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Old 09-01-2008, 07:21 PM   #1
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Default 1st AG batch high OG? please diagnose

So I finished my 1st attempt at AG today...friggin blast

I tried to duplicate one of Ed Worts recipes with a few minor substitutions....

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Nottingham (subbed WLP008)
Yeast Starter: Nope
Additional Yeast or Yeast Starter: Nope
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.5
Original Gravity: 1.051
Final Gravity: 1.011
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
IBU: 39
Color: 5 SRM
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 10 Days at 68 degrees

Grain Bill
8 lbs. 2-Row
2 lbs. Vienna
0.5 lb. Crystal 10L (subbed 20L)
Mash
Single Infusion mash for 60 minutes at 152 degrees.
I batch sparge in a 10 gallon water cooler with a stainless braid manifold. Click here for great info on Batch Sparging.
Dough-in with 3.5 gallons of water. After 60 minutes, add 5 quarts of 175 degree water and begin vorlauf. My system only takes about 2 quarts before it clears up, then it's wide open to drain in the kettle. Have another 3.25 gallons of 175 degree water ready for the next batch sparge. You should then get 6.5 gallons to your ket

Boil & Hops
1.0 oz Cascade 6.6% at 60 min.
0.5 oz. Cascade 6.6% at 30 min.
0.25 oz. Cascade 6.6% at 15 min.
0.25 oz. Cascade 6.6% at 5 min.




I had to sub out the crystal 10L with a 20L and the Nottingham Dry yeast for WL east coast WLP 008 due to availability

Soooo..everything seemed to go as planned...I may have been about 2 degrees lower on my mash temp @ around 150 finishing at 148 but maybe not....I seemed to have different pockest of temp when I doughed (maybe it's my thermometer?)

My big question is my OG seemed alot higher then projected....1.064?

Is this possibe? Oh I also only ended up with maybe 4.25 gallons in the end..seemed to lose a bunch to boil off

Thoughts?


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Old 09-01-2008, 07:33 PM   #2
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The smaller batch amount is why you have a higher OG. I did the same thing last time and boiled off too much without realizing it. For my second AG batch I made sure to have more volume into the BK and boiled down to my desired volume, which meant I had a 75 minute boil. The second time I also had the projected OG. I hope that helps.


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Old 09-01-2008, 07:37 PM   #3
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So did you add more grain and appropriate water to your mash/sparge to give you more wort in the BK?

What can I tend to expect with a smaller batch/higher gravity?
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Old 09-01-2008, 08:05 PM   #4
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I am using a 5 gal cooler MLT, so I cannot sparge much more than 2 gal per batch. This time I batch sparged three times to get the desired volume. I didn't up my grain bill for that though, but my final runnings were very weak (1.018) as expected. I could have topped up the volume with tap water, but I wanted to get as much out of the grains as I could to up my efficiency. I figured a weak batch was better than just water.

In the end, you will just have a beer that has higher ABV and that isn't a bad thing at all. Your beer will just have a little more kick.
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Old 09-01-2008, 08:14 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info....how exactly do you calculate the efficiency? do you measure prior to boil?

Sorry for the newb questions

After following mash schedule as close as possible....I probably ended up with 6+ gallons of wort for the BK (didn't check it exactly). I DID however measure the gravity once it was in the kettle and I had 1.040 if that means anything.

I MAY have been able to squeeze a vary minimal amount more of water from the grain as I did cut off the ball valve with a vary small trickle in both sparges.

How long do you general let the run off trickle for?
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Old 09-01-2008, 08:25 PM   #6
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To calculate my efficiency I use Beersmith. Once I figured out how to use the program it became very helpful. I just kept playing around with it to figure things out. I take gravity readings at several steps; for each running, gravity into the BK, and then OG reading after the boil. Remember to let the liquid cool or it will affect your gravity reading.

With my sparges, I let them run until there's nothing coming out of the ball valve and I open it all the way up. I have a false bottom in my MLT and have never had a stuck sparge (knock on wood).
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Old 09-01-2008, 08:34 PM   #7
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I have your efficiency at around 72%. At least you know how much boil will occur for the next batch so you can adjust the volume needed preboil. A nice thing with all grain is that you can easily make 5.5 gallon batches so that you get a good 5 gallons after racking to keg or bottling bucket.
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Old 09-01-2008, 09:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blender View Post
I have your efficiency at around 72%. At least you know how much boil will occur for the next batch so you can adjust the volume needed preboil. A nice thing with all grain is that you can easily make 5.5 gallon batches so that you get a good 5 gallons after racking to keg or bottling bucket.
Quick question...how exactly did you calculate my efficiency...I've been playin around with the trial version of beersmith but haven't quite figured it yet.

As an example....Ed's recipe calls for a total of 8 gallons of water...since I din't exactly record how much wort I had pre-boil (estimated 6 gallons ish) it may be difficult to calculate water needed for a 5.5 finish. But in theory had I payed greater attention....are you saying I could just sparge/rinse with greater volumes to hit bigger pre-boil totals? I wouldn't have to adjust the grains any higher too or would this just absorb more water anyways?
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Old 09-01-2008, 10:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diablotastic View Post
Quick question...how exactly did you calculate my efficiency...I've been playin around with the trial version of beersmith but haven't quite figured it yet.

As an example....Ed's recipe calls for a total of 8 gallons of water...since I din't exactly record how much wort I had pre-boil (estimated 6 gallons ish) it may be difficult to calculate water needed for a 5.5 finish. But in theory had I payed greater attention....are you saying I could just sparge/rinse with greater volumes to hit bigger pre-boil totals? I wouldn't have to adjust the grains any higher too or would this just absorb more water anyways?
Yes, once you know your boil off rate and can depend on it you collect that much volume to reach your batch size after the boiling is done. I start with roughly 8 gallons to get to 5.5 into the fermenter.

If you measure gravity at the batch size then you will dial in your efficiency so you can adjust your grain bill to meet that number. I hope this makes some sense but it takes a few brews to really get the hang of your equipment and method.
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Old 09-01-2008, 10:18 PM   #10
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It is starting to make sense a bit...thanks. Pretty much I have to have a good understanding of my boil off rate to fully understand how much water to add to get to my fermenter volumes....once that is known and if my efficieny is low I could then adjust grain levels to compensate as one technique to hit levels if I undertood it properly

I guess a 72% isn't all that bad for my 1st AG with LHBS crush, batch sparging, and a bit of fumbling with my initial mash temp?


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