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thehawk

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Today i did my first all grain brew. Simple recipe.
8.5 lbs 2 row
.5 lbs crystal 15
1oz willamette for 60 min
1oz willamette for 1 min.
Hit my mash temp of 52, did double batch sparge with 168 water.
Everything went good except the pre boil gravity was 1.042 for 7 gals of wort reading adjusted from temp of 68.
Beer tools said it should have been 1.034. I use beer tools because it runs on a Mac. Boiled for 60 min and ended up with about 4.75 gals in fermenter at a gravity of 1.054. Added 1 gal of water to bring volume up and gravity to 1.044.
Now for the questions:
Is beer tools wrong on the pre boil gravity.
Also I never boil off that much volume, usually end up with 5.5 gal in fermenter. Any suggestions? Thanks
Jim
 

RCCOLA

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Today i did my first all grain brew. Simple recipe.
8.5 lbs 2 row
.5 lbs crystal 15
1oz willamette for 60 min
1oz willamette for 1 min.
Hit my mash temp of 52, did double batch sparge with 168 water.
Everything went good except the pre boil gravity was 1.042 for 7 gals of wort reading adjusted from temp of 68.
Beer tools said it should have been 1.034. I use beer tools because it runs on a Mac. Boiled for 60 min and ended up with about 4.75 gals in fermenter at a gravity of 1.054. Added 1 gal of water to bring volume up and gravity to 1.044.
Now for the questions:
Is beer tools wrong on the pre boil gravity.
Also I never boil off that much volume, usually end up with 5.5 gal in fermenter. Any suggestions? Thanks
Jim
Congratulations on your success.You did better than you expected.The gravity difference is because you were more efficient than the percentage you had set on beer tools.Change the efficiency % upward until you have the gravity that you ended up w/ for the volume you collected and then you will know how efficient you were.I use a different calculator but they all work the same.:tank:
 

double_e5

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Like was said above, you got better efficiency than what your recipe was set at.

Another suggestion is sparge with hotter water. Something around 185*. You want your grain bed to get ~ 168* not your sparge water.
 

ajf

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If you really ended up with 7g at 1.042, then you got 88% efficiency. Not impossible, but not very easy either.
But if you started the boil with 7g at 1.042, really boiled it down to 4.75g, and transferred it all to the fermenter, you would have an OG of 1.061.

I would suspect that one of your gravity or volume readings is a bit off, but if you ended up (prior to diluting) with 4.75g at 1.054, you still got 77% efficiency, which is PDG.

Congrats,

-a.
 

steelerguy

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Good job on anything over 70% on your first AG batch. That is a simple recipe, that will have a low ABV...sounds like a perfect beer for warm weather!
 
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thehawk

thehawk

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Thanks for the comments. The original gravity reading might have been wrong because I did end up with 7 gallons. I choose this recipe because it was easy and I just did the same one as an extract that I will keg on Friday.
Thanks
Jim
 

GunnerMan

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I dont want to hijack the thread but I don't want to creat another "first Ag batch" thread. Ok I just got a 5 gal cooler from my boss for free that im gonna convert to a mlt so I should starting Ag by next week.

Anyways I want to start with a simple, tried, and true recipe IE Ode to Arthure guinnes clone. So the recipe is formulated at 75% efficiency, I will be doing a batch sparge and I know efficiency is lost with batch sparge so I reduced my Brewhouse efficiencey to 72% in BeerSmith.
Here lies the question: So it is almost a given my first AG will have less efficiency than normal so how do I get my pre boil OG in the ball park of what I am looking for. Should I just guess that im going to get 65-70% efficiency and add more grain to my mash. Then measure my pre-boil gravity when I have collected my 6.5 gallons of wort and hope it came close and adjust my hop schedule accordingly?

Im not worried about the gravity being to high really, but I do not want a low gravity and end up with a bitter stout that has 2% Abv.
 

Dougan

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I did my first "real" partial mash (with my picnic cooler lauter tun) about a month ago... took the hydro reading and calculated like 34% and was pretty disheartened. Added more extract to compensate and when the boil was done I was at 1.070 and had to fill up to 6 gal to compensate. I had forgotten to take a temp adjustment for my hydrometer, turns out I was somewhere near 75%!

gunnerman said:
So it is almost a given my first AG will have less efficiency than normal so how do I get my pre boil OG in the ball park of what I am looking for. Should I just guess that im going to get 65-70% efficiency and add more grain to my mash. Then measure my pre-boil gravity when I have collected my 6.5 gallons of wort and hope it came close and adjust my hop schedule accordingly?
My advice would be to have some light extract on hand. Your color will pretty much always be the same no matter how successful your mash is. If you find that your efficiency was really bad, throw in a little extract to compensate. It won't be a true all-grain, but if your mash is bad enough to throw in extract it wouldn't turn out well anyways. Plus even if you do try and fail and turn your AG into a partial mash, you still learn about mashing/lautering.

BTW, as someone who just recently started, I would recommend you follow your brewing software's strike temp instructions exactly and try to mash closer to the middle(155) than your recipe might say. That way if your recipe says, for example, 150, and you shoot for 154 and miss by a couple degrees, you'll still be in the acceptable range. If you shoot for 150 and are 4 degrees short, you're in trouble. After I did it once or twice I figured out my temperature difference for my mash tun and am able to dial it in much better. But the bottom line is shooting for 155 and hitting 151 won't really hurt your efficiency. But shooting for 151 and hitting 147 will.
 

GunnerMan

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Thanks for the responce here, I have been reading and studying my brains out about this Ag thing and I am not to concerned with having such a bad mash that I need to add DME, I am just concerned ill have a grain bill for an efficiency that is way off of what I will really get.

I think I will brew with brewhouse efficiency at 70% to start and see where it takes me. If i come in low its not that big of an issue as long as it is not unuseable(in wich case ill add some extract).
 

Dougan

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I think I will brew with brewhouse efficiency at 70% to start and see where it takes me. If i come in low its not that big of an issue as long as it is not unuseable(in wich case ill add some extract).
Very good approach. I just looked at my notes and my first that I spoke of earlier was 68%. And I did a terrible job of hitting temps. So you should do great.
 

RCCOLA

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Very good approach. I just looked at my notes and my first that I spoke of earlier was 68%. And I did a terrible job of hitting temps. So you should do great.
Something I did on my last batch was to overheat the strike water and put it in the MLT and let it drop into the proper range /then add the grain.I had been losing temp from the transfer from the kettle to the tun,and you dont have to preheat the tun.Hit my strike temps and stabilized exactly where I needed it.:mug:
 

Ragutis

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Something I did on my last batch was to overheat the strike water and put it in the MLT and let it drop into the proper range /then add the grain.I had been losing temp from the transfer from the kettle to the tun,and you dont have to preheat the tun.Hit my strike temps and stabilized exactly where I needed it.:mug:
Thats what I did on my last batch. (My 3rd AG) I figured the overheated water would preheat the mash tun and waited for it to hit my strike temp. Worked great.
 

GunnerMan

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I have Beersmith calculating for equipment etc so I think I will follow it's directions, it is easyier to cool down than to heat up. I'm going to do a 65% efficiency, if my OG is high, again it is easier to add water to bring it down. I have a feeling I am going to do pretty well though.
 

Professor Frink

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Good job on your first AG. As far as efficiency goes, consistency is key. Getting a high efficiency is great, but getting the same efficiency every time goes a long way in terms of designing and brewing great beers.
 
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