Where Did I Go Wrong?

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nicklawmusic

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I attempted my first all grain beer this evening (5hr 30 mins it took me!!!) and I'm trying to figure out what went wrong!

Here's what I did:

MASH
1.6KG Maris Otter
50g Crystal Malt (high colour)

5.6 litres of water at 65c for on hour, in a sparge bag, inside a cool box.

I lost one degree Celsius during the mash (though some places around the edge in the cool box read 59c).

I took the bag out and let it drain, afterwhich, I places the bag in a brew kettle and sparged it using 10 litres of water at 65c.

After letting that drain, I poured the contents from my makeshift mash tun into the brew kettle and got a gravity reading of 1.019.... WAAAAAAAAAAAYY below what I was expecting (1.038 according to Brewers Friend).

What did I do wrong?

I topped up my wort with 600g dextrose (I didn't had any DME unfortunately) and managed to get a starting gravity of 1.048.

Can anybody help me identify what the primary issue was here with my pre-boil gravity.

I want to start doing 1 gallon all grain batches (I've discovered that 3 is quite an effort on a stove top) without doing a mini mash, but this has left me wondering whether all grain is harder than I though.

Suggestions/tips?



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Heinesands

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Unless my math is way off thats a little over 3 lbs for 3 gallons of wort so the sg is about right a 1.019
 

Omahawk

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I am metrically challenged, but if I did my conversions right, at 60% efficiency (slightly low, but within the realm of reasonable outcomes for BIAB) you should expect 1.019 preboil gravity with that much malt and water. However, 5.6 L + 10 L is something like 4.2 gallons of water. If you are doing a 1 gallon batch, that's way too much water and you've diluted your wort too much.

The other thing that comes to mind is that by adding .6 kg of sugar (BTW, at 25%+ of your grain bill is a lot of simple sugar) should not get your wort to increase from 1.019 to 1.048. That's too many points to pick up from 0.6 sugar in 15+ L of water (AGAIN, based on the premise that I can actually convert metric into US units ;) )

It makes me think maybe you had a bad gravity reading at 1.019 or 1.048. At 4.2 gallons pre-boil, adding 0.6 kg dextrose should get you about 15 gravity points according to BeerSmith.
 
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nicklawmusic

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I think I my have been unclear. I was making a 10 litre batch, which is around 2.6 gallons.

I mashed 5.6 litres of water and sparged with 9.4 litres of water. The result, after grain absorption, etc, was 13.5 litres of wort.

I checked the gravity several times and it was 1.019 pre boil.

My reading at the end, after adding the dextrose, was definitely 1.048 (the picture below looks like 1.050 but I took this reading several times and I think it is more to do with the angle I took the pic).

ImageUploadedByHome Brew1403674873.867713.jpg

The wort in my cooler looked quite dark and sugary, so I'm guessing I used too much sparge water, but I did use Brewers Friend to calculate it and somebody else on the forum suggested I use around 12 litres in another thread.


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nicklawmusic

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Also, have I killed my beer adding that much dextrose? I didn't have any DME at hand and couldn't find any guides online about how much to add to increase the ABV.

What will the outcome be?


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acidrain

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After draining and sparging did you mix the wort really well before taking a gravity reading?
 
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nicklawmusic

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Nope. Not on the pre-boil reading. I've been reading a lot about slowly sparging. I suspended the grain bag above the cooler and poured water through the grains using a measuring jug (about a litre at a time) but I'm not wholly convinced I did a good enough job.


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nzbrew

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64c


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Did you do the temperature compensation for such a high sample temperature? If not that would work out about right:

1019 compensated for 64 deg comes out at 1034. The higher the temperature (above the calibrated temp of the hydrometer - usually 20 deg) the more inacurate they are without compensating for the temp.

I see you were using Brewers Friend - it has a calculator for it online - http://www.brewersfriend.com/hydrometer-temp/
 
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nicklawmusic

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I didn't. Totally forgot to take that into consideration.

What will adding all that dextrose do to my beer?


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nicklawmusic

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I erred on the side of caution so my gravity after boil was 1.049, which is only .009 points more than I was aiming for originally.


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RonPopeil

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.001 on a hydrometer = 1 point. So you're over by 9 points. Nothing wrong it's just a big difference.

600g is about 1.5# which is a lot, especially for a 1.049 wort. I typically use 8oz, which equates to around 220g, in a 1.070 or higher wort. Less than 1.070 I can usually dry out by pitching more yeast. As far as all the dex goes, you should end up with a thin (dry) beer. It will be more alcoholic and possibly require some age.
 
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