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Old 08-10-2006, 05:23 PM   #1
Gabe
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I am not a happy brewer right now. I have tried to get my OG up for the last 4 brews that I have done and nothing seems to work. The last brew an expected OG of 1.087 came out 1.070. This is without a grain bag and sparging at 170 on the dot with more water than usuall. I am ready to get out of PM and buy everything necessary for a precise AG set up. My pot is only a 7 gal so will I need to upgrade this as well? Can you give me a list of equipment for this type of setup?. No more sticky LME for me please. Some how my efficiency is like 40 %. I think I am going to break my Hydrometer so I can't use it! It only makes me feel like seconed place. HELP

 
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Old 08-10-2006, 05:27 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gabe
...I think I am going to break my Hydrometer so I can't use it!...
DO IT!



I just want my beer to taste good..and it does! No hydrometer for me!
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Old 08-10-2006, 05:27 PM   #3
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Since AG is just mini-mashes grown large, I'm not convinced buying a lot of AG equipment is the solution. I've typically done better with partials than AG.
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Old 08-10-2006, 05:30 PM   #4
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Yes, you would need a larger brew pot for AG.

A typical pre-boil volume is 6.5-7 gallons (I usually colllect 7 gallons), so I think that would make 8 or 8.5 gallons just about the absolute minimum for a brew pot.

I use a 15.5 gal keggle and have actually boiled over a 7 gal boil once or twice.
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Old 08-10-2006, 05:30 PM   #5
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well you need a mash/lauter tun and a 10 gallon polarware pot with a spigot would be really nice. a chiller is pretty much required, too, and a sparge arm makes things really nice.

But maybe we could help you with your partial mash efficiency?

 
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Old 08-10-2006, 05:31 PM   #6
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And you think going AG is going to help your efficiency?

Exactly the opposite. You are in for a rude awakening the first time you get 70% and the next time you get 86% and you have no idea why. And thier are 100 variables as to what you did or didn't do differently from one time to the next.

Extract has a certain percentage OG dialed in. If you use the same (or similar) extract every time you should be able to dial in your OG perfectly almost every time.

I'd check other facets of your procedures before you make life more difficult by going AG. Are you positive your hydrometer is calibrated? Are you positive you are correcting for temperature when you take a reading?
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Old 08-10-2006, 05:34 PM   #7
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Yeah, efficiency is one of the big all-grain headaches. Just add some extra DME.

 
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Old 08-10-2006, 05:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cweston
Yes, you would need a larger brew pot for AG.

A typical pre-boil volume is 6.5-7 gallons (I usually colllect 7 gallons), so I think that would make 8 or 8.5 gallons just about the absolute minimum for a brew pot.

I use a 15.5 gal keggle and have actually boiled over a 7 gal boil once or twice.
See, I'm a dumbass, if that wasn't immediately obvious. I was stoked to find a 28-qt turkey fryer at a good price, but realized after I bought it (manager's special, don't think they'll take it back) that seven gallons is NOT enough to do a full boil. So, I'm going in one of two directions:

4 gallon AG batches (it's just SWMBO and I drinking, but I hate doing the same work for 20% less output), or

Doing 4 gallon partial-but-almost-full boils, doing extract-and-partial mashes, topping off with a gallon of water in the fermenter.

In any case, now I feel like even more of an idiot...
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Old 08-10-2006, 06:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
...but realized after I bought it (manager's special, don't think they'll take it back) that seven gallons is NOT enough to do a full boil.
Well, you could collect 6 gallons and boil very carefully...then top off with water to make 5.25 (or whatever) in the fermenter.

You'd probably acheive fairly low efficiency with this scheme (6 gallons is probably not enough sparge water to get all the sugary goodness). But grain is relatively cheap, so it would be a surmountable issue once you got your efficiency dialed in, I'd think.

It would also be possible, albeit a PITA, to start you boil in 2 pots (maybe 5 gals in your big pot, 2 more gallons on the stove) until you get through the hot break and boil some volume off, and then combine wort in one pot.
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Old 08-10-2006, 06:12 PM   #10
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How would I calibrate my hdrometer Dude?

 
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