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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > consistently low OG w/ mini mash
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Old 05-18-2013, 06:59 PM   #1
JLivermore
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Default consistently low OG w/ mini mash

Not sure what the problem is here. If I brew extract I hit very close to OG.

I've tried mini mash 4 or 5 times, the only difference being mashing the grains in the nylon sack longer (45 mins), then sparging - 1 quart per 2 lbs grain.

I've tried as the directions indicate -- pour 170 degree water over the grains, and the deathbrewer method, soaking the bag in the 170 degree sparge water.

Either way I'm usually a full point under OG. I got pretty close with a darker ale once. 3-4 attempts with a few different IPA recipes all too low...

Any ideas what I can do to get more accurate?


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Old 05-18-2013, 08:23 PM   #2
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1 quart per 2 lbs is a pretty thick mash. We usually do 1 to 1 quarts per pound, and thinner mashes are not detrimental. Also, you can squeeze the grain bag a little (not a double entendre ) to get a little more sugar out.


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Old 05-18-2013, 08:52 PM   #3
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I am AG only and have never mini mashed, but Capt. Damage is right; 1 qt per 2 lbs is very very thick. I usually shoot for 1.25-1.5 per lb. Like I said, I am not sure if the mini mash is any different, but I wouldn't think so. What are you mashing at?
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:40 PM   #4
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Agreed, mash thinner and use a big enough bag to make sure the grains are loose.
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLivermore View Post
Not sure what the problem is here. If I brew extract I hit very close to OG.

I've tried mini mash 4 or 5 times, the only difference being mashing the grains in the nylon sack longer (45 mins), then sparging - 1 quart per 2 lbs grain.

I've tried as the directions indicate -- pour 170 degree water over the grains, and the deathbrewer method, soaking the bag in the 170 degree sparge water.

Either way I'm usually a full point under OG. I got pretty close with a darker ale once. 3-4 attempts with a few different IPA recipes all too low...

Any ideas what I can do to get more accurate?
One thing you don't state is if you are using LME/DME. If you aren't, then that would be the issue. If you can post your recipe, I'm sure we can point you in a better direction.

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Old 05-19-2013, 05:15 AM   #6
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What do you mean by "a full point"? Most people refer to a "point" as the thousands place in SG. For example, a wort that clocked in at 1.055 would be referred to as "55 points." If you were expecting 1.055 and got 1.054, I'd call it a great success.

And as with the others, I'm confused about the amount of water you're using. Are you sparging with 1 quart / 2 lbs, or is that what you mashed in? If your initial water to grain ratio is very far from 1.25 to 2.0 quarts / lb, you might not be achieving full conversion. Ditto if you don't have enough base malt with the flaked barley, or oats, or whatever it is in your recipe that you need to mash.

Finally, it could also be that you're doing everything correctly and still have some variability in the final result. Accepting that means that you're just half a step away from all-grain brewing. After a couple batches, you'll be able to figure out what kind of efficiency to expect from your mash. And even then, you'll often miss by a few points, but you'll figure out how to make up for that in the boil. If you could be more specific, we could help point you in the right direction
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Old 05-19-2013, 06:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8shandini View Post
What do you mean by "a full point"? Most people refer to a "point" as the thousands place in SG. For example, a wort that clocked in at 1.055 would be referred to as "55 points." If you were expecting 1.055 and got 1.054, I'd call it a great success.
Well that's a good question. I didn't catch that on the first read. If we're really talking one gravity point I guess we're all worried about nothing.
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:52 AM   #8
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Interesting, the directions said 1 qt for 2 lbs but I will try ignoring that and using 1 qt per lb next time and see if it helps.

Point didn't make much sense, sorry about that.

If target OG was 1.065, I get 1.055.
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:15 PM   #9
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1 quart per pound is still a pretty thick mash. 1-1/3 quarts per pound seems to be about the average that I read here (it's also what I have Beer Smith set to). Traditionally, German mashes are often close to the 2 quarts per pound range. The Australian brew in a bag method calls for mashing with all of your water, including your sparge water.
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLivermore
Interesting, the directions said 1 qt for 2 lbs but I will try ignoring that and using 1 qt per lb next time and see if it helps.

Point didn't make much sense, sorry about that.

If target OG was 1.065, I get 1.055.
Sounds like the directions got flipped around. Maybe they meant 2 Q water per 1 pound of grain?


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