Apa og 1.020!!!

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Tumpster

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Yeah, thats right, I nailed a session APA with an origional gravity of 1.020. How could I have gone this wrong with the recipe of this:
8lbs 2 Row
10oz Cara 40
6oz Carapils

Hit a low temp of 134 after cooling with 2 liters of 60 degree water after getting temps of 160 when I doughed in. Attempted w/ about 2 gallons of average 180 degree water to raise the temps but feel that the temps did not rise above 148 degrees. Final OG was 1.020, where could I have gone wrong and where can I fix this to make sure I'm hitting my target gravities. I used round about 11 gallons of water total. I batch sparge in a cooler and have hit or miss batches in the past through my 10 months of AG brewing?
 

lumpher

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looks like you mean fg of 1.020. what yeast did you use, and how long did it ferment in what temp room?
 

Carter1932

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Do you mill your own grain? Are you confident it was an adequate crush?

Were the batches that hit their target OG crushed differently from the ones that did not hit their OG?

Obviously temperatures matter; I presume you mashed for at least on hour?
 

Golddiggie

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Sounds like you need to get better at hitting your mash temps, and then holding them... Well, hitting them more likely since the cooler should hold it well enough for you... Did you pre-heat the mash tun? How did you figure the strike water temp? You're probably getting 'hit or miss' results due to needing to refine the process with your gear.

BTW, how many batches are we talking about over the past 10 months?
 
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Tumpster

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looks like you mean fg of 1.020. what yeast did you use, and how long did it ferment in what temp room?
Unfortunately I mean the gravity I got after boiling, before pitching yeast.
As for grain, I mill it at Northern Brewer here in Milwaukee and have always milled at their facility for the last year that I've been AG and like I've said, nailed some, missed some.

As for my mash tun, this is it:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Coleman-70-Quart-Xtreme-Cooler/4807332

I converted it and always preheat it, I get the water to 170-180 and wait for around 162 before I dough in or pitch my malt into it to drop it to around 152-153 degrees before I then close it up and let it sit for 60 minutes. This time I got low low temps after I tossed in 2 liters of cold water and tried desperately to get the temps back up after like 5 attempts of about a 1/2 liter 182 degree water each time I said screw it and went with it for 60 minutes at about 147-148 degrees. I still boiled up a 4.65 gallons of water to 180 degrees and mashed in with that and let it sit for 10 minutes before I ran off the full 5.5 gallons of wort to boil off. I ended up yielding about 7 gallons of wort which some I had to toss down the drain. I'm curious on how to refine my craft and ensure I'm brewing AG as best as I could.


As for batches I've got under my belt, 13 batches so far.
 

Golddiggie

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Same cooler converted into a mash tun that I have... Since it's holding the temps properly, it's not the issue..

I think the issue started when you added cold water to the mash... Why did you do that? Seems like you're your own worst enemy on that batch... Are the other 'miss' batches similar?

Just wondering, do you have a refractometer to check the wort with as you mash/sparge?

Next time, don't add cold water to the mash. Get the temp right (or close enough for government work) and let it rest for the full hour (or more) that you need to mash. Did you mash for a total of 60 minutes, or 60 minutes from when you got the temps stable?

You tossed out 1.5 gallons of wort?? Why?? IMO you would have been better off including that in the boil, even if it means a longer boil. Or start it boiling while the main part is boiling, and add it as you have room in the main pot/kettle...

I really think you need to refine getting the mash temps nailed/stable first. It's not like you need to use a ton of water in the mash.

I only had ONE F'd up mash so far... It was because I decided to not install a manifold/screen in the cooler, and just use the ball valve first. So, I was using the BIAB in a 70qt cooler... Didn't do a decent job of getting rid of the dough balls. Still, I had enough good wort to make a solid brew out of it, without adding any extract. Since then, I've not had a repeat of that kind of issue. I did some more BIAB batches, until I outgrew the sparge pot. I'm now using the cooler mash tun (fitted with a bazooka screen) and loving it...
 
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Tumpster

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Same cooler converted into a mash tun that I have... Since it's holding the temps properly, it's not the issue..

I think the issue started when you added cold water to the mash... Why did you do that? Seems like you're your own worst enemy on that batch... Are the other 'miss' batches similar?

Just wondering, do you have a refractometer to check the wort with as you mash/sparge?

Next time, don't add cold water to the mash. Get the temp right (or close enough for government work) and let it rest for the full hour (or more) that you need to mash. Did you mash for a total of 60 minutes, or 60 minutes from when you got the temps stable?

You tossed out 1.5 gallons of wort?? Why?? IMO you would have been better off including that in the boil, even if it means a longer boil. Or start it boiling while the main part is boiling, and add it as you have room in the main pot/kettle...

I really think you need to refine getting the mash temps nailed/stable first. It's not like you need to use a ton of water in the mash.

I only had ONE F'd up mash so far... It was because I decided to not install a manifold/screen in the cooler, and just use the ball valve first. So, I was using the BIAB in a 70qt cooler... Didn't do a decent job of getting rid of the dough balls. Still, I had enough good wort to make a solid brew out of it, without adding any extract. Since then, I've not had a repeat of that kind of issue. I did some more BIAB batches, until I outgrew the sparge pot. I'm now using the cooler mash tun (fitted with a bazooka screen) and loving it...
I added cold water to the mash because I got temps of 160 and wanted to lower the temps down to where they needed to be for my main mash after I felt they were too high to mash in after I put in my crushed grain in. The other miss batches are not similar in the sens of missed temps, one was just a complete break down in my mash tun with the filter coming off and the hosing coming apart due to usage. Needless to say that was also a low gravity beer so I wasn't too disappointed that it didn't work out. I mashed for 60 minutes once I figured I was going to go with the temps that I was getting off my thermometer. Where else could I or have I gone wrong with this batch? I understand that I've got things down but need to improve upon them much like I had it down when I was just extract brewing solely. Thank you for your assistance so far.
 

Golddiggie

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Just for giggles, how about if you preheat to a lower temp? Go for about 170F (or ~10F lower than this time) or don't heat the mash water so high... I believe, if you enter into Beer Smith that the mash tun is pre-heated, you'll get a different strike water temperature...

Just checked in Beer Smith... If you enter the temp the mash tun will be pre-heated to, and check the box "Adjust Temp for Equipment" your strike water temp will change... I'm looking into the parameters they want to make sure I give the correct values. If it's the temp of the water for the pre-heat, or the temp of the mash tun water when it leaves the mash tun... Doesn't look like it will change the strike temp a lot, but it could be worth trying out... I would make sure you also have the right settings for the actual grain temp... Since that also influences where the mash temp will settle...

Are you using Beer Smith to help out, or other software, or any software??
 
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Tumpster

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Just for giggles, how about if you preheat to a lower temp? Go for about 170F (or ~10F lower than this time) or don't heat the mash water so high... I believe, if you enter into Beer Smith that the mash tun is pre-heated, you'll get a different strike water temperature...

Just checked in Beer Smith... If you enter the temp the mash tun will be pre-heated to, and check the box "Adjust Temp for Equipment" your strike water temp will change... I'm looking into the parameters they want to make sure I give the correct values. If it's the temp of the water for the pre-heat, or the temp of the mash tun water when it leaves the mash tun... Doesn't look like it will change the strike temp a lot, but it could be worth trying out... I would make sure you also have the right settings for the actual grain temp... Since that also influences where the mash temp will settle...

Are you using Beer Smith to help out, or other software, or any software??

I've been using this for my help:
http://www.brew365.com/mash_sparge_water_calculator.php

I'm going to have to start using Beer Smith to see where I need to start nailing my gravities. I'm so disappointed as most of my AG are off by .05-.10 in gravities.
 

Golddiggie

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I've been using this for my help:
http://www.brew365.com/mash_sparge_water_calculator.php

I'm going to have to start using Beer Smith to see where I need to start nailing my gravities. I'm so disappointed as most of my AG are off by .05-.10 in gravities.
Being off by 5-10 gravity points isn't that big of a deal.. Depending on what efficiency the software is assuming...

You can try Beer Smith for free for 21 days... After that, it's $21.95 for the licenses for two systems (so you can put it on your desktop/tower as well as laptop)...

I've not used the software you linked to, so I don't know if that has anything to do with your issue or not. Could just be user error you know. :D Are you seeing a lot of 10T error ID codes? :D

Once you have your system dialed-in and know what your getting for steady efficiencies, then you can start working on improving on that (if it needs to be improved)... As long as you're getting stable results, who's to say? I was getting 78-82% efficiencies with BIAB using grain crushed by others. I've not had enough batches in my current setup to have a efficiency range yet. Until then, I'm formulating my recipes on a 75% efficiency.

I have a refractometer on the way (I hope)... Once I have it, I'll have a better idea of what's going on. I'll be able to get SG readings from the mash wort as well as the sparge wort, so I'll know where I'm at... I'll also be able to get a combined SG pre-boil as well as post-boil without jumping through hoops... If you don't have one yet, I would give serious thought to getting one... Bobby_M has one for a great price... I've yet to see anyplace else as affordable... BTW, I don't have any ties with Bobby_M... Other than we're both members of THIS site... :D
 

dantheman13

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Let us know what you figure out the problem was. So many threads seem to have questions and answers, but not follow up! I find this thread fascinating and would like to know if the root problem is ever found! Thanks in advance. :)
 
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Tumpster

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I think in most of my batches the SG are off by a bit, I'm trying to learn still how to ensure I hit the target gravities I want to hit. I'm always open to tips/tricks on how to do this!
 

GuldTuborg

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You used 11 gallons water total? What was the batch size, as in, at what volume were you measuring 1.020 OG?
 

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