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Old 12-29-2011, 02:36 AM   #1
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Default First All Grain Batch - What went wrong?

I just completed my 1st AG batch (4th homebrew batch) and I completely missed my OG. I started with Northern Brewer's Surly Bender recipe with my new 10 gallon Igloo MLT with Northern Brewer false bottom. The recipe suggests an OG of 1.060 and I ended with 1.046. According to Beer Tools Pro this would suggests a efficiency of 70% given my grain bill.

I planned to batch sparge and used Beer Tools Pro to give me an idea of strike water and infusion temps (mash in and mash out). I missed my mash in temp (153) and ended up adding more water to mash in, 4.5 - 5 gallons instead of 4. I stirred every 15 minutes for 60 minutes and finished with a temp ranging from 148 - 150. My mash out required me to add way more water than planned, 2.5 - 3 gal versus the 2 planned. First running came out at 13 Brix (1.053) instead of the 1.060 with 4 gallons collected. I sparged once and collected 6.5 gallons reading 11.6 Brix. I boiled it down to around 5 gallons and ended with an OG of 1.046. What happened? I've been told my system should easily hit the 70% efficiency mark.

Thanks for your input.

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Old 12-29-2011, 02:41 AM   #2
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your system might hit 70% but it takes awhile to figure out how to work your system perfectly. the first few brews with mine I got anywhere from 78% to 62% efficiency. but now i have my methods down for my particular equipment and i know what to expect. your beer will be fine and you'll have your system down soon enough.

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Old 12-29-2011, 02:49 AM   #3
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It can be a variety of culprits. For a start, you might take a closer look at things like your mash pH and your grain-milling method. In any case, you'll probably still have a good beer, it'll just be more of a session style.

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Old 12-29-2011, 03:01 AM   #4
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Darn, I bought pH strips to check mash pH and i totally forgot to check. I used Ice Mountain Spring Water so i hoped i was starting with a decent water but the composition is not published precisely enough. At least i made beer.

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Old 12-29-2011, 03:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delucr View Post
I missed my mash in temp (153) and ended up adding more water to mash in, 4.5 - 5 gallons instead of 4.
153 was your rest temp? this is fine for now, should have left it...


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I stirred every 15 minutes for 60 minutes and finished with a temp ranging from 148 - 150.
Dont do that. stir for a sec, then close door and walk away. get ready for the boil...



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What happened?
Your a beginner


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Thanks for your input.
i bet the beer is awesome
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Old 12-29-2011, 05:24 AM   #6
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Nothing wrong with 70%, adjust your grain bill accordingly. There's a great article in Brew Magazine (Nov 2011) about no-sparge mashing and Jamil's 70% efficiency award winner.

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Old 12-29-2011, 05:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delucr View Post
The recipe suggests an OG of 1.060 and I ended with 1.046.

I planned to batch sparge and used Beer Tools Pro to give me an idea of strike water and infusion temps (mash in and mash out). I missed my mash in temp (153) and ended up adding more water to mash in, 4.5 - 5 gallons instead of 4. I stirred every 15 minutes for 60 minutes and finished with a temp ranging from 148 - 150. My mash out required me to add way more water than planned, 2.5 - 3 gal versus the 2 planned.
Quote:
What happened?
That might be what happened or at least contributed to it. You diluted it and your post-boil gravity was low. You added 2 gallons more water during your brew than you should have.
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Old 12-31-2011, 02:09 AM   #8
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RJS, the stir every 15 minutes was from "How to Brew". Do a lot of folks just leave it for the 60 minutes?

Helibrew, the 70% is what I needed to get to 1.060, instead I landed at 1.046, much lower than 70% efficiency.

Weizenwerks, I was curious about the dilution theory. A lot of people throw out the 1.25 qts/lb mash thickness but what would happen if I ended up with 2+ qts/lb thickness? Would you expect a lower OG?

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Old 12-31-2011, 02:33 AM   #9
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Did I miss your sharing the volume of wort that measured 1.046?

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Old 12-31-2011, 03:03 AM   #10
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I just brewed my 5th AG beer yesterday and I think I finally fixed my low OG problem. Perhaps this info will help you. They key to my success is patient sparging. Do not open the valve on your mash tun and allow the wort to rush out. A slow trickle is all you need. Simply ease the water in from the top and let it gently wash the sugars, etc down through the tun. This will take you at least thirty minutes. Also, don't stir the mix while sparging and don't let the grain become compacted. Good luck.

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