Well, there is something to be said about making sure your equipment works. I did my first AG the other day. My 7 gallon pre boil OG was around 1.038 (56% efficiency) and I brought it back up to 1.048 with some Dry Malt Extract.
Turns out that I really messed up. I was comparing my three thermometers today in a glass of warm water and I found that every single one gave a different temperature. WTF?
- Meat thermometer said 140F.
- Dairy thermometer (the one I used for mashing) said 135F.
- The hydrometer thermometer said 110F. (Supposedly there are markers for it to go up to 140F. Maybe there is not enough of fluid to make it up to 140F.)
When I was doing the OG for the AG, I took the hydrometer reading shortly after my last sparge. I made sure I mixed it up really well prior. Unfortunately I didn't use the dairy thermometer, but I have to think the temperature of the wort was around 140F-160F. Unfortunately, I used the hydrometer thermometer, which said 110F.
The hydrometer reading prior to adjustments: 1.030
Doh! Then I added a 1.75 pounds of dry malt extract on top of that?!?
I bought a digital thermometer today so this nonsense won't happen again. It will be interesting to see what happens though. Unknowningly I may have mashed 5 degrees warmer than I wanted (Target was 154F). If I didn't add any malt extract, I would have been golden. I think my efficiency was 75%. But with so many unknowns I will never know. Sigh.
How bad will a 6.5 - 7% beer taste?