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Old 04-25-2010, 03:14 AM   #1
gigapunk
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Default First All Grain, Low Original Specific Gravity

Well I just got done with my first all grain and I'm thinking about converting it to a partial grain by adding some DME, because my specific gravity came out to only 1.026

My recipe (for 2.5 gallons):

1 lb rye
.5 lb crystal 56L
4.5 lbs 2 row

mashed 90 min
steeped 60 min

hopping schedule:
1.0 oz northern brewer 60 minutes
> 1/2 oz Hallertau 15 minutes
1/2 oz Hallertau 5 minutes
then all steeped 10 min
< 1 oz Hallertau in Primary with < 1 oz light toast american oak chips

Shady/Sketchy stuff I did:

1) I put a package of dry yeast into 700 mL of boiled water/yeast nutrient this morning after it cooled to room temperature. And it was already pitched before I took my OG.

2) My thermometer was sitting on the side of my Mash pot and I moved it to the middle of the pot about half an hour into the mash. The temp instantly jumped from 154 to 172. Making me think that my temp was too high the entire first half hour. Did I kill the enzymes? I immediately dropped the temp to about 156 and continued there for another hour.

3) When all was said and done there was a bit less than 2 gallons. So I topped off the fermenter with about .75 gallons of filtered water before I took my original specific gravity reading.


I was reading my 'Joy of Homebrewing' and the only styles of beer it lists that have OG below 1.030 are light/diet lagers and Berliner Wheat beers... Eeek!

I have a bunch of Mutons Light DME. Should I boil some in water and dump it in after it cools off? If so how much DME in how much water? I was shooting for a spicy rye Ale influenced by some clone recipes I've seen for Sam Adams Boston Lager

Thanx guys!

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Old 04-25-2010, 03:29 AM   #2
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1lb of DME roughly adds a point to your gravity. With 1lb of rye, this should come out as a low alcohol rye ale. I assume when you say 60 minute steep, that's actually a 60 minute hop boil? It does sound like you need to work on your temperature readings first and foremost. 172 for the first 30 minutes might have denatured the enzymes (afterall, you "mashout" at those temps). Make sure your mash temp does not go above 158 for the mash. I've always been obsessive about this point, so I don't know if there's real bad effects with having a high temp that you bring down to the 150s. With your next batch, if you're sure you're mashing at the 153 range....if it still is having a low gravity, then crush of grain is one of the big factors for effeciency.

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Old 04-25-2010, 03:41 AM   #3
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Thanks for the fast reply,

I was obsessively watching the thermometer, and was freak'n out when just changing its position in the pot caused a 15 degree difference in temp reading.

So by "one point" do you mean that one pound of DME will raise me from a 1.026 to 1.036 in this 2.5 gallon batch?

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Old 04-25-2010, 03:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gigapunk View Post
So by "one point" do you mean that one pound of DME will raise me from a 1.026 to 1.036 in this 2.5 gallon batch?
Yes, but you know; actually, that's what I usually get for a 5 gallon batch. So I would think that you'd get almost 1.046 with a 2.5. This is just rough guessing without complicated beer calculation tools mind you

As far as the temperature difference....that's why I am sure to stir the whole mash well. Then I also will move my instant read thermometer around and take several readings to average. I used to also use 2 or 3 thermometers to average as well. Now I'm a bit more lazy having one thermometer that I trust the most. It doesn't hurt to be obsessive!
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Old 04-25-2010, 04:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davesrose View Post
Yes, but you know; actually, that's what I usually get for a 5 gallon batch. So I would think that you'd get almost 1.046 with a 2.5. This is just rough guessing without complicated beer calculation tools mind you

As far as the temperature difference....that's why I am sure to stir the whole mash well. Then I also will move my instant read thermometer around and take several readings to average. I used to also use 2 or 3 thermometers to average as well. Now I'm a bit more lazy having one thermometer that I trust the most. It doesn't hurt to be obsessive!
per the 'Joy of Homebrewing'.
Classic pale ale runs 1.044-1.056
Enlish Brown ale runs 1.040-1.050

So if one pound will put me at a 1.046 I think that would be about perfect for the style I was shooting for.

I know that rye doesn't have its own enzymes, but is it traditional to shoot for a lower SG with a rye?
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Old 04-25-2010, 04:29 AM   #6
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I know that rye doesn't have its own enzymes, but is it traditional to shoot for a lower SG with a rye?
Not necessarily. Rye just doesn't add much to the SG the way 2 row does, and can be a nice flavor for an amber ale. But I like making double IPAs with rye.
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Old 04-25-2010, 04:49 PM   #7
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I added about a pound of light DME. It's cooling now. I'll let yall know the new SG. For purposes of determining an accurate alcohol percentage from OG and FG, do I need to subtract a small amount from my OG to account for the yeast that's been growing for a day and a half? If so how much do I need to subtract from my OG?

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Old 04-25-2010, 06:16 PM   #8
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It only came up from 1.026 at zero hours, to 1.030 with the addition of ABOUT (had a small boil over) a pound of light DME at 16 hours. I should have taken another OG before adding the DME so I knew how much I came up. How much is that 1.026 likely to have dropped in 16 hours?

This is like a comedy of errors.

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Old 04-25-2010, 06:55 PM   #9
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Hmm,
I put your numbers into beersmith and it estimates your OG at 1.063. IBU's about 67. If you came up with 1.026 then it seems to me that the high mash temp may be the culprit.
You mashed for 90 minutes? That seems a bit long for me, I usually mash for 60 or less. In fact I do a starch conversion test at 45 minutes an if it's done then I mash-out.
After all is said you should have an interesting beer!
I hope it turns out OK and no matter what, just keep on brewing!
Good luck!

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Old 04-25-2010, 08:41 PM   #10
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1.063!

yeah I guess I missed the mark by a bit.

Here's a pic I took of my phony mash temp



I got this shaker for making protein shakes, it has a built in plastic mixing doo-dad worked great for aerating my yeast starter. But you better pop that lid every once in a while! I waited an hour or two to release the pressure once... and boom.



I've left the hydrometer in the tube since my last post and in the tube the SG has already droped from 1.030 to 1.025! That's only 2.5 hrs! The yeast activity in the tube is nuts! Tons of bubbles and foam. Neat to watch.

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