Quantcast

First partial mash brew questions

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Jhedrick83

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
102
Reaction score
108
Location
Ol' Rocky Top
I just finished my first partial mash brew (Brewer’s Best Belgian Triple 1 gal kit). A couple questions.

1.How much beer should I pull out for the OG measurement. The equipment kit I have had a 200 ml graduated cylinder with the hydrometer. No specific instructions as to how much to pull out so I did 200ml. Figured taking too much was better than taking too little. Since I’m going to do 1 gallon brews for a little bit, keeping more in the fermenter is preferred.

2.My OG (correct temp) was 1.100 and the kit gave it a projected range of 1.075-1.078. Obviously, my potential ABV is higher but is there anything else I should be aware of? I still pitched according to the recipe.

After a pair of extract kits to start with, I’m pretty excited to move up in difficultly. It was way more fun that just a straight LME kit.
 

Stormcrow

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2020
Messages
215
Reaction score
107
Technically, you just need enough liquid to keep the hydrometer afloat and not resting on the bottom. I think most people just fill the cylinder all the way because it's easier to read the hydrometer without having to peer through cylinder. It adds up when you're doing small batches though.

As far as a higher OG goes, you might want to be sure you came out with the correct total volume you were shooting for. Less wort than expected will lead to higher OG. Barring that, congratulations on some good efficiency! You could have added some preboiled water at that point to hit the expected OG and end up with a little more beer. I've done that before.
 
OP
Jhedrick83

Jhedrick83

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
102
Reaction score
108
Location
Ol' Rocky Top
I did end up right at the 1 gal mark on my kettle. So, my final volume was spot on. Yeah, 200ml for OG and then again for FG is a full beer. I’m cool with it for the first go or two as I’m getting used to partial mash but I’d rather not lose that much ever!

I didn’t think about adding more precooked water. I used distilled for the brew since the kit used DME. Could I have just poured some of that in since it was already room temp? If so, is there any sort of rule of thumb for that?
You guys have been insanely helpful so far. Thank you.
 

RM-MN

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2010
Messages
14,461
Reaction score
5,182
Location
Solway
1.How much beer should I pull out for the OG measurement. The equipment kit I have had a 200 ml graduated cylinder with the hydrometer. No specific instructions as to how much to pull out so I did 200ml. Figured taking too much was better than taking too little. Since I’m going to do 1 gallon brews for a little bit, keeping more in the fermenter is preferred.
I bought a refractometer for the OG measurements as it only takes a few drops to get a reading which is pretty important with small batches. I still use a hydrometer for FG as I like the direct reading instead of the calculation required when using a refractometer with alcohol in the liquid.

Before I got the refractometer I bought a graduated cylinder but found that it wasted quite a bit of my beer so I started using the tube the hydrometer came in. Much less beer wasted with that.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
2,124
Reaction score
1,221
but I’d rather not lose that much ever!
With my small batches, I target an end result (six-pack, 12-pack) and scale the recipe / equipment to get that result.

As part of scaling a recipe up/down, I'll adjust the volume in the kettle to include beer for hydrometer measurements. I use a "final gravity" hydrometer which has a scale that is easy to read and as a "bonus", it also uses a little less beer.

FWIW, with a traditional one gallon recipe, I anticipate getting 7 or 8 bottles.
 

McKnuckle

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 10, 2014
Messages
3,231
Reaction score
2,656
Location
Anywhere But Here
It takes a half cup (118 mL) to fill the hydrometer jar enough for the average OG reading.

I just add that to my recipe's brewing volume - as it's a post boil loss. Then you don't have to obsess about sacrificing beer. For later gravity readings, use a refractometer and a correction calculator to gauge fermentation progress and stability. Or, continue with the hydrometer and add more to your brewing volume to compensate. It's not rocket science.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
2,124
Reaction score
1,221
Brewing 1 gal batches in 1 gal carboys has some unique considerations. A primary consideration is that the 1 gal carboy limits the amount of wort that can be fermented to around 120 oz.

The topic 1-Gallon Brewers UNITE! is a good source of ideas if one wants to try to get 9 bottles from a 1 gal kit. Start scanning in 2018 and scan through 2019 & 2020.
 

Stormcrow

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2020
Messages
215
Reaction score
107
I did end up right at the 1 gal mark on my kettle. So, my final volume was spot on. Yeah, 200ml for OG and then again for FG is a full beer. I’m cool with it for the first go or two as I’m getting used to partial mash but I’d rather not lose that much ever!

I didn’t think about adding more precooked water. I used distilled for the brew since the kit used DME. Could I have just poured some of that in since it was already room temp? If so, is there any sort of rule of thumb for that?
You guys have been insanely helpful so far. Thank you.
As far as the distilled water goes, you'd probably be fine, especially if you're cracking open a new bottle.
 

Karn

Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2021
Messages
22
Reaction score
7
Why do you discard the beer? I 'rinse' my hydrometer and cylinder with No-rinse cleanser (sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate), measure the s.g. of the beer and put the beer back into the fermentor. Is this OK? I'm new.
 
OP
Jhedrick83

Jhedrick83

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
102
Reaction score
108
Location
Ol' Rocky Top
Why do you discard the beer? I 'rinse' my hydrometer and cylinder with No-rinse cleanser (sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate), measure the s.g. of the beer and put the beer back into the fermentor. Is this OK? I'm new.
I'm sure someone more qualified can speak to if that's fine or not. I didn't do it as I'm new as well and I'd rather make sure I have 11 beers in a month rather than 0 due to infection.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
2,124
Reaction score
1,221
I 'rinse' my hydrometer and cylinder with No-rinse cleanser (sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate), measure the s.g. of the beer and put the beer back into the fermentor. Is this OK? I'm new.
It works until it doesn't - putting the beer back in the fermenter does allow for the possibility of contamination. Putting the beer back in the fermenter is is also likely to add oxygen to the beer.

If you want to avoid the possible effects of contamination or the likely effects oxygen ingress, don't put the sample back in the fermenter.
 

Stormcrow

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2020
Messages
215
Reaction score
107
Why do you discard the beer? I 'rinse' my hydrometer and cylinder with No-rinse cleanser (sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate), measure the s.g. of the beer and put the beer back into the fermentor. Is this OK? I'm new.
I agree with brewnkopperkat. I've done it before with no ill effects, but there's definitely some risk there. Now i use a refractometer throughout brew day and just pull out the hydrometer on bottling day to make sure the FG is where it should be. I sometimes do two samples a couple days apart when i feel the collective wisdom of HBT weighing heavily upon me.
 
OP
Jhedrick83

Jhedrick83

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
102
Reaction score
108
Location
Ol' Rocky Top
The kit I did recommends a secondary fermentation 4-6 days after brewing. Today is day 4. Is it better to do it too soon that to late? Meaning, am I better of transferring it tonight rather than waiting until Saturday night?

FWIW, the primary is a plastic tub that came with a Brewer's Best 1 gal kit (pretty sure its a 2 gal tub) so I can't see how active it is and the airlock bubbled but I wouldn't exactly have called it vigirous.
 

McKnuckle

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 10, 2014
Messages
3,231
Reaction score
2,656
Location
Anywhere But Here
There is a lot wrong with kit instructions, and "secondary fermentation" is one of the biggest and most common offenders. Use of a secondary is considered unnecessary at best, and always a bit risky, with no obvious benefit. Please Google that on HBT and you'll be inundated with the reasons why.

Leave the beer in the primary, but keep it sealed, and don't touch it. If your OG of 1.100 is accurate, then that sucker requires serious time to finish and condition. You'll want to time the bottling carefully, but as long as the fermenter is sealed, you can relax and leave it there. You should not be impatient about this beer.

Once you confirm that FG has been reached, after at least 2 weeks given your OG, then you can bottle it without having troubled yourself with an additional transfer step in between.
 
OP
Jhedrick83

Jhedrick83

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
102
Reaction score
108
Location
Ol' Rocky Top
There is a lot wrong with kit instructions, and "secondary fermentation" is one of the biggest and most common offenders. Use of a secondary is considered unnecessary at best, and always a bit risky, with no obvious benefit. Please Google that on HBT and you'll be inundated with the reasons why.

Leave the beer in the primary, but keep it sealed, and don't touch it. If your OG of 1.100 is accurate, then that sucker requires serious time to finish and condition. You'll want to time the bottling carefully, but as long as the fermenter is sealed, you can relax and leave it there. You should not be impatient about this beer.

Once you confirm that FG has been reached, after at least 2 weeks given your OG, then you can bottle it without having troubled yourself with an additional transfer step in between.

Should I expect to reach the FG in the instructions even though my OG was higher or should I just be checking for the FG to level out? Or since I’m trying to keep it sealed just wait until say 3 weeks to check it?
 
OP
Jhedrick83

Jhedrick83

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
102
Reaction score
108
Location
Ol' Rocky Top
McKnuckle, in the future when I do 1 gal boils, if I’m going to skip the secondary, should I just go straight to the glass 1 gal carboy that came with the kit?
 

Stormcrow

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2020
Messages
215
Reaction score
107
Should I expect to reach the FG in the instructions even though my OG was higher or should I just be checking for the FG to level out? Or since I’m trying to keep it sealed just wait until say 3 weeks to check it?
I agree with skipping the secondary, and would personally go straight to the glass carboy which will allow you to see better without opening up and exposing to air. To answer your earlier question, yes you should wind up with a higher FG than the kit said if your OG reading is correct. Yeast usually have an attenuation range written in percentage which would help you calculate what the FG should be. If you post the FG the kit said you should get, we can help you figure a new expected FG with the other information you've already provided.
 
OP
Jhedrick83

Jhedrick83

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
102
Reaction score
108
Location
Ol' Rocky Top
I agree with skipping the secondary, and would personally go straight to the glass carboy which will allow you to see better without opening up and exposing to air. To answer your earlier question, yes you should wind up with a higher FG than the kit said if your OG reading is correct. Yeast usually have an attenuation range written in percentage which would help you calculate what the FG should be. If you post the FG the kit said you should get, we can help you figure a new expected FG with the other information you've already provided.
The OG should have been 1.075-1.078. The yeast was Safale S-33. I pitched 1 tsp as instructed.

In an effort to “learn to fish”, I just looked up the yeast strain and it says 68-72%. So does that mean that that I should get an FG around 1.32-1.28 or did I oversimplify it?
 

Stormcrow

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2020
Messages
215
Reaction score
107
The OG should have been 1.075-1.078. The yeast was Safale S-33. I pitched 1 tsp as instructed.

In an effort to “learn to fish”, I just looked up the yeast strain and it says 68-72%. So does that mean that that I should get an FG around 1.32-1.28 or did I oversimplify it?
You're in the ballpark. 1.028 would be 70% attenuation and 9.45 abv according to the abv calculator i pulled up online. If all goes well, you should be a point or two within that 1.028 mark.
 

McKnuckle

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 10, 2014
Messages
3,231
Reaction score
2,656
Location
Anywhere But Here
I'm just curious how you could have been so far off on your OG vs. the kit's specification. Normally, these kits are tuned in pretty closely if you follow the water volume instructions carefully. It's especially odd to be off on the high side - most people fall lower if there's deviation. Did you thoroughly mix the wort before taking your hydro sample? Especially with liquid extract (dunno if you used that), the wort often stratifies with heavier sugar dropping to the bottom. Such samples are notoriously inaccurate as a result unless you purposefully dig around to get a representative sample.

Either way, no worries... but it makes the FG harder to predict. In either case, it's a "big" beer, so it does need to hang out in the fermenter longer than the average wham bam 1.045 brew. :)
 
OP
Jhedrick83

Jhedrick83

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
102
Reaction score
108
Location
Ol' Rocky Top
I'm just curious how you could have been so far off on your OG vs. the kit's specification. Normally, these kits are tuned in pretty closely if you follow the water volume instructions carefully. It's especially odd to be off on the high side - most people fall lower if there's deviation. Did you thoroughly mix the wort before taking your hydro sample? Especially with liquid extract (dunno if you used that), the wort often stratifies with heavier sugar dropping to the bottom. Such samples are notoriously inaccurate as a result unless you purposefully dig around to get a representative sample.

Either way, no worries... but it makes the FG harder to predict. In either case, it's a "big" beer, so it does need to hang out in the fermenter longer than the average wham bam 1.045 brew. :)
Yeah, I'm not sure myself. Especially with it being my first partial mash brew. I whirlpooled, let it rest for 20 minutes or so and then siphoned it into the primary, the first bit I took off (from the top, I lowered the siphon as it drained in hopes of catching less trub) for the hydrometer. It was a DME kit. Gave the Hydrometer a good couple spins as well to make sure I didn't have any extra air bubbles adding buoyancy. I made sure to follow each instruction carefully. I'm going to the LHBS today to get what I need for my two gallon coffee cream ale brew. We will see if I have a similar issue with that when it is done.
 

Karn

Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2021
Messages
22
Reaction score
7
It works until it doesn't - putting the beer back in the fermenter does allow for the possibility of contamination. Putting the beer back in the fermenter is is also likely to add oxygen to the beer.

If you want to avoid the possible effects of contamination or the likely effects oxygen ingress, don't put the sample back in the fermenter.
I've made wine for a few years now and have had no issues with contamination. I guess I'm treating beer the same way. Hoping there's enough alchol to prevent contamination.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
2,124
Reaction score
1,221
I've made wine for a few years now and have had no issues with contamination. I guess I'm treating beer the same way. Hoping there's enough alcohol to prevent contamination.
That certainly can work.

Personally, I target a end result (12-pack, 24-pack) and adjust the recipe to account for losses. It allows me to RDWHAAB (or, better yet, taste the hydrometer sample) in some of the steps during the brew day & bottling day.
 
OP
Jhedrick83

Jhedrick83

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
102
Reaction score
108
Location
Ol' Rocky Top
You're in the ballpark. 1.028 would be 70% attenuation and 9.45 abv according to the abv calculator i pulled up online. If all goes well, you should be a point or two within that 1.028 mark.
Sunday will two weeks, I was going to thief out a bit for a hydrometer reading. Even if I get close to 1.028, should I give it a bit longer just to help the yeast clean up? All things considered, should I just wait for week 3 before I even check it?
 

Stormcrow

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2020
Messages
215
Reaction score
107
Sunday will two weeks, I was going to thief out a bit for a hydrometer reading. Even if I get close to 1.028, should I give it a bit longer just to help the yeast clean up? All things considered, should I just wait for week 3 before I even check it?
I would imagine 1.028 given your OG and yeast would be as low as it gets without an infection. Two weeks is generally plenty of time to complete fermentation if the temperature was within range. However, 1.100 is a pretty big beer. I've never brewed one that heavy, but i think I've read that they can take longer to finish. Id be interested to see some other folks weigh in on your question.
 

RM-MN

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2010
Messages
14,461
Reaction score
5,182
Location
Solway
Sunday will two weeks, I was going to thief out a bit for a hydrometer reading. Even if I get close to 1.028, should I give it a bit longer just to help the yeast clean up? All things considered, should I just wait for week 3 before I even check it?
You made a big beer. Let it have time to go to completion and more time yet for the trub to settle out. It isn't going to help a thing taking a hydrometer reading at 2 weeks. Check it at 3, then maybe let it go to 4 weeks.
 
OP
Jhedrick83

Jhedrick83

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
102
Reaction score
108
Location
Ol' Rocky Top
Couldn’t wait. Just thiefed some out and it’s at 1.024. Tastes great too! I may bottle tonight. 9.975%
 

Latest posts

Top