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Old 08-28-2011, 11:19 PM   #1
golphur
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Default Beer Alchemy

I am using Beer Alchemy and I am currently an Extract brewer.

Whenever I enter a recipe in Beer Alchemy I am never able to hit the projected gravity from the recipe. Not even close. My boil volumes are spot-on. What could be causing me to miss the gravity marks.

I brewed this weekend and the software said I should hit 1.075 and I only hit 1.064. This is pretty consistent. I never hit the mark and it's not even close. I also used the temp differentiation calculators to make up for calibration, wort temp, etc.

Anyone else having these issues with extract brews?

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Old 08-28-2011, 11:40 PM   #2
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Are you weighing your extract yourself, or trusting the packaging to be correct? You may not be adding as much extract as you think you are.

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Old 08-28-2011, 11:45 PM   #3
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I've been trusting the weights on the packaging.

I have been buying locally at my LHBS store. They are priced pretty high compared to what I see online, even with shipping. You're scaring me about the weight now. I think I'll give it a run on the scale next time I make a purchase. Good advice!

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Old 08-28-2011, 11:54 PM   #4
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No problem. I bet that's your issue. Unless they are selling some cheap extract that doesn't yield as much, its probably your weights.

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Old 08-28-2011, 11:57 PM   #5
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I'm planning to go all grain as soon as I build the mash/lauter tun and hopefully this won't be an issue any more.

I'll have new efficiency problems to deal with after that, lol.

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Old 08-29-2011, 10:11 PM   #6
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Are you doing partial boils? Maybe you dont have everything thoroughly mixed when you are taking the reading?

Also, what temp are you taking your reading at?

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Old 08-30-2011, 12:52 PM   #7
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No, I am doing full boils. I even go back into BA and add the actuals that I had on brew day. Actuals for boil volume before and after etc.

I enter in the gravity readings using actual temp and calibration temp from the hydrometer. I even used separate calculators with no change. Even the temp differential only makes a point or two difference in readings, not 8 or 10 points off like I am missing currently.

I am also steeping specialty grains before the boil. Maybe BA calculates the additional grains funny for steeping. I'll delete the steeped grains from the recipe and see if that puts the expected gravity down to what I am actually seeing in real life.

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Old 08-31-2011, 04:36 AM   #8
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I've used BA for a while now and found it to be accurate, that said I've only used it for all grain never for extract so I can't comment there. That said I would definitely weigh the grains out yourself as has been mentioned here. If you want to post your recipe file here I'll take a look at it as well.

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Old 09-10-2011, 10:32 PM   #9
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Thanks for the help. I couldn't see how to export a specific batch/recipe file. It would only let me export the entire database. Here is the text version of the recipe. Notice the expected OG is 1.085 and I only reached 1.064 @ 82 degrees calibrated at 60 degrees. Comes out to 1.067 OG. Not even close to the expected OG


Recipe: Sculpin - North Star IPA - DME Copy
Style: 14B-India Pale Ale(IPA)-American IPA

Recipe Overview

Wort Volume Before Boil: 6.50 US gals
Wort Volume After Boil: 5.25 US gals
Volume Transferred: 5.25 US gals
Water Added: 0.00 US gals
Volume At Pitching: 5.25 US gals
Final Batch Volume: 5.00 US gals
Expected Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.011 SG
Expected OG: 1.085 SG
Expected FG: 1.020 SG
Expected ABV: 8.7 %
Expected ABW: 6.8 %
Expected IBU (using Tinseth): 88.9
Expected Color: 7.0 SRM
Apparent Attenuation: 75.0 %
Mash Efficiency: 75.0 %
Boil Duration: 60.0 mins
Fermentation Temperature: 68 degF

Fermentables
US Caramel 10L Malt 1.25 lb (11.1 %) In Mash/Steeped
US Carapils Malt 1.00 lb (8.9 %) In Mash/Steeped
Belgian Caramel Vienna Malt 0.50 lb (4.4 %) In Mash/Steeped
Extract - Light Dried Malt Extract 8.50 lb (75.6 %) Start Of Boil

Hops
US Amarillo (5.0 % alpha) 1.00 oz Bagged Pellet Hops used In Mash
US Warrior (15.5 % alpha) 0.50 oz Bagged Pellet Hops used 60 Min From End
German Northern Brewer (8.0 % alpha) 0.50 oz Bagged Pellet Hops used 60 Min From End
NZ Pacific Hallertau (6.0 % alpha) 0.25 oz Bagged Pellet Hops used 60 Min From End
US Columbus(Tomahawk) (15.5 % alpha) 0.25 oz Bagged Pellet Hops used 60 Min From End
US Simcoe (13.0 % alpha) 1.00 oz Bagged Whole Hops used 30 Min From End
US Crystal (3.5 % alpha) 0.25 oz Bagged Pellet Hops used 30 Min From End
US Centennial (8.5 % alpha) 0.25 oz Bagged Pellet Hops used 30 Min From End
US Amarillo (5.0 % alpha) 1.00 oz Bagged Pellet Hops used At turn off
US Amarillo (5.0 % alpha) 2.00 oz Bagged Whole Hops used Dry-Hopped
US Simcoe (13.0 % alpha) 1.00 oz Bagged Whole Hops used Dry-Hopped

Other Ingredients
Whirlfloc Tablet 0.50 oz used In Boil
Polyclar 0.50 oz used In Fermenter

Yeast: DCL US-05 (formerly US-56) SafAle

Mash Schedule
Mash Type: Extract with Steeped Grains
Schedule Name: No Chosen Schedule

Recipe Notes

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Old 10-01-2011, 12:08 PM   #10
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Yeah, one downfall of BA is that you can't export a single batch, only the parent recipe. However, you CAN select that batch and select File >> Promote Batch to Recipe (CMD-R), then select that new recipe and export just that. It's a hack but it works.

As for the off readings you're getting, I dunno. I've used BA for almost two years now, and I haven't seen anything this far off. I enter in recipes from, say, BYO Magazine, and they hit the projected numbers from there to within a couple of points.

Try doing the above steps and post the recipe file. I'll see what I can come up with in the meantime.

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