Frustrated with all grain...going back to extract - Home Brew Forums
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Frustrated with all grain...going back to extract

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-26-2008, 07:43 PM   #1
GLWIII
Recipes 
 
May 2008
Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 243
Liked 3 Times on 2 Posts



My first brew was an extract. All went to plan and I cranked out a terrific beer. Couldn't believe that my first try yielded such a tonic. So, off to try all grain. But, dammit, my last three all grains have driven me to almost drink coors lite. I'm having a real problem hitting my OG. I mean, they came out tasting darn good, but I wonder...."what if".

The latest cluster called for OG of 1.062 and I wind up with a 1.045. What makes this so freaking maddening is that I was rocket scientist meticulous in my planning and I thought I did everything perfectly. Milled the grain nicely - check; measured the water correctly - check; hit my temps dead nuts on - check; 1 hour in the tun - check; nice clean wort - check; sparge - check; boil and hops - check; perfect cool down - check; hydrometer reading - screeeeechackkkk!!

Well, it's time to take a step back and re-trace my steps. First, buy a good six-pack. Then, try another extract brew. Maybe in a year or ten I'll try all grain again....*$%#&@$



 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2008, 07:50 PM   #2
AZ_IPA
PKU
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
AZ_IPA's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jun 2008
The Cold Part of AZ
Posts: 52,024
Liked 8480 Times on 6858 Posts


but you've come this far! you can do it! I'm struggling with my efficiency also, but for me there's no turning back...

don't let AG beat you!



 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2008, 07:50 PM   #3
sigmund
Recipes 
 
Jan 2008
Posts: 417
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts


I'm at a loss to understand. You say they taste "darn good", yet you're not happy with them? Exactly what is it you're trying to do, make a good beer, or beer that meets the specs? You can hit all your numbers and not have a good beer, so what's the problem? Why not keep making good tasting AG beers and just work to refine your process?
__________________
Quote:
BTW, those can not be drunk in multiple count if the day’s plan includes finish carpentry work or power tools.
- Schoonie

Burkey Street Brewery

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2008, 07:50 PM   #4
GreenwoodRover
me-no-r-no Nice Guy
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
GreenwoodRover's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Mar 2008
Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,050
Liked 10 Times on 9 Posts


I'm also struggling with low og's during my in my foray into the All Grain business. My effeciency is not where it needs to be right now, so I made some adjustments.
Right now i'm currently running at 64%eff so I make sure my beer smith is set appropriately and add extra base malt to get up to my target OG. As I get better and make the tweaks needed to refine my process and system I'm hoping my efficiency eeks up.
Have you calculated your efficiency? Up the grain to hit your OG's. If you just follow a recipe here most are set-up for 75%+ eff, so you'll definately be off.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
only the $500,000 strippers can handle the load.
<Insert list of brews planned, fermenting, or being consumed here>

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2008, 07:51 PM   #5
Orfy
For the love of beer!
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Orfy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2005
Cheshire, England
Posts: 11,732
Liked 94 Times on 62 Posts


It sounds like you need to take us through your equipment and method step by step so we can see where you are going wrong.

If the worst comes to the worst there is no rule saying you can't use LME to bust the gravity if it's way to low.

You can always dial down your efficiency to up the ingredients.
__________________
GET THE GOBLIN
Have a beer on me.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2008, 07:51 PM   #6
bull8042
I like 'em shaved
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
bull8042's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jul 2008
Fort Mill, SC
Posts: 10,263
Liked 450 Times on 447 Posts


If you are hitting your mash temps and your grains are crushed well, I don't see how you are missing your OG by that much.
Some more information including specifics about your steps, temps, and recipe would help us give more help.
__________________
"I brew with a water cooler and some part from the toilet." - JohnnyO

"I do gravity feed the last gallon or two through my Therminator, but I expect you could suck start a Volkswagen before you could suck start one of these. - GilaMinumBeer

"..... Bull was right." - TXCurtis

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2008, 07:51 PM   #7
Revvy
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Revvy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,921
Liked 3180 Times on 1881 Posts


A lot of people think AG=Perfect Beer, and jump too soon, without getting their process down. AG is not a magic wand...it actually requires some fundamental understanding of basic brewing principles, to master.

Read this...

http://blogs.homebrewtalk.com/Revvy/...all_get_along/

Work on your process. Even do some partial mashes for awhile...but realize this is all about learning and experience...

__________________
Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2008, 07:52 PM   #8
Kevin Dean
 
Kevin Dean's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jul 2007
Frederick, MD
Posts: 1,352
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts


Perhaps nobody told you - your equipment is like a fine woman.

No two brewers can take the same recipe and crank out the same beer. Different people's equipment acts differently. Mashing 10 pounds of 2-row might produce heavier sugars due to temp loss that is different than the guy who posted the recipe with computer controlled temps.

What's important is that you understand what your equipment does. Perhaps you should adjust your crush to get higher efficiency, or insulate your mash tun to more strictly control your temps.

You MUST get an understanding of what your equipment will do or you'll always mis your target. If you don't keep this in mind, you return to AG later will end with the same results.

In the end, do what you enjoy more. I'd simply stop brewing if I had to go back to extract. Everyone is different..
__________________
Free State Project liaison to the homebrew hobby!

"What's your name? Well my mom calls me Son, and my cat calls me Meow, either will do." -- Sam Dodson of the Obscured Truth Network

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2008, 07:56 PM   #9
Fingers
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
 
Fingers's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2007
Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba
Posts: 4,216
Liked 45 Times on 36 Posts


I hit 69% this past weekend. My best yet. I'm sure I can get it up with additional equipment and process control, but when I'm brewing 63% beer it's pretty damn good. Beersmith takes care of the scaling for me.

My problem is that I don't mill my own grain. (At least I hope that's the problem). Yours might be something different, but as Orfy says, let the boys take you through it. Maybe if you put your location in your profile there will be someone near you who could help you out. It might be fun to quaff a few and have a more experienced brewer take you through it.
__________________
If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2008, 07:58 PM   #10
s3n8
Recipes 
 
Jan 2008
Haymarket VA
Posts: 1,172
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts


I too have contemplated including some extract brewing after 5 AG batches. Mostly because its a lot of work, and sometimes its tough to find 6 contiguous hours to get a batch knocked out.

I share a lot of my beer, (over half anyway) so I am always running low on beer I like. Extract batches will help me keep some good stuff in stock because I can brew more often.

Two things to look into, who is crushing your grain, and do you have an accurate thermometer? I bought the low end crankandstein, and a $15 digital thermometer. I have never gotten below 77% efficiency.



 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Getting my mojo back with an extract batch... (English Strong Ale) janzik Recipes/Ingredients 5 04-28-2014 02:39 PM
AG Brewer Back to Extract I think... Rockweezy General Beer Discussion 12 01-27-2009 08:49 PM
Frustrated with extract brewing, considering building a mash tun smalltown2001 General Techniques 48 06-14-2008 10:04 PM
Heading back to extract brewing. Am I crazy? Soulive General Techniques 28 02-08-2008 07:25 PM
Conversion Equations: AG to Extract and vice versa || Grain, Extract, Hops, Boil size NitrouStang96 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 02-01-2008 04:44 AM


Forum Jump