anyway to salvage my first all grain brew?

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argodzilla

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So a couple Saturdays ago my buddy and I attempted our first all grain brew. We drank a lot of beer while we were brewing and this caused some problems. We hit all our beer smith numbers for a 10 gallon batch of Mosiac Imperial Pale Ale up to pre boil. We did the starch test and found no starch before we drained the wort into the boil kettle. We batch sparged, and had about 12.5 gallons of pre boil wort. I kind of went off the rails a little here and my recollection is cloudy. He boiled with the Blichmann lid on the BK. After boil he said the gravity was 1.022. We pitched the yeast on about 11 gallons. We should have had 10 gallons. By boiling with the cover on, I feel like we diluted our beer. My plan is to rack some off in a few days and taste it. At that point I will have a choice of drinking near beer, or adding some extract to bring up the ABV.

Any suggestions? Maybe brew again real soon to put the first brew behind us?

Thanks guys...I think we have decided to drink less while we brew.
 

sbsmann

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How much and what type of grains did u mash. How long and at what temp? Losing 2.5 gallons over an hour plus boil is not unusual for 12.5 gallons.
 

whiskeyjack

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1.022 sounds wrong. An imperial ipa should have a starting gravity of around 1.050 or higher I would think. Did you check preboil gravity, because it would be hard to get less then what you started with. Also boil with the lid off. You drive out off flavors and condense your wort.
 
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argodzilla

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How much and what type of grains did u mash. How long and at what temp? Losing 2.5 gallons over an hour plus boil is not unusual for 12.5 gallons.
15lbs 6oz of pale 2 row
2lbs 9 oz of Gold Pils Vienna
1lbs .4 oz Munich Malt
8.2 oz Crystal 20
8.2 oz Cara 45

60 minutes mash at 152 - then tested starch free...

OG should have been 1.046 and I was at 1.022.

I did a single batch sparge...
 
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argodzilla

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1.022 sounds wrong. An imperial ipa should have a starting gravity of around 1.050 or higher I would think. Did you check preboil gravity, because it would be hard to get less then what you started with. Also boil with the lid off. You drive out off flavors and condense your wort.
We missed the pre boil gravity reading. We sparged gently over the grain bed, and did not stir. Could be have lost sugar here? Should we have stirred during the batch sparge?
 

Brett Goldstein

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15lbs 6oz of pale 2 row
2lbs 9 oz of Gold Pils Vienna
1lbs .4 oz Munich Malt
8.2 oz Crystal 20
8.2 oz Cara 45

60 minutes mash at 152 - then tested starch free...

OG should have been 1.046 and I was at 1.022.

I did a single batch sparge...
Did you adjust the OG reading for the temperature? Worse case, it’ll still be beer!
 
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argodzilla

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Did you adjust the OG reading for the temperature? Worse case, it’ll still be beer!
Hydrometer reading was taken at 68. That also crossed my mind, but he reminded me that he spilled it on my hand. :smh: Too many Night Shift "Whirlpools"...
 
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argodzilla

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1.022 sounds wrong. An imperial ipa should have a starting gravity of around 1.050 or higher I would think. Did you check preboil gravity, because it would be hard to get less then what you started with. Also boil with the lid off. You drive out off flavors and condense your wort.
Thanks! Lid off answers one of the questions i had.
 

day_trippr

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[...]Should we have stirred during the batch sparge?
Yes, a good stir after you've added the sparge liquor is always a good idea when batch sparging.
Then drain the lot and you're good to go.

Assuming all of the measurements were accurate the missing one - pre-boil SG - is the key. Even with the complete lack of boil-off, the pre-boil SG had to be quite low to end up with 22 point wort.

On the up side, if you two are drinking this ultra-lite batch when you brew the next you'll be less likely to make mistakes ;)

Cheers!
 

leonardoreges

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First of all, go all the way on this batch. It’s your first, you guys are gonna enjoy the result. In my first batch a made some mistakes and even though I remember it as one of the best beers I’ve brew, mostly because of the pleasure of drinking something I brewed.
Second, you’ve got messed up with all your readings, maybe everything went right and you just don’t know it.
 

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You probably need to check that the grains are milled properly. Did u crush the grains yourself? Next time post a picture of the grain before u start, and check mash pH & temp at halfway, and preboil gravity. Make sure that there are not many beers available..
 

Hwk-I-St8

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You probably need to check that the grains are milled properly. Did u crush the grains yourself? Next time post a picture of the grain before u start, and check mash pH & temp at halfway, and preboil gravity. Make sure that there are not many beers available..
This was my thinking too. If the gravity reading is correct, it sounds almost like you mashed with unmilled grains.
 

ESBrewer

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Yes, also mix carefully during mash in to get a homogeneous mixture with even temperature and without any dough balls. Also mix water with grains when batch sparging.
 

JohnSand

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The lid wasn't the problem with gravity. If your eleven gallon 1.022 batch were boiled down to ten gallons, it would only be 1.024. On 1.022, your final gravity should be about 1.004 or 5. If it's higher, multiply by 4 to find your O.G.
 

Jhu1321

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I don't think that's enough grain for a 12.5 gallon batch. What is your estimated efficiency?
 

seatazzz

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Get thee a refractometer posthaste. The starch test is okay, but a refractometer will give you a precise reading of your SG. +1 on giving the mash a good stir after the sparge as well. Your grain bill looks okay for a 1.040 range preboil for a 10 gallon batch, so something else isn't right. I too am leaning towards unmilled grains, with your process you should have had a higher SG.
 
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argodzilla

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The grain was milled at the Homebrew supply store. I
This was my thinking too. If the gravity reading is correct, it sounds almost like you mashed with unmilled grains.
Grains were milled at the Homebrew supply store. They looked good to me.
 
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argodzilla

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Yes, also mix carefully during mash in to get a homogeneous mixture with even temperature and without any dough balls. Also mix water with grains when batch sparging.
I carefully mixed them on mash in. I didn't mix them during my batch sparge. I carefully added my sparge water and then drained it off without stirring...bad move I now know.
 

seatazzz

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Well that shoots that out of the water. Please don't be offended, but could the gravity had been read wrong? Thermometer calibrated? If you have enough volume to do so, I would do a hydrometer reading on it now. Something still doesn't seem right. Based on what you listed, your gravity really should have been higher.
 
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argodzilla

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Get thee a refractometer posthaste. The starch test is okay, but a refractometer will give you a precise reading of your SG. +1 on giving the mash a good stir after the sparge as well. Your grain bill looks okay for a 1.040 range preboil for a 10 gallon batch, so something else isn't right. I too am leaning towards unmilled grains, with your process you should have had a higher SG.
I'm starting to wonder if my drunk friend read the hydrometer wrong. He is a highschool chemistry teacher...so this seems unlikely.
 
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argodzilla

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So
Well that shoots that out of the water. Please don't be offended, but could the gravity had been read wrong? Thermometer calibrated? If you have enough volume to do so, I would do a hydrometer reading on it now. Something still doesn't seem right. Based on what you listed, your gravity really should have been higher.
I quickly sanitized my auto siphon and took a sample. It is coming in at 1.010 after 10 days in the fermentation chamber sitting at 68. It tastes pretty good. You can certainly taste the alcohol. I still have fermentation taking place also. All thermometer readings were double checked with a Javelin Pro instant read therm.
 

JohnSand

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Which supports the theory that your OG was much higher than 1.022. I thought that reading must be wrong. If your final is 1.010, your OG was likely 1.040-1.050.
Congratulations.
 

madscientist451

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So

I quickly sanitized my auto siphon and took a sample. It is coming in at 1.010 after 10 days in the fermentation chamber sitting at 68. It tastes pretty good. You can certainly taste the alcohol. I still have fermentation taking place also.
Tastes good? Then forget about all the numbers on this one and enjoy it.
But next time:
--Avoid drinking until wort is chilled and in the fermenter, or drink moderately so you can take notes.
--Boil with the lid off
--take a pre-boil sample and chill it down in an ice bath while the boil is getting started, this will give you an idea of how well the day is going.
--pull a separate sample of your final runnings from the batch sparge and chill that down also for a gravity reading.
--keep some extract on hand and be ready to use it if you haven't hit your numbers.
--Don't worry, eventually you'll figure out a method that works for you.
 

eric19312

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Which supports the theory that your OG was much higher than 1.022. I thought that reading must be wrong. If your final is 1.010, your OG was likely 1.040-1.050.
Congratulations.
Possibly even higher than 1.050 depending on the yeast. Good advice to moderate drinking while brewing. If brewing with friends and you know you will be drinking take extra steps during prep time. Maybe before friends show up. Everything ready, measured, set to go. Brew log printed, salts weighed, water collected... you maybe get the picture. Have fun though...it’s not supposed to be work.
 
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argodzilla

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Tastes good? Then forget about all the numbers on this one and enjoy it.
But next time:
--Avoid drinking until wort is chilled and in the fermenter, or drink moderately so you can take notes.
--Boil with the lid off
--take a pre-boil sample and chill it down in an ice bath while the boil is getting started, this will give you an idea of how well the day is going.
--pull a separate sample of your final runnings from the batch sparge and chill that down also for a gravity reading.
--keep some extract on hand and be ready to use it if you haven't hit your numbers.
--Don't worry, eventually you'll figure out a method that works for you.
Great advice thank you!
When I take my sparge sample should I see a different reading than my initial reading? I would have assumed that the wort from the mash first running would have a higher gravity than the sparge sample?
 
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argodzilla

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Next time closely examine your crushed grain before leaving the store, if there are more than a few whole kernels of grain in the grist, have them run thru the mill a second time perhaps at a tighter gap if they will accommodate you.

proper crush described in this article

http://brewlikeapro.net/maltmilling.html
Wow great research paper...I wish he had looked at the 3 roller monster mill. I think that is going to be my next purchase.
So I ended up buying 40 lbs instead of the 20. I went to a brew store that didn't mill, and I remembered I bought my wife a $500 Komo Magic Mill. I decided I would use it to mill my grain after calling them. I milled 15 lbs of it, and it didn't look right. The grains where course ground and not crushed. I when went to another place and bought an additional 20 pounds crushed. The grains looked right...I studied them intensely. Beersmith said to mash for 75 minutes. Then do a 10 minute mashout. I did a starch test at 60 minutes before vourlaff on an upright cooler mashtun. Could the heavier wort loaded with sugar been on the bottom...and maybe the process was not completed and the starch was on the top?
I skipped mashout.
 

Miraculix

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Great advice thank you!
When I take my sparge sample should I see a different reading than my initial reading? I would have assumed that the wort from the mash first running would have a higher gravity than the sparge sample?
That's correct. Just measure the gravity of the combined runnings after thorough mixing.

Some people brew different beers from the different runnings, but I wouldn't bother with that technique now. Just keep it in mind for later as a possibility to brew two different beers from the same batch.
 
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