Really low OG / All-grain

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I'm desperately seeking resolution to what went wrong with my first all-grain brew. Once I'd made added it to the fermenter and pre-yeast addition, I took an OG reading and it came out 1.024. It should have been up near 1.070 from the recipe.

Some points to help get to the bottom of my problem:
1. Used ~3 gallons water with grain.
2. Sparged with ~1 gallon
3. Boiled and hopped for 60 mins
4. Cooled to ~70F and added liquid to fermenter. There was <3 gallons (nearer 2.5gal)
5. Added water to make up to 5 gall an took OG reading (1.024)
6. The grain was milled at a store
7. I have attached a photo of the wort making process in case I am well off the mark with that.

I am perplexed as to where I went wrong. I think I bit off more than I can chew going all-grain but I am genuinely at a loss as to why it could have gone so wrong.

Any help/advice/answers would be greatly appreciated.

image-2355553491.jpg
 

Rhaop

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post recipe and your mashing temps/time i geuss for starters
 
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The recipe was:
11.5lbs pale 2-row
1.5lbs crystal 120

This was steeped for 60 mins at a temp range of 150-160F

Wort was boiled then:
0.75oz warrior hops (60-35 mins)
0.50oz falconer's flight / 0.5oz simcoe (53-10mins)
6oz honey @ 15 mins
Irish Moss @ 15 mins

Cooled to 70F and added to fermenter.

Points:
1. The temp of the wort was hard to gauge. The photo in my first post shows that there was not much space and any movement (via spatula or bag) caused wild temp fluctuations. There seemed to be no way to control this. It never went <146 or >164 during this period according to my digital thermometer.
 

kh54s10

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I would suspect that when you topped up with water that you got an uneven mix and your sample was from a weak solution area. It is sometimes quite hard to get a really good mix.

If your fermentation has just begun I would take another gravity sample.
 
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I would suspect that when you topped up with water that you got an uneven mix and your sample was from a weak solution area. It is sometimes quite hard to get a really good mix.

If your fermentation has just begun I would take another gravity sample.
I better take note of that for the future - thanks
 

Rhaop

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^ looks like a tasty brew, i'd say kh is prob right if you have a spare bucket might transfer back and forth after wort is cooled to help mix/aerate :mug:

my first p/m was a pumpkin ale lol i was so nervous because all the temp changes i noticed, but it turned out good had 4lbs of pumpkin puree in a grain bag it was a nightmare lol
 
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My first brew (this is my second brew - hence the comment about me being making too big a leap) was a pack brew (I didn't think I could go wrong) but my OG was low on that too so that makes me think that maybe my sampling was/is wrong.

I love the idea of passing between pales to mix as well as aerate.
 
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I meant to say thanks too! I have read this forum to get tips but to have people coming back so quickly is great.

The homebrewing community is so friendly and I can't wait to get better and be able to offer advice!
 
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