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Old 12-20-2012, 04:51 AM   #1
MhOpNEIL
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Default First all-grain batch... gravity was 1.030

Today I brewed my first batch of all-grain... well first batch of beer ever. I took a gravity reading after the boil, temp was around 74F and gravity was 1.030. My target gravity was 1.042, how much will this effect the product? I was brewing Northern Brewer’s All American Rye Ale.


- 6.25-lbs.-Rahr-2-row-Pale- -- 1.75-lbs.-Briess-Rye-Malt- -- 0.75-lbs.-Briess-Caramel-40L-

0.75-oz.-Liberty-(60-min)- -- 1-oz-Cascade-(15-min)-



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Old 12-20-2012, 05:34 AM   #2
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Looks like you got about 50% efficiency which is pretty low. The only way to help with future batches is to describe your equipment and process. That beer is going to end up low in alcohol, but perhaps drinkable.


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Old 12-20-2012, 06:43 AM   #3
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In my experience, low Alcohol By Volume beer doesn't necessarily taste bad, and you can drink more of it without getting wiped out... Lovely session beer.

Keep an open mind. Keep notes on your process and learn from your success and mistakes.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:47 AM   #4
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I have found in the past that I have had low gravity as a result of my grains not being milled properly. When the rollers on the grain mill are set right, you tend to get closer to your projected gravity. Make sure your grains are getting cracked open properly. That might help a bit.

Also, I have been getting great efficiency using a two step batch sparge. Just food for thought.

Good luck on future brews.

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Old 12-20-2012, 02:19 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. I have:
10 gallons kettle (borrowed)
Colman mash tun (which I think is too big for 5 gallon batches. And the PVC filter I think is part of the problem it was raised of the bottom quite a bit)
6 gallon fermenter bucket
5 gallon carboy
4-5 gallon kegs
20# co2 tank

I started the process with bringing 2.75 gallons of water up to 170f then added that to the mash tun. I added the grain, which held at around 147 so I added a half of gallon hot water to the mash, but it still went down in temp to around 144, my target was 152. After an hour I started to sparge, I don't have a sparge arm to I tried to do it with a piece of foil on top so I didn’t disturb the grain bed. The sparge water was 3 gallons at 180 when I start because I figured it would drop in temp.I sparged until I had 6.5 gallons in my boil kettle, but there was a little bit left so I added that as well. At the end of the boil I was at 5.5 gallons.

I am going to try the toilet hose with the metal braiding as my mash tun filter in the future and definitely watch how much water I’m adding. I forgot to mention I added another 1.5 gallons to the sparge because I only got 5 gallons.

Oh and I had Northern Brew mill the grains. They looked pretty good, but what do I know...LOL
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:40 PM   #6
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Mashing at that low temp (147-144) would benefit from a longer mash time - like 90 minutes - to get full extraction/conversion of the starches.

It sounds like you did a fly sparge by hand (i.e. you were pouring fresh hot water over your grainbed as you were draining) with a piece of foil laying on top of the water. If this is true, I can see where this would focus the water down the edges of your MLT and avoid the sugars in the middle. You probably would have been better served by batch sparging this batch since you don't have a sparge arm.

Low mash temp for too short coupled with inefficient sparge technique would definitely equal a lower efficiency. But, no matter, you will still have been in the end and it will probably be perfectly fine (if a bit on the lighter, watery side).

Take a look into batch sparging because you don't need any additional equipment (dennybrew.com has a pretty good write-up on the technique).
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Old 12-21-2012, 03:45 AM   #7
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The large temp drop was really due to heat lost to the cooler itself. Next time put the water in much hotter, like 180F. Close the lid and let everything warm up really well. You can even tilt the cooler a bit to each side so the water warms up the top half of the walls. Then check the temp in 5 minutes and add the grain when it gets down to around 167F. If it's taking too long, stir a bit with the lid open.

3 gallons would never have been enough sparge water anyway. Rounding up to 9 pounds of grain, it will hold about 1 gallon of wort. That leaves 1.75 from the original infusion and then 4.75 with the 3 gallon sparge but only after letting the grainbed run dry. When fly sparging, just sparge with the entire batch size (5 gallons).

I agree that batch sparging would be a lot easier to get your head around for now.
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:20 AM   #8
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Also did you factor in the wort temp and adjust your hydrometer reading? My Hydrometer is calibrated for 60F and wort at around 74F will add a couple points.
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:24 AM   #9
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According to my chart with my Hydro, if I measured at 74, I would add 2 points. So, if you were using a hydro that was calibrated to 60, your SG will be 1.032. Someone correct me if Im wrong here.


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