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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: spangltk on March 19, 2012, 03:09:42 AM

Title: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: spangltk on March 19, 2012, 03:09:42 AM
Using a recipe that's 4 # of LME, .5 # of flaked oats and .5 # of carapils. Expected O.G. was 1.045 and I had 1.030. I plugged it into hopville and confirmed 1.045 was correct.

Since these are specialty grains with no fermentation, could I potentially re-steep and boil these in a 1 gallon batch and pitch to secondary? Or if I can get it in soon enough, primary. Right now it's only 4 gallons so I have room for that.

I think my oats clumped together and I hadn't noticed until I threw them in the trash.
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: udubdawg on March 19, 2012, 03:36:25 AM
not really understanding what you mean with your "specialty grains with no fermentation" statement.  maybe I'm just slow?

on a side note, I think with a 4g batch you'd need about 100% efficiency to get 1.045 out of 4#LME and .5 each of carapils/flaked oats.  And if you got 0% you'd get more than 1.030 with just the LME.  Looks like you need almost a 5 gallon batch to get 1.030 with just the LME.
Neither of the specialty grains you used has any diastatic power.  They cannot convert themselves and you need some base malt here.  I would ignore the "cara" in carapils and not think of it like the other malts with this in the name (in other words don't steep it).

anyway, let's get to the bottom of your recipe size/gravity/measurements first.

cheers--
--Michael


 
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: dmtaylor on March 19, 2012, 03:37:01 AM
Sounds like starch city.  Oats need to be mashed.  I honestly can't say how this batch is going to turn out for you, or whether it can be fixed.
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: spangltk on March 19, 2012, 04:02:23 AM
This is the white lighting recipe from this months issue of Zymurgy. @dmtaylor - really disappointed if I needed to mash flaked oats when Zymurgy told me that wasn't necessary. 

2#LME Pilsner
2#LME Wheat
8 oz Carapils
0.5 # Flaked oats

Seep Carapils and Flaked Oats for 30 minutes at 154F. Strain add extracts top off with water and proceed with boil. 

I did the above, keeping 3# of the extract for 0 minutes.  I was down to 2.5 gallons at the end of the boil and dumped in 1.5 bags of ice to bring it down to 68F. Added water to 4.5 gallons and took my gravity reading.

Kept it below 5 gallons because I'm adding 4# of Muscat Grape Juice during primary fermentation.
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: morticaixavier on March 19, 2012, 06:10:03 AM
see my reply on your other thread about this. If you were .015 points low then you are for sure getting a bad read. test your hydro with distilled water. or stir the wort better and take another reading. if it's still off then test your hydro with distilled water.
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: malzig on March 19, 2012, 10:35:47 AM
see my reply on your other thread about this. If you were .015 points low then you are for sure getting a bad read. test your hydro with distilled water. or stir the wort better and take another reading. if it's still off then test your hydro with distilled water.
I don't think so.  4# of LME in 4.5 gallons of water is going to make a beer that's pretty close to 1.030.  I don't think this is a bad reading, just a bad recipe.
Sounds like starch city.  Oats need to be mashed.  I honestly can't say how this batch is going to turn out for you, or whether it can be fixed.
I haven't seen the article, so excuse me if the recipe was misinterpreted, but I don't know how recipes like this get past the editors.  This is the kind of recipe I would have expected to see 20 years ago, when most of us didn't know much better.  We can argue about steeping Carapils, but those grains really need to be mashed or you won't add much more than starch to your beer.  If the intent of the recipe was to add starch, then fine...
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: brushvalleybrewer on March 19, 2012, 01:10:46 PM
This is the white lighting recipe from this months issue of Zymurgy.

I don't think this is a bad reading, just a bad recipe.

I'm looking at the recipe (Zymurgy vol. 35, no. 2, p. 20). It's an all-grain recipe with an "Extract plus steeped grain" version, but the instructions say to "Conduct mini mash with 8 oz (227 g) Carapils and flaked oats, steeping for 30 minutes at 154 °F (68 °C)."

That is slightly confusing editing, as steeping and a mini mash are two different things. A mini mash would be appropriate for the oats, but would require some base malt to provide some diastatic power.
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: dmtaylor on March 19, 2012, 01:16:26 PM
As far as I know, Carapils has little if any enzymes to be able to convert the starches to sugars.  I suppose I could be wrong -- wouldn't be the first time.  But it's worth looking into.  Sounds like a bum recipe that should indeed have been edited out.  You'll get beer out of it, but a cloudy oddball one that might experience contamination.
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: majorvices on March 19, 2012, 01:51:47 PM
Starches aside, the real point of the mater is that 1 lb total of steeping grains is not going to give you 15 more points brix in an extract beer. Your reading is off. Possibly due to stratification or, as was mentioned, your hydrometer is off. Or you didn't add enough malt extract. But it has nothing to do with the steeping grains.
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: udubdawg on March 19, 2012, 02:25:57 PM
Starches aside, the real point of the mater is that 1 lb total of steeping grains is not going to give you 15 more points brix in an extract beer. Your reading is off. Possibly due to stratification or, as was mentioned, your hydrometer is off. Or you didn't add enough malt extract. But it has nothing to do with the steeping grains.

how is his reading off?  It was 1.030.  I would say his expectation of 1.045 is off, not his reading...
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: morticaixavier on March 19, 2012, 02:29:50 PM
Starches aside, the real point of the mater is that 1 lb total of steeping grains is not going to give you 15 more points brix in an extract beer. Your reading is off. Possibly due to stratification or, as was mentioned, your hydrometer is off. Or you didn't add enough malt extract. But it has nothing to do with the steeping grains.

how is his reading off?  It was 1.030.  I would say his expectation of 1.045 is off, not his reading...

without the oats and dextrine it should have been around 1.036-1.040. so the reading is off, regardless of the confusion in the recipe. and the dextrine should have given up it's sugars at any rate. so really we would be talking about taking out the oats which should only lower the og by ~.004.
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: repo on March 19, 2012, 02:41:15 PM
I think you get about 35 points per pound LME expectation, right? It's been too long. If so then 4 pounds into 4 1/2 gallons is around 1.031-.032 . So 1.030 would be around normal. Expectation too high gets my vote.
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: morticaixavier on March 19, 2012, 02:43:06 PM
I think you get about 35 points per pound LME expectation, right? It's been too long. If so then 4 pounds into 4 1/2 gallons is around 1.031-.032 . So 1.030 would be around normal. Expectation too high gets my vote.

I don't know, when I plugged the recipe into beer smith it gave me 1.045 for the whole recipe and 1.030 without the oats.
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: udubdawg on March 19, 2012, 02:46:24 PM
I think you get about 35 points per pound LME expectation, right? It's been too long. If so then 4 pounds into 4 1/2 gallons is around 1.031-.032 . So 1.030 would be around normal. Expectation too high gets my vote.

I don't know, when I plugged the recipe into beer smith it gave me 1.045 for the whole recipe and 1.030 without the oats.

interesting.  I did that last night as shown in my first post.  what batch size and efficiency did you use to get an extra 15 points out of only 1 additional pound of fermentables?  I figured mid 30's for the oats and low 30's for the carapils, maybe an average of 35ppg for 1 total pound, in 4 gallons. 
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: morticaixavier on March 19, 2012, 02:58:46 PM
Okay if I remember correctly I was using my 'starter' recipe which may actually be set to 100% efficiency. so that may not be realistic. however even just the LME is 1.032 and he should have hit that dead on. There isn't really any room for difference with extract. so there is some measurment discrepency. And the carapils should have given him something, even if only a couple points. If he got nothing from the oats I would have expected to see 1.034-1.036 and the oats would have upped the og even if only with unfermentable starches. I still say there is either an instrument failure, a volume measurment failure or...

I just thought of this, spangltk is your hydro calibrated at 68* or 60*? that would account for a point or two. I don't have an adjustment calculator in front of me but would an 8 degree adjustment account for .002 difference in reading?
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: udubdawg on March 19, 2012, 03:15:54 PM
I suspect a significant part of the error is batch size.  for instance, did he account for the volume of LME or add 4 gallons of water to it?  was the finishing volume exactly 4 gallons?  Or is that what is in the fermenter and more was left in the pot?  I think his expectation of 1.045 is clearly off, but without knowing the exact numbers I can't tell if his measurement of 1.030 is off.

also, the difference between 60F and 68F should account for about .001 on his hydrometer.

cheers--
--Michael
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: denny on March 19, 2012, 03:42:52 PM
I'm willing to bet it's stratification, as Keith mentioned.
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: diybrewing on March 19, 2012, 03:49:11 PM
I can guarantee it is stratification. Whenever I hear someone putting ice into beer to cool it down it makes me cringe. 
FYI CaraPils does not need to be mashed at all. Carapils is lightest of the crystal malts which makes it already converted technically. Also their is no difference in mashing and steeping. Keeping grains at a certain temperature with water is mashing whether you call it a steep or a mini mash. the only difference is whether you sparge or do not sparge. That has nothing to do with conversion of starches or not. The flaked oats are their to add body so no need to convert since you want the starch their. The technique is fine. That is why it went past the editors because it is correct.
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: denny on March 19, 2012, 03:50:52 PM
AFAIAC, you NEVER want unconverted starch in your beer.
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: udubdawg on March 19, 2012, 03:53:22 PM
AFAIAC, you NEVER want unconverted starch in your beer.

I tend to agree, and I have to respectfully disagree with his statement re: CaraPils as well.

cheers--
--Michael
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: spangltk on March 19, 2012, 04:20:52 PM
I created a Hopville recipe with it, http://hopville.com/recipe/1239051/witbier-recipes/zymurgys-blunder, turns out 1.035 is what I should have expected with that grain bill. So .005 would be explained by poor steeping practice. My oats clumped together and I didn't do enough to break it up. After reading up on Carapils I don't expect it to convert any of the starches anyways.

As far as my readings, I confirmed the accuracy of my hydrometer before I started brewing.

Given all of the starch in the beer I'll probably to dump it. Perhaps I can cold crash and collect the yeast. Then I just need to re-buy the grains and I can do a round two.
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: a10t2 on March 19, 2012, 05:09:55 PM
Whenever I hear someone putting ice into beer to cool it down it makes me cringe.

Why is that? If he doesn't have a chiller it's the best option.
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: denny on March 19, 2012, 05:11:28 PM
Whenever I hear someone putting ice into beer to cool it down it makes me cringe.

Why is that? If he doesn't have a chiller it's the best option.

The idea behind that is that ice isn't clean, whether from your freezer or a store.  I tend it believe that given my freezer conditions and reports I've seen on commercial ice.  OTOH, if you can assure the sanitation of the ice, it's a great idea.
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: morticaixavier on March 19, 2012, 05:15:10 PM
I created a Hopville recipe with it, http://hopville.com/recipe/1239051/witbier-recipes/zymurgys-blunder, turns out 1.035 is what I should have expected with that grain bill. So .005 would be explained by poor steeping practice. My oats clumped together and I didn't do enough to break it up. After reading up on Carapils I don't expect it to convert any of the starches anyways.

As far as my readings, I confirmed the accuracy of my hydrometer before I started brewing.

Given all of the starch in the beer I'll probably to dump it. Perhaps I can cold crash and collect the yeast. Then I just need to re-buy the grains and I can do a round two.
Whenever I hear someone putting ice into beer to cool it down it makes me cringe.

Why is that? If he doesn't have a chiller it's the best option.

The idea behind that is that ice isn't clean, whether from your freezer or a store.  I tend it believe that given my freezer conditions and reports I've seen on commercial ice.  OTOH, if you can assure the sanitation of the ice, it's a great idea.

ice that you buy at the store has been sanitized via UV light. it's pretty safe, I used to do that alot before I had a chiller when I was doing extract. store bought ice should be perfectly safe.
don't dump it! at least taste it first. worst case scenerio is it gets infected but much more likely it will just be really clowdy which, for a wheat beer is not a big deal.

I can guarantee it is stratification. Whenever I hear someone putting ice into beer to cool it down it makes me cringe. 
FYI CaraPils does not need to be mashed at all. Carapils is lightest of the crystal malts which makes it already converted technically. Also their is no difference in mashing and steeping. Keeping grains at a certain temperature with water is mashing whether you call it a steep or a mini mash. the only difference is whether you sparge or do not sparge. That has nothing to do with conversion of starches or not. The flaked oats are their to add body so no need to convert since you want the starch their. The technique is fine. That is why it went past the editors because it is correct.

Mashind v. steeping is more than just a temp/time issue, it is also an enzyme issue. carapils is goign to have little or no enzymes and flaked oats will have none so no starch will convert, had there been an additional .5lb of two row or something in there then that would be a different story, it would be mashing. as is no conversion is possible so it is steeping.
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: denny on March 19, 2012, 05:18:20 PM
I hope you're right about the ice.  Although it's been maybe 10 years, the last study I read cast serious doubt on the food safety of commercial ice.
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: morticaixavier on March 19, 2012, 05:20:52 PM
I hope you're right about the ice.  Although it's been maybe 10 years, the last study I read cast serious doubt on the food safety of commercial ice.

I am just going by what Alton Brown told me. He can't be wrong right?

and on the Never unconverted starch comment Denny, there is lambic, but that might qualify as the exception that proves the rule. course, then there is wit, and weizen oh heck.
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: a10t2 on March 19, 2012, 05:21:12 PM
The idea behind that is that ice isn't clean, whether from your freezer or a store.  I tend it believe that given my freezer conditions and reports I've seen on commercial ice.  OTOH, if you can assure the sanitation of the ice, it's a great idea.

Granted, but that's like saying that it isn't a good idea to use plastic tubing, because it isn't unless you've sanitized it. It's just a given whenever you talk about brewing.
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: Hokerer on March 19, 2012, 05:25:54 PM
Also their is no difference in mashing and steeping. Keeping grains at a certain temperature with water is mashing whether you call it a steep or a mini mash. the only difference is whether you sparge or do not sparge.

That is incorrect.  Mashing adds requirements beyond those of just steeping.  A mash needs enzymes (usually from a base grain) and also needs a controlled water/grist ratio so that the grains can get the pH of the mini-mash into the proper range.  Steeping instructions usually just tell you to steep the pound or so of grains in the full volume of whatever amount of water you're boiling.  That's not a mash.
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: denny on March 19, 2012, 06:07:27 PM
then there is wit, and weizen oh heck.

Neither of which contain unconverted starch AFAIK.
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: morticaixavier on March 19, 2012, 06:11:50 PM
then there is wit, and weizen oh heck.

Neither of which contain unconverted starch AFAIK.

No? isn't that where the starch haze comes from? I could well be wrong, you certainly have more experience than I (not a joke about how god aweful old you are denny I promise (although that might have been ;D))
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: spangltk on March 19, 2012, 06:32:56 PM
I hope you're right about the ice.  Although it's been maybe 10 years, the last study I read cast serious doubt on the food safety of commercial ice.

Small apartment brewing. Over the years I'm convinced I want an easy and fun brew day over 'keep up with the pack' brewing. I have an AG setup and a wort chiller. But I save hours of time by not lugging them out of storage, cleaning, then re-cleaning, and lugging back to storage.

Before I made the 'downgrade' to ice I talked to several people who have been doing it for years. They confirmed no infections and no one has detected infections in my last 7 ice brews. If I get one infection at this point then it's still worth the hours of time it's saved me.
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: denny on March 19, 2012, 08:01:38 PM
AFAIK, the haze is from the yeast, not the starch.  I could be wrong, even though I'm old!  ;)
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: majorvices on March 19, 2012, 09:59:39 PM
Back to the original point at hand, there's no way the small amount of steeping grains are going to give you ten extra points brix. And if you didn't mash the oats it is likely that they would not have given you nearly as many points had you actually mashed them. YOu wort was most likely stratified. And I recommend mashing the oats with a pound of pilsner next time. Really, IMO you are going to make better beer by doing a mini mash with all of your extract batches. For one thing extract is reported to be low in FAN. And you just get a bit more control and it's freakin' easy.
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: spangltk on March 19, 2012, 11:59:57 PM
Now that I've calculated it through Hopville I dont' think I was that off. The beer is milky white and I'm thinking it's better off as a starter. I'll try again this weekend and recycle the yeast. The hop additions were so low that I only need more grains and I'll mini mash that as you suggested.
Title: Re: Really bad O.G. from specialty grains - any chance of a redo?
Post by: malzig on March 20, 2012, 12:57:17 AM
Now that I've calculated it through Hopville I dont' think I was that off. The beer is milky white and I'm thinking it's better off as a starter. I'll try again this weekend and recycle the yeast. The hop additions were so low that I only need more grains and I'll mini mash that as you suggested.
I'd plan on having some extra dry extract on hand. too.

4# of extract is only going to give you a 1.030-1.032 beer at 4.5 gallons.  Even mashed, you would have been lucky to get 1.037.  Adding a pound of Pilsner Malt might get you to 1.042, but I wouldn't count on it.

A pound of dry extract will give you the option to bump it up by 10 points, if you need to. 

It might still be interesting to try and save this first beer by adding some more extract.  It will still be beer, and it would make for an interesting comparison to the next beer you make.