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Old 01-30-2012, 10:44 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by dcp27 View Post
yup, the closer to 60F (or whatever your hydrometer is calibrated to) the better. there is temperature corrections for higher, but once you get over 90F its not very accurate. under 80F is usually ok.

nope, it'll never be 100%. if its not listed, id assume its in the 65-75% range. it looks like that one is around 75% based on a quick check
But see, that's where I'm confused. So if I want to do this recipe, chances are (since I'm a noob), I'm not going to hit 75%....So....what efficiency should I be purchasing my grain bill based on? And then, let's say I actually DO hit 75%...Then what?
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:04 PM   #12
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for now, id just go with basing it on 75%. in small batches, you'll tend to be on the higher end, so even just starting you should be ok. for the first few times, it may be good to have a lil DME around to add in case you come up short. on the other hand, you could assume lower efficiency and just dilute if you go over.

you can take a pre-boil gravity to get an idea of how close you are to target and calculate (or ask HBT) how much to adjust (dilution or adding DME). for instance, in that dunkel the post-boil OG is 1.057. if your pre-boil volume was 2gals, you'd expect a pre-boil OG of about 1.029 ( OG1 * Vol1 = OG2 * Vol2).

btw, generally with batches using pilsner you'll want to boil for 90mins. pils produces more DMS (reminiscent of canned corn) than other grains.

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Old 01-30-2012, 11:20 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dcp27 View Post
for now, id just go with basing it on 75%. in small batches, you'll tend to be on the higher end, so even just starting you should be ok. for the first few times, it may be good to have a lil DME around to add in case you come up short. on the other hand, you could assume lower efficiency and just dilute if you go over.

you can take a pre-boil gravity to get an idea of how close you are to target and calculate (or ask HBT) how much to adjust (dilution or adding DME). for instance, in that dunkel the post-boil OG is 1.057. if your pre-boil volume was 2gals, you'd expect a pre-boil OG of about 1.029 ( OG1 * Vol1 = OG2 * Vol2).

btw, generally with batches using pilsner you'll want to boil for 90mins. pils produces more DMS (reminiscent of canned corn) than other grains.
So don't do a 60 minute boil as the recipe advises?
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:36 PM   #14
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since you're only doing a 1gal batch, its probably rolling at a high enough rate that 60mins will volatilize it all, but typically 90mins is done for batches involving pils malt.

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Old 01-30-2012, 11:47 PM   #15
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Thank you for all of your help, dcb. Unfortunately, I'm still thoroughly confused, and feel like I might just divide the recipe down to 1 gallon, buy that grain bill, and brew as I've been brewing. I don't really know what else to do

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Old 01-31-2012, 12:29 AM   #16
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sorry i wasnt able to clear that up any better for you. until you get a better idea of what you're producing for efficiencies there isn't much else you can do. id just keep doing what you're doing, but throw in some gravity readings so you can better track things.

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Old 01-31-2012, 12:54 AM   #17
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sorry i wasnt able to clear that up any better for you. until you get a better idea of what you're producing for efficiencies there isn't much else you can do. id just keep doing what you're doing, but throw in some gravity readings so you can better track things.
I'll do that. Can you please just advise me as to the best time to take the gravity readings? Before I top off the wort with extra water? After? Before the wort boil?

I'm going to take them and then use this calculator:
http://www.brewersfriend.com/hydrometer-temp/

Thanks...
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Old 01-31-2012, 01:01 AM   #18
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Before you top off with water for the OG (you can calculate the OG to the topped off amount). You can take the pre-boil gravity just before the boil or at the start. and the FG after 2+ weeks

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Old 01-31-2012, 01:09 AM   #19
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Before you top off with water for the OG (you can calculate the OG to the topped off amount). You can take the pre-boil gravity just before the boil or at the start. and the FG after 2+ weeks
I feel like an idiot, but what do you mean "before you top off with water" and then "you can calculate the OG to the topped off amount?"
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Old 01-31-2012, 01:39 AM   #20
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i mean if you were to add water to your wort after the boil, you should take your gravity first. water and wort is pretty difficult to mix well enough to get accurate gravity readings. you can then calculate what the full volumes OG would be. post-boil OG * post-boil volume / topped off volume = topped off gravity

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