Rookie brewer here from Va. First, there’s unbelievable amount of knowledge here, so hats off to this place and the people that post here. It's helped me through my first ten or so batches and I've learned some patience...alas, I've gone into freak out mode after attempting my first 5 gallon AG last night.
This was supposed to be an all-cascade IPA. I did my best to glean info from DeathBrewer's awesome AG tutorial. Here's the recipe I went with:
9lbs. Briess 2-row Brewers Malt
1lbs. 10 oz. Briess Caramel 40L
10 oz. Briess Carapils
8 oz. Briess Victory
11 lbs. 12 oz. total grain
60 min – 2.0 cascade pellets (6.4% AA)
30 min – 1.0 cascade pellets (6.4% AA)
2 min. – 1 oz. cascade whole leaf (homegrown)
Flameout – 1 oz. cascade whole leaf (homegrown)
Dry hop – 1 oz. cascade whole leaf (homegrown
15 min. – 1 tbs. Irish Moss
10 min. – ½ tbs. Wyeast nutrient
Target O.G. – 1.062 at 75% efficiency (wishful thinking)
IBUs - 65
Yeast - Wyeast Northwestern Ale
Mash - I mashed in a nylon bag starting with 3.25 gallons of 168 degree water. By the time I put the lid on, the mash temp was 150. I stirred occasionally (maybe 4 times) for 60 minutes. I lost maybe one degree of heat.
Sparge - I heated 4 gallons of water to 185 degrees, given I wasn't sure how much my stovetop could handle. After removing the grain bag from the wort and letting it drip for a few minutes, I dropped the grain bag in the sparge water and stirred for 10 minutes and then drained the grain bag. Ended up with 5.5 gallons of wort for the boil. Maybe the sparge was too short?
- Things went pretty much as planned. Boiled for 60 minutes and final wort volume was 4 gallons. My extract experience told me to top off to 5 gallons, realizing afterward that that isn't how my target OG was calculated. ****e.
Aside from that, I was feeling okay about it...everything was fine until….1.030 OG. Dagger. Now I’m just trying to wrap my head around all of the variables and what might have gone wrong. I would need to have mashed at under 40% efficiency to get this OG.
Maybe the top off accounted for much of the loss? Bad grain crush? It looked okay to me.
Bad hydrometer reading? I was hoping so until I took another gravity reading tonight. 18 hours into fermentation, it's down to 1.022. I've learned my lesson in not taking a preboil gravity reading.
Maybe the low efficiency is a combination of these things...or maybe there's one glaring issue? I'm left wondering whether or not to dump the batch and brew again if I can identify one big error. (I'm thinking these will end up at about 2.5 ABV
, although the wort tastes pretty good)
Thanks for any input.