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Old 08-30-2012, 03:07 AM   #11
brewguyver
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If you're doing all grain, you may want to pick up a mill at some point. They've gotten much more affordable (austin homebrew supply had them for 89) - helped me a lot when I dialed in my own crush.

You might also want to check your volume of sparge water and use a little less if you're way below gravity, and/or mash a little lower (140) for longer (60 min vs 45). I had a number of beers with low gravity when I started brewing again last year (e.g my "extra light esb") and reducing the water helped.

Good to see you're using the hydrometer w/ first runnings - can always save a batch with a little dme if you catch it before the boil.
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Old 08-30-2012, 02:13 PM   #12
Bricks41
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I don't typically use my hydro for my runnings, but I sure refractometer the runnings to death!! So far, I have good faith in the refractometer during the mash/boil/OG - I've tested the results against my hydrometer and come within +-.001 SG. I still need further testing on my FG readings to make sure the refractometer conversion algorithm properly compensates for the presence of alcohol.

Also, I typically mash at a consistent 154F, but this time I was going for an DIPA, hence the mild step up attempt. I wanted to get a more fermentable wort to help mitigate the high sweetness caused by a higher FG due to mash temp.


 
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:52 AM   #13
Bricks41
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Well just bottled my Belgian Strong - 1.080 OG finished at 1.008 so I'm pleased! I'm anxious to taste the final product well carbonated and chilled product

 
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:01 PM   #14
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Awesome - let us know how it goes!
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:36 PM   #15
Bricks41
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Will do... going to open up one tonight to see how it is coming along. A bit of cheating and know that it won't be fully carbed, but brewer beware, sometimes patience cannot be had!

 
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:06 PM   #16
cbearbrew
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I have a similar cooler tun setup and just did my 2nd all grain batch over the weekend. The efficiency of my first batch was in the 45% range and this was 62%. Course grind on first batch and missed temps on the low side, but this batch was double ground and temps within 2F of target.
My water/grain ratio was 1.4 and I’m leaning towards increasing this closer to 2 to see if I can’t pull a larger volume of higher gravity first runnings. I’ll also start stirring every 20 min or so during the mash to see if that has any effect on conversion but I suspect it will be minimal

 
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:53 PM   #17
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If I were you, I'd take whatever tool is needed and adjust their mill for them. At my LHBS, it's a simple twist of a couple knobs, so I always set it how I like before grinding.

 
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:48 AM   #18
Bricks41
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Spoke with an employee who is an experienced brewer. Ran through most everything regarding my process - he couldn't say what the miller's spacing was either... both sides are gear operated. Agreed to try to double grinding the grain to see if it helps.

 
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:14 AM   #19
Bricks41
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Tested the Belgian Strong - still lightly carbed, not fully integrated. Has great promise so far, look forward to seeing how it develops!

 
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:19 PM   #20
Bricks41
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Well don't think grind is my issue... did a double grind of my grain and still struggled with gravity. Had to do a marathon boil to get 5G in the fermenter at 1.084, not the expected 1.094 with the expected 70% & 60 minute boil. With my starter, activity within 2 hrs and thankful I
Used a blowoff - its going bonkers. Temp around 66-68 for majority of primary so far.

No clue... at least it's beer, right? Next batch will use RO water to see if it helps.

 
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