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What happened - Ideas?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by brewrouse, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. brewrouse

    brewrouse Aficionado (125) Minnesota Jan 28, 2010 Verified

    Ok, brewed on Monday, 5 gallon batch - Made a IIPA with various malts - 22.5 Lbs and a late addition of 3 Lbs. of honey. Expected an OG of 1.130-1.140. Went with the White Super High Gravity yeast - made a starter. Used a 1.25 Q/Lb ratio of strike water - added 7.0 gal, and held for 60 min at 151 degrees. Got 4.0 gal off my first runnings. Batch sparged and added 3.0 gal of water to a temp of 160' for another 10 min. Pulled off another 2.5 gal. After my boil and honey addition - ended with an OG of 1.090. WAY low for what I was expecting. Could this be a result of a poor crush, low mash temp, too high of a strike volume?????? Also - anyone used the White SHG yeast? Not sure what to expect - fermentation seems to be done after 5 days. I'll take any input as to maximize my mash efficiency - because this sucked.
  2. HerbMeowing

    HerbMeowing Savant (445) Virginia Nov 10, 2010

    Two things...
    Double batch sparge
    Get grain bed temp up to 168°F
  3. brewrouse

    brewrouse Aficionado (125) Minnesota Jan 28, 2010 Verified

    Wondered if my sparge temp was low...
  4. Have you made a beer with this planned OG before? Big beers typically need more sparging, which will increase your initial boil volume and overall boiling time, but will get you higher efficiency since you'd be capturing more sugars.
  5. HerbMeowing

    HerbMeowing Savant (445) Virginia Nov 10, 2010

    If I mash at 151°F...once the 1st runnings are done...the grain bed temp has cooled to ~147°F.
    To get the bed up to 168°F for the 1st sparge...
    ((168°F - 147°F) * 2.6) + 147°F = sparge water temp = 202°F

    At the end of the 1st sparge...the grain bed is usually 164°F.
    To get the bed up to 168°F for the 2nd sparge...
    ((168°F - 164°F) * 2.5 ) + 164°F = sparge water temp = 174°F

    Works for me.
  6. brewrouse

    brewrouse Aficionado (125) Minnesota Jan 28, 2010 Verified

    Nothing planned like this. Did make one with a planned 1.090, and ended up doing a double sparge due to a stuck sparge and not getting enough volume. Wound up with a 1.100 OG after pulling off enough volume to boil. I am thinking I needed to do more sparging- - maybe with a lower initial strike volume. Will try this again - but I am going to wait until I try this after seeing what the yeast does to me.
  7. SDDanC

    SDDanC Initiate (0) California Mar 1, 2011

    As noted above, it is most likely your low mash temp and sparge temp that accounted for your low OG. Especially with 23# of grain and a honey addition. Not sure if you use green bay rackers, but the mash calculation page helps me a good bit with my strike temps. It is usually accurate to about +5 degrees F. But that's nothing a little cold water and stirring can't fix. I pulled out 3.7 gal of first runnings off of an initial strike volume of 5.5 gal onto 15# of grain yesterday. Added 5 gal for sparge and went into the kettle with 7gal at a 1.068 reading. I mashed high at 157 and the temp held for the duration of my 60 min mash. So in the end, try out the green bay rackers mash page and plug in your numbers to help guide your temps and what not. Hope this helps. Cheers and happy brewing
    Wtbrooks likes this.
  8. SDDanC

    SDDanC Initiate (0) California Mar 1, 2011


    The only way to know for sure if your fermentation is complete is by taking gravity readings! Break out the hydrometer or refactometer and take some samples over the next few days and see if your gravity is moving. If it isn't. . . Check it again a day or so later to make certain
  9. rocdoc1

    rocdoc1 Savant (425) New Mexico Jan 13, 2006

    Efficiency sucks on a grain bill this big. I usually fly sparge when i use this much grain, but if I batch sparge I usually do 4 or 5 batches even if I have to boil in 2 kettles to get it back to 5.5 gallons. I use a refractometer to know when my sparge is finished-once it shows 1.010 I quit.