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My IPA is more like a Mild...

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ERR

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My first batch ever was supposed to be an IPA. It tastes good, but it tastes a little thin, more like an English Mild or something. Looking back, I found that my OG reading was supposed to be 1.05-1.055, but it was only 1.04. The FG was 1.012, which was about right.

I have been going back through my process over and over, but I can't figure out why it came out this way. I am assuming that the OG being low is what caused this. I used exactly 5 gallons, so I am not sure what else it could be. Any insight on possible mistakes?
 

El Pistolero

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Post your recipe, and one (or more) or the wise sages here will be able to help out. :cool:
 
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ERR

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My recipe:
7 lbs. Plain Crushed Malt Extract
1 lb. Crushed Crystal Malt 60L
8 oz. Crushed Victory
2 oz. Northern Brewer Hops (Bittering)
1 oz. Cascade Hops (Finishing)
1 oz. Cascade Hops (Dry Hopping)
5 oz. Priming Sugar
1 pkg. Yeast

Any other information needed? Thanks in advance!
 

Rhoobarb

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What was your mash, sparge & fermatation schedule? What yeast and at what temperature?
 
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ERR

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Rhoobarb said:
What was your mash, sparge & fermatation schedule? What yeast and at what temperature?
I'm a beginner, so I don't know exactly what you mean, but I'll try....
I steeped the grains for 20 minutes at about 160-170 degrees.
Added the extract and bittering hops and brought to a boil.
55 minutes into the boil I added the finishing hops.
Put into primary fermenter and added yeast once temp was approximately 75 degrees.
Stayed in primary for 4 days (until the bubbling was approximately 1-2 per minute).
Secondary for exactly 2 weeks. This included the addition of an ounce of Cascade hops.
Bottled, and waited 8 days before opening the first one.
Now it's been 12 days.

Like I said, the beer didn't come out bad really, just not as flavorful as I would have liked. The color was very golden, and I read that this may be because of the Crystal Malt. Sound right? (Could I have gotten better color with the addition of other specialty grains?) This beer is very clear for an IPA, and, well, just sort of thin all the way around.

Need any more info?

Edit: I used a Brewer's Best kit for an IPA. The only thing I did differently was dry hopping, which wasn't part of their recipe. The projected OG was 1.05-1.055, and I only hit 1.04.
 

enoughstuff

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The discrepancy for your OG reading could have just been a temperature difference. Taking the reading at 80 or 75 degrees would throw your reading off by 1.5 to 2.0 degrees. 40 could have 50 or 55 depending on the temperature of your sample. I'm new at this too, and decided not to get hung up on this part right now. The only benefit I see at this point of knowing the OG and FG is to determine the alcohol content. The Brewer's Best kits you are using (and so am I) will give you the estimate ABV and that's good enough for me now. Happy Brewing. I bottled my first this weekend, and have an Octoberfest in the primary now.
 

El Pistolero

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ERR said:
I steeped the grains for 20 minutes at about 160-170 degrees.
Added the extract and bittering hops and brought to a boil.
I've read that you generally want to steep the grains at 150 for 30 minutes...that could have a little to do with it. Also, after steeping, did you sparge (rinse) the grain with 170 water?
 
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ERR

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El Pistolero said:
I've read that you generally want to steep the grains at 150 for 30 minutes...that could have a little to do with it. Also, after steeping, did you sparge (rinse) the grain with 170 water?
I didn't sparge the grains after steeping. I was unaware of this practice, but if it will improve my brewing, I'll definitely look into it. What does it require?
 

El Pistolero

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You just rinse the grains with another gallon of 170 water...this rinses the remaining sugars out of the grains and into your wort.
 
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ERR

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El Pistolero said:
You just rinse the grains with another gallon of 170 water...this rinses the remaining sugars out of the grains and into your wort.
So, you just pour an additional gallon of water over the grains and into the brewpot?
 

El Pistolero

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Yep, an additional gallon of 170 degree water. Do that, and steep your grains for 30 minutes at around 155 (heat water to ~160, then remove from heat and toss in grains).
 

Rhoobarb

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Sorry, I missed that this was an extract recipe. I think El Pistolero is correct; I don't think your gravity is to blame. If you were looking for a hoppier flavor - typical IPA - then I would up the hops, particularly the Cascades. And I think you were headed in the right direction by dry-hopping.

When I was doing extract based recipes, it seemed to me that I could never get the hop profile I really desired. Then, I began to up the amount of hops suggested and that seemed to do the trick! Again, just my opinion on it.

And, yes, sparging helps, IMO. It took me about two years of brewing extract recipes before I read it somewhere and decided to try it! There's some good reading about it here, here and here!

It looks like you did everything right. If the yeast was a packet of dry yeast that came with the kit, then I would suggest using a liquid yeast next time, either White Labs or Wyeast.
 
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ERR

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It sounds like maybe my recipe wasn't really what I expected it to be. Thanks for all the help, though. Now onto my next batch!
 

AlaskaAl(e)

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Not to shoot these guys down but I can't see that not sparging only 1 1/2 pounds of grain would make all that much difference either way. I, myself, choose not to sparge my steeped grains because I just haven't seen any real benefit (besides, I usually add a little extra malt extract anyway). Your hop bill is probably the most influential part of this particular recipe (not much in the way of grains) so I would look there first to work it all out.
 

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