Author Topic: All Grain not reaching projected OG  (Read 1460 times)

Offline zman51

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All Grain not reaching projected OG
« on: September 07, 2017, 05:05:02 PM »
Hello All

About three brews ago I switched over to All Grain from extract. I love the process and the beer has tasted good but not getting the projected alcohol content. I believe this is because I have yet to get the OG recipe suggests. I am using a sparge calculator as well as formula on paper to get mash water temp and sparge water temp. My procedure right now is after the mash I drain that into brew kettle. I then add the sparge water and let sit 15 minutes and then slowly drain that to brew kettle. Any idea what I might be doing wrong?

thx

Offline denny

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Re: All Grain not reaching projected OG
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2017, 05:27:55 PM »
Hello All

About three brews ago I switched over to All Grain from extract. I love the process and the beer has tasted good but not getting the projected alcohol content. I believe this is because I have yet to get the OG recipe suggests. I am using a sparge calculator as well as formula on paper to get mash water temp and sparge water temp. My procedure right now is after the mash I drain that into brew kettle. I then add the sparge water and let sit 15 minutes and then slowly drain that to brew kettle. Any idea what I might be doing wrong?

thx

First of all, although it isn't your problem, there's no reason to let the sparge water sit for 15 minutes.  You're not really gaining anything.  See www.dennybrew.com

My guess for your low OG is that you aren't adjusting recipes to your system's efficiency.  You can't assume you'll get the same as what the recipe is written for.  You need to adjust every recipe to fit your system.
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: All Grain not reaching projected OG
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2017, 05:33:12 PM »
+1 on adjusting to your system. Also, do you crush your own grain? Do you check conversion prior to lauter? If so, are you getting complete conversion?


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Offline zman51

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Re: All Grain not reaching projected OG
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2017, 05:42:43 PM »
sorry for stupid question but what do you guys mean by adjusting to my system?

Offline BrewBama

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Re: All Grain not reaching projected OG
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2017, 05:47:42 PM »
Most recipes are written for X efficiency. If you get Y efficiency you need to add or subtract to brew the same beer the recipe describes.


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Offline zman51

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Re: All Grain not reaching projected OG
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2017, 12:56:58 PM »
ok thanks

Offline Visor

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Re: All Grain not reaching projected OG
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2017, 03:19:23 PM »
  +1 for checking for complete conversion, it isn't unusual for me to find that a 60 minute mash hasn't fully converted the starches to sugars. Other things that can help improve efficiency are getting your water right before mashing, some of us also feel that malt conditioning prior to grinding helps our efficiency. How much water loss to absorption are having? If you're losing much more than 1/10 of a gallon per pound of grain, you might get some improvement from allowing for a longer run-off from mash and sparge, assuming you have time to spare. I use a grain bag in a mash cooler & batch sparge, and am one of the heathens who squeezes as much wort out of the bag as is practical. I usually recover an additional 2 to 4 quarts of wort that others would have thrown away with the grain. And no, I haven't tasted any nasty tannin bitterness from squeezing.
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Offline denny

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Re: All Grain not reaching projected OG
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2017, 03:55:33 PM »
  +1 for checking for complete conversion, it isn't unusual for me to find that a 60 minute mash hasn't fully converted the starches to sugars. Other things that can help improve efficiency are getting your water right before mashing, some of us also feel that malt conditioning prior to grinding helps our efficiency. How much water loss to absorption are having? If you're losing much more than 1/10 of a gallon per pound of grain, you might get some improvement from allowing for a longer run-off from mash and sparge, assuming you have time to spare. I use a grain bag in a mash cooler & batch sparge, and am one of the heathens who squeezes as much wort out of the bag as is practical. I usually recover an additional 2 to 4 quarts of wort that others would have thrown away with the grain. And no, I haven't tasted any nasty tannin bitterness from squeezing.

Wow, that's really surprising.  In 526 batches I don't think I've ever had one that didn't convert in 60 min.  I've also found water to make a minor difference in efficiency.
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Offline Pricelessbrewing

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Re: All Grain not reaching projected OG
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2017, 04:39:03 PM »
Wow, that's really surprising.  In 526 batches I don't think I've ever had one that didn't convert in 60 min.  I've also found water to make a minor difference in efficiency.

While I'm nowhere near 526 batches... I agree, most of my mashes reach full conversion 92-95% usually within ~45 minutes. Water can have a profound impact on conversion, but your almost always notice an off flavor due to the poor mash pH.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: All Grain not reaching projected OG
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2017, 11:28:21 AM »
I think crush is likely the culprit here.   If you are crushing your own grain try tightening up the mill gap some (.029 is a setting that works for me, but others go as tight as possible).  If you get it from a LHBS, try double milling it.  If you order online crushed, just adjust with more grain.  I have xperienced gravity slippage on identical batches and it is always an indicator that my mill has loosened up a bit.  I use a feeler gauge to keep it consistent.  I BIAB, use a RIMS step mash and mash press and get steady efficiencies in the ugh 70's.  That works for me.  Just one data point, though.....
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Offline zman51

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Re: All Grain not reaching projected OG
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2017, 11:45:05 AM »
thanks all.

I think I will first get my own mill so I can double mill.

I was wondering is this a good one?


https://www.morebeer.com/products/monster-mill-3-roller-body.html


Offline zman51

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Re: All Grain not reaching projected OG
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2017, 11:46:00 AM »
also was wondering if there are any biab's for a standard 40 qt cooler?

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: All Grain not reaching projected OG
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2017, 12:19:09 PM »
thanks all.

I think I will first get my own mill so I can double mill.

I was wondering is this a good one?


https://www.morebeer.com/products/monster-mill-3-roller-body.html

That is a good one, I have one. That does two crushes on one pass.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: All Grain not reaching projected OG
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2017, 12:26:46 PM »
  +1 for checking for complete conversion, it isn't unusual for me to find that a 60 minute mash hasn't fully converted the starches to sugars. Other things that can help improve efficiency are getting your water right before mashing, some of us also feel that malt conditioning prior to grinding helps our efficiency. How much water loss to absorption are having? If you're losing much more than 1/10 of a gallon per pound of grain, you might get some improvement from allowing for a longer run-off from mash and sparge, assuming you have time to spare. I use a grain bag in a mash cooler & batch sparge, and am one of the heathens who squeezes as much wort out of the bag as is practical. I usually recover an additional 2 to 4 quarts of wort that others would have thrown away with the grain. And no, I haven't tasted any nasty tannin bitterness from squeezing.

Wow, that's really surprising.  In 526 batches I don't think I've ever had one that didn't convert in 60 min.  I've also found water to make a minor difference in efficiency.

With your water, no problem. I've found adjusting my water helps. The alkalinity is very high, and the pH would be greater than 6 for a light colored beer, which places it out range for the enzymes to work optimally. Been there years back.

Edit read the pH section.
http://www.braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Understanding_Efficiency
« Last Edit: September 09, 2017, 12:34:00 PM by hopfenundmalz »
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Offline BrewBama

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All Grain not reaching projected OG
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2017, 01:57:08 PM »
also was wondering if there are any biab's for a standard 40 qt cooler?

You can get a bag made for any vessel. There are a couple vendors out there that accept your dimensions and make the bag to fit. I used Brew Bag but Wilser bag is suppose to be reputable as well. There may be others.

http://biabbags.webs.com/

https://www.brewinabag.com/


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