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Old 07-07-2009, 01:56 PM   #1
murphyslaw
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So I made my second AG batch Sunday, and my gravities were way off.

My first batch was Edwort's Hefe, which according to his recipe should have a OG of 1.052 (beersmith said 1.057) and I ended up with 1.047.

Sunday, I tried the Dogfish Head 60 min IPA clone on the recommended recipe thread. That lists an OG of 1.070 (beersmith 1.073, pre-boil 1.067). My preboil was about 1.048 (hydrometer read 1.032, forgot to check temp but guessing it was around 140). I collected 6.5 gallons (recipe said 6), and boiled it down to 5.5 (recipe 5). Actual OG was 1.057.

Everything seemed to go well. The thread with the DFH clone had a bsm file attached, so I followed that to a T. Mashed in with about 17 quarts, held temp for an hour around 154, mashed out with about 10 quarts, sparged with about 7 quarts, per the brewsheet.

So I guess my questions are:

1. Could this all be due to the crush? The first time I ordered from midwest. This time I went to my LHBS, and ran it through the mill once. Would running it through a second time make up the difference? Do any of the online shops give better crushes?

2. I read in the homebrewer's companion that you can continue to collect wort until the runoff gets down to about 1.008. I stopped before I got close to that and was still low on gravity. Should I keep going or stop when I hit the volume I need?

3. Did collecting an extra half gallon (presumably at a lower gravity) contribute? Should I just stop when I get what I need?

4. Is there anything else you see that I can change?

5. Why does beersmith give me different gravities than the noted in the recipes? Is it just a matter of beersmith being set for 75% and the person posting the recipe using whatever efficiency they hit?

6. Should I put my efficiency (about 60%) into beersmith, then adjust the grains until it gives me the OG of the recipe author?

7. Is my beer ruined? J/k.

 
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Old 07-07-2009, 02:11 PM   #2
wilserbrewer
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My guesses are that your crush might be a bit off, but also I don't like the fact that your single sparge is so small. I think your efficiency would jump by simply draining the first runnings w/out a mashout, and then splitting the sparge volume in half. Or what is commonly known as Bobby M's NMODBS. Simply put, I think you need a more thorough and repeated rinsing of the grains to more fully extract the solubale sugars.

Investigate the crush, and try bobby m's "no mash out double batch sparge". scroll down 2/3 page.

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Old 07-07-2009, 02:15 PM   #3
brian_g
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I'm new to this all grain stuff too. I just did my second AG batch yesterday. I had 11 lbs of grain. I used 3 gals of water for the mash and 6 gals for the sparge. I got an OG of 1.061, 70% efficiency. I'd think that for a higher gravity beer your going to want to use more sparge water then 7 qt. This is just my beginner logic. I figure more water should extract more from the grains. Maybe some of the pros can tell us better ways to improve efficiency.

 
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Old 07-07-2009, 02:27 PM   #4
murphyslaw
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But if I use more water, then wouldn't I end up with a lower gravity? If the first runnings have higher gravity than the later runnings.

 
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Old 07-07-2009, 02:32 PM   #5
murphyslaw
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I guess you probably mean more water later, but less earlier.

 
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Old 07-07-2009, 02:42 PM   #6
brian_g
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My batch I used a total of 9 gal of water. I boiled off the excess before starting my hop additions. If you just leave the extra water in there, you'd get a lower gravity.
I'm still learning, though, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

I'd like to hear it from the pros, are they boiling off water before their hop additions?

 
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Old 07-07-2009, 02:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murphyslaw View Post
I guess you probably mean more water later, but less earlier.
Yes, exactly...sort of. Mash in at 1.25 quarts / pound of grain, mash for an hour, drain tun and then split remaining sparge water into two separate sparges. See link at bottom of thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brian_g View Post
I'd like to hear it from the pros, are they boiling off water before their hop additions?
Very far from a pro here, but over sparging and boiling off is not really an efficient way to achieve mashing efficiency.

Hell, I'll post the link again...this is an excellent method...scroll down 2/3 for N.M.O.D.B.S
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Old 07-07-2009, 03:00 PM   #8
murphyslaw
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yeah, I just read it. i'll try it out next time.

 
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Old 07-07-2009, 03:16 PM   #9
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dont know if you fly or batch sparge, but i would suggest a slower sparge. i do fly sparges and it takes about 45 minutes to collect 6.5 gallons, 1.5 hrs for 13 gal . my efficiency has been between 85% and 90%. i have found that fast sparging just doesnt rinse the grain bed well.
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Old 07-07-2009, 03:26 PM   #10
brian_g
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilserbrewer View Post

Very far from a pro here, but over sparging and boiling off is not really an efficient way to achieve mashing efficiency.
I'm glad to hear that. Sooner or later, I'll run out of pot space or time waiting for the water to boil off. How much water do you end up with in your brew pot? I hear guys ending up with 6-7 gals of water for a 5 gal batch. Is this normal? Can you get 75%-80% with that quantity of water? Can you boil off 1-2 gallons in a 60 minute boil.

I just brewing on the kitchen stove and I'd love to get higher efficiency with less water.

 
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