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Old 01-31-2010, 11:33 PM   #1
ErikHoppy
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Default First Brew: Much lighter color and OG than expected...

Brewed for the first time today with my pops, his first time as well. Tried for a modified Irish Car Bomb Stout.

6# Light LME
1# Choco Malt
1# Crystal 60
8oz Flaked Oats
8oz Roasted Barley

1oz Fuggles @60min.

Nottingham Yeast


We steeped the grains at 155 degrees for 30 minutes, had a lovely aroma and nice dark color in the pot. Took it off the heat and added our LME, mixed it in and boiled vigorously for 60 minutes. Chilled it quickly in the snow, added cold water up to the 5 gallon mark, and pitched our yeast.

Only problem was, we lost some when we poured from the kettle to the bucket.

Then we took an OG reading, and the beer looked very light, much lighter in color and flavor than projected, and our OG reading was only 1.030.

I'm quite confused on what went wrong, as this was projected to come out as a very dark stout with an OG around 1.050.

Any thoughts? The only thing I can think of is that I didn't sparge the steeping grains, but I honestly did not think I would miss out on that many sugars by skipping the sparging.

The only other thing I can think of is that the bucket we have is a 6 gallon, and we inadvertently added an extra gallon of water... I should have checked before hand.

In any case, it had a good flavor, just was very weak. We'll see what happens!

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Old 01-31-2010, 11:53 PM   #2
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make sure its mixed around well and take another OG reading, if there was top off water sitting on top of the bucket your OG will read much lower.

As far as the color, that little bit of chocolate malt and crystal 60 probably isnt enough to bring 6lbs of light LME down to a stout color.

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Old 01-31-2010, 11:57 PM   #3
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make sure its mixed around well and take another OG reading, if there was top off water sitting on top of the bucket your OG will read much lower.

As far as the color, that little bit of chocolate malt and crystal 60 probably isnt enough to bring 6lbs of light LME down to a stout color.
That much chocolate malt, and roasted barley, should make your beer very dark. I use 12 ounces of chocolate malt and 8 ounces of roasted barley in my stout, and it's black!

It's possible that you watered down the beer a bit my adding an extra gallon of water, but it's also possible that it's just not mixed up that well. Even with stirring, the heavier wort that was boiled often sinks to the bottom of the carboy, and the lighter top up water doesn't mix that well. That could be why your reading is so low, and the color seems so light.
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:58 PM   #4
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Here's what Beer Calculus said...


67% 6 0 Light/Pale Malt Extract Syrup 36 5
11% 1 0 Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L 34 60
11% 1 0 Chocolate Malt 34 475
6% 0 8 Flaked Oats 33 2
6% 0 8 Roasted Barley 25 300

Batch size: 5.0 gallons edit
Original Gravity
1.060
(1.053 to 1.062)
Final Gravity
1.015
(1.013 to 1.016)
Color
45° SRM / 89° EBC
(Black)
Mash Efficiency ?
75% edit

hops
boil 60 mins 1.0 Fuggles pellet 4.5

Boil: 3.0 avg gallons for 60 minutes edit
Bitterness
4.5 HBU
11.0 IBU
ƒ: Tinseth edit
BU:GU
0.18

Alcohol
6.0% A.B.V.
4.7% A.B.W.
Calories
198 per 12 oz.

The lid's already on the bucket, in a closet. Is it okay to take it out to get another OG reading?

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Old 02-01-2010, 12:04 AM   #5
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I steeped the grains for 30 minutes at 155 degrees, but did not sparge at 170 like people suggest. My projected ABV was 6% so I intentionally didn't sparge in hopes that whatever extra sugars come out in sparging would be lost and my ABV would go down to 5-5.5%. However, now I'm looking at a projected 4% or so, and that's pretty disappointing.

EDIT: I just remembered that I think I did not ground the roasted barley, should I have? That could have been part of the problem with color/taste.

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Old 02-01-2010, 12:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikHoppy View Post
Here's what Beer Calculus said...


67% 6 0 Light/Pale Malt Extract Syrup 36 5
11% 1 0 Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L 34 60
11% 1 0 Chocolate Malt 34 475
6% 0 8 Flaked Oats 33 2
6% 0 8 Roasted Barley 25 300

Batch size: 5.0 gallons edit
Original Gravity
1.060
(1.053 to 1.062)
Final Gravity
1.015
(1.013 to 1.016)
Color
45° SRM / 89° EBC
(Black)
Mash Efficiency ?
75% edit

hops
boil 60 mins 1.0 Fuggles pellet 4.5

Boil: 3.0 avg gallons for 60 minutes edit
Bitterness
4.5 HBU
11.0 IBU
ƒ: Tinseth edit
BU:GU
0.18

Alcohol
6.0% A.B.V.
4.7% A.B.W.
Calories
198 per 12 oz.

The lid's already on the bucket, in a closet. Is it okay to take it out to get another OG reading?
I don't think you need to. I'd count on a very low efficiency, since you didn't "mash" the steeping grains, so you didn't get much if any fermentables out of it. You may have it set up as a partial mash, but it's not. It's "extract with steeping grains" since you didn't use any base malt to convert the oatmeal.

However, with 6 pounds of extract in 5 gallons of volume, you should get around 1.045 or so. I guess more important than the actual OG reading is the amount of water you actually added. If you topped up to 6 gallons, the OG would be in the area of 1.036.
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikHoppy View Post
I steeped the grains for 30 minutes at 155 degrees, but did not sparge at 170 like people suggest. My projected ABV was 6% so I intentionally didn't sparge in hopes that whatever extra sugars come out in sparging would be lost and my ABV would go down to 5-5.5%. However, now I'm looking at a projected 4% or so, and that's pretty disappointing.

EDIT: I just remembered that I think I did not ground the roasted barley, should I have? That could have been part of the problem with color/taste.
Steeping the grains won't gain you much in the way of sugars or fermentables regardless if you sparged or not. You need to use basemalt to convert the other malts/ingredients in a partial mash. The oatmeal wouldn't have converted, but you only used a few ounces anyway.

You can take another OG if you want to, but if you don't know the total volume in the fermenter, it probably won't help much anyway.

No matter what the OG is, it's a nice recipe, and it should make you a very nice flavorful stout. It's very similar to my oatmeal stout recipe, and I think it'll turn out very good!
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:16 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ErikHoppy View Post
EDIT: I just remembered that I think I did not ground the roasted barley, should I have? That could have been part of the problem with color/taste.
I was just about to ask if you crushed the grain. You should have. That accounts for the light color.
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:29 AM   #9
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First, it will be a great beer!

Topping off with water will drop your OG pretty quick of you overshoot. 1/2 gallon can make enough of a difference. Also, you really are going to get your fermentables only from the malt, not the steeping grains, as others here said.

I think your color could have been increased with crushed grains. You can use a rolling pin if needed if you are stepping next time.

My very first beer was a stout that turned out JUST like yours. It was different than I hoped, but very good!

This is all part of the process!

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Old 02-01-2010, 12:44 AM   #10
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Thanks for the replies!

I crushed the choco and crystal, but the flaked oats came next and I didn't have to crush those, so when I bagged my barley at the store, I totally forget to crush them. Ooops! So, that will probably account for the color.

I will hav to properly measure my buckets before my next attempt, as I'm fairly sure now that I added too much water.

In any case, it should be an exciting process to see it bubbling in the next few days and it'll still be a drinkable beer no doubt!

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