Not Enough Malt

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JesterMage

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I was making an Irish red from a recipe I found on HBT. I followed the recipe and did not even think to check the math on it. The recipe came in a bit low on the SG at 1.039 when I plugged it into a calculator. When I was done and had it in the fermenter, I took a reading and it came in even lower at 1.035. 6 days later I took another sample and I am down to 1.007 and the sample was pretty watery and flavorless.

It has been a consistent 68 in my basement for 6 days. Brew is 2.75 gallons (should have been 2.5 gallons but i got a but carried away topping it off). I pitched 55 B cells. current ABV is 3.68% at this time.

2.75 gallons
2 1/4 lbs. Light DME
2 oz.. 40L
2 oz. roasted barley
.5 oz of Fuggles. .25 oz Willamette (boil)
.25 oz, Stryian Celeia (flavor)
.25 oz. Stryian Celeia (aroma)
55B cells. Nottingham


Can I boil up some more DME or LME and a bit more grains and dump it in after it cools? Maybe do it like a secondary fermentation? I am guessing yes but don't want to mess it up more than I have. I will also have to do some basic math and figure out how much to add.
 

Velnerj

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In theory this will work but your biggest problem is going to be oxidation. Adding that liquid into the beer will bring oxygen and then adversely affect the flavor....

You're probably better off rolling with it and then using the yeast cake as a pitch for your next beer.... Think of it as a huge starter that is (barely) drinkable....
 

D.B.Moody

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Well, @JesterMage, I obviously know this recipe, and It's just a session bitter based on Charlie Papazian's "Palace Bitter" with some roasted malt for red color and a bit of zing. Give it some time and maybe you will find it nice to have around. :mug:
If you do decide to mess with it, don't worry about oxidation. I put these beers through secondaries all the time.
 
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JesterMage

JesterMage

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I was going to ask you what your OG was to see how far off I was. I have only brewed 14 beers to date so I am far from an expert. My biggest problem is getting my SG close to what a recipe says it should be. I don't know if I am overthinking or under thinking it.
 

bwible

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My biggest problem is getting my SG close to what a recipe says it should be. I don't know if I am overthinking or under thinking it.
When you are working with extracts you have known quantities. DME is roughly 45 points per pound. LME is roughly 38 points per pound. 1 pound of DME with enough water to make 1 gallon will give you a SG of 1.045. 1 pound of LME with enough water to make 1 gallon will give you a SG of 1.038.

Its simple math. For your recipe above, 2.25 x 45 = 101.25 / 2.75 = 36.8. Estimates 1.036-ish. Negligible contributions from the specialty grains. Those are more about adding flavor and not so much about gravity.

When working with smaller batches the volume measurement is going to be more critical. You have to have a way to know whether you have 2.5 or 2.75 gallons in your pot or fermenter. That seems like the tricky part.
 
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madscientist451

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If your gravity is off and you are using extract, is it possible that your water measurements are wrong? Specifically, that your evaporation rate is different and you have more wort than the recipe calls for? To keep things simple when brewing extract, just use the amount of water your final volume is supposed to be, like 5 gallons, and then top up to that amount in the fermenter. After a few brews and you'll figure how much you are topping up and can just use the whole amount at the start.
:mug:
 

bwible

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Another option is to brew a second batch and make it slightly higher og. Ferment that one out and then blend the 2 at bottling. Provided you haven’t bottled this batch yet.

Again its all gravity points. Let’s say you want 4 gallons at 39. 4 x 39 = 156. You already have 101 points in your fermenter. You need 156 - 101 = 55 more points. 55 / 1.25 gallons = 44. About perfect. Brew a 1.25 gallon batch with another 1 lb of DME and blend the 2 batches together. You will have 4 gallons of SG 1.039 beer.

I can’t really say how much of a difference 3 gravity points is going to make though.
 
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D.B.Moody

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I was going to ask you what your OG was to see how far off I was. I have only brewed 14 beers to date so I am far from an expert. My biggest problem is getting my SG close to what a recipe says it should be. I don't know if I am overthinking or under thinking it.
I've been brewing Papasian's "Palace Bitter" since 1996. I've brewed it or my Irish red ale version (as was "Red Queen") 45 times by a quick count. I haven't done any gravity readings since 2009, and rarely did them before that. I looked and I have gravity reading for 4 batches from 1996 to 1999. The OGs ranged from 1.040 to 1.044 and the final gravities from 1.010 to 1.015. Two batches used Munton's and two batches used Edme. Papazian's recipe gave expected OG of 1.036-1.040 and FG as 1.008 to 1.012. BTW, it has 1/4 lb. more grain that my Irish Red Ale version.
So your OG might have been on the low side, but you did add 10% extra water to a beer with a light grain bill.

edit: for clarification
 
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WESBREW

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Hmmm red ale with og of .035, that finished at .007. Super light and super dry and as you said, watery. I know if it were mine id be adding to it. At least another .10 with some unfermentable to balance. A little crystal malt. As said above it could be a separate batch and then blended
 

Komodo

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Sure you can add more, I don’t agree with the oxygenation scares. You aren’t doing heart surgery. Try it, it may not be an award winner, but you will learn from it.
 
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JesterMage

JesterMage

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So many good ideas. I am going to (already did last night) add some more caramel grains just to give it a bit more body and forgo the DME.

Next time I will make sure to do a reading before pitching the yeast.

I will post the results when it is done in a few weeks.

Thank you all for your help
 

madscientist451

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With 5 minutes left in the boil, you can pull a sample, chill it down in an ice bath, and then get a reading. If the gravity is low, you can then add the DME to the hot wort. After several brews, you'll have your process and recipes dialed in and you can skip this step.
 
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JesterMage

JesterMage

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Good idea. Everytime I post a question I get so many good ideas. I am going to try and brew a brown ale up this weekend. I will try doing the OG with 5 min left.

I am getting a pattern down the more I brew. I am refining the process every brew I do. It is getting easier and more fun
 

Falstaff

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I'd just enjoy it. I had a stout that I was supposed to start at 1.05, but came out at 1.032 this weekend. I just pitch the yeast and forget about it.

Call me crazy, but I like watery beer sometimes. Drink it when you're thirsty.

Under carbing could help by upping the perceived thickness.
 
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