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Old 04-04-2009, 05:58 AM   #1
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Default So why did this happen?

This is my first all grain...11#' 2 row, .5 # crystal 10L, .5 # crystal 40L., 1 # carapils. Strike water temp. 167F at mash in...rested in at 153F to 150F for 60 min. I collected 3 gal. first runnings. and continued to sparge until about 6.5 gal, wort volume. got a 1.050 reading on that after mixing it up. Boiled down for 60 min. Came up short on fermenter volume by about 1.5 gal.s Had to add water to get to the five gal. mark. That O. G. came in at 1.050. I wanted a bigger beer. Is this a typical result from the before mentioned?
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Old 04-04-2009, 09:37 AM   #2
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This is my first all grain...11#' 2 row, .5 # crystal 10L, .5 # crystal 40L., 1 # carapils. Strike water temp. 167F at mash in...rested in at 153F to 150F for 60 min. I collected 3 gal. first runnings. and continued to sparge until about 6.5 gal, wort volume. got a 1.050 reading on that after mixing it up. Boiled down for 60 min. Came up short on fermenter volume by about 1.5 gal.s Had to add water to get to the five gal. mark. That O. G. came in at 1.050. I wanted a bigger beer. Is this a typical result from the before mentioned?
Ill try to answer a few of your questions, if you measured your volumes accurately you lost 3 gallons in the boil and trasfer to your fermenter, that is a tremendous amount, how much wort was left in the boil kettle? if it was a small amount, your biggest loss was due to the boil, and or hop sludge, cold break, next time just collect more runnings from the sparge (1.5 gallons that you came up short) assuming all else equal you will hit your target of 5 gallons to the fermenter, the reason your og was low id you topped off the fermenter with water, diluting the wort, which is why your og was low. Hope this answers your questions, if not the answer you are looking for Im sure someone else will chime in, good luck on your nest brew.
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Old 04-04-2009, 01:29 PM   #3
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If all of your gravity reading were calculated with temp in mind, then it looks like you got about 60% efficiency, which isn't horrible. Did you use a recipe tool such as beersmith or promash? Did your LHBS grind your grain or did you do it yourself. If you did it yourself, have you adjusted the factory setting at all? Have you calibrated your hydrometer? Have you calibrated your thermometer? All of these factors can affect your efficiency. Grats on your first AG .
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Old 04-04-2009, 01:35 PM   #4
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It'll get better next time. Topping off with 1.5 gallons of water definitely would dilute your beer. If you got 1.050 after topping off, that means you had 1.071 before adding the water.

The first time, you are really dialing in your equipment. The boil off rate, amount lost to trub, the deadspace in your MLT, etc, are all variables that each brewer finds out for themselves. My boil off rate is much lower than many, but my deadspace is a bit more, for example.

You can sparge more to get more volume, if your boil off is going to be so high. I start with 6.5 gallons and end with 5.5 gallons in my case. Once you're more comfortable with your system, you can predict the results much more easily. So keep trying!
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Old 04-04-2009, 02:07 PM   #5
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Beersmith and apparently Promash are not Macintosh compatible. Bummer. I have two hydrometers and used them both just to be sure. I bought a new digital thermometer yesterday to use on this brew. How do you calibrate a hydrometer or thermometer? Also, my burners really rip. I watched this stuff boil down. Do I need to boil that high? My LHBS did the grind, it seemed fine to me. I know I could have kept sparging for more volume. But I think I started with 6.5 gal. + of pre-boil wort. Maybe I'm boiling too hot? Thanks...
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Old 04-04-2009, 03:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by dezul313 View Post
Beersmith and apparently Promash are not Macintosh compatible. Bummer. I have two hydrometers and used them both just to be sure. I bought a new digital thermometer yesterday to use on this brew. How do you calibrate a hydrometer or thermometer? Also, my burners really rip. I watched this stuff boil down. Do I need to boil that high? My LHBS did the grind, it seemed fine to me. I know I could have kept sparging for more volume. But I think I started with 6.5 gal. + of pre-boil wort. Maybe I'm boiling too hot? Thanks...
Try BeerTools Pro for iMac. I have it and it is great!
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Old 04-04-2009, 03:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dezul313 View Post
Beersmith and apparently Promash are not Macintosh compatible. Bummer. I have two hydrometers and used them both just to be sure. I bought a new digital thermometer yesterday to use on this brew. How do you calibrate a hydrometer or thermometer? Also, my burners really rip. I watched this stuff boil down. Do I need to boil that high? My LHBS did the grind, it seemed fine to me. I know I could have kept sparging for more volume. But I think I started with 6.5 gal. + of pre-boil wort. Maybe I'm boiling too hot? Thanks...
You can test your hydrometer in 60 degree distilled water and make sure it reads 1.000. Also, when you take your hydrometer samples, you have to cool them down to under 90 degrees (I use a tall, thin pitcher of ice water to cool the sample) because the correction tables over 90 degrees are notoriously inaccurate.

You need a rolling boil. You probably don't need to boil off as much as you did, but if you start with 7.25 gallons of wort and boil fairly hard, you should be much closer to about 5 gallons in the fermenter. You don't need to boil that hard- just a nice rolling boil will do it (as well as save a little fuel).
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