My friend rigged up an e-kettle about a year ago and ever since he started using it, he has been suffering from very low OG's.
He used to do stovetop and propane burner brewing and everything was fine.
But ever since he started with the electric brewing, he has been suffering from low gravities.
I gave him my refractometer so he can measure the gravities before & during the boil to try and narrow the problem down.
I also thought he should try another propane batch to see what happens.
So maybe he'll get it figured out that way.
But we were also wondering if maybe his boil was simply too strong.
He was using a 4500w element but only doing 5 gallon batches. (The kettle is 11 gallons) His boil off rate was pretty high and he was having to start with over 8 gallons for the 5 gallon batches.
In theory, only the water should boil off, right? But is it possible that things are getting so hot around the element that some of the sugars are being boiled off too?
He just bought a 3500w element in an effort to tone down the boil and he's going to try that out this weekend.
But I've been meaning to post about this for a while now and wanted to get your opinions on this.
"Brewers make wort, yeast make beer."
"Brewing beer is neither complicated nor expensive. It's the responsibility of the brewer to make it as complicated and expensive as their spouse & budget will allow."