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First All Grain finished WAY too low

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Sumo2000

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So, I tried a Fat Tire clone for my first all grain attempt. My OG was 1.049, FG came out to 1.005, no real maltiness left, just tastes thin. I'm guessing mashing temp was off, maybe my thermometer. Here's the recipe:

10.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 80.00 %
0.50 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 4.00 %
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 4.00 %
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 4.00 %
0.50 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 4.00 %
0.25 lb Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM) Grain 2.00 %
0.25 lb Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain 2.00 %
1.00 oz Williamette [5.50 %] (60 min) Hops 16.0 IBU
0.50 oz Williamette [5.50 %] (1 min) Hops 0.3 IBU
Mash at 154 for 60
Used WLP001

I'm wondering what I may have done wrong but also if there's any way to salvage it? I'll bottle either way and just find out but at this point I'm temped to dry hop it or something so it have some flavor.
 

Double_D

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If you mash temp wasn't off, I'd say maybe your OG reading was lower. Did you cool your sample? At 154 there should have been plenty of unfermentables left.
 

Albionwood

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It started way too low. With that grain bill you should have been around 1.054 (at 65% efficiency). And with all those unfermentable malts it should have plenty of body. Something went wrong in the mash.
 
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Sumo2000

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Sounds like I'm missing something in the mash process then. I had already determined that I needed to adjust my measurements a bit as I wound up with a bit too much wort to fit in my pot, so there's some loss. Also, I batch sparged but didn't mash out, will that help much?

Also, if the OG is too low, is there anything I can do at that point? Add a pound of DME while it's still boiling for example?
 

biodarwin

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Can you explain your sparge process? I had this exact same thing happen to me last month and I tracked it down to an improper batch sparge. This month I picked up the 10% efficiency I was missing last batch.

Ironically, mine was also a Fat Tire clone, but a slight different recipe.
 

Yooper

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Sounds like I'm missing something in the mash process then. I had already determined that I needed to adjust my measurements a bit as I wound up with a bit too much wort to fit in my pot, so there's some loss. Also, I batch sparged but didn't mash out, will that help much?

Also, if the OG is too low, is there anything I can do at that point? Add a pound of DME while it's still boiling for example?
Mashing out isn't necessary with a batch sparge. The purpose of a mash out is to "lock in" the mash profile, since a continous (fly) sparge takes such a long time the enzymes would keep working. With batch sparging, you either start the runnings on to boil right away, or use hotter sparge water, or both, so you don't need to worry about denaturing the enzymes by mashing out.

If your preboil OG is low, you can definitely add DME to get where you need to be. Many new brewers do that until they iron out their systems.
 

CA_Mouse

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If you ended up with too much wort then your OG would be lower than expected. You could add LME/DME during the boil to bring the gravity up or you could boil for a longer time to concentrate what you pulled off the grain bed. I think in this case I would have just boiled longer and boiled the extra wort in a different kettle and add it to the main kettle as it boiled off.

Mouse
 

tgmartin000

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Mashing out isn't necessary with a batch sparge. The purpose of a mash out is to "lock in" the mash profile, since a continous (fly) sparge takes such a long time the enzymes would keep working. With batch sparging, you either start the runnings on to boil right away, or use hotter sparge water, or both, so you don't need to worry about denaturing the enzymes by mashing out.
But won't the mash conversion continue during lautering, effectively leading to a longer mash for a more fermentable wort? Theoretically?

My beers always finish 5-6 points low, I'm wondering if it's because I don't mash out. That basically takes my mash from 60 minutes to more like 85 minutes. Then I single batch sparge, getting the grain bed up to about 170.
 

RachmaelBenApplebaum

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I usually do single-infusion and if I end up with too much wort after sparging I put it in another kettle to boil without hops and as it reduces (usually quicker) I'll throw it in the kettle proper to try and get every last drop of sugar out of it. Never had any problem, if anything, my efficiency is consistent and usually better than expected :) just revise your process a little and don't give up!
 

Yooper

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But won't the mash conversion continue during lautering, effectively leading to a longer mash for a more fermentable wort? Theoretically?
Well, sure it would. But since it takes like 3 minutes to lauter in a batch sparge, it really doesn't matter.

Some people do draw out a batch sparge by waiting, and if that's the case then a mashout may be a good idea. But instead of that, I'd just add the batch sparge water at 200 degrees or so, to raise the grainbed up to 168 and then call it done.
 

Albionwood

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But won't the mash conversion continue during lautering, effectively leading to a longer mash for a more fermentable wort? Theoretically?

My beers always finish 5-6 points low, I'm wondering if it's because I don't mash out. That basically takes my mash from 60 minutes to more like 85 minutes. Then I single batch sparge, getting the grain bed up to about 170.
Not really. My understanding is, in a well-mixed mash with plenty of diastatic power, held in the proper temperature range (149 - 156 F) pretty much everything that is going to convert will have done so in an hour.

I batch sparge as well, usually twice, and often don't get the mashout temp above 165 until the second sparge. My difficulty is the opposite of yours: my beers almost always finish out 2 to 4 points higher than I'd like.
 

mrbill57

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What was your water to grist ratio? I do a makeshift fly sparge without a mash out and am usually within 1-2 pts of my target gravity.
 

tgmartin000

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Not really. My understanding is, in a well-mixed mash with plenty of diastatic power, held in the proper temperature range (149 - 156 F) pretty much everything that is going to convert will have done so in an hour.

I batch sparge as well, usually twice, and often don't get the mashout temp above 165 until the second sparge. My difficulty is the opposite of yours: my beers almost always finish out 2 to 4 points higher than I'd like.
I've read that, too, but for a more fermentable wort people also say to mash longer. For a dryer beer, mash low and long, right?

If your beers underattenuate, do you pitch the proper amount of yeast and aerate/oxygenate properly? Maybe you use more unfermentables, or your temps are off?

The wheat beer I made last weekend has fermented from 1.050 down to 1.010, even though I mashed at 154. I think my next beer I'll try a mash out and see if that stops the beer from overattenuating.
 
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