I'm a beginner so not quite sure which part I'm not quite understanding, so I'll waffle a little about the whole thing. I've had a go at the extract kits and while all went fine, it was just an hour of sterilizing to tip 2 cans into a bucket. Quite boring and at the end, not really your beer. So I'm having a go at partial extract batches to try and come up with my own recipe, a beer I can really call mine. I'm making tiny 1gal batches to experiment until I hit the recipe I like, using extract as the main malt and steeping speciality grains (don't have the equipment or space for mashing while I'm just developing the recipe).
The idea at the moment is that I'm just playing with malt ratios to get a nice base I like (adding only bittering hops at the 60min boil mark) and once I've got the malt base I want, then playing with flavouring hops for a while. I've had my nose buried in John Palmers How To Brew, found it an amazing book, and the ppg system for malt gravity seems like a brilliantly simple way of designing recipes and knowing what you're gonna get. I decided to try for a simple Brown Ale as my base that I could then tweak, and the make up of that seems to be 90% base malt, then half pound caramel malt and half pound chocolate as far as I can figure (in its most basic form, for a 5gal batch).
Malt I'm using: --------GGP
Muntons Light (LME)---36 (according to a quick google)
Caramel malt grains----18 (when steeped, according to HtB book)
Chocolate malt grains--15 (when steeped, according to HtB)
Recipe I used (for a 1gal batch):
453g (1lb) LME-----------36
The most basic recipe to use a jumping off point, targeting for 40 gravity points. I steeped the grains for 30 mins, the added half the water and half the extract (as with the 5gal batches, only 3gal is used in the wort I thought a bit more than half the water for the smaller batch too, though this might've been a mistake as a LOT boiled off, leaving not much left as I wasn't working with much to begin with. Perhaps boiling a full gallon as the wort for a small batch? advice welcome) .. I boiled the extract/water/gain juice for an hour with the bittering hops, adding the rest of the extract for 5-10 mins. Then everything was as usual, cooled the wort quick as I could, into the bucket and topped up to 1gal. I took a gravity reading at this point, before pitching the yeast and got 1.034.
I was aiming for 1.040 as a good starting grav for a Southern Brown Ale, but the ppg for the LME was 36, so surely with 1lb of extract in a 1gal batch, I should have achieved a gravity of 1.036 without even adding the steeped grains. Well, obviously not, as I didn't. But now I rambled out my entire though process of the wort creation and recipe designing, I'd be grateful if someone would let me know which but I really didn't understand.
Wow, reading back, that's far too much for "Why isn't my OG high enough?". But would appreciate any advice/help