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Too much water, Not enough grain


Jan 16, 2009
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I need some help and am not sure where to start. I brewed a beer today based off a recipe I created in Beersmith 2 for a Kolsch.  I just switched over to Beersmith 2 from the previous Beersmith version.  I never had issues with the previous beersmith version as far as not getting an appropriate recipe / brew sheet.

The recipe called for 8.6 pounds of grain to hit my target gravity for a 5 gallon batch. It also called for a total of 10.27 gallons of water. It's been a while since I have brewed a Kolsch but against my better judgment, I trusted Beersmith 2 for this style.  I was targeting 1.048 and ended up with 1.037. I thought the original grain bill / amount of water seemed a bit off.

My equipment consists of 3 converted kegs.  I use a false bottom in my mash tun. Prior version called for around 9 gallons of total water.

Here is a grain bill / water requirement from the prior version

10lb Pale Malt
1 lb Rice
.50 Cara-pils

Prepare 9.02 gallons of water

Add 14.38qt of water at 168 degrees
sparge with 5.43 gallons of water
Add water to achieve boil volume of 7.014 gallons

Estimated 1.045 SG

(I reached 1.049 SG on this recipe)

Any help would be appreciated.



Jan 14, 2012
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so your target gravity was supposed to be 1.048 and you hit 1.037? i do know that you have to adjust cara-pils on beersmith2, they have it as if it were fermentable and it is not..however that would only account for like 0.002 or 0.003 gravity points..so that is one thing that you have to knock down the yield in the options for it..


Forum Moderator
Grandmaster Brewer
Nov 6, 2010
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Sounds  to me like the brew house efficiency is set higher in BS2 and therefor the required amount of grain to achieve the target gravity is less.

My reverse calculator says to achieve 1.048 with an average PPG of 36 for a 5G batch at 77% efficiency will require 8.66 lbs of grain.

Looking at the water volume, I calculate needing 10.2 gallons of water with 10lb grain for a 5.5 gallon batch with an 11.5lb grain bill.  My guess is the equipment profiles are not the same and therefore you are getting two substantially different values.

Either way, if you reduced the base malt to 8.6lbs from 10 then that is what caused the lower OG.  A common efficiency for recipes is 65%.  based on that, I calculate needing 10lbs of grain to achieve 1.048. 

Using my reverse calculation tool, I calculate needing 8.6lbs of pale malt with a 36PPG at 60% efficiency to achieve 1.037.

In case you do not know what PPG is, a Google search will give all you ever wanted to know but in a nutshell, it is the potential gravity points per lb for the malt.  Calculations use this value to predict your target gravities based on your systems efficiency.