Low OG

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CBower

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Hey guys, pretty new to brewing here. I just finished doing my first all grain batch. I start out with 3 gallons of preboiled wort from a local brewery that I built a kit with, and also steeped 3lbs of Munich malt for 40 minutes. I added my hops according to schedule and added 2.5-3 gallons of water to top off my bucket to 5 gallons. Once I got it cooled to 70 degrees I gave it a good 1-2 minute stir checked the OG and it was reading in at 1.038. I’ve done other batches with extract and never had a problem. Did I go wrong anywhere or should I have mixed it better? I’m not sure if it’s a true reading or if the top off water is what was being read. This is suppose to be an IPA lol. Any help would greatly be appreciated. I also already added the yeast which is about the 12 hours after point now. Is there anything I can do to save it or is it a bust? Thank you.
 
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Yeah with all grain you need to have the grains milled then mash them ( temp and time depend upon style) It will be a low abv beer, like 3% to 4% and depending on how it was hopped probably more bitter then expected due to the lack of malt. Not sure if there is anything you can do at this point but roll with it. Goodluck.
 

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What temp did you steep the Munich at? Was it crushed (gotta ask for completeness sake)? If crushed, and steeped in the correct temp range (~148° - 155°F) then you did a mash, and you should have gotten some SG contribution from it.

Brew on :mug:
 
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CBower

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Hey guys, yes they were milled and all I did was steep them for 40 minutes as directed. I’m very unfamiliar with all grain but wanted to give it a shot. I will for sure give it another try. I used .5 oz warrior hops 45 minutes left in boil, 1 oz citra 15 minutes left, and Idaho 7 i believe for the last 5 also an ounce. Will this be too bitter to put down?
 
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CBower

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Is there anything I could do or add after pitching yeast to boost the gravity at this point or should I sit back relax and enjoy the ride?
 

VikeMan

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Hey guys, yes they were milled and all I did was steep them for 40 minutes as directed.
And what temperature was "directed?"
 
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CBower

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What temp did you steep the Munich at? Was it crushed (gotta ask for completeness sake)? If crushed, and steeped in the correct temp range (~148° - 155°F) then you did a mash, and you should have gotten some SG contribution from it.

Brew on :mug:
155 for 40 minutes.
 

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I will add one additional thought and that Munich is low in diastatic power, which is a measure of how well the malt will convert to sugars available for fermenting. It's not a good base malt by itself. Whether it would convert with the amount of wort you used I am not sure. A pale ale malt would be better suited.
 

VikeMan

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155 for 40 minutes.
Then you did a mash. Munich (assuming typical Munich malt and not some "extra dark" Munich) can self convert in that time. What was the gravity of the pre-boiled wort you were given?

Also, did you steep/mash it in the preboiled wort, or in separate water?
 
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CBower

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And what temperature was "directed?"
155
Then you did a mash. Munich (assuming typical Munich malt and not some "extra dark" Munich) can self convert in that time. What was the gravity of the pre-boiled wort you were given?

Also, did you steep/mash it in the preboiled wort, or in separate water?
i steep/mash in the preboiled wort
 

DBhomebrew

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Was the preboiled wort a concentrate? Or was it intended to be used full strength? Any idea what its gravity was pre- your -boil?
 
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CBower

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Was the preboiled wort a concentrate? Or was it intended to be used full strength? Any idea what its gravity was pre- your -boil?
I don’t know the original gravity of the semi/pre boiled wort. It was from a brewery so I’m assuming it wasn’t concentrate. I am very new to this, my apologies.
 
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CBower

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Was the preboiled wort a concentrate? Or was it intended to be used full strength? Any idea what its gravity was pre- your -boil?
DB I’m assuming it isn’t from concentrate. This was straight from a tank and they are big on naturals ingredients so I’m only assuming
 

Deadalus

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Then you did a mash. Munich (assuming typical Munich malt and not some "extra dark" Munich) can self convert in that time. What was the gravity of the pre-boiled wort you were given?

Also, did you steep/mash it in the preboiled wort, or in separate water?
At what degrees Lintner do you consider self-conversion to be? There are some Munich malts that are low.

As far as the wort, it was preboiled. Wouldn't that deactivate the enzymes? Plus the actual recipe would have an unknown grain bill.

@CBower Do you know the brand and type of Munich malt you used? Not a problem that you might not know the specifics of the wort, apologies not needed. You diluted the wort about roughly 50% if the Munich didn't convert. About three pounds of base malt in 2.5-3 gallons of water wouldn't result in a particularly high SG on it's own either.
 

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Since the brewery's wort was pre-boiled, all the amylase enzymes had been denatured (and unavailable to assist in converting the Munich). If it was Munich I that you steeped at 155, it might have had enough of its own enzymes (diastatic power) to self-convert. The malt needs to have a DP of around 35-40L for self-conversion. If you used a darker version of Munich (lower diastatic power), it wouldn't convert as much.

If that Munich did not fully convert, you may have more starch extracted into the wort. Your beer might end up a bit hazy.

In any case, if it were me, I wouldn't try to boost gravity at this point. Adding some sugar will thin the beer and throw off the bitterness/gravity ratio. Roll with it and enjoy it as a session beer.
 

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Potentially the grist ratio was off maybe too? I don't partial mash though. Would this be considered three gallons of water (the wort) to 3lbs of grain?
 

VikeMan

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At what degrees Lintner do you consider self-conversion to be? There are some Munich malts that are low.
I would say somewhere around 25L. I've seen many sources that say (without evidence) that 30 or even 40 is needed, but I have done a bunch of mashes around 25L (avg for the grain bill) that converted fine, hitting my expected OGs and FGs. Some of these were 45 minute mashes. And typically at about 1.5 quarts per pound mash thickness.
 

VikeMan

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I don’t know the original gravity of the semi/pre boiled wort.
Bummer. That kind of prevents any sort of mathematical post mortem of what happened here.
 

DBhomebrew

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Ferment it out. If it's too bitter, let it age in a cupboard somewhere for a month or few.

As soon as your fermenter is empty, fill it with new wort making sure you know what each addition is doing. Water, grain, extract, pre-boiled wort, hops, etc. They each of knowable values that will guide you to delicious balanced beer.
 
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CBower

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Ferment it out. If it's too bitter, let it age in a cupboard somewhere for a month or few.

As soon as your fermenter is empty, fill it with new wort making sure you know what each addition is doing. Water, grain, extract, pre-boiled wort, hops, etc. They each of knowable values that will guide you to delicious balanced beer.
Thanks for the advice DB. I will let it roll and see what happens. I don’t want to shy away from all grain. It’s more of a challenge and eventually I’ll figure it out. Cheers!
 

Deadalus

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I would say somewhere around 25L. I've seen many sources that say (without evidence) that 30 or even 40 is needed, but I have done a bunch of mashes around 25L (avg for the grain bill) that converted fine, hitting my expected OGs and FGs. Some of these were 45 minute mashes. And typically at about 1.5 quarts per pound mash thickness.
Yeah doesn't seem to be a firm citation on the 30-35 and some reports at 25L. I don't know much about how changes to the grist thickness affect the final product. I just keep it at what the software is telling me to a reasonable degree.

I ran a simple recipes for a 3 gallon batch 3 pounds of pale malt at 155F. The estimate for original gravity was 1.030. Ignoring the water then x+0.030=0.038 but need to weight for the extra water so I think 3*(x + 0.030)/5=0.038 and the preboiled wort would have needed to be 1.033. IFF I did that right that seems low for the preboiled wort. This implies that the conversion wasn't efficient.

At 1.5 qts per pound, you only needed 1 gallon and one pint of water, so your mash was diluted. If that would have reduced the efficiency, problem could be there or that the degrees Lintner was too low depending on the exact Munich malt used.
 
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All grain can be confusing but it can also be simple, don't over complicate it at first, you can use 1.5qts of water per lb. But there are also lots of online calculators and recipe builders that will help you figure how much water you will need for the grains in your recipe. You can purchase or build a water cooler type mash tun, choose a simple recipe (lots of them here on HBT) do a little research and ask question if your unsure. Heat your water to strike temp, typically around 10*f over mash temp, calculators for this also, then add your crushed grain, stir it really good, put your lid on, wait an hour, start your sparge, collect your wort, boil, add hops and whatnot, cool, ferment. You will need to pick up some things to get started with all grain and you can go as big or little as you want with that endeavor. I watched a few you tube videos when I started to give me a little walk through of a brew day and that helped me visualize how to go about it.

Cheers
 
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