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Too Much Wort!

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Indy418

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I've had this problem a couple of times--coming up with too much wort.

This past weekend I did an AG Pumpkin Ale, looking to brew 3 gallons and came up with 4 gallons :(

Here's the calculator I used.
http://www.brew365.com/mash_sparge_water_calculator.php

I boil on my stove so I may have a lower boiloff rate, but any ideas why I'm getting so much wort? Is it better just to use formulas than calculators?
 

HarkinBanks

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I had similar problems when I first switched to AG. My best advice would be to learn your system really well and understand the constants in those calculators. Things like MLT deadspace, equip. loss and grain absorption can all give you too much (or too little) wort. Once you figure out your system, you should be able to dial it in pretty well. For me, trub loss, equip. loss and grain absorption were too high in those calculators compared to my real world experience. I had to test my system some more and dial them down.

Also, too much isn't a terrible thing if you are hitting your numbers, you just need to stop collecting wort and check your gravity.
 

kanzimonson

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Well, you really need to determine where the discrepancies are.

Are your grains absorbing less water than expected? You would determine this by seeing if your pre-boil volume is higher than expected.

Or like you say, maybe your boiloff rate isn't as high as the calculator says it should be. Again, you would need to know your pre-boil volume and compare to your final volume to see what your evaporation rate is.

Take as many data points as you can during your brewing because you never know when you'll need the information.
 

Gremlyn

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What matters most is are you hitting your starting gravity, even with the extra wort? I would assume not given you're coming up 33% over. What boil off rate are you assuming? How big is the pot, and is it tall and narrow or short and wide? Do you start with the right amount of pre-boil wort in your pot?
 
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Indy418

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No... I'm way under for my target OG. I assumed a .10 boil off rate. The pot is 5.2 gal. and is normal width for a pot that size. But I'm boiling it on a stove top so it usually takes it about 30-40 minutes to get up to a boil.
 

CaptYesterday

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I've come to discover that when I use brew365 as my water calculator, I always hit my temps, but wind up with some extra wort as well.

To solve this I do a 90 minute boil, and add hops along that schedule. So my 60 minute hops go in after the wort has been boiling for 30 minutes and so on. This way I reduce the chance of DMS formation using a 90 minute boil, and almost always hit my target volume and gravity.

Not ideal, but it works for my setup.
 

Gremlyn

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Maybe try doing a boil off test to see how much you lose. I've thought about doing that just to dial in my setup a little better. Basically just turn as many of the variables into constants as you can to see where you're going wrong.

You could also try downloading the BeerSmith free trial and plug everthing in it and compare the numbers from your website.
 

golfguy819

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Like others have said, play around w/ your system. I found in 60 mins, my system boils off 1.5 gallons. My first AG brew, I collected 6.5 gal of wort thinking that would be enough for 5.5. I was wrong. So my second, I collected 7 gal and got 5.5 into the fermenter. The brew I did today, I actually overshot and got 7.5 gal, but all it took was doing a 70 min boil and all was solved.
 

mrk305

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+1 on 90 minute boils. I boil for 30 and then start a regular 60 minute hop schedule.
 
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Indy418

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Thanks for the advice. I'll try the 90 minute boil from now on. For now, I'll just have to drink 4 gallons of beer instead of 3.

I have BeerSmith but am slowly learning all the in's and out's of it. Are there any tutorials or manuals to get the most out of BeerSmith...or any advice on better learning how to use the software?
 

Gremlyn

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I poked around here for info about setting it up, it's pretty good at getting things right for my equipment these days.
 
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