Dissapointing Hydrometer results even after mini mash - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Dissapointing Hydrometer results even after mini mash

Thread Tools
Old 07-02-2007, 05:22 AM   #1
Jun 2007
Posts: 34

Had a great brew day with my buddy on Saturday, but the results of our labors were less than optimal IMHO.

This is the second time we've brewed the same recipe, just to see if we could improve or change it somehow. It's a Sierra Nevada clone:


8 oz. caramel malt, 30 Lovibond
6 oz. DeWolf-Cosyns cara-pils malt
6 lbs. light malt syrup
1.5 oz. Perle hops (8.2% alpha acid) for 60 min.
2.5 oz. Cascade hops (5.4% alpha acid): 1 oz. for 15 min., 1 oz. for 5 min., 0.5
oz. pellets (dry hopping).
Wyeast 1056 (American ale)
11/4 cup dry malt extract

Step by Step:

Add grains to 1.5 gal. water. Bring slowly to 170 F. Remove grains and bring to a boil.
Total boil is 60 min. Boil 10 min. and add Perle hops. Boil 45 min. more, adding water as needed to maintain liquid level. Make first Cascade addition. Boil 5 min. more. Turn off heat. Wait 10 min. Add 1 oz. Cascade. Wait 3 to 5 min. Remove hops and transfer to fermenter.

Top up to 5 gal. Pitch yeast at 70 F.

Ferment three days and rack to secondary. Dry hop with 0.5 oz. Cascade pellets.

Ferment two weeks at 65 F. Prime and bottle.

We did this exact recipe about 3 weeks ago and the bottled results of that batch are carbonating right now. We had some to kick off the day but it was still pretty flat. The flavor & body were nice and light; it really complemented the summery day in Seattle. To note, O.G. on the other batch was 1.040.

So the one thing we did different this batch was we did a mini-mash (correct me if I'm using the wrong terminology) using a Mash/Lauter Tun that I made out of a Rubbermaid sports cooler. See here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=23008

We steeped the grains in 1.5 gal of 150 water in the MLT for 1/2 hour, then sparged with .5 gal of 170 water to make a 2 gallon wort boil. The only other thing that we did different was we didn't use hop bags this go-round. Other than that the recipe was performed exactly the same. For some reason our O.G. was only 1.032

It's perking along OK right now but nothing spectacular. I'm just wondering why our starting hydrometer reading was so low. If anything I would have expected our sugar yield to be at least slightly higher with the extended mash time. The wort was mixed up with the water pretty good before we took a reading. Any thoughts as to why OG was low and what will this likely lead to in the end?

Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2007, 05:39 AM   #2
Sep 2006
Posts: 695
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

I'm far from an expert at this. But you need to steep longer at 150F than you do at 160F in order to convert the starches. I typically do 30 minutes at 160F because I want more body.

At 150F, you'll get a lighter body, but you need to steep for 60 - 90 minutes.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
Planning: Agave Witbock, Raisin Beer
Primary: GF Hazelnut Stout
Tertiary: Cranberry-Pom pLambic (est. bottle date: 03/01/08)
Drinking: Cab.Sav/Merlot Wine, Grand Cru, Hazelnut Stout #3, Ordinary Bitter

Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2007, 06:00 AM   #3
For the love of beer!
Orfy's Avatar
Sep 2005
Cheshire, England
Posts: 11,732
Liked 98 Times on 62 Posts

Steeping is not about converting starches.

Steeping is removing colour and flavour.
Mashing is converting starches.

Mashing can be complete in 20 minutes in ideal environments.
Most give it 60 to 90 minutes

You want to be using a base malt and mashing it if you want to increase gravity.
Have a beer on me.

Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2007, 08:20 AM   #4
RichBrewer's Avatar
Feb 2006
Denver, Colorado
Posts: 5,902
Liked 171 Times on 90 Posts

I ran your recipe through ProMash and I get an OG of 1.047. If your final wort volume is 5 gallons and you used 6 pounds of liquid malt, the gravity reading should be pretty close.
Did you mix the wort in the fermenter throughly? Many folks have gotten a low OG reading because they didn't mix the wort enough after adding the top off water to the fermenter. The thicker wort settles to the bottom if it isn't properly stirred.
Also, at what temperature was the wort when you measured it? Most hydrometers are calibrated to 60 degrees F so if the temp was above 60 your reading may have been low.

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mash temperature and results planenut All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 3 01-17-2011 09:13 PM
Mini mash vs. All grain - Mini Mash wins Grinder12000 General Beer Discussion 48 03-30-2010 11:22 AM
2nd year yields a bit dissapointing GC89 Hops Growing 16 09-25-2009 03:17 AM
Mash tonight, boil tomorrow: results? shecky All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 18 06-10-2009 08:11 PM
1st Mini-Mash Results mpetty All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 3 01-23-2006 06:48 PM

Forum Jump