Author Topic: Oops, missed  (Read 1120 times)

Offline tygo

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Oops, missed
« on: December 11, 2009, 11:12:54 AM »
So this ESB I just brewed today was my first all grain attempt and also my first beer in a few years.  So I planned conservatively.  I was shooting for 5 gallons at 1.058.  And I ended up with 3.5 gallons at 1.088.  Oops.  Guess my efficiency was okay.  It's in the fermenter but I haven't pitched the yeast yet.  I knew I wasn't going to get it perfect but that's a little far outside what I was shooting for.  I'm okay with the lower volume but that gravity is pretty high.  Not that I'm afraid drinking a Whoops Imperial ESB but I'm a little worried my dinky 2 qt starter might not have the best performance.  The bitterness will probably be okay since I underplanned them a little and the utilization was down but so was the volume.

So what should I do?  Pitch the yeast and see what happens?  Go down to the store and get a gallon or so of spring water and mix it in?  Thoughts?
Clint
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Fermenting: Wit
On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline blatz

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Re: Oops, missed
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2009, 11:18:15 AM »
though I've never had this happen, personally, I would go get 1.5 gallons of RO water and add that in.  your pitch rate looks fine to me in either case (as is or topped up).

good luck
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Offline hokerer

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Re: Oops, missed
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2009, 11:23:11 AM »
I'd go ahead and top it up to 5 gallons.  That should get you down to 1.061 or so which is a lot closer to your target.  Then, figure out where your calcs went wrong and try and fix that for next time.
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Offline pdbreen

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Re: Oops, missed
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2009, 11:25:28 AM »
I'd go ahead and top it up to 5 gallons.  That should get you down to 1.061 or so which is a lot closer to your target.  Then, figure out where your calcs went wrong and try and fix that for next time.

+1 on this.  My guess is that you started with a 5gal boil and lost 1.5gal to evap instead of starting with a 6.5-7gal boil.
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Offline ndcube

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Re: Oops, missed
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2009, 11:28:28 AM »
I would top up as well.  If not be prepared for a buzz.  8)

Offline tygo

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Re: Oops, missed
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2009, 11:40:52 AM »
Yeah, I started with 5.8 gallons which was less than I was planning for.  But this is a new system so I didn't know what my evaporation rate was going to be.  I also planned for missing my projected efficiency.  So higher efficiency and less volume...

I also need a new mash tun, or need to figure out how to compensate for what I have.  I have a rectangular cooler but it's got wheels in the front where the spigot is and therefore the spigot is too high off the bottom of the cooler.  To compensate for the next batch I think I need to add another sparge in.  That'll help get more of the sugar out and get me a higher boil volume.  But I need a flat bottomed cooler at some point.
Clint
Wort Hogs

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

Offline tygo

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Re: Oops, missed
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2009, 01:15:51 PM »
Thanks for the advice everyone.

Topped up with about a gallon and a half of distilled water.  My choices at the local grocery store were spring water or distilled water.  Where do you get RO water?

That put me at 1.055 OG and I pitched the yeast (yeah, somewhere in there my readings were a little off).  Overall, I'm pretty happy with the results of my reboot brew day.

My burner worked perfectly.  Was a little scared of it before I lit it up.  I was finding reasons to delay doing that.  But it fired up perfectly, had a boil in about 15 minutes and it didn't burn down my garage or house.  Win.

Had a little problem where my two floating thermometers didn't agree with each other on mash temp.  Went with the one I thought was more reliable.  I need to get a lab thermometer to be the tie breaker.

As I stated earlier, my cooler sucks.  I knew that going in.  Short term I'm going to attempt to compensate with an additional batch sparge. 

The fermenter is sitting in my basement all nestled in a wet towel in a couple inches of water with a little ice.  Hopefully that will keep the fermentation temp at around 65 since my basement has been holding steady at 70 since the winter months kicked in.

Clint
Wort Hogs

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

Offline ndcube

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Re: Oops, missed
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2009, 01:35:39 PM »
Topped up with about a gallon and a half of distilled water.  My choices at the local grocery store were spring water or distilled water.  Where do you get RO water?

Usually the stores have 3 types of water:
Distilled = Distilled
Spring = Filtered (could still have some minerals)
Drinking = RO

Offline tygo

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Re: Oops, missed
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2009, 02:19:11 PM »
So this one was still bubbling after 8 days and I was a little confused why it was taking so long.  Took a reading on Wednesday and it was at 1.016 which should have been close to my planned FG.  Let it sit and took another reading today and it was at 1.014 but still about four bubbles per minute in the airlock.

When I was brewing this one I had a discrepancy between my two floating thermometers.  I picked the newest one and went with that but in the meantime I got a lab thermometer and also a digital one.  After comparing all of them today when I was making a starter for another batch and testing the SG on this one it turns out the one I relied on was reading too high.  I probably really mashed at around 146.

So this one is going to be pretty thin I guess.  The beer from the hydrometer tasted okay, just a little too bitter and I'm sure it'll be pretty lacking in body once it's done.  I'm chalking this one up to a lesson learned. 
Clint
Wort Hogs

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

Offline ndcube

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Re: Oops, missed
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2009, 05:45:29 AM »
I've had a couple turn out too thin.  One was extract though so it was beyond my control (except I could have used a different yeast).

I just carbed them up more like a belgian and that made them to my liking.

Offline tygo

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Re: Oops, missed
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2009, 06:28:23 PM »
Racked this one to the secondary today.  Not really necessary but I need the primary over the holiday break.  Prediction for this batch:  Hoppy lightning water.  Think I'll just put it in the mini-kegs when it's done.

On reflection I should have just pitched into the 3.4 gallons I got at the higher gravity.  Would have made for a better beer most likely.
Clint
Wort Hogs

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