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Brewing Topics => Extract and Partial Mash Brewing => Topic started by: wepeeler on January 30, 2018, 09:00:47 AM

Title: Very high OGs - extract vs partial mash?
Post by: wepeeler on January 30, 2018, 09:00:47 AM
Having an issue with missing my target OGs. I recently switched from light dme to extra light dme (pilsner). That's literally the only change I made from previous batches. I was always able to hit my target OGs. The last 2 batches have been very high...

I am under the impression that flaked oats and flaked wheat don't add much to the OG when steeped, unless accompanied by unmalted grain. I used 8oz flaked oats, 8 oz flaked wheat, 8 oz carapils and 8 oz of white wheat malt. Steeped until I hit 165 degrees, probably about 25 min over 150 degrees. When I used "extract" as my overall type recipe my target OG was 1.058. However, I got 1.072. When I changed the type to "partial mash", the estimated target OG is 1.073. SO, I'm assuming I actually did a partial mash?

Any insight on this would be great. I've overshot my target OG my last 2 batches, but I think it's because I am actually doing a partial mash vs all extract.

Title: Re: Very high OGs - extract vs partial mash?
Post by: BOB357 on January 30, 2018, 10:26:31 AM
White wheat malt has fairly high diastatic power, so you actually did a partial mash and got good extraction from the flaked grains.
Title: Re: Very high OGs - extract vs partial mash?
Post by: Oginme on January 30, 2018, 10:32:02 AM
When you steep grains, that is specialty grains where the starches has already been converted into sugars, BeerSmith applies a "steeping efficiency" of (I think the default is) 19%, which is to say that 19% of the potential of the specialty grains becomes added to the gravity of the wort being produced.

When you have a base malt, such as wheat malt in your example, the enzymes released will convert any starches into sugars for the yeast to consume.  This is a much more efficient process at delivering fermentable sugars.  When this happens, the type of recipe should be changed to 'partial mash' to accommodate the increased sugars being liberated.  Here BeerSmith uses your brew house efficiency to figure out how much sugar needs to be extracted from the mash and calculates a mash efficiency based upon the percentage of the grain potential which is utilized.

So for your recipe, carapils is a dextrine malt which does not need to be converted and can be steeped to release the sugars it contains.  When steeped (at least in my experience) much of the dextrines seem to be reduced by the available enzymes into fermentable sugars. 

Malted wheat is a base malt which is composed of starches only, but also contains enzymes which will act to reduce those starches into sugars when mashed (steeped) at temperatures between 145?F and 162?F. 

Flaked wheat and flaked oats are unconverted grains which have starches but no enzymes to reduce those starches to sugars.  As such, to realize any amount of sugar potential from them, they must be mashed with an enzymatic base malt (such as the malted wheat.)  Putting them into a recipe with no base malt will release some starches into your wort, but no sugars.  These starches will not be used by the yeast, but can be consumed by other bacteria, leading to a reduced shelf life of your beer.

The net result for you is 'yes' you were doing a partial mash (you had unconverted grains and 'steeped' with an enzymatic base malt), and that explains the increased gravity you realized from these batches.  If you look at the description of these malts in BeerSmith, you will find that some of them are marked "TRUE" for the 'must mash' descriptor.  Those are malts that need to be mashed in order to contribute fermentable sugars.  Those malts that are labeled 'TRUE' for the 'must mash' descriptor and have a value above zero for 'diastatic power' are base malts which have some enzymatic potential to provide those enzymes needed to reduce the starches to sugars for the yeast to feast upon.

Title: Re: Very high OGs - extract vs partial mash?
Post by: wepeeler on January 30, 2018, 01:55:44 PM
Thanks a lot guys. I had a feeling I was getting some points from the flaked oats and flaked wheat. Until yesterday (before researching), I was unaware that the flaked oats and flaked wheat didn't contain enzymes to convert the starches to fermentables. I was searching recipes for NEIPA extract recipes with specialty grains and I came across one that had the flaked oats and flaked wheat but also contained the white wheat malt. I wasn't sure why it was there, but obviously the guy wanted to get fermentables as well as protein/haze.

Another question: if I was to add only the carapils and flaked oats/wheat, would that lead to a sweeter beer? Since the starch wouldn't be consumed by the yeast?
Title: Re: Very high OGs - extract vs partial mash?
Post by: Oginme on January 30, 2018, 02:08:48 PM
Do you have any corn starch in your pantry?  If so, try a little and that will give you some idea of the taste. 

Starches are not sweet and will not make the beer sweeter without being converted into sugars.
Title: Re: Very high OGs - extract vs partial mash?
Post by: wepeeler on February 01, 2018, 11:02:37 AM
I only asked about the sweetness from the starches, because almost all of my neipas have an underlying sweetness to them. Not sure if my target OG is set too high or if I have unfermentable sugars hanging around. Or perhaps my yeast didn't attenuate enough. I did a starter for the 1st time in the batch I just brewed last week. Maybe that will help.


Thanks for the info.
Title: Re: Very high OGs - extract vs partial mash?
Post by: wepeeler on February 24, 2018, 11:41:47 AM
When you steep grains, that is specialty grains where the starches has already been converted into sugars, BeerSmith applies a "steeping efficiency" of (I think the default is) 19%, which is to say that 19% of the potential of the specialty grains becomes added to the gravity of the wort being produced.

When you have a base malt, such as wheat malt in your example, the enzymes released will convert any starches into sugars for the yeast to consume.  This is a much more efficient process at delivering fermentable sugars.  When this happens, the type of recipe should be changed to 'partial mash' to accommodate the increased sugars being liberated.  Here BeerSmith uses your brew house efficiency to figure out how much sugar needs to be extracted from the mash and calculates a mash efficiency based upon the percentage of the grain potential which is utilized.

So for your recipe, carapils is a dextrine malt which does not need to be converted and can be steeped to release the sugars it contains.  When steeped (at least in my experience) much of the dextrines seem to be reduced by the available enzymes into fermentable sugars. 

Malted wheat is a base malt which is composed of starches only, but also contains enzymes which will act to reduce those starches into sugars when mashed (steeped) at temperatures between 145?F and 162?F. 

Flaked wheat and flaked oats are unconverted grains which have starches but no enzymes to reduce those starches to sugars.  As such, to realize any amount of sugar potential from them, they must be mashed with an enzymatic base malt (such as the malted wheat.)  Putting them into a recipe with no base malt will release some starches into your wort, but no sugars.  These starches will not be used by the yeast, but can be consumed by other bacteria, leading to a reduced shelf life of your beer.

The net result for you is 'yes' you were doing a partial mash (you had unconverted grains and 'steeped' with an enzymatic base malt), and that explains the increased gravity you realized from these batches.  If you look at the description of these malts in BeerSmith, you will find that some of them are marked "TRUE" for the 'must mash' descriptor.  Those are malts that need to be mashed in order to contribute fermentable sugars.  Those malts that are labeled 'TRUE' for the 'must mash' descriptor and have a value above zero for 'diastatic power' are base malts which have some enzymatic potential to provide those enzymes needed to reduce the starches to sugars for the yeast to feast upon.

Ok, so I thought I understood what was going on, but I'm still getting wacko OGs. My equipment profile stayed the same, and I tweaked my recipe to go from 1.072 in my original recipe down to 1.064 using the partial mash setting in Beersmith. The only difference from my original recipe was I used less dme. I still used flaked oats, flaked wheat, carapils and white wheat malt. I steeped/mashed at 155 for the same amount of time. Boiled as usual and my OG was 1.052. Which is what Beersmith predicted if I switched the setting to "extract". Made yet another recipe last night, again using same recipe and using the extract setting. OG was 1.064. Changed to partial mash and predicted OG went to 1.070. So I have no clue what's going on. I can't imagine being off .006 or .007 is normal. HELP!
Title: Re: Very high OGs - extract vs partial mash?
Post by: GigaFemto on February 24, 2018, 12:12:58 PM
Posting the recipes with the session results filled in would help. BeerSmith does have an inconsistency in calculating the gravity contributions from DME across the 3 recipe types when loss to trub and chiller is non-zero. It over-estimates the contribution from the DME in partial mash and all grain. If I take a blank recipe for a 5 gallon batch and add 5 lbs of DME (potential of 1.044) with zero trub loss the resulting OG is 1.044 for all three recipe types, as it should be. If the loss to trub and chiller is increased to 1 gallon the resulting OG for all grain and partial mash don't change and stay at 1.044, while the OG for extract drops to 1.036, which is correct: 1+.044*(5/6) = 1.036. This is just an error in BeerSmith. For some reason none of the points from the extract are left behind in the trub. I noticed this long ago and do my own OG calculations for recipes that contain significant amounts of DME. My most recent brew was a Double IPA with 2.5 lbs of DME and BeerSmith predicted an OG of 1.079 and my own calculations predicted 1.072, which is just what I got.

--GF
Title: Re: Very high OGs - extract vs partial mash?
Post by: wepeeler on February 24, 2018, 01:29:35 PM
Posting the recipes with the session results filled in would help. BeerSmith does have an inconsistency in calculating the gravity contributions from DME across the 3 recipe types when loss to trub and chiller is non-zero. It over-estimates the contribution from the DME in partial mash and all grain. If I take a blank recipe for a 5 gallon batch and add 5 lbs of DME (potential of 1.044) with zero trub loss the resulting OG is 1.044 for all three recipe types, as it should be. If the loss to trub and chiller is increased to 1 gallon the resulting OG for all grain and partial mash don't change and stay at 1.044, while the OG for extract drops to 1.036, which is correct: 1+.044*(5/6) = 1.036. This is just an error in BeerSmith. For some reason none of the points from the extract are left behind in the trub. I noticed this long ago and do my own OG calculations for recipes that contain significant amounts of DME. My most recent brew was a Double IPA with 2.5 lbs of DME and BeerSmith predicted an OG of 1.079 and my own calculations predicted 1.072, which is just what I got.

--GF

I attached my recipe and equipment profile. I must be doing something wrong and just can't see it. Maybe a fresh set of eyes will help.
Title: Re: Very high OGs - extract vs partial mash?
Post by: Oginme on February 24, 2018, 04:13:40 PM
Thanks for the pictures, but to really see how the program is operating it will help to get a .bsmx file of your recipe.  You can export it by selecting the file and then clicking on 'file' > 'export selected'.  When the save file screen ops up, make sure the file type is .bsmx and give it a name.  The program will save the file and you can attach it. 

I think GigaFemto has a good lock on what is happening, but we can go through the file and see if there is something else at cause.

Title: Re: Very high OGs - extract vs partial mash?
Post by: wepeeler on February 25, 2018, 01:45:38 PM
Thanks for the pictures, but to really see how the program is operating it will help to get a .bsmx file of your recipe.  You can export it by selecting the file and then clicking on 'file' > 'export selected'.  When the save file screen ops up, make sure the file type is .bsmx and give it a name.  The program will save the file and you can attach it. 

I think GigaFemto has a good lock on what is happening, but we can go through the file and see if there is something else at cause.

Gotcha. I've attached it. Thanks.
Title: Re: Very high OGs - extract vs partial mash?
Post by: GigaFemto on February 25, 2018, 03:32:41 PM
The recipe you posted should be used as an extract recipe. You have Carapils, Flaked Oats and Flaked Wheat which have potential but there are no enzymes to convert the starches to sugars. In that case all the sugar content from the flakes comes from the extract, the Carapils contributes a bit because it is already converted, and the 1.059 from BeerSmith is correct. If you add a malt with enough enzymes to convert the flakes, then you would get a few points from them and you could call it a partial mash recipe, but then BeerSmith would over-estimate the contribution from the extract.

--GF
Title: Re: Very high OGs - extract vs partial mash?
Post by: wepeeler on February 26, 2018, 08:41:44 AM
The recipe you posted should be used as an extract recipe. You have Carapils, Flaked Oats and Flaked Wheat which have potential but there are no enzymes to convert the starches to sugars. In that case all the sugar content from the flakes comes from the extract, the Carapils contributes a bit because it is already converted, and the 1.059 from BeerSmith is correct. If you add a malt with enough enzymes to convert the flakes, then you would get a few points from them and you could call it a partial mash recipe, but then BeerSmith would over-estimate the contribution from the extract.

--GF
Right. So what about this one? I used the same ingredients as my 1st recipe, just 1 pound less dme. Target OG went from 1.072 to 1.063 when using partial mash setting. My actual OG was 1.052, which works if I change to the extract setting. BUT, I used carapil, flaked oats, flaked wheat and white wheat malt. The white wheat malt has enzymes that should theoretically pull fermentables out of the oats and wheat. Maybe my efficiency was way low?

Title: Re: Very high OGs - extract vs partial mash?
Post by: GigaFemto on February 26, 2018, 09:04:09 AM
The white wheat has a diastatic power of 130 Lintner, and it is 1/4 of the grist, so you would get an overall rating of 32 Lintner, which is still quite low on enzymes. The conversion would be very slow and possibly incomplete. Adding another 4-8 oz of white wheat would help  with conversion speed. You have your mash efficiency at 84%, which is pretty high although not out of the question. To achieve an efficiency that high you need very finely crushed grains (flakes are OK) and you need to make sure your pH is in the 5.2-5.5 range. Are you checking your mash pH? To untangle the contributions from the grains and the extract you need to measure your mash efficiency, so check your gravity post-mash. Then you might be able to sort it out.

The extract alone is giving you 44 points/lb/gal*(6 lbs/5 gal)*(5 gals into fermenter/5.25 gals with trub)=50 points or OG of 1.050. Your mash efficiency would have to be really low, like 15% if it was to only give 2 more points. This assumes that all of your volume and weight measurements are accurate.

--GF
Title: Re: Very high OGs - extract vs partial mash?
Post by: wepeeler on February 26, 2018, 02:49:56 PM
The white wheat has a diastatic power of 130 Lintner, and it is 1/4 of the grist, so you would get an overall rating of 32 Lintner, which is still quite low on enzymes. The conversion would be very slow and possibly incomplete. Adding another 4-8 oz of white wheat would help  with conversion speed. You have your mash efficiency at 84%, which is pretty high although not out of the question. To achieve an efficiency that high you need very finely crushed grains (flakes are OK) and you need to make sure your pH is in the 5.2-5.5 range. Are you checking your mash pH? To untangle the contributions from the grains and the extract you need to measure your mash efficiency, so check your gravity post-mash. Then you might be able to sort it out.

The extract alone is giving you 44 points/lb/gal*(6 lbs/5 gal)*(5 gals into fermenter/5.25 gals with trub)=50 points or OG of 1.050. Your mash efficiency would have to be really low, like 15% if it was to only give 2 more points. This assumes that all of your volume and weight measurements are accurate.

--GF

So in the last recipe I posted, extract was the correct setting? Not enough enzymes and time to convert oats/wheat to fermentables?

I just can't seem to get consistent, predictable OGs. The beer is coming out just fine, but it's frustrating not being able to hit my numbers.
Title: Re: Very high OGs - extract vs partial mash?
Post by: GigaFemto on February 26, 2018, 03:46:50 PM
Yes, I think extract was the correct setting. You can steep specialty grains in an extract batch to get the colors and flavors without an gravity contribution from the sugars. That is not considered partial mash. I don't know that there is any fixed dividing line, but I consider partial mash to be a brew where roughly half the sugars are coming from the grains. With 6-7 pounds extract and 1-2 pounds grains I would still call that an extract batch.

Consistency can be hard  to achieve. Recording very careful measurements of volumes (don't assume that your kettle markings are accurate, either) and gravities at each step of the way should help you characterize your process. Then you can put that information into BeerSmith to get accurate predictions.

--GF
Title: Re: Very high OGs - extract vs partial mash?
Post by: wepeeler on February 27, 2018, 08:04:08 AM
Yes, I think extract was the correct setting. You can steep specialty grains in an extract batch to get the colors and flavors without an gravity contribution from the sugars. That is not considered partial mash. I don't know that there is any fixed dividing line, but I consider partial mash to be a brew where roughly half the sugars are coming from the grains. With 6-7 pounds extract and 1-2 pounds grains I would still call that an extract batch.

Consistency can be hard  to achieve. Recording very careful measurements of volumes (don't assume that your kettle markings are accurate, either) and gravities at each step of the way should help you characterize your process. Then you can put that information into BeerSmith to get accurate predictions.

--GF

Ok thanks. I need to etch volume lines into my kettle, because right now I know how much I start off with, but I can only guesstimate my boil off and starting boil volume. I know that makes a big difference.

Thanks for the help. I'm sure I'll be picking your brain in the future.
Title: Re: Very high OGs - extract vs partial mash?
Post by: wepeeler on March 10, 2018, 07:41:35 AM
So I'm at it again...

Set BS to extract. Used 8 oz carapils, 8 oz white wheat malt and 4 oz flaked wheat and flaked oats. Steeped at 155. Target OG was 1.063 and got 1.069. If I change to partial mash in BS, I get 1.069. I've attached recipes.
Title: Re: Very high OGs - extract vs partial mash?
Post by: GigaFemto on March 10, 2018, 09:03:45 AM
That all looks correct to me. For the extract version, BeerSmith isn't counting the contribution from the steeping grains, so the predicted OG is a few points lower. For the partial mash version BeerSmith predicts the OG correctly because your trub loss is set to zero. You got the predicted 1.069, so all seems to be good. If you use the same process next time, use the partial mash setting and see if you come out  on target again.

--GF
Title: Re: Very high OGs - extract vs partial mash?
Post by: wepeeler on March 10, 2018, 09:08:27 AM
My trub loss is zero. I dump everything into the fermenter.

I've gone back and forth between extract and partial mash when trying to write recipes, and I can't ever predict which target OG I'll get. I didn't want 1.069, I wanted closer to 1.063. Not being able to predict whether or not to use the extract or partial mash setting is my only complaint. There is no consistency. The last brew I did, I set to partial mash and the target OG was 1.063. I ended up getting 1.052, which is what the extract target OG was. 10 points is a lot to be off.
Title: Re: Very high OGs - extract vs partial mash?
Post by: Oginme on March 10, 2018, 09:34:56 AM
Looking at your grains, you are using wheat malt which is enzymatic.  This is correct when adding the flaked grains, but also means you are doing a partial mash.  Any time you do a partial mash with enzymatic malts, you will get a higher extraction rate of sugars from the grains.  When you select the recipe type as 'extract', BeerSmith defaults to a lower extraction rate than you would get from the partial mash and that will cause your predicted OG to be lower than you will actually achieve.
Title: Re: Very high OGs - extract vs partial mash?
Post by: wepeeler on March 10, 2018, 11:57:49 AM
Looking at your grains, you are using wheat malt which is enzymatic.  This is correct when adding the flaked grains, but also means you are doing a partial mash.  Any time you do a partial mash with enzymatic malts, you will get a higher extraction rate of sugars from the grains.  When you select the recipe type as 'extract', BeerSmith defaults to a lower extraction rate than you would get from the partial mash and that will cause your predicted OG to be lower than you will actually achieve.

Right, I get that. So my original post showed me getting a 1.072 instead of a 1.058. We figured it was from a partial mash, so I changed the settings to partial mash for my next batch. Target OG 1.064 and ended up getting 1.052. Switched same recipe to extract setting, and it changed target OG to 1.052, which is what I got. So the 1st time I did a partial mash and the 2nd time I didn't? Same ingredients, same technique. This is what is driving me nuts. How can there be a 20 point swing? 1.072-1.052....

Last night's brew was only 4oz of flaked wheat and 4oz of flaked oats. There couldn't be 6 points of fermentables in those 8oz, could there?

Title: Re: Very high OGs - extract vs partial mash?
Post by: Oginme on March 10, 2018, 03:09:09 PM
 "Same ingredients, same technique."

If you are brewing the same recipe and using the same technique, then I would suspect that this represents your process variability and/or measurement error.  How well can you measure your volumes going in and coming out?  Have your brew kettle and fermenter been measured and marked for volumes?  This is usually the biggest area of measurement error for most brewers.  I would not trust factory marked volumes as they are usually etched and added based upon a set template and do not take into account variations from piece to piece.

For your brew last night, 6 gravity points for how much volume?  Also, if you used only 4 oz of flaked wheat and 4 oz of flaked oats I would suspect that you may have measured some gravity, but it would be starch and not sugars.  The flaking process for grains brings the grains up to gelatinization temperatures and presses them to make the starches more accessible, but do NOT convert those starches to sugar.  In order to do this, you need a base malt to provide the enzymes needed to reduce the starches to sugars.

In the end, if you have converted malts (crystal, caramel, biscuit, brown, chocolate, black, roasted) then you can steep them and use extract settings.  If you have base malts or malts that need to be mashed (the description of each malt lists a "MUST MASH" as either 'true' or 'false'.  Malts marked as 'true' must be mashed to give you any fermentable sugars.) then use the partial mash settings.  If you find that the settings don't match your results, then you need to focus on tuning in the settings in your equipment profile to match your actual values.  Switching back and forth trying to explain your variability is not solving your problem, it is only causing you confusion and hiding the issues you need to address.

Title: Re: Very high OGs - extract vs partial mash?
Post by: GigaFemto on March 10, 2018, 03:23:54 PM
You had a major change in process from the first recipes you posted to the recent set. In the first ones you had 0.25 - 0.50 gallons of trub loss, now you have zero. That will affect your efficiency and non-zero trub loss will cause BeerSmith to calculate the contribution from the extract incorrectly. So you had 3 different things going on that were affecting your OG calculations. If you have zero trub loss, then life is simpler. Choose between extract and partial mash the way Oginme said and you should be OK.

--GF
Title: Re: Very high OGs - extract vs partial mash?
Post by: wepeeler on March 12, 2018, 08:49:14 AM
"Same ingredients, same technique."

If you are brewing the same recipe and using the same technique, then I would suspect that this represents your process variability and/or measurement error.  How well can you measure your volumes going in and coming out?  Have your brew kettle and fermenter been measured and marked for volumes?  This is usually the biggest area of measurement error for most brewers.  I would not trust factory marked volumes as they are usually etched and added based upon a set template and do not take into account variations from piece to piece.

For your brew last night, 6 gravity points for how much volume?  Also, if you used only 4 oz of flaked wheat and 4 oz of flaked oats I would suspect that you may have measured some gravity, but it would be starch and not sugars.  The flaking process for grains brings the grains up to gelatinization temperatures and presses them to make the starches more accessible, but do NOT convert those starches to sugar.  In order to do this, you need a base malt to provide the enzymes needed to reduce the starches to sugars.

In the end, if you have converted malts (crystal, caramel, biscuit, brown, chocolate, black, roasted) then you can steep them and use extract settings.  If you have base malts or malts that need to be mashed (the description of each malt lists a "MUST MASH" as either 'true' or 'false'.  Malts marked as 'true' must be mashed to give you any fermentable sugars.) then use the partial mash settings.  If you find that the settings don't match your results, then you need to focus on tuning in the settings in your equipment profile to match your actual values.  Switching back and forth trying to explain your variability is not solving your problem, it is only causing you confusion and hiding the issues you need to address.

I don't have my kettle marked for volume, but we measured the starting volume and boil volume with a caliper. We did simple math to determine boil off rate. We've been doing 5 gallon batches. I do need to etch volume markings into my kettle. That's next on the list.

As for the flaked oats and flaked wheat, I've been using white wheat malt in addition. I was under the impression it contains enzymes to convert the oats/wheat starch to fermentables. It just seems like sometimes I get a significant amount of fermentables from them and sometimes I don't. I thought that was the main culprit of my varying OGs. It's just frustrating to write a recipe with the extract setting and then have the numbers match the partial mash setting. And vice versa. Seems like sometimes I get fermentables from the "mash" and sometimes I don't.

You had a major change in process from the first recipes you posted to the recent set. In the first ones you had 0.25 - 0.50 gallons of trub loss, now you have zero. That will affect your efficiency and non-zero trub loss will cause BeerSmith to calculate the contribution from the extract incorrectly. So you had 3 different things going on that were affecting your OG calculations. If you have zero trub loss, then life is simpler. Choose between extract and partial mash the way Oginme said and you should be OK.

--GF

Right. I've adjusted the trub loss to zero across the board now. I was always dumping everything into the fermenter and didn't realize the trub loss affected the gravity so much.

I just need to brew a few more times and tweak the settings accordingly. I'm getting closer to my numbers, so that's a good thing.