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Old 02-02-2012, 05:33 PM   #1
Steve44
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May 2011
Cranford, NJ
Posts: 10


I am new to AG brewing/brewing in general. I built a three teir Keg system. all of my batches have had low og reading 1.0125 to 1.020. and I can't figure out where things go wrong.

Last attempt: Irish Red Ale (AG kit from Midwest brew)
9lbs - 2 row
12oz - carmel 40
4oz - Special Malt
4oz- roasted barley

Mash in: 152 - 3.31gallons (+2gallon for dead space under bulkhead)
Mash out: fly sparge 170 - 5 gallons

pre boil volume 7 gallons, (1.5 boil off and .5 deadspace under bulkhead)
post boil volume 5.25 gallons

took OG after boil cool at 80 degrees. even with the add-back the OG is way low.

Mash tun was tipped to get the bottom wert (appox 2 gallons of beautiful amber color wert)

I have a bazooka screen attached to the bulkhead, but I don't think the design matters as I tip the mash tun.

iodine test confirmed that I had no starches.

I don't have bubles in the airlock of fermenter.

Hydrometer reads 1.000 in water.

Any suggestions would be helpful



 
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:25 PM   #2
RyanWeary
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Jan 2010
Dallas, TX
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Hi Steve:

If you're sure you're getting all of the wort out of the tun I would suggest making sure you mash in well. No dough balls, even distribution of your hot water..... 9#'s of 2-row out to get you plenty of fermentables at 152. I would check your thermometer against a few others and make sure it's not off.

Also check your crush. That's a biggie that could throw your efficiency WAY off.

I know you said you did a starch test - but how long are you mashing? Perhaps a longer mash time will help improve extract efficiency.

I'm sure others will add - but those are just my initial thoughts.


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Old 02-02-2012, 06:47 PM   #3
tre9er
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Jan 2012
Lincoln, NE
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When you say "mash in at 152" you're saying you had stable 152 temp before you "put it away" for mashing? What was the temp of strike water? Do you insulate mash and leave it alone or maintain temp with burner-firing?
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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!

 
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:52 PM   #4
BoogieBrandBooze
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Jun 2009
NJ
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This may sound like a condescending question but it's not meant to be so please don't take offense!

Are the grains crushed? I've heard stories of people with similar problems who found out later that they had forgotten to crush the grains! Unlikely, I know, but just in case!

 
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:13 PM   #5
Steve44
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May 2011
Cranford, NJ
Posts: 10

No offense taken. I need the help. I have a cousin who brews a state away and he is perplexed also.

I received crush grains in the kit. I had no dough balls and the grain bed looked fine as I was mashing out.

My strike water was 160, and I mashed in at 152 (per kit directions) and held it for an hour. then fly sparged keeping 1 to 2 inches of water above the grain bed for about another hour. As soon as I got to about 6 gallons in the boil kettle, I tip the mash tun to get the wert from the bottom of the mash tun. I figure there is some good sugars there

 
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:23 PM   #6
RyanWeary
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Jan 2010
Dallas, TX
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So:

1) Grains are crushed
2) No dough balls
3) Good temperature control
4) Nice sparge technique
5) Full conversion in mash
6) ??????
7) PROFIT!!

The next step I'd take is testing your water. Too high/low of a pH.... Then check your crush on your grains... Then report back! I'm curious what this could be.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:27 PM   #7
BoogieBrandBooze
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Jun 2009
NJ
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Weird...and all your vessels are properly calibrated? Thinking maybe you have more volume than you think you do...but it would take a lot more water to account for a 30pt difference at the end...although really crappy efficiency (I'm talking REALLY crappy like 40% or less) combined with even and extra gallon of water would get you close to the 1.020's...

I guess I'm still stumped, I suppose...

 
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:27 PM   #8
TaylorInOK
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Feb 2012
Broken Arrow, OK
Posts: 136
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I'm kinda new to the forums but i'd like to take a crack at it.

Ingredient expiration and water quality come to mind. Did you pH test?

Taylor

Edit: Bah! Ryan ya beat me to it. Tells me i'm thinking in the right direction though.

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Old 02-02-2012, 09:36 PM   #9
RyanWeary
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Jan 2010
Dallas, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaylorInOK View Post
I'm kinda new to the forums but i'd like to take a crack at it.

Ingredient expiration and water quality come to mind. Did you pH test?

Taylor

Edit: Bah! Ryan ya beat me to it. Tells me i'm thinking in the right direction though.
Hah! Glad someone else is thinking the same thing as me. If Steve is getting well water I'd expect some crazy pH levels - but in my experience a municipal supply is usually decent. Not always the best - but decent.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:39 PM   #10
tre9er
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Jan 2012
Lincoln, NE
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I'm thinking more volume might be the thing, too. I get 1.055 using your grain bill for 5.3g. Are you using sightglass or what to measure your volumes?


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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!

 
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