Author Topic: overshot my OG  (Read 1334 times)

Offline uintafly

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overshot my OG
« on: March 06, 2011, 05:53:05 PM »
This morning I brewed up this recipe for a Belgian Triple:
7.5 lbs Muntons extra light dry extract
2 lbs. cane sugar

.5 oz. Tettnanger    60 min.    3.9 AA
1.25   Czech Saaz  60 min.    3.0 AA
1.5 oz. Hallertau     30 min.    4.6 AA
.75 oz. Czech Saaz  5 min.    3.0 AA

White Labs Abbey Ale (2.5 L starter)

During the process I decided to add just half the sugar to the boil and the other half into the fermenter in a few days to help control the temp. I ended up pitching at 63 degrees and was expecting an OG of 1.065, but ended with a 1.075 reading, which is what I was expecting it to be with the full 2 lbs. of sugar.  Any ideas on what could have caused this? I only do a partial boil but I know the wort was mixed well because I spent at least 10 minutes mixing and aerating the wort. If you were in my shoes would you still add the other pound of sugar?

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: overshot my OG
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2011, 06:15:03 PM »
How did you calculate your target OG?  I get 1.081 for those fermentables in a 5 gal batch (full recipe) and about 1.073 for the 1 lb version. So I'd say you're where you should be for the recipe you made. Sorry, I didn't calculate your recipe back when you first listed it.

Don't add the sugar if you wanted that OG. Wait until fermentation is just about done. Taste it then. Decide if the sugar would help or not by thinning the body but raising the ABV. The yeast will ferment it just as well later, so you can defer the decision and do it by taste.
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Offline uintafly

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Re: overshot my OG
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2011, 06:40:06 AM »
I use the free recipe calculator on hopville.com, maybe it's time I use a different software.  The strange thing is that their calculator has been pretty accurate for my other recipes.

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: overshot my OG
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2011, 07:11:01 AM »
It almost looks like you had an efficiency factor baked in during the calculation.  When you use extract/sugar, the efficiency is 100% -- the gravity points go straight in to the wort.  When you mash, you get less than the theoretical maximum (unless you're Dave Miller, but that's a joke from the '90s).

Dry malt extract and sugar should give you about 45 points per pound (my recipe calculator says 43 and 42, but 45 is close enough; liquid extract is around 36 points).

So just add up the pounds of extract and sugar, multiply by 45, then divide by the batch size.  That should give you your gravity target.

When you mash, you do the same thing except you scale the points from the grains by your brewhouse efficiency (typically 70-75%, but it varies).  If you were expecting a much lower gravity, it makes it sound like the calculator had some efficiency factor baked in.  Or that you accidentally told it you were using liquid malt extract instead of dry.  I'd bet that it's one or the other rather than a broken program.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline jeffy

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Re: overshot my OG
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2011, 07:47:18 AM »
  When you mash, you get less than the theoretical maximum (unless you're Dave Miller, but that's a joke from the '90s).

Do you remember the ":WANTED :Unibrewer, for impossible mash efficiency"  posters from the New Orleans NHC?
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: overshot my OG
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2011, 09:08:13 AM »
Maybe you entered it as LME not DME?  DME gives you roughly 40ppppg, sugar 46ppppg.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline denny

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Re: overshot my OG
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2011, 09:21:18 AM »
(unless you're Dave Miller, but that's a joke from the '90s).

An oldie, but a goodie!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline uintafly

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Re: overshot my OG
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2011, 11:54:35 AM »
It could be calculating as liquid. The way it lists it is "Muntons Extra Light Malt Extract" which I assumed would be dry but maybe not. Actually as I look it over none of the Munton's show liquid but some do show dry, so I guess that means the default is liquid. Oh well, live and learn. If I am shooting for something similar to Westmalle, would you guys still add the sugar?

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: overshot my OG
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2011, 02:14:28 PM »
2lb is going to be something like 23.5% of fermentables.  Thats a little high for my tastes, I've read that 20% is kind of a safe upper end.  I'd probably use no more than 1.5lb, that would be 18.7% of fermentables.  I think its a good idea for you to add the last half pound after a few days.  I'd also watch those ferm temps really close, its easy to get a runaway ferm temp with all that easily fermentable sugar in there.

I'm no expert on tripels though.  Not one of my favorite styles.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline denny

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Re: overshot my OG
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2011, 02:25:07 PM »
IMO, 23.5% is close enough to 20% as to be indistinguishable.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: overshot my OG
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2011, 03:02:58 PM »
IMO, 23.5% is close enough to 20% as to be indistinguishable.
Same could be said for 18.7% and 20%.  Would you go 23% sugar in a tripel?  I think I got that 20% rule of thumb from you originally Denny.  I've had a fairly low level of success on high sugar beers so I've kind of backed off rather than really focus on the process aspects that contributed to my failures.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline denny

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Re: overshot my OG
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2011, 04:11:08 PM »
Same could be said for 18.7% and 20%.  Would you go 23% sugar in a tripel?  I think I got that 20% rule of thumb from you originally Denny.  I've had a fairly low level of success on high sugar beers so I've kind of backed off rather than really focus on the process aspects that contributed to my failures.

Yeah, I would....and have gone 23% and higher.  As you say, 20% is a ROT, not an absolute.  It depends on the other ingredients and your process.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: overshot my OG
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2011, 04:35:42 PM »
If you want it more like Westmalle, I'd add it. Not because of the percentage of sugar but of the target ABV.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: overshot my OG
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2011, 01:29:27 PM »
What's Westmalle tripel's % sugar content or is that public information?
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: overshot my OG
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2011, 12:13:39 AM »
Good info in Stan's book.  Nice article here: http://www.brewlikeamonk.com/?p=113

Doesn't directly answer your question, but just take a look at that FG.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong