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Old 10-21-2009, 11:40 PM   #1
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Default Reaaaaaaaaaally low OG.

So I did my first AG batch today using Deathbrewers stovetop method... It seemed like everything was going well.. I'm making a German Pilsner SMaSH with 12 lbs Pilsner 2-row. Shooting for an OG of 1.058, and somehow... I'm getting 1.025?

At the start of my mash I was at about 155 for 15 minutes, but got it to fall to 150 for most of the remaining 45 minutes. At the very end I was slipping into the high 40's. It was kind of spur of the moment so I didn't do any sort of conversion test, but figured if I was close to my temps I should have been okay. I did top off with a little less than a half gallon of water to hit 5 gallons, but I shook the carboy pretty violently before checking the gravity...

So does anybody have any idea what I did wrong? Mash time was too short? Everything went pretty smooth all day and I was pretty happy with my brewday, until the very end. Thats what I get for attempting to pull off my first SMaSH, first AG, and first lager all in one day! Guess I pitched a 4L starter for nothing

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Old 10-21-2009, 11:46 PM   #2
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I wouldn't think that mashing at 140^F - 155^F for 60 minutes would cause that kind of efficiency decrease. Did you adequately vorlauf your mash runnings and sparge correctly?

Also, probably not an issue, but was the grain old?

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Old 10-21-2009, 11:47 PM   #3
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Check your hydrometer calibration. That seems awful low for the amount of grain and the temps you mashed at. Did you measure before, or after the 4L starter?
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Old 10-21-2009, 11:48 PM   #4
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the stovetop method will result in low effeciency unless you are really anal during the sparging process....What were your sparging procedures?
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Old 10-21-2009, 11:49 PM   #5
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did you remember to adjust for temp when taking your gravity reading?
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Old 10-21-2009, 11:51 PM   #6
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How was the crush? That is usually the first place to look when you get low efficiency. Also did you adjust for temps?
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Old 10-22-2009, 12:59 AM   #7
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Shaking the wort after adding top up water is not going to mix it adequately. You need to stir, preferably from top to bottom.
My guess is you got a gravity reading that was skewed by the top up water.

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Old 10-22-2009, 01:02 AM   #8
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So we taught an AG class a couple weeks ago at the shop. After everything's said and done we go and take the OG reading while everyone's watching. 1.012.

I give a concerned look and twirl it again. 1.012. We cannot figure it out. Then I look at the little piece of rolled up paper inside the hydrometer. It had moved all the way to the bottom touching the weight totally skewing the measurement.

So my advice would be to calibrate it. Should read 1.000 in distilled water at your calibration temp, which is probably 60F.

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Old 10-22-2009, 01:26 AM   #9
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Wow. That's low.

Following DB's AG method, I usually hit 80%+, (once at 70 ).

I agree with everyone else,
grain crush?
hydro calibration?
are you SURE it was well mixed?
temp you took your SG at?
THERMO calibration?? (don't think others suggested do you know you were at 150-155F?)
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Old 10-22-2009, 03:03 AM   #10
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Check your thermometer, too. I hope things just got a little wonky because of topoff water or something, but the bottom line is that you do not know if you have conversion unless you test for conversion. Man, if nothing else, just taste the wort and see if it's sweet or starchy.

Right now, we are just guessing, but the guys above have a lot of good ideas about your problem might be.


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