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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: andrew000141 on January 29, 2013, 04:55:12 AM

Title: is my theory sound?
Post by: andrew000141 on January 29, 2013, 04:55:12 AM
im 3 AG batches deep and my beers have been very watery unfortunately. The second one i mashed at 155 and i still got a FG of 1.007 (og 15 brix). I have been batch sparging w/o mashout. im wondering if not mashing out is the culprit as the grains temp lowers as i recirculate and sparge possibly converting the higher sugars and dextrins to light sugars while doing so. could this be the issue?
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: tschmidlin on January 29, 2013, 05:17:02 AM
Maybe - we need more info, like recipes (lbs of grain at least) and OGs.
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: redbeerman on January 29, 2013, 12:36:14 PM
How long is the mash and is the temperature maintained throughout.  If the mash temps are decreasing to 150ish for an extended period of time, that will increase the fermentability of the wort as well.  As Tom said, need more info.
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: jeffy on January 29, 2013, 12:40:29 PM
  If the mash temps are decreasing to 150ish for an extended period of time, that will increase the fermentability of the wort as well.
Red, I don't think it works that way, as the beta amylase enzymes are denatured already from the higher temp mash in.
As you both said, need more recipe info.
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: Jimmy K on January 29, 2013, 01:20:20 PM
My first thought was that your thermometer might be off. I used to use a probe-style oven thermometer and so did my friend (different brand). Neither was calibrated. One day we were brewing together and my thermometer was reading 10 degrees higher than his!  That could put your mash in the 140s.
 
But as said, we really need more info. I batch sparge without a mashout though, so I can tell you that alone is not the problem.
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: erockrph on January 29, 2013, 01:55:59 PM
Have you been hitting your target OG? How are you measuring your gravities - is your hydrometer accurate? If these are your first few AG batches, maybe you aren't hitting your target efficiency. If you're starting low, then that would explain why you're finishing low.
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: redbeerman on January 29, 2013, 01:57:10 PM
  If the mash temps are decreasing to 150ish for an extended period of time, that will increase the fermentability of the wort as well.
Red, I don't think it works that way, as the beta amylase enzymes are denatured already from the higher temp mash in.
As you both said, need more recipe info.

Jeff.  The beta amylase enzymes will not be comepletely denatured at 155F.  They will work in tandem with alpha amylase to further break down starch molecules. "The optimal pH range for beta amylase between 5.4 and 5.6 and the optimal temperature range is between 140ºF (60ºC) and 150ºF (65ºC). Above 160ºF (70ºC) beta amylase is quickly deactivated [Narziss, 2005]. "
Title: is my theory sound?
Post by: majorvices on January 29, 2013, 03:10:09 PM
i don't think the higher mash temps denature the enzymes immediately. And I don't think mash out tmeps are really necessary in homebrewing, unless you are performing a 3 hour mash. The temp drop could be a problem, one easily rectifiable by adding a gallon or so or boiling water mid way through.

Interestingly enough, "thin beer" is a common complaint to those new to AG brewing. I wonder how often it is that they are used to heavy and underattenuated extract brewing. That said, 1.007 is pretty darn low. But are you sure you hydrometer is calibrated correctly? Are you sure your thermometers are calibrated correctly?
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: topher.bartos on January 29, 2013, 03:50:20 PM
Like everybody else said, 155° shouldn't really give you thin / watery beer. If you are attenuating down to 1007, you are probably mashing at perhaps very low gravities. 155° mash will create less fermentable sugars and more dextrins, etc. 1007 is super low for such a mash temp but this all depends on OG.

Like everybody else said, you are either mis-calculating the temp or mashing lower gravities than you think you are. Your mash efficiency might be the problem so many increase your grains to account for that if you truly believe your temps are correct...

Other than that, I'm not sure what else it could be. Recipes, pH, OG might give us a better understanding of the problem.
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: davidgzach on January 29, 2013, 03:54:05 PM
Interestingly enough, "thin beer" is a common complaint to those new to AG brewing. I wonder how often it is that they are used to heavy and underattenuated extract brewing.

Interesting observation. 

I agree with the others.  Need more info on grain bill, etc. and double check your equipment.

Dave
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: andrew000141 on January 29, 2013, 04:12:54 PM
my 3 grists have been (3 gal batches)

5lb belgian 2-row
1/2lb belgian biscuit
1/2lb belgian aromatic
1/4lb special b
mash =155
14 brix Og
Fg 1.007(there was 1/2lb of sugar but i still thought it should be higher than that)

5.7lb british 2-row malt
9.6oz c-60
2.4oz-chocolate
.9oz-black
mash = 151(90 min)
OG 1.071
FG 1.012(but seems very watery still)

im not going to bother on the 3rd recipe because it ended up a disaster to my fault not this issue and there no need to embarrass myself with posting it

i though about the thermometer calibration and im definitely gonna look into it.
i know my hydrometer is accurate, i always have 2 and they say the same gravity.

now i do have a 10gal rubbermaid cooler as my mash tun but ive been "preheating" it with so just about boiling water before i put the strike water in so the temps have been stable throughout the mash
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: topher.bartos on January 29, 2013, 04:40:27 PM
I don't really see anything wrong with your setup or your gravities.

There are ways to increase mouthfeel. Dextrin Malt, Crystal malt, Flaked barley, Oats, etc...

You're getting about 83 - 87% attenuation. Your yeast seems to be eating through enough of your sugar to be giving a dry or light mouthfeel. Maybe try some not so high attenuating yeast...

You might be using too much refining agents that are dropping too much protein out of suspension...

There are all kinds of different factors.

Let me know if something or anything works for you.
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: repo on January 29, 2013, 04:52:15 PM
Well when I batch sparge, it always RAISES the temp of the grain bed during this process. What is the temp of your sparge water? I would be inclined to agree with major and his theory.

Qiuckly looking at your recipe there is something wrong. An og of 1.071 for a 3 gallon batch with less than 7# of grain seems highly implausible if not impoossible.
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: topher.bartos on January 29, 2013, 04:58:00 PM
Qiuckly looking at your recipe there is something wrong. An og of 1.071 for a 3 gallon batch with less than 7# of grain seems highly implausible if not impoossible.

+1 good catch!
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: Jimmy K on January 29, 2013, 07:18:37 PM
Interestingly enough, "thin beer" is a common complaint to those new to AG brewing. I wonder how often it is that they are used to heavy and underattenuated extract brewing.

Very good point - And I've been wondering lately how much of that is due to simultaneously adopting better yeast practices vs simply the switch to all grain.
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: andrew000141 on January 29, 2013, 07:22:33 PM
Qiuckly looking at your recipe there is something wrong. An og of 1.071 for a 3 gallon batch with less than 7# of grain seems highly implausible if not impoossible.

+1 good catch!

i though so at first too but i made a post about it and everyone just said i had good efficiency, it was a kit and the expected OG was 1.056. it was a 90 minute mash though so that definitely drove my efficiency up
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: Jimmy K on January 29, 2013, 07:32:24 PM
Assuming you have or get a good thermometer, make sure the mash is stirred well enough that the temperature is even. It is possible for it to be 155 on the top and cooler underneath or in different spots, especially if you're adding the water on top of grain in the mash tun. I always measure a couple spots, stir, measure, stir more, measure again to make sure the temps agree.
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: morticaixavier on January 29, 2013, 08:47:50 PM
Qiuckly looking at your recipe there is something wrong. An og of 1.071 for a 3 gallon batch with less than 7# of grain seems highly implausible if not impoossible.

+1 good catch!

i though so at first too but i made a post about it and everyone just said i had good efficiency, it was a kit and the expected OG was 1.056. it was a 90 minute mash though so that definitely drove my efficiency up

yeah that seems suspicious to me.

say an average of 32 points per lb for the grain 7 lbs = 224 / 3gallons = 74.6 * say 85% efficiency = 63.

I guess 95% efficiency might get you close to 1.071 with 7 lbs of grain. which leads me to ask, how much are you sparging?

I find when I do a no sparge beer it has more body than if I do a single sparge or double sparge. Others may disagree.
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: Jimmy K on January 29, 2013, 08:49:24 PM
i though so at first too but i made a post about it and everyone just said i had good efficiency, it was a kit and the expected OG was 1.056. it was a 90 minute mash though so that definitely drove my efficiency up

Which thread was that?

EDIT: I found it...
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=14284.msg181524#msg181524
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: andrew000141 on January 29, 2013, 08:58:06 PM
In that particular recipe i sparged with 2.85 gallons. since then ive been using 4.75 gallons total with 1.25-1.5 quart per pound and the rest is reserved for sparging

after reading through that post again i may have had a small post boil gravity than 3, i know it didnt fill up as much as usual in my 3 gallon keg when i kegged that beer
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: Jimmy K on January 29, 2013, 09:07:19 PM
Just keep at it. Experience with your own equipment is the best advice.
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: topher.bartos on January 29, 2013, 09:16:20 PM
Like I said before, I don't see anything dreadfully wrong with what you're doing. Take it as a learning experience. Learn about mouthfeel; light, medium, full body. Drink some beer with different mouthfeel and brew clones of them. Maybe you'll be able to see what you need to do with your equipment to brew less watery beer. Experiment a lot and have fun.

Keep us posted.
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: Slowbrew on January 29, 2013, 09:34:50 PM
It's little off the wall, but could it be a carbonation issue?  I know when I hook up a keg of under carbed beer it seems off, a little thin and not as tasty.  You might try bumping up the carbonation and see if it helps fill out the flavor. 

Then again, it may be late in the day and I'm not thinking clearly.  8^)

Paul
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: morticaixavier on January 29, 2013, 09:39:00 PM
When I want a super malty brew I mash at 162 (hey that rhymes! I'm a poet!)

I do this with my ordinary bitter, mash at 162 no sparge, aim for 1.036 and it's full bodied and delicous. you can also add some flaked oats or barley for extra body.
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: davidgzach on January 29, 2013, 10:12:58 PM
I plugged your second recipe in to BeerTools and everything is feasible.

It came out at 83% attenuation though.  What yeast did you use for each brew? 

Dave
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: andrew000141 on January 30, 2013, 03:08:28 AM
british ale for the brown ale and belgian abbey for the dubbel-ish that turned out to be more of a dubbel than i planned, both wyeast. Actually ive always had an issue with carbonation in my kegs, either they are pretty much dead with foam or its pretty much dead but its only foam(a little exaggeration there but its annoying nonetheless)
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: wingnut on January 30, 2013, 04:10:48 AM
I think you have two seperate issues... 1st beer was just plain watery with a FG of .007.   The other beer was not really thin but felt thin because you extracted extra tannins. (at least that is what I find on my system) The tannins are making the mouthfeel more dry.  I am guessing that   you would likely have been better off to have a less efficient extract. 

In my experience, anything above 80% efficieny gets you a less  malty beer. (given the same final gravity).  I know some people would argue... and with their system they may be right, but on my system, too much efficiency gets you some subtle changes in malt flavor, and in some cases, changes in mouth feel.

On second look, the second recipe also has roasted grains..which will give a slightly drier, more acidic mouth feel. (similar effect to the high efficiency)

If you keep getting great efficiency, just adjust your recipe to have some extra long chain sugars (dextrin for instance or cara pils)  If you are still dialing in your mashing process.... check your efficiencies and try to get them to come out similar from batch to batch.  Once you do that, you can adjust recipies to fit your system.

Good luck!
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: narvin on January 30, 2013, 04:17:42 AM
A mash out will not make a difference unless you take an hour (or more) to lauter. At homebrew scale it's inconsequential.

Measure your grain temperature during the mash to make sure you're maintaining temperature.  I had a friend who did 3 gallon batches in a small cooler, and due to the low thermal mass/large surface area compared to the size of the cooler he ended up 10 - 15 degrees below temperature after only a few minutes.  Beta amylase will not denature this fast, and you could be getting a much more fermentable wort than you want.  If this is what's happening, raise your strike temperature and stir for longer during dough in, or you can preheat your cooler with hot water.

Also, make sure you have a good thermometer.  Cheap digital kitchen probes from the grocery store can be off 10 degrees or more at mash temp, even if they seem accurate when measured in ice water.
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: repo on January 30, 2013, 05:14:30 AM
I plugged your second recipe in to BeerTools and everything is feasible.

It came out at 83% attenuation though.  What yeast did you use for each brew? 

Dave

If you don't have any losses to trub or cold break or through your chilling method, this is possible. But I do.
Still haven't heard what your sparge water temp was?

Narvin brings up some great points too. I have seen drops of 7+ degrees in my 10 gallon mash tun when doing 3.5 gallon batches.
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: andrew000141 on January 30, 2013, 05:38:49 AM
the temp drop may be a culprit of the brown ale as i didnt preheat my mash tun like i usually do(it was my first batch). I sparge with 170 degree water
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: tschmidlin on January 30, 2013, 09:06:56 AM
i know my hydrometer is accurate, i always have 2 and they say the same gravity.
This doesn't mean anything if they are both wrong - are you sure you are using them right?  Proper temperatures for your measurements?  No CO2 bubbles affecting the second reading?

Title: is my theory sound?
Post by: majorvices on January 30, 2013, 12:00:07 PM
I have 2 hydrometers, too, and they are both off, one by two the other by 4. Calibrate it to be sure, it's not hard. Just put it in room temp water and check to see it reads 1.000. Distilled is recommended, but regular water will get you close enough.
Title: Re: is my theory sound?
Post by: davidgzach on January 30, 2013, 12:33:04 PM
After reading the latest posts, I'm starting to think temp drop like Narvin.  However, I also agree that you need to double check all of your equipment if you have not already.

Dave