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mdgagne

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Just got my first AG batch (cream ale) to the fermenter. Came up a bit short on my post volume boil at around 4.5 gallons. I calculated my efficiency to roughly 65%, i susoect this is mostly because my preboil volume was short about 3/4 of a gal. Does this make sense? My mash temp was also two degrees short of my target 152, i mashed 10 minutes extra to try and compensate (not sure if that had any benefit though). At any rate, the experience was great and im not turning back!
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jetmac

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You probably could have added another half gallon or so to your mash to bring up the temperature and help alleviate some of your pre-boil volume shortage. You probably want to shoot for a temperature closer to 154F not 152F for a cream ale. This higher temperature will help add more body. Next time.

I don't think mashing longer helped with anything other than maybe creating more fermentables causing your beer to have more alcohol and less body than intended.

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jetmac

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And another thing. If your pre-boil volume was short, you might could have gotten away with a less vigorous boil, allowing you to still boil 60min but not boil off as much depending how close you wanted to be to your post boil gravity. Or you could have probably sparged one more time with a gallon or so of 180F water to add to your pre boil volume.
 
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mdgagne

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And another thing. If your pre-boil volume was short, you might could have gotten away with a less vigorous boil, allowing you to still boil 60min but not boil off as much depending how close you wanted to be to your post boil gravity. Or you could have probably sparged one more time with a gallon or so of 180F water to add to your pre boil volume.
Thanks for the feedback. I looked at a cream ale recipe and saw 152 mash temp... Next time ill look at through my copy of radical brewing to verify my googlin results. At the time i didnt realize i was so short on my preboil volume... I used a fermenting bucket to hold my runoff as i still dont have my keggle assembled. It was filled 1/4 inch above the first rib at the top of the bucket which i thought was 6 gallons. Either thats not 6 gallons or my boil wss uber-vigorous and i boiled off more than usual.
 

skyebrewing

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In the grand scheme of things, nothing that happened was a big deal. Your effeciency was lower if you measured it at a full 5 gallons, but not terrible.
as you brew more you will find many things you want to improve, but since there are so many variables, just pick one thing at a time.
i would first adjust water amounts to get you the right pre-boil/post-boil amounts. Once you have that dialed in, work on efficiency (grain crush, type of water, etc). Take your time and learn your system.
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