Author Topic: Specific gravity issue...Dump or Keep?  (Read 3054 times)

Offline pcarlin

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Specific gravity issue...Dump or Keep?
« on: March 25, 2012, 06:49:03 AM »
Hello everyone. I just joined AHA and can't believe the amount of knowledge floating among these forums. So, I hope someone can tell me where I made my mistakes with my first all grain recipe. I am new at homebrewing with success with 5 batch's thus far. All mini+extract. Here is my grain bill:

8.5 lbs briess 2 row
4.0 lbs briess 6 row
0.5 lbs muntons chocolate

Used 1 quart of water per pound of grain. Steeped grains between 150*-158*. Mostly in the upper range of that. The temp kept fluctuating. I did this for 45 mins. Produced 2 gals. of wort. Added 1 gal. water and started my boil.

.50 oz uk admiral  90mins
.50 oz german northern brewer 20 mins

tsp irish moss 15 mins
6 Tbls  Brown suger 0 min

Ice bath to 70*

Checked my gravity before I pitched my yeast and there it was 1.012. That was last night around 8pm. It's almost 10 the next morning and there is no sign at all of any action in the primary. Maybe I was just getting a little to ambitious with out enough experience. Maybe someone can help. Thanks and cheers!!

Offline bigchicken

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Re: Specific gravity issue...Dump or Keep?
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2012, 07:03:30 AM »
Did you add water before putting the wort into the fermentor too? That was enough grain for a 5 gallon batch. If you did top off the fermentor, my guess is you didn't get the sugars out of the grain. You should be able to add enough water to the grains through your sparging that no top off water is required in the boil kettle or the fermentor.
TJ Cook
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On Deck: Chocolate Cherry Stout, Northern Brewer Dry Irish Stout
Fermenting: Magnum Blonde
In bottles:Northern Brewer Munich Helles, Snow Eater Winter Warmer 2012, Apple Wine

Offline tygo

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Re: Specific gravity issue...Dump or Keep?
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2012, 07:17:49 AM »
What was the batch size for this?  If you added water to the fermenter post-boil to get up to five gallons then you may have had wort stratification in the fermenter (the water was mostly on top) and you didn't get an accurate reading. 

As bigchicken said you shouldn't have to top off before the boil.  Between the strike water and the sparge water you can calculate it out to get your total boil volume.  Also 1 qt per pound is a pretty thick mash.  You could double that and still be fine.

You only pitched the yeast 14 hours ago so it's way too early to consider dumping the batch.  Let it go and see what happens.
Clint
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Fermenting: Wit
On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline pcarlin

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Re: Specific gravity issue...Dump or Keep?
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2012, 07:20:49 AM »
Yes, It was a five gallon batch. I did add water at the very end as well. Made sure when I added water that I matched temp. The ratio of grain to water was from the recipe itself. Maybe the temps during the mash were fluctuating to much that it ended up not extracting the sugers. I think I should have done a little more research. However, a good friend who does this as well always say's to me "don't worry, just brew!".

Offline repo

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Re: Specific gravity issue...Dump or Keep?
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2012, 07:22:26 AM »
Ummmm yeah,  where to begin :-\

How did you come up with that process/recipe???
 
Did you grind the grain? Do you have some sort of mash tun? Too many unknowns to really help a lot but:

Your mash should be at least 1 hour. There will be temperature differences within the mash.
I recommend 1 1/2 -2 qts per pound of grain.
Why are you adding water to the wort?
With 13 lbs of grain you should be collecting enough wort to have 5.5 gallons after  the boil.
There are quite a few books out there that you should read and or internet resources that explain all gran very well. Don't get discouraged it's really not that hard just take some time to research it. 

Offline tygo

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Re: Specific gravity issue...Dump or Keep?
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2012, 07:25:33 AM »
There are quite a few books out there that you should read and or internet resources that explain all gran very well.

How to Brew by John Palmer is a good start. 

He has the first edition online: http://www.howtobrew.com/intro.html

But pick up a copy of the current edition as well.  I refer to it all the time.
Clint
Wort Hogs

Fermenting: Wit
On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline pcarlin

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Re: Specific gravity issue...Dump or Keep?
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2012, 07:42:26 AM »
The recipe I pulled was from a book. That's how I got the grain bill and water ratio's. The mash was very thick and even took notice to it but, thought since it was from the recipe it was ok. The grains were all cracked. I do not have a mash tun. Used 8.5 gallon pot for the mash. I think I just got ahead of myself. Thanks for the input and I will look into all grain a little more and try again!

Offline gymrat

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Re: Specific gravity issue...Dump or Keep?
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2012, 07:51:21 AM »
Am I understanding that you collected 2 gallons of wort, topped to 3 gallons for the boil, then did a 5 gallon batch? Does that mean you topped with another 3 gallons of water in the fermenter?
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Offline repo

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Re: Specific gravity issue...Dump or Keep?
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2012, 07:53:57 AM »
If that book said to collect 2 gallons from 13 lbs of grain throw it away. Here's a link to a great set up and explanation of things and this person is on here all the time and very helpful.http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/
Highly recommended.

Offline pcarlin

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Re: Specific gravity issue...Dump or Keep?
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2012, 07:57:56 AM »
Awsome! Thank you all for the info. Much appreciated.

Offline narvin

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Re: Specific gravity issue...Dump or Keep?
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2012, 08:09:52 AM »
Like others have said, I think you just got really bad efficiency because of the process in the recipe.  You basically did an all grain recipe, as 6 TBS of brown sugar in a 5 gallon batch isn't going to add much gravity and is probably there for flavor.  What you'd normally do for a recipe like this is mash with 1.25 - 2 qts / lb of water and then sparge (rinse) the grain with more water to extract as much sugar as possible form the grain.
Please do not reply if your an evil alien!
Thanks
Chris S.

Offline aa7yy

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Re: Specific gravity issue...Dump or Keep?
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2012, 08:34:26 AM »
 I am real new at this also, but my first question is "how did you check your gravity ?"  1.012 is barely above dirty water , maybe your gravity reading is "off".

Offline garc_mall

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Re: Specific gravity issue...Dump or Keep?
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2012, 10:50:40 AM »
When you said you cracked the grain, did you run it through a grain mill? Or did you use a rolling pin like is recommended to some new homebrewers for crystal malt.

If you just cracked the grains, rather than run them through a grain mill, you may have had major issues with the starch gelatinizing, and the enzymes getting to the starches. That seems like it could cause the gravity issues you are having.
In a Keg: Flanders Red Ale, Rye Altbier, Cascade/Topaz Pale
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Specific gravity issue...Dump or Keep?
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2012, 11:53:01 AM »
If the web resources aren't working for you, I'd recommend going here and finding a club nearby:
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/directories/find-a-club

There's bound to be a couple of clubs on the Guyland, you can probably find an all-grain brewer there that will let you come watch a batch.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline pcarlin

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Re: Specific gravity issue...Dump or Keep?
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2012, 02:45:13 PM »
I used a hydrometer which I have been using all along. So, I feel the reading was accurate. The grains I ordered was offered cracked or non-cracked. I got cracked. It seems from all the feed back the recipe itself was not all to good. I'm going to keep the batch and see what happens. Worst case, it does not work out and I get a non-alcoholic brew but, got some good in sight. Y'all been great. Thanks!