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Old 02-05-2012, 07:23 AM   #1
AgentHubcap
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Default First all-grain brew

I brewed my first all grain today, and everything went well, except I got really poor efficiency. It worked out to around 63%, so I'm a bit stumped as to what went wrong.

Here's my recipe:

5.9 lbs Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM)
2.1 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) UK (1.0 SRM)
1.5 lbs Honey Malt (25.0 SRM)
1.5 lbs Clover Honey (flame out)
1.0 oz Cascade (60 mins)
0.5 oz Cascade (10 mins)
0.5 oz Cascade (0 mins)

Estimated OG was 1.061, but I only managed 1.052

I did a BIAB with 5 gallons at 150 F for an hour. Since I was using my stove top, I kept the burner on the lowest setting, and that kept the temp rock solid.

After an hour, I pulled the bag, and squeezed it as best I could, but I'm sure there was a bit more to give. I also did a dunk sparge, and that came out much lighter in color.

Then I boiled for 60 mins, and chilled using an ice bath, and ice bags (sterilized ice in a sterilized ziplock).

I'm used to not hitting my OG due to the need to add top-off water in an extract brew, but I'm pretty sure that all-grain is different.

Anyone have any ideas as to why I would get such a low OG?



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Old 02-05-2012, 08:25 AM   #2
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After more research, I think I should have mashed out at 168 for 10 minutes before pulling the bag. Would that explain the huge drop in SG?



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Old 02-05-2012, 10:22 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AgentHubcap View Post
After an hour, I pulled the bag, and squeezed it as best I could, but I'm sure there was a bit more to give. I also did a dunk sparge, and that came out much lighter in color.
Im new myself so I may not be 100% correct but I was under the impression that your not supposed to squeeze your grain bag as it will release bad flavors.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:41 AM   #4
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I don't see anything wrong with your recipe. The mash out might of helped a little bit. Eventually, as you get to know your specific equipment, your efficiency will improve.

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Old 02-05-2012, 10:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goaliemanpat

Im new myself so I may not be 100% correct but I was under the impression that your not supposed to squeeze your grain bag as it will release bad flavors.
That is under review I believe. From what I read, squeezing your grain is a myth. That being said, I don't do it. I just got a new mash tun, and wroth it came a definite increase on efficiency. I think 63% is okay for your first batch. I was getting terrible effiency when I first started AG. If you can, fly sparge. Make sure you hit your mash temps, mash out will help out with eff. Also, try and make sure you're hitting all your water volumes.

This is what I got to offer lol.
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Originally Posted by cvstrat

Maybe if your boil kettle was a sheet pan, and your heat source was satan's a**hole, then you could possibly boil off 60 percent of your batch in an hour.
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:01 AM   #6
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For clarity's sake: Did you top off?

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Old 02-05-2012, 11:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Anyone have any ideas as to why I would get such a low OG?
Grains not milled fine enough.

Grains and water not mixed well enough.

Water with not enough Calcium content.

Insufficient runoff leaving converted sugars behind.
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:40 PM   #8
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"Grains not milled fine enough."

This is something that I would consider, BIAB generally requires a finer crush. I have read that some people have triple milled grain.

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Old 02-05-2012, 12:50 PM   #9
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When you do a brew in a bag, you stir your grains in really well, put the cover on and then insulate the pot to keep the temperature steady. If your grains are milled fine enough most if not all your conversion happens pretty fast so if you lose a couple degrees over the course of an hour it will be no big deal.

When you add heat to the bottom you create a different situation. The grain in the bag doesn't let the water circulate so you get stratification and the bottom gets hotter than you would think unless you stir constantly. With this in mind, you may have gotten the grain near the bottom way too hot while the grain where your thermometer was perfect temperature and those bottom grains may have had the enzymes denatured which stopped the conversion. That would give you your low efficiency.

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Old 02-05-2012, 01:04 PM   #10
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not enough info here. You started with 5 gallons preboil? Finished with 5 gallons in the pot? In the fermenter? You say you did a dunk sparge. Volume? Temp? You need to take good notes so you can deal in your equipment and figures. When you are calculating stuff, you gotta have info, baby. How did you come up with your own efficiency figure?



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Last edited by tektonjp; 02-05-2012 at 01:09 PM. Reason: just one more thing.....
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