pre boil gravity way off????!!!

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sparkyaber

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Beecave IPA
English IPA


Type: All Grain
Date: 3/6/2009
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Brewer: Abe
Boil Size: 6.82 gal Asst Brewer: Nate
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Brew Pot (15 Gal) and Igloo/Gott Cooler (10 Gal)
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00
Taste Notes:

Ingredients

Amount Item Type % or IBU
11 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 84.62 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 7.69 %
1 lbs Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 7.69 %
1.00 oz Warrior [15.40 %] (60 min) Hops 47.6 IBU
1.00 oz Centennial [9.10 %] (15 min) Hops 14.0 IBU
1.00 oz Centennial [9.10 %] (5 min) Hops 5.6 IBU
1.00 oz Centennial [9.10 %] (Dry Hop 5 days) Hops -
1.00 oz Centennial [9.10 %] (0 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep) Hops -
0.25 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
1.00 gm Calcium Chloride (Mash 60.0 min) Misc
1.00 gm Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 min) Misc
5.00 gal Local Water Water
1 Pkgs American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) [Add to Secondary] Yeast-Ale



Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.070 SG
Measured Original Gravity: 1.030 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.018 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.012 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.84 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 2.34 %
Bitterness: 67.2 IBU Calories: 132 cal/pint
Est Color: 11.0 SRM Color: Color


Mash Profile

Mash Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body, fly Sparge Total Grain Weight: 13.00 lb
Sparge Water: 5.12 gal Grain Temperature: 180.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F TunTemperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: TRUE Mash PH: 5.4 PH

Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 4.06 gal of water at 170.1 F 154.0 F

This is basically what i did. Used 4 gallons of water in mash, added maybe about 1/2 - 1 gallons to adjust temp. water stayed about 154-150. mashed for 90 min, only stirred twice. use 175 degree sparge water with fly sparge, so it cooled down alot.

recirculated 2 gallons of first runnings
Got a total of 6.75 gallons of wort. check pre-boil gravity....1.030
temp adjust gets me just over 1.050?
What happened?? My effieciency is less than 50 percent?
WTF
Royally p-oed right now.
 
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sparkyaber

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update, chucked in an additional half pound of dme to give it some alcohol. after boil off, cooling of the wort, the additional dme, still only had 1.056 gravity. Was it the temperature that I messed up, or not stirring enough? the og should have been about 1.070
Any information that I forgot to share?
 

HotbreakHotel

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Maybe a couple things.

The grain bill looked a little light to me for 1.070, so I put it in beertools and got 1.066 OG at 75% efficiency and 1.060 OG at 68% efficiency. Do you typically get 75% efficiency? I think that's pretty good -- I get more like 68%, but I batch sparge. But to get 1.070 with this grain bill, you'd have to get 80% efficiency.

Also, did anything change? Grain crushed on a different crusher? On my last batch my efficiency sucked -- I think because I got a new corona mill and I'm just getting used to adjusting the crush right.
What efficiency do you usually get from this system? Any new equipment or techniques?
 

ajf

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An English IPA with American grain, American yeast and American hops? :confused:

As for where the efficiency went.
If you got a temp adjusted pre-boil gravity of 1.050 and volume of 6.75g, I calculate about 70% mash/lauter efficiency.
What sort of MLT, and straining mechanism do you have?
Did you do a mash out? (bumps up the temp of the sparge and rinses out more sugars)
How long did you sparge for?
How much did you leave behind in the kettle?
Do you have an OG and volume?

-a.
 
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sparkyaber

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This is my first go round with all grain/beersmith/anything but kits. I am really shooting from the hip.
about the English ipa, that is what beersmith had put on there. I guess this would be an American ipa. I think that is besides the point.
I just took what beersmith said for the og and ran with it.

A little about my set up:
10 gallon SQUARE watercooler converted with a cpvc manifold (it has four arms like palmer shows in his book, that fill the bottom if that makes a difference).
7 gallon cooler for HLT
Rotating sparge arm. I had the water at 180 degrees in the hlt.
As for the time, it did not take very long, I opened up the hlt let it rain down on the mash, opened the mash tun valve and tried to balance/keep the water level about 1-2 inches above the grain bed. Kept it going until I got my 6.75 gallon. I guess it took 15-20 minutes.
There was very little wort left in the kettle when I put the wort in the carboy (less than 1/2 gallon.)
Measured OG was 1.056 with just over 5 gallons of wort.
Thanks for the help.
About the 1.070, that did include the half pound of dme that i put in.
 

HotbreakHotel

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Sorry, I didn't see the part about the 6.75 gallons of pre-boil volume.

If you had increased your boil to boil off your extra volume down to 5 gallons (26%), your OG would have increased from 1.050 to 1.068!
 

HotbreakHotel

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Sorry again. Now I'm confused. Your pre-boil temperature adjusted gravity on the 6.75 gallons was 1.030? And after you boiled it down to 5 gallons you got 1.056?

Now I get it -- I can understand why you were disappointed.

Maybe it was the sparging (tunneling in the grain) and/or the crush.
 
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sparkyaber

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My preboiled og was 1.030. Temp adjusted gave me 1.050 on 6.75 gallons.(I think?) Measured after boil and at 70 degrees I got 1.056. with about 5.5 gallons.
 

mikfire

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Do not trust temperature adjusted hydrometer readings. It is non-linear and and the error gets larger as the temperature climbs. Either cool your sample down to < 25C or use a refractometer.

Also. Check the calibration of your hydrometer, and make sure to use distilled water. My hydrometer reads 1.004 in tap water but a straight 1.000 in distilled.

Doesn't help with the frustration, but could explain the unusual SG readings. Which seem to be going around this weekend.
 
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sparkyaber

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I am using the same hydrometer that i have been using with my kits and it has been working like a champ. I did check it with tap water at 65 degrees and it was right at 1.000. I have a spreadsheet that did the math for me. I still think I was way low with my gravity especially since I added the extra dme??
 

ajf

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This is my first go round with all grain/beersmith/anything but kits. I am really shooting from the hip.
about the English ipa, that is what beersmith had put on there. I guess this would be an American ipa. I think that is besides the point.
I just took what beersmith said for the og and ran with it.

A little about my set up:
10 gallon rectangular watercooler converted with a cpvc manifold (it has four arms like palmer shows in his book, that fill the bottom if that makes a difference).
7 gallon cooler for HLT
Rotating sparge arm. I had the water at 180 degrees in the hlt.
As for the time, it did not take very long, I opened up the hlt let it rain down on the mash, opened the mash tun valve and tried to balance/keep the water level about 1-2 inches above the grain bed. Kept it going until I got my 6.75 gallon. I guess it took 15-20 minutes.
There was very little wort left in the kettle when I put the wort in the carboy (less than 1/2 gallon.)
Measured OG was 1.056 with just over 5 gallons of wort.
Thanks for the help.
About the 1.070, that did include the half pound of dme that i put in.
OK, I have never heard of a sparge arm in a rectangular cooler, but I guess it would work providing you keep the water level above the top of the grains. The manifold sounds good. The thing that worries me is the time it took you to sparge. Palmer recommends a maximum flow rate of 1 qt per minute which should take at least 27 minutes, and with my equipment, that is much too fast.
With a grain bill like that, I would take about 90 minutes (Palmer says 60 - 90 minutes is not uncommon.) Fly sparging too quickly causes chanelling where the sparge water takes the easiest path to the outlet, oversparging some of the grain, and leaving other parts undersparged. This can severely affect efficiency.
You may want to consider batch sparging for a few batches. Batch sparging may be very slightly less efficient than fly sparging with a perfect fly sparge setup, but it is very much more tolerant of imperfect equipment and techniques, besides which it's much quicker.

Finally, leaving 1/2g in the kettle is going to drop your efficiency by about 10% (because 1/2g is 10% of 5g). This isn't necessarily bad, but it is something you have to be aware of when formulating recipes.

Hope this helps.

-a.
 
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sparkyaber

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The half gallon left was just a guess, it was just enough to hold the trub, could have been as little as a quart. The sparge arm is a rotating one, it fits perfectly. Covers every inch of the square, not rectangular (I am a moron sometimes) sorry.
Thanks for the help, I bet I ran the sparge to fast, didn't stir the mash enough, and maybe a little cool on the the sparge water?
Do these all sound like they would reduce my gravity, and hurt my efficiency?
 

ajf

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Sparging too fast will certainly reduce the efficiency, and the faster you sparge, the more it will be reduced. Some say that you need to stir the mash periodically. I never do this, and consistently get 85%. YMMV As for the sparge temperature, I increased my efficiency by 10% by doing a mashout infusion and increasing my sparge water temperature to keep the temperature of the sparge in the upper 160's. I won't tell you what temperature I use, because it is too dependent on the equipment. In retrospect, I also shouldn't have said that I would sparge that grain bill for 90 minutes, because that is also dependent on equipment, and I found today that using my 10g MLT, I can sparge a bit faster than I can with the 5g. If you stay with the fly sparge, you may want to experiment with the sparge rate between 30 and 90 minutes to see what effect it has on efficiency.

-a.
 
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sparkyaber

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Yup, that is where I am going with this. Thanks for all of the help. Right now the beer is chugging along in the closet, and it smells wonderful. I am sure it will taste fine, just have to get my efficiency up a bit. I saw that 1.030 when it came out of the mash tun and freaked.
I never mentioned about the crush. I think that it was fine, I had it done at the HBS.
I will try the fly sparge one more time with slowing it down, if that does not work, I will switch to batch sparging.
 
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sparkyaber

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One other thing, my mash ph was high, it was about 5.4-5.6. i am assuming this would make some difference, and how much?
 

missing link

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I think the temp adjust limit on hydrometers is about 10 - 20 degrees from the calibrated temp. What temp did you take your reading at to get 1.030 adjusted?
 
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sparkyaber

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I think the temp adjust limit on hydrometers is about 10 - 20 degrees from the calibrated temp. What temp did you take your reading at to get 1.030 adjusted?
I think I am leading you all astray. The 1.030 was when the temp was at 155 degrees. I used a excel spreadsheet to give me the temp adjusted gravity of 1.050 (approx). I then added the dme, I think this brought up my gravity to 1.056?
 
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