Author Topic: Fell short of SG  (Read 4051 times)

Offline MRMARTINSALES

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Fell short of SG
« on: October 25, 2017, 01:55:36 PM »
Hi,

I did a golden ale brew today all went well except that my beersmith recipe anticipated that i would achieve 1.046.

I mashed at the correct temperature in an insulated mash tun and extracted the exact amount of beer from my batch sparge.

Ive ended up with a refractometer reading of 9.7 (which gives me an SG of 1.038).

Ionly used maris otter pale malt for this brew. Anybody any ideas as to why ive fell short?

Thanks


Offline Ck27

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Re: Fell short of SG
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2017, 02:15:43 PM »
Hi,

I did a golden ale brew today all went well except that my beersmith recipe anticipated that i would achieve 1.046.

I mashed at the correct temperature in an insulated mash tun and extracted the exact amount of beer from my batch sparge.

Ive ended up with a refractometer reading of 9.7 (which gives me an SG of 1.038).

Ionly used maris otter pale malt for this brew. Anybody any ideas as to why ive fell short?

Thanks

I think it's the grains, where did you get them what company malted them?? I had issues with some Maris recently underperforming massively.

Offline Oginme

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Re: Fell short of SG
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2017, 07:28:25 PM »
Things to check out:

Crush of the grain -- poor crush will reduce your extraction efficiency
If you fly sparge, did you have channeling of the sparge water through the grain bed?
Does your mash tun drain evenly, are there dead spots where the wort pools and does not come out?
What was your mash pH?  Was it too high or too low? While the ideal range is from 5.2 to 5.6, there is still quite a bit of conversion just a bit outside this range.  Too much higher or too much lower will inhibit the enzymes by quite a bit.

And, yes, it might be the grains.  Are they hard and crunch when you bite onto the kernels or are they soft and mushy.  How were they stored and could they have absorbed too much moisture? 

Recycle your grains, feed them to a goat!

Offline Ck27

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Re: Fell short of SG
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2017, 08:07:28 PM »
Things to check out:

Crush of the grain -- poor crush will reduce your extraction efficiency
If you fly sparge, did you have channeling of the sparge water through the grain bed?
Does your mash tun drain evenly, are there dead spots where the wort pools and does not come out?
What was your mash pH?  Was it too high or too low? While the ideal range is from 5.2 to 5.6, there is still quite a bit of conversion just a bit outside this range.  Too much higher or too much lower will inhibit the enzymes by quite a bit.

And, yes, it might be the grains.  Are they hard and crunch when you bite onto the kernels or are they soft and mushy.  How were they stored and could they have absorbed too much moisture?

The only Maris that hasn't caused me issues is Gleneagles.

Offline tom_hampton

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Re: Fell short of SG
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2017, 03:32:11 PM »
Hi,

I did a golden ale brew today all went well except that my beersmith recipe anticipated that i would achieve 1.046.

I mashed at the correct temperature in an insulated mash tun and extracted the exact amount of beer from my batch sparge.

Ive ended up with a refractometer reading of 9.7 (which gives me an SG of 1.038).

Ionly used maris otter pale malt for this brew. Anybody any ideas as to why ive fell short?

Thanks

If you have a refract, there really isn't much of a reason to miss your OG.  Its too easy to take SG readings during the mash. 

MO is a little bit toasted so, it "can" have less enzymes available for conversion.  So, its possible for it to take a little longer without some basemalt....but, there's plenty to get the job done if you are a little patient and measure the process.  Mashing durations are guidelines, not prescriptions---although most simple brewing texts make it sound like 60mins is the be-all-end-all.  You should mash until the wort has reached the right SG, not based on a timer.  Conversion will generally continue up to about 120 minutes, and the wort SG will rise commensurately during that time. 

Did you check the gravity of the mash before sparging?  That's the easiest way to avoid these types of issues.  Its not very hard to calculate what your first running gravity is supposed to be.  I have BS include it in my custom brewing report.  Then you just maintain the mash until the wort reaches the desired SG. 

In my own process, I measure the wort SG starting at 45 minutes. I'll measure again at the 60m mark and from there project an expected completion time...eg, I gained 0.05 points in 15 minutes, I have 0.05 points to go, so maybe 15 more minutes.  I chart all this data for every batch (I measure pH, temp and SG).  So, I have a good history for my processes and its easy to see when something is amiss. 

I do a very similar thing for the sparge batches.  I know how many gravity points I expect from each sparge, so I track each of those and add it all up as I go.  When you do this you simple never miss Pre-boil SG. 

PS: Looks like I really need to update my sig.  I'm pretty sure every one of those beers is long dead.  Of course, since I haven't brewed since somewhere around the last time I posted here....the "fermenting" and "next up" lists would be woefully empty.  Hmmm....

PPS: for those who remember me...."Hi! its been a while."
« Last Edit: November 30, 2017, 03:35:15 PM by tom_hampton »
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KellerBrauer

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Re: Fell short of SG
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2017, 06:28:36 AM »
Hi,

I did a golden ale brew today all went well except that my beersmith recipe anticipated that i would achieve 1.046.

I mashed at the correct temperature in an insulated mash tun and extracted the exact amount of beer from my batch sparge.

Ive ended up with a refractometer reading of 9.7 (which gives me an SG of 1.038).

Ionly used maris otter pale malt for this brew. Anybody any ideas as to why ive fell short?

Thanks

Greetings MRMARTINSALES - something I would like to add to this discussion is reading the SG of the final runnings.  It is possible, and I can attest to this, that you may have simply not sparged long enough or needed another batch sparge.

I fly sparge and I always allow more sparge water than what is called for.  Then I check my SG when I?m getting close to the predicted volume in the kettle.  If I?m NOT running close to 1.015 - 1.010, I keep running water through the grain until I do.  My philosophy is that even if I collect more extract than what?s called for, I can always extend my boil to get rid of some of the excess water to reach the SG.

Also, I have been doing a Mash Out and that seems to help loosen the sugars.  The Mash Out step has worked well for me.  However, what I need to do is actually measure my mash temperature and record it in BS so BS can tell me what temperature my Mash Out Water needs to be.  Since I?ve added this step, I?ve been within a point or two from predicted and that can easily be attributed to the grain potential.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 06:34:17 AM by KellerBrauer »

Offline tom_hampton

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Re: Fell short of SG
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2017, 07:08:41 AM »
Greetings MRMARTINSALES - something I would like to add to this discussion is reading the SG of the final runnings.  It is possible, and I can attest to this, that you may have simply not sparged long enough or needed another batch sparge.

I fly sparge and I always allow more sparge water than what is called for.  Then I check my SG when I?m getting close to the predicted volume in the kettle.  If I?m NOT running close to 1.015 - 1.010, I keep running water through the grain until I do.  My philosophy is that even if I collect more extract than what?s called for, I can always extend my boil to get rid of some of the excess water to reach the SG.

Also, I have been doing a Mash Out and that seems to help loosen the sugars.  The Mash Out step has worked well for me.  However, what I need to do is actually measure my mash temperature and record it in BS so BS can tell me what temperature my Mash Out Water needs to be.  Since I?ve added this step, I?ve been within a point or two from predicted and that can easily be attributed to the grain potential.

Mashout step is good, and can certainly help---if for no other reason than some extra stirring in the mash-tun usually improves extraction.  Alternatively in a batch sparge process, simply include an addition of water prior to draining the first runnings that will equalize the size of the sparge batches.  You just have to check the "sparge in equal batches" check box, and BS will calculate the addition automatically and include it in the sparge steps. 

However, trying to add points to a batch at the END of the sparge process is an act of diminishing returns.  Unless you are correcting for a pretty minor deviation, its mostly trying to put the horse back in the barn.  Adding an hour or more to the boil (at a boil-off of 1-1.5 g/hr) is not a flavor neutral act.  So depending on the beer (in this case a 100% MO grain bill), adding the extra boil time will change the final result. 

IMHO it would be better to just keep a supply of very low lovibond DME on hand, if you want to adjust SG post-sparge. 

OTOH, its still BEST to correct the process where its actually going wrong rather than try and compensate after the fact. 
R.I.P.:Belgian Blonde
On Tap: Apfelwein, Kolsch(v2), Pumpkin Ale, Belgian Specialty 
Aging/Storing: Coffee Porter, Chocolate Porter, Flanders Red, English Barlywine
Fermenting: Maggie's Altbier
Next Up: PtE(1.1), Belgian Dubbel?

Working thru all BCS recipes

Offline Kevin58

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Re: Fell short of SG
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2017, 11:30:16 AM »
I'm guessing the efficiency of your system does not match the efficiency the recipe was written for... or the default efficiency of the profile you used.

If you haven't already I would suggest setting up customized equipment and mash profiles based on your system and then when you import/save a recipe from someone else change the profile to yours and see what happens to the numbers. You can then adjust the recipe to meet the original parameters.
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Offline durrettd

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Re: Fell short of SG
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2017, 01:57:06 PM »
Tom H, welcome back!

 

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