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Old 06-19-2008, 07:58 PM   #1
hopfreak
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Default OG variability

I've made 4 batches of IPA, and I'm stumped at how much my OG varies. I always use 6# DME and 1# crystal malt steeped. This time I did a partial mash and added irish moss to the boil. Would either of those changes bring down my OG for 1.052 to 1.042? I also thought it took a long time, 28 hours, to get going, but after reading some posts I guess that's in the normal range. I'm worried that I'm making Coors lite here.

Also, it doesn't smell hoppy enough. I read somewhere that you can perk up the flavor by steeping some whole hops with the priming sugar when you bottle. Can anyone advise me about that technique?


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Old 06-19-2008, 08:00 PM   #2
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If you're adding in the partial mash, you may not be getting good efficiency on that side. If that's the case, your OG will drop. If you're using the same amount of all extract each time with varying OGs, that would be pretty weird. Are you doing partial boils and topping up with water?


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Old 06-19-2008, 08:03 PM   #3
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I'm getting a sense of deja vu here.

Irish moss has absolutely nothing to do with partial mashing, it's a coagulant/clarifying agent. Partial mashing involves using a few pounds of base malt in addition to your crystal grains to gain some fermentable sugars from them, not too unlike steeping, but a little more involved.

You can't vary that much using malt extract unless you are making different sized batches with the same ingredients. You aren't mixing the topoff water well enough would be my guess as to why the gravities are coming out different. You also could be reading at different temps, but the only way to come up that different on your OG is if you spill extract on the floor.
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Old 06-19-2008, 10:55 PM   #4
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Irish moss has absolutely nothing to do with partial mashing, it's a coagulant/clarifying agent.

Thanks, I knew that. It just happens to be the two variables I changed from one batch to the next. And I vaguely recall from chemistry class that coagulating/clarifying agents remove things from a solution, so it's possible that would reduce the specific gravity. And the house is a mess, but I think I'd notice if I'd dropped the extract on the floor. Perhaps the mixing then.
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Old 06-19-2008, 10:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hopfreak View Post
Irish moss has absolutely nothing to do with partial mashing, it's a coagulant/clarifying agent.

Thanks, I knew that. It just happens to be the two variables I changed from one batch to the next. And I vaguely recall from chemistry class that coagulating/clarifying agents remove things from a solution, so it's possible that would reduce the specific gravity. And the house is a mess, but I think I'd notice if I'd dropped the extract on the floor. Perhaps the mixing then.
Keep an eye on your volumes. If you add too much top up water, you dilute your OG. Regarding Irish Moss, it coagulates proteins but not sugars. The hydro measures sugars, so its not affected...


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