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TheManes

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So I brewed up an AHS APA today, partial mash, full boil. Everything went great, no problems, smooth all the way. I get the wort into my primary bucket and take the gravity reading and get 1.044 (adjusted). According to the AHS recipe and Beersmith I should have come out with a 1.051 OG. I didn't know what to do, pitched the yeast and it's getting under way.

I did two new things today:
1) I did a full boil
2) I brewed in my garage using my turkey fryer burner, hence the full boil.

I called AHS, and dude told me he had the same problem the first time he did a full boil outside and told me that I should have added the extract at the end of the boil, not at the beginning as per the AHS instructions. He said he got that advice here (before he got a job at AHS) and that he has not had the low OG problem doing it this way.

My questions:
1) Is this right what dude is saying?
2) Is my beer going to suck? Too bitter? Unbalanced? Thin? What?

Any advice appreciated.

Good news is I'm going AG on the next brew.
 

whatisitgoodfor

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You said the gravity was adjusted. What temperature was it when you took the gravity reading? The correction tables are notoriously inaccurate if you're above 100 degrees or so.

When you add the extract to the boil shouldn't affect your efficiency at all, you aren't going to boil off sugar.

My guess would be that your final volume is off, or you changed your mashing process and lost some efficiency, or your gravity reading is off.

Regarless, you'll have beer at the end. It may not be the beer you were expecting, but it will be good.
 

joety

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I've never done a partial mash, but it sounds like the AHS guy was referring to hop utilization, not mash efficiency. What he said would not impact your OG, assuming you wound up with the right volume.
 
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TheManes

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I think you are right. AHS guy was talking about efficiency though, he just didn't know what he was talking about. He did say "boil off sugar" which I questioned, but he insisted. I think I did end up with too much water at the end and there is the problem as you said.
Because it was my first full boil and outside, I did a test boil before I brewed. I boiled 6 gal of water for an hour and lost about 1.5 gal or 25%. I made the adjustment in Beersmith and used 7 gal for my boil, shooting for 5.25 gal. To make a long story short, I think I ended up with closer to 6 gallons.
Live and learn. Thanks!!
 

whatisitgoodfor

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Yeah, that kind of thing is pretty common when you're starting to use a new piece of equipment.

1-1.5 gallons an hour is fairly normal if you've just barely got a rolling boil. If you've got a boil that's really jumping, it's possible to lose a lot more than that. The dimensions of your kettle will also affect how fast you boil off, so will a number of other variables.

Installing a sight glass is the best way of knowing what volume you have, but using a depth stick is almost as good.
 
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TheManes

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So, if you are unsure about your equipment and how much boil off you will get, is it better to underestimate and add water or overestimate and boil longer?
 

brewagentjay

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I'm guess here you just had two much water at the end........so the beer might be a little weaker and thinner but, good news is you'll have more.........
 

shortyjacobs

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If you had 6 gallons in the end instead of 5.25, your sugars would have been 5.25/6ths as much. Put simply, 5.25 * 51 / 6 = 44.6. SO, you should have had a 1.0446 OG if you really got 6 gallons instead of 5.25. You got 1.044, so I'd say you just didn't boil off quite enough.

Sugar doesn't boil off, that guy is full of crap.
 
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