Author Topic: Low OG  (Read 635 times)

Offline markcrum

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Low OG
« on: January 02, 2014, 06:44:28 PM »
I'm still a newbie, and if there is a rookie mistake, I've made it. That being said, my OG numbers have been consistently 1 to 1.5 short of target. My mash temps are good but have tried not to lift cooler lid too much to keep heat in. Wondering if haven't been mixing water/grain enough and if more often and vigorous stirring of the grain bed would help?

Offline klickitat jim

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4249
    • View Profile
Re: Low OG
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2014, 06:53:02 PM »
1 to 1.5 degree plato? Or gravity points?
How are you estimating?
If with an app or software, what efficiency % is it set at?

OG targeting is a matter of adjusting to YOUR  efficiency, assuming there's no huge issue there. If your actual brewhouse efficiency is around 70% +/- 5% then I would reset my recipe calculator to that number and go from there.

Offline fmader

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1124
    • View Profile
Re: Low OG
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2014, 07:01:13 PM »
As Jim said, establish your efficiency? Are you calculating an efficiency into your recipes or are you basing it on potential extract of malts? Are you hitting your final volumes?

Stirring once real well to break up all of the grain at the beginning of the mash is good enough... There's no need to open the cooler and stirring again until you sparge.... Are you sparging?
Frank

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5134
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Low OG
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2014, 07:13:16 PM »
Good questions and advice. Give us specific info about your brewing process, measuring technique, etc. and we can help.
Jon H.

Offline markcrum

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Re: Low OG
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2014, 08:01:09 PM »
Using Palmer 's 'How to Brew' recipes and techniques. Mash hour, sparge, let sparge rest 15 minutes. Went through my limited notes (damn rookie) and appears don't have important water numbers. Example: last brewed IPA, started with 5-gallon mash, finished with 6.5 gallons of wort, but don't have how much added or preboil volume - believe sparge with 4 gallons. OG was 1.042, FG 1.01

Offline fmader

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1124
    • View Profile
Re: Low OG
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2014, 08:09:28 PM »
If you're ending up with 6.5 gallons when it's all said and done with a five gallon batch, that's your biggest issue.

I missed my volume several brews back but on the short side. I usually calculate my 5 gal batches at 5.5 gal. I did a 10 gal batch and instead of calculating 11 gal, I did 10.., I had a really boozy tasting pumpkin ale.

I use this calculator to help me hit my volumes...

http://onebeer.net/batchspargecalc.shtml
Frank

Offline surfin_mikeg

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
    • View Profile
Re: Low OG
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2014, 09:34:45 PM »
How would you describe your grain crush, and how did you measure?  FWIW, it also helps to measure pre-boil as well.

Offline klickitat jim

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4249
    • View Profile
Re: Low OG
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2014, 10:09:48 PM »
Yup! Then do some multiplication n what not.

For example 7 gallons of 40 points when boiled down to 5 gallons will be? 7X40/5=

From your posts so far, I think your doing fine. Even if your 1.5 Plato off. Focus more on fermentation for now. Your mashing sounds fine.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 13290
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Low OG
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2014, 09:59:03 AM »
Using Palmer 's 'How to Brew' recipes and techniques. Mash hour, sparge, let sparge rest 15 minutes. Went through my limited notes (damn rookie) and appears don't have important water numbers. Example: last brewed IPA, started with 5-gallon mash, finished with 6.5 gallons of wort, but don't have how much added or preboil volume - believe sparge with 4 gallons. OG was 1.042, FG 1.01

Try this instead...www.dennybrew.com
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline ynotbrusum

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1517
  • Da mihi sis cerevisiam.
    • View Profile
Re: Low OG
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2014, 03:49:23 PM »
I bet it has to do with water volume measurements or grain crush and an expected efficiency that misses on one or another of those two points.

Brew and brew more often and you will start to dial in your system.  Realize, however, that different suppliers of crushed grain may crush at different settings, so you can't assume that a pound of grain from anyone is going to produce what a pound of grain from another will produce....that's why so many guys here crush their own.  (Plus it stores longer as uncrushed grain!)

Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5134
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Low OG
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2014, 04:04:15 PM »
Getting water volumes dialed in is one of the first challenges in AG brewing -  mash water, grain absorption, dead space, sparge water, kettle volumes all need to be pretty accurate to consistently hit target OGs. It takes practice and will come in time. I recommend calibrating your kettle as well with a wooden dowel rod marked with quart increments from 0 all the way to 7+ gallons, to ensure that you:   1/ End up with the right preboil volume  and    2/ That you boil the wort down to the right amount (instead of just rigidly boiling 60 minutes). Doing these things will help you control your process more accurately. +1 as well to getting your malt double crushed @ your LHBS - your efficiency will improve as a result. Good luck n' enjoy !
Jon H.