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Old 07-07-2013, 01:54 PM   #1
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Default Great efficiency!!.... But I have an important / URGENT question

Did my first batch since acquiring a MM2. Crush looked good and resulting mash efficiency was 83.7%. Yeah me!

Problem is that the recipe was geared towards getting around 70% (like previous batches)
So after plugging numbers into BS, I am going to end up with a beer that is estimated to be 6.8% abv (intended to be 5.5%)
So with 10 minutes left in the boil, I am considering topping off with enough water to dilute it back to 5.5%

Can ( and should I ) do this???

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Old 07-07-2013, 01:57 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewkinger View Post
Did my first batch since acquiring a MM2. Crush looked good and resulting mash efficiency was 83.7%. Yeah me!

Problem is that the recipe was geared towards getting around 70% (like previous batches)
So after plugging numbers into BS, I am going to end up with a beer that is estimated to be 6.8% abv (intended to be 5.5%)
So with 10 minutes left in the boil, I am considering topping off with enough water to dilute it back to 5.5%

Can ( and should I ) do this???
You can, just like those old extract batches we used to do! How much would that change your final volume? As in, will it fit in the fermenter w/o too much/ too little headspace? You could always split the difference and take it to about 6%...
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:58 PM   #3
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I wouldn't top off with more water. Unless your fermenting vessel is large enough to handle the extra volume at least. IMO, better off just letting this one ferment and have a bigger version than you intended. Brew a few more batches to get a solid take on your new efficiency level and you'll be able to better formulate what you'll get.

Also, if you had a refractometer, you could have checked the gravity of the first wort to see what you were looking at.

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Old 07-07-2013, 02:01 PM   #4
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I wouldn't top off with more water. Unless your fermenting vessel is large enough to handle the extra volume at least. IMO, better off just letting this one ferment and have a bigger version than you intended. Brew a few more batches to get a solid take on your new efficiency level and you'll be able to better formulate what you'll get.

Also, if you had a refractometer, you could have checked the gravity of the first wort to see what you were looking at.
Thanks for the advice. So help me out a little more...
I do have a refractometer and first runnings were 1.084
(which seemed right on track since I had gotten that the last time I did this)
What should that reading have "clued" me to?
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SECONDARY-Dry-hopping: Regal Pale Ale
SECONDARY-Dry-hopping: SNPA Clone
SECONDARY: Unknown Ale (Partigyle from RPA and SNPA)
BOTTLED / CONDITIONING: Bass Ale Clone
Conditioning and Drinking: MO-Fuggle SMaSH
Conditioning and Drinking: MO-Willamette
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:03 PM   #5
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I am at the end of the boil, so after cooling, I will know better how much I have to go into fermenter.

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SECONDARY-Dry-hopping: SNPA Clone
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BOTTLED / CONDITIONING: Bass Ale Clone
Conditioning and Drinking: MO-Fuggle SMaSH
Conditioning and Drinking: MO-Willamette
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:06 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice. So help me out a little more...
I do have a refractometer and first runnings were 1.084
(which seemed right on track since I had gotten that the last time I did this)
What should that reading have "clued" me to?
Did you take a read on the sparge runnings? You probably extracted more than you expected there due to the better crush.

Unless I'm working on a bigger brew, I don't take any readings until end of the boil. I could take more, but find I like having a bit more mystery (at this point in my brewing life at least) with how the batch will come out. I do have my setup dialed in fairly well, so there's not much of a shift from one batch to another (same recipe).

I have the MM2-2.0 and love it, BTW.
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:19 PM   #7
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Either way you go, unless you adjust(ed) your hops, your BU:GU ratio will be different than your planned beer. A good opportunity for experimenting, especially if it falls way out of style.

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Old 07-07-2013, 02:47 PM   #8
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Either way you go, unless you adjust(ed) your hops, your BU:GU ratio will be different than your planned beer. A good opportunity for experimenting, especially if it falls way out of style.
Not if you add water to get to your desired OG.

I had to do that when I got my new MLT. I had been at 68% efficiency for years, and then I got a new MLT. It had a whole new learning curve- but now I'm sitting at 75% efficiency all the time (with a greater efficiency for decoctions) so it's dependable.

I'd add water to get to my desired OG if I wanted a session beer and to have it the way I designed it.
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:06 PM   #9
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OG ended up at 1.060 and BS was looking for 1.054 and I put just a hair over 5gal into pail.
So....
I let it ride as is.
Will see what the FG is with this Wyeast American ale II

Also the first time I did a starter and swamp cooler.
This will be an experiment from start to finish, just the way my inner scientist likes it!
I will update when all is complete.
Thanks HBT!!

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SECONDARY-Dry-hopping: SNPA Clone
SECONDARY: Unknown Ale (Partigyle from RPA and SNPA)
BOTTLED / CONDITIONING: Bass Ale Clone
Conditioning and Drinking: MO-Fuggle SMaSH
Conditioning and Drinking: MO-Willamette
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:45 PM   #10
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As I am sitting here and plugging in final numbers, etc... into BeerSmith, I have had time to contemplate and think about everything.

I have to consider today as though it was my first AG in some regards.
Addition of new equipment: This was 1st batch using my MM2 (.038") and the crush was good.

Addition of new method(s): With prior brews, I basically double batch sparged and had been focusing on stirring better and sparging with 170 degree water.
Today, as the first 2.25 gallon batch was "slowly" draining (basically a steady trickle), I decided to change it up a little bit.
I started adding the remaining 2.25 gal of sparge water slowly and steadily keeping a slight amount of water above the grain bed (fly sparge-ish??)

Today was also first time using a yeast starter that I made on Thursday night, cold crashed yesterday.

Also got the swamp cooler going for this batch, want to make sure that since I took the time to make the starter and make the yeast happy, I might as well keep em happy for the fermentation.

So it occurs to me that brew day today was a new beginning of sorts. Previous batches can be used as experience, but this batch sets a new benchmark and all future brews will be based on it.

On a funny note, this Wrinkled Kilt Irish Red ale has been "lucky" for me.
It was my first AG recipe back in January and it was very successful
(other than the addition of WY 1056 instead of the Notty that was intended, hence the "Wrinkled" Irish Red.)
Today was almost a repeat of success, just in a different way.

Cheers!

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PRIMARY: Dirty Blonde
SECONDARY-Dry-hopping: Regal Pale Ale
SECONDARY-Dry-hopping: SNPA Clone
SECONDARY: Unknown Ale (Partigyle from RPA and SNPA)
BOTTLED / CONDITIONING: Bass Ale Clone
Conditioning and Drinking: MO-Fuggle SMaSH
Conditioning and Drinking: MO-Willamette
Do not mistake my kindness for weakness. I am kind to everyone, but when someone is unkind to me, weak is not what you will remember about me.

Last edited by brewkinger; 07-07-2013 at 04:48 PM. Reason: missing info
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