Did my first AG batch today - unsure if it was successful

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RyPA

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For my very first AG brew I did a Lawsons Sip of Sunshine clone recipe and everything seems to have gone well. From start to finish in 5 hours. More pictures added in post 11.

I used strike water at around 162 F and it gave me a mash temp at 153 F (1 degree over what my instructions said), which it stayed at for the entire hour. I got around 3 gallons from my first runnings, I then sparged 4 more gallons using water at around 160 F. Total boil was 7 gallons.
PXL_20210925_171316900.jpg


My OG came in at 1.6 both before and after my boil (reading for both taken at ~68F). Did I do something wrong or am I reading this wrong? The instructions say my OG should be 1.076 and FG 1.016
PXL_20210925_183800821.jpg
PXL_20210925_174740066.jpg


I was only able to get around 4.5 gallons into my carboy since my auto-siphon was giving me trouble, but I did avoid bringing in a lot of trub from the bottom of the kettle.
PXL_20210925_202129535 (1).jpg
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PXL_20210918_193448309.jpg
 
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BrewnWKopperKat

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I used strike water at around 162 F and it gave me a mash temp at 153 F (1 degree over what my instructions said), which it stayed at for the entire hour.
Mash temperatures look good. See my question at the end of this reply.

QUOTE="RyPA, post: 9168059, member: 234167"]
My OG came in at 1.6 both before and after my boil (reading for both taken at ~68F). Did I do something wrong or am I reading this wrong? The instructions say my OG should be 1.076 and FG 1.016
[/QUOTE]

OG measured before pitching yeast. FG is measured at the end of fermentation.

OG 76 (recipe) vs OG 60 (actual) is something that you'll want to 'investigate' over time. If my math is correct, it looks like your efficiency is a little low (around 70%?) vs what the recipe assumed (75%).

everything seems to have gone well.
From what you wrote (and, btw, good photos!), I would agree. .

A question for you. The instructions mention this
1632608689761.png
which leads to the question:

What was your water source and did you add any additional minerals?
 
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RyPA

RyPA

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Ok, good, I may be ok then, I thought OG was pre boil and FG was post boil...I just got mixed up as it's been years since I home brewed.

I used tap water as I think my water quality is decent. I did not add anything.

I have a ton more pics that I'll add to this thread. And the minor issues/annoyances I had.
 
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RyPA

RyPA

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I didn't lose that much wort in the boil, maybe 1/2 gallon. Crossing my fingers is all I can do I guess.
 

YaleH

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I didn't lose that much wort in the boil, maybe 1/2 gallon. Crossing my fingers is all I can do I guess.
Your numbers are off a little which happens and you can figure out with more brews how to get them closer...... it's all in the acceptable range I feel and bottom line is you'll have beer in the end. May not taste exactly like clone and ABV could be lower but use this batch to learn what to do to make next one better!!!
 

Sammy86

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For my very first AG brew I did a Lawsons Sip of Sunshine clone recipe and everything seems to have gone well. From start to finish in 5 hours.

I used strike water at around 162 F and it gave me a mash temp at 153 F (1 degree over what my instructions said), which it stayed at for the entire hour. I got around 3 gallons from my first runnings, I then sparged 4 more gallons using water at around 160 F. Total boil was 7 gallons.
View attachment 743528

My OG came in at 1.6 both before and after my boil (reading for both taken at ~68F). Did I do something wrong or am I reading this wrong? The instructions say my OG should be 1.076 and FG 1.016
View attachment 743530 View attachment 743529

I was only able to get around 4.5 gallons into my carboy since my auto-siphon was giving me trouble, but I did avoid bringing in a lot of trub from the bottom of the kettle.
View attachment 743532 View attachment 743531


View attachment 743534
All things considered you did a good job! Do not stress the small stuff...you made wort! Turn it into beer...as you keep brewing you'll figure out your numbers and efficiency and you'll look back on this and chuckle...I recently looked back at my first threads and I laugh at myself because I didn't know spit!

Well done, and I hope you enjoyed the process!

:mug:
 

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I used tap water as I think my water quality is decent. I did not add anything.
If you're using tap water (nothing wrong with that, I've used DC tap water for 25 years and I used PDX water for five years prior to that) you'll certainly want to use campden tablets. Your municipal water supply will employ either chlorine or chloramine to maintain sanitation within the water system. Either of those chemicals can cause off flavors in beer if left untreated. Fortunately, campden tablets are dirt cheap and easy to use.

It sounds like you had a great maiden brew day, many happy returns! :bigmug:
 

RM-MN

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Your lower than expected OG compared to what the recipe calls for is probably due to a difference in the quality of the milling of the grain. The grain milling is always a 3 way compromise, one factor being the local homebrew store (or where ever you bought the grains), one factor being the ability to drain the mash tun, one factor being the recipe itself. If the grain is left in larger particles (poor crush) you get lower efficiency and you can compensate 2 ways, buy a little more grain or mash for a longer time than the typical 60 minutes. There are limitations on how much efficiency you can pick up by longer mash though.

If you own the mill you can crush finer but at some point the mash will become stuck and not drain. That will be a pain so adjust the mill just a wee bit wider. If you get it just right, you will need to adjust the recipe to account for the higher efficiency and the associated higher OG.
 

hotbeer

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My OG came in at 1.6 both before and after my boil (reading for both taken at ~68F). Did I do something wrong or am I reading this wrong? The instructions say my OG should be 1.076 and FG 1.016
View attachment 743530
It's roughly 1.060 not 1.6.

Not sure how you could end up with the same SG pre and post boil unless you added water after the boil. Especially since you added sugar during the boil. So maybe a error reading the hydrometer that time too.
 
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RyPA

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I didn't add any water to my boil, but as I mentioned above, I lost only a little wort through the boil. I am thinking this may have affected my SG from increasing post boil since the concentration remained constant? I am wondering if my stove not having enough output could have cause the issue. I reached boil for sure, but it was not a vigorous boil.

Here's more pics of my brew day. Thank you all for your feedback!

I originally planned to use an outside propane burner, but the burner was brand new (and I've never used one) and I had only 1/2 tank of propane so I decided to play it safe and brew in my kitchen. To speed up heating up/boiling I used both my 5 gallon new 10 gallon kettles.
PXL_20210925_145214550.jpg

Strike water at 163, ready to mash. The strike water calculator worked perfectly , it said 162 but I striked at 163 because I'm impatient and figured 1 degree wouldn't hurt, mash temp landed at 153 (1 over what the instructions called for). Picture of mash temp is in my first post. The mash tun held up great, no leaks! The cooler worked amazing from a temperature perspective as well, I had 0 temperature loss over one hour.
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Ready to start vorlaufing.
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I got around 3 gallons from my first runnings and then batch sparged another 4 gallons. I overshot my sparge water addition by around 1/2 gallon.
PXL_20210925_172653231.jpg PXL_20210925_174724112.jpg

Time to start boiling, so I got the additions ready. I also added 1/2 a whirlfloc tablet at 15 minutes.
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I put 2 gallons in my 5 gallon kettle and 5 in my 10 gallon kettle to speed things up. When the small kettle hit 200F, I poured it into my 10 gallon.
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Hop additions (corn sugar, not pictured, was added at 10 minutes)
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Added immersion chiller at around 5 minutes to sterilize it
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When my temp reached around 165, I did a 20 minute whirlpool
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After the whirlpool, I filled my sink with ice water and began chilling again, down to 65F, which took a while.
PXL_20210925_194950703.jpg

I auto-siphoned around 4.5-4.75 gallons into my carboy. For some reason it was giving me trouble and kept stopping on me. It worked perfectly fine beforehand when I did some siphoning with starsan to sanitize it. I want to get a fitting for my kettle so next time I can drain directly from the kettle ball valve. I think I missed out on 1/2 gallon or so of usable wort, but at the same time I avoided sucking in a lot of trub.
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My dog was a good sport while I brewed so I made him treats out of the spent grains.
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This morning, ~20 hours after pitching yeast, we have activity!
PXL_20210926_171607839.jpg PXL_20210926_163352422.jpg PXL_20210926_163406775.jpg

 
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hotbeer

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I see that your instruction sheet states to do a 60 minute boil. However with all your other details of what you did, you seem to have left out what your actual boil time was.

I only do small batches inside on the stove, but I lose a lot of water during my 1 hour boil. Maybe because of the lower humidity inside or maybe I boil too hard. At any rate, I can't account for your pre-boil and post boil SG's being off from anything but error. Unless your pre and post boil volume were the same. And that is hard to believe if you had any boil at all during that 60 minute period. Even during my mashes at <155°F for an hour I have loss of liquid volume.

As far as your current beer in the fermenter. Don't worry about it. It will be beer. Probably good beer.

I'm not really sure if you actually had a question or were just looking for moral support to take you through the patience you need for the ferment, bottling and conditioning of the beer.
 
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RyPA

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Your lower than expected OG compared to what the recipe calls for is probably due to a difference in the quality of the milling of the grain. The grain milling is always a 3 way compromise, one factor being the local homebrew store (or where ever you bought the grains), one factor being the ability to drain the mash tun, one factor being the recipe itself. If the grain is left in larger particles (poor crush) you get lower efficiency and you can compensate 2 ways, buy a little more grain or mash for a longer time than the typical 60 minutes. There are limitations on how much efficiency you can pick up by longer mash though.

If you own the mill you can crush finer but at some point the mash will become stuck and not drain. That will be a pain so adjust the mill just a wee bit wider. If you get it just right, you will need to adjust the recipe to account for the higher efficiency and the associated higher OG.
I ordered the kit with the grains pre-milled, I opted for regular (non-double) milling. I'll eventually get my own mill. I wanted to avoid double milling for the exact reason that you mentioned -- avoiding clogs in my filter. I'll need to take this into consideration for my next batch, would a refractometer help?

I see that your instruction sheet states to do a 60 minute boil. However with all your other details of what you did, you seem to have left out what your actual boil time was.

I only do small batches inside on the stove, but I lose a lot of water during my 1 hour boil. Maybe because of the lower humidity inside or maybe I boil too hard. At any rate, I can't account for your pre-boil and post boil SG's being off from anything but error. Unless your pre and post boil volume were the same. And that is hard to believe if you had any boil at all during that 60 minute period. Even during my mashes at <155°F for an hour I have loss of liquid volume.

As far as your current beer in the fermenter. Don't worry about it. It will be beer. Probably good beer.

I'm not really sure if you actually had a question or were just looking for moral support to take you through the patience you need for the ferment, bottling and conditioning of the beer.
Yes, I boiled for 60 minutes, I followed the instructions to a T except for mashing 1 degree higher. I lost I'd say 1/2 gallon or so during my boil.

I'm not sure if you read the entire thread, but my main question was why my OG and FG were the same, which I then realized (was told) FG is taken after fermentation, not after boil like I originally thought. I think everything went well and can't wait to drink it.
 
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hotbeer

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I thought your question was why the pre-boil and post-boil SG's were the same. I didn't realize you were actually confusing FG for the post boil reading and OG for pre-boil.

Though I don't see how losing a 1/2 gallon of water wouldn't make the SG's pre and post boil different, maybe it's not enough to move the hydrometer a few hundredth's thousandth's, so it can be seen easily with the hydrometers we use that have a large SG range on them.

I'm sure your beer will be good too. Be patient though.
 
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RyPA

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Yeah, it's been a few years since I brewed and completely wasn't thinking regarding when OG and FG was to be recorded. I am thinking that as well, too minor of a difference to notice on the hydrometer pre/post boil. Keeping my fingers crossed that my FG is somewhat close to expected FG.
 

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I was only able to get around 4.5 gallons into my carboy since my auto-siphon was giving me trouble, but I did avoid bringing in a lot of trub from the bottom of the kettle.
You should look into getting a barb for the ball valve on your kettle. Then you should be able to use that to transfer into the fermenter and skip the auto-siphon.
 
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RyPA

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You should look into getting a barb for the ball valve on your kettle. Then you should be able to use that to transfer into the fermenter and skip the auto-siphon.
I'm definitely doing that, but I need some kind of plumbing on the inside to avoid sucking up trub..I was thinking a fitting that is angled up a bit above the trub may work.
 
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RyPA

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Dry hopped tonight. Have any of you guys tried one of those carbonation stones for a corny keg? Considering picking one up.
PXL_20211003_230938345.jpg

One more fermentation shot from 27 or so hours after pitching
 

downzero

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If you're using tap water (nothing wrong with that, I've used DC tap water for 25 years and I used PDX water for five years prior to that) you'll certainly want to use campden tablets. Your municipal water supply will employ either chlorine or chloramine to maintain sanitation within the water system. Either of those chemicals can cause off flavors in beer if left untreated. Fortunately, campden tablets are dirt cheap and easy to use.

It sounds like you had a great maiden brew day, many happy returns! :bigmug:
Not can--will.
 

seatazzz

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That is a beautiful healthy fermentation going on there! Watch out though; staring at it for too long can be mesmerizing. I've been brewing for over 5 years now and I can sit and watch the yeast do their dance for minutes at a time.

Looks like you've done everything right; one thing I will stress, as will many others of us here, LEAVE IT ALONE. Do NOT open the fermenter to check on it, just leave it to do its thing for at least 10 days, optimally 10-14 days. Then you can take a hydrometer sample and check your FG (which, BTW, stand for finished gravity). Wait a day or two and test again; if the gravity reading is the same, you're done and ready to cold crash or just package. With a SG of about 1.060, you'll want a FG about 1.010-1.015. Having a clear fermenting vessel is helpful to keeping your hands off (and possible nasty bactieria/oxygen) out of your beer; just watch it do its thing. Cold crashing just means exactly that; lower the temperature of the wort to about 40-45 degrees and leave it for 4-5 days so the yeast will all drop (crash) out to the bottom, hopefully leaving clear beer. Cold crashing is NOT a required step, but is helpful to achieving clear beer. If you don't have the capability to do it, don't stress over it. The yeast will drop out in the bottle or the keg if you're going that route.
 
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RyPA

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Thanks for the comments. I am good with not opening the fermenter as I've brewed a few times in the past and read/learned the same thing when I was first starting out. I never remove the seal during fermentation, the most I do is lift the towel/cover to check the outside temp of the carboy and to see if there's any activity still going on.

I'll likely cold crash as I have a kegerator ready to go. Looking forward to trying this
 

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Carbonation stones? You mean like those things some drop in a glass to make it give off more bubbles?

If what I'm thinking about, then those are really de-carbonating the beer to give visual effect to the person consuming the beer. There isn't anything carbonating about them that I'm aware of.


Edit.... okay never mind, I should have googled first. I see that they are used similar to air stones. Not what I was thinking of at all.
 
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RyPA

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Yeah, my corny keg has an older lid and I was considering replacing it and came across those, they seem to get pretty good feedback.
 

franknbeans

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Yeah, my corny keg has an older lid and I was considering replacing it and came across those, they seem to get pretty good feedback.
Not to hi-jack your thread.. but it's still relevant. Is there any benefit to using a carb stone vs just using the gas post on the keg?
 
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RyPA

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Have you seen my baseball?

The carb stone lids have good reviews everywhere I look, I am hoping someone with experience can weigh in, and potentially save me 26.99.
 
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RyPA

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I just ordered it, I'll let you know in a few days.
 
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I use it several times and it does speed up the carbonation time. But I ended up with a Quick Carb from a brewer that quit and it’s a more intense carbonation system, so I opted to sell off the redundancy.
 

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Sounds like you have to drink more beer so you can test this thing out.
Gotta build that pipeline! I’ve been on a lager kick lately so sitting for a couple weeks to carb/mature hasn’t been an issue. As of today I have room for two kegs in the kegerator now so that should help.
 
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RyPA

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:cask:

I have a second corny keg collecting dust in my garage that I am considering filling with beer one day. Only 2 'problems': I am the only beer drinker in the house, and I need to buy a new 2-tap tower for my single tap kegerator, and possibly a new regulator.

Considering brewing a stout this winter. I've only done extract ales, and my currently fermenting/dry-hopped maiden AG IPA
 

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@RyPA - One other potential improvement to your process is to get closer to the 170 F mash out temperature. Your first post mentions that you sparged with 160 F water. That's not going to get you to the target mash out temperature of 168 to 170 F.
On your question about pre-boil and post-boil OG being the same ... you started started your 60 minute boil timer once the wort was boiling in your 10 gallon pot and not in the 5 gallon pot, right?
 

hotbeer

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Only 2 'problems': I am the only beer drinker in the house, and I need to buy a new 2-tap tower for my single tap kegerator, and possibly a new regulator.
Me too. I'm liking the smaller 1 to 1½ gallons that I've been doing. Smaller quantities let me experiment more and have more fermenters going at any one time.

Bottling day isn't a bother either since fewer bottles to deal with for one batch. But since you keg, even that isn't an issue.

My son still does 5 gallon or 10 gallon brews. I don't get to try different beers of his as often. I think when I go out there this month, I'll be drinking the same beer he had in the kegs last month.
 
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RyPA

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@RyPA - One other potential improvement to your process is to get closer to the 170 F mash out temperature. Your first post mentions that you sparged with 160 F water. That's not going to get you to the target mash out temperature of 168 to 170 F.
On your question about pre-boil and post-boil OG being the same ... you started started your 60 minute boil timer once the wort was boiling in your 10 gallon pot and not in the 5 gallon pot, right?
I read that mash out is optional, someone even said they used room temp water. Because of this, I didn't really care what temp it was, I just wanted to use warmer than room temp to speed up bringing the wort to boil.

Yes, the timer started once the wort was boiling. Like I've said, I've brewed extract 5 or so times, so I'm not entirely new to brewing. Just rusty since it's been a while and forgot about when to take gravity readings.

Me too. I'm liking the smaller 1 to 1½ gallons that I've been doing. Smaller quantities let me experiment more and have more fermenters going at any one time.

Bottling day isn't a bother either since fewer bottles to deal with for one batch. But since you keg, even that isn't an issue.

My son still does 5 gallon or 10 gallon brews. I don't get to try different beers of his as often. I think when I go out there this month, I'll be drinking the same beer he had in the kegs last month.
Smaller batches may be something I begin doing. I haven't had a keg in my kegerator in around 10 years, so I'm not sure how long one will last me. I've been buying $20 4 packs for the past few years, that I am hoping to slow down with. I love that with a keg, you do not need to commit to 12 or 16 oz, you take what you want.

The only thing about small batches, that will be a lot more brew days. I' m not sure I'd want to do more than 1 a month. Unless I get an electrical system that will make the process and cleanup easier.
 

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Hey, Farmhouse! That’s my LHBS. Just got an Anvil Foundry and I’ll be at the store the next time I’m off when they are open to buy grain for my first all-grain batch.

In regards to the mention of pre vs post gravity measurements, if you have 7 gallons of wort pre-boil and you loose half a gallon of water to evaporation, and measure a SG of 1.060, then the pre-boil gravity was 1.056, assuming I did my math correctly.
7857CD7E-28AD-4CB3-A374-81C47BD1C232.jpeg


The addition of 1 lb of corn shifts should add about 1.5 points, so total measured SG shift pre to post boil should be a bit over 0.005 total. It seems very likely some measurement error is happening somewhere.
 
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RyPA

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I don't know. I took pictures of the measurement so it wasn't a visual discrepancy. Time will tell once I keg & carbonate, which I plan to do Friday or Saturday.

PXL_20210925_183800821 (1).jpg
 

Nagorg

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I don't know. I took pictures of the measurement so it wasn't a visual discrepancy. Time will tell once I keg & carbonate, which I plan to do Friday or Saturday.
I trust that's your OG Hydrometer reading... :)
 
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RyPA

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I trust that's your OG Hydrometer reading... :)
It is, but it seems way off from what the recipe says, right? The meter says 1.6 (if I am reading it correctly), and the recipe says I should have 1.076.

I was hoping to keg this weekend but I am still getting a bubble once a minute or so. I want to avoid taking gravity readings due to risks of it getting contaminated. I'm going to wait it out a few more days and see what happens.

I got some equipment from brewhardware.com that I am looking forward to using. After placing my order I realized the shop is an hour away from me, which is good to know if I'm ever in a pinch and need something. I got everything 3 days after ordering.

Pickup tube for my kettle. It luckily fits perfectly.
PXL_20211008_191538904.jpg

Hose barb so I can drain from the kettle instead of using an auto siphon
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A legit bulkhead for my HD 10 gallon mash tun. I had no leaks on my first brew day, but I decided to play it safe and get a legit seal so I do not need to worry about leaks going forward.
PXL_20211008_192737359.jpg
 

hotbeer

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It is, but it seems way off from what the recipe says, right? The meter says 1.6 (if I am reading it correctly), and the recipe says I should have 1.076.
In the picture in post number 37, the SG is reading 1.060 or there 'bout. Not 1.6
 
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