 170 degree water over the grains, and the deathbrewer method, soaking the bag in the 170 degree sparge water.

Either way I'm usually a full point under OG. I got pretty close with a darker ale once. 3-4 attempts with a few different IPA recipes all too low...

Any ideas what I can do to get more accurate?

One thing you don't state is if you are using LME/DME. If you aren't, then that would be the issue. If you can post your recipe, I'm sure we can point you in a better direction.

Mouse

gr8shandini 05-19-2013 05:15 AM

What do you mean by "a full point"? Most people refer to a "point" as the thousands place in SG. For example, a wort that clocked in at 1.055 would be referred to as "55 points." If you were expecting 1.055 and got 1.054, I'd call it a great success.

And as with the others, I'm confused about the amount of water you're using. Are you sparging with 1 quart / 2 lbs, or is that what you mashed in? If your initial water to grain ratio is very far from 1.25 to 2.0 quarts / lb, you might not be achieving full conversion. Ditto if you don't have enough base malt with the flaked barley, or oats, or whatever it is in your recipe that you need to mash.

Finally, it could also be that you're doing everything correctly and still have some variability in the final result. Accepting that means that you're just half a step away from all-grain brewing. After a couple batches, you'll be able to figure out what kind of efficiency to expect from your mash. And even then, you'll often miss by a few points, but you'll figure out how to make up for that in the boil. If you could be more specific, we could help point you in the right direction

chickypad 05-19-2013 06:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gr8shandini (Post 5205526)
What do you mean by "a full point"? Most people refer to a "point" as the thousands place in SG. For example, a wort that clocked in at 1.055 would be referred to as "55 points." If you were expecting 1.055 and got 1.054, I'd call it a great success.

Well that's a good question. I didn't catch that on the first read. If we're really talking one gravity point I guess we're all worried about nothing. :)

JLivermore 05-19-2013 11:52 AM

Interesting, the directions said 1 qt for 2 lbs but I will try ignoring that and using 1 qt per lb next time and see if it helps.

Point didn't make much sense, sorry about that.

If target OG was 1.065, I get 1.055.

Captain Damage 05-19-2013 12:15 PM

1 quart per pound is still a pretty thick mash. 1-1/3 quarts per pound seems to be about the average that I read here (it's also what I have Beer Smith set to). Traditionally, German mashes are often close to the 2 quarts per pound range. The Australian brew in a bag method calls for mashing with all of your water, including your sparge water.

ericbw 05-19-2013 12:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JLivermore
Interesting, the directions said 1 qt for 2 lbs but I will try ignoring that and using 1 qt per lb next time and see if it helps.

Point didn't make much sense, sorry about that.

If target OG was 1.065, I get 1.055.

Sounds like the directions got flipped around. Maybe they meant 2 Q water per 1 pound of grain?


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