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Bitter beer

Hi everyone, I’m a new all grain brewer and this was my 2nd batch I brewed. 10 Gallons of Dead Ringer. I crushed the grain myself and followed the recipe which called for a 60 min. mash. After sparging, which I tried to not rush the process, proceeded with the boil. After the cool down my sp. gravity was 1.020 which I thought was too low. So I did finish the primary and secondary and checked the sp. gravity again and it was 1.010. Kegged it and after a week tasted it and was VERY DISAPPOINTED. what went wrong? I was thinking the mash wasn’t long enough or something happened with the crush. Any ideas?

Either your crush wasn’t fine enough or you had dough balls. Did you stir well? How did you mash? (BIAB, mash tun)? What temp did you mash at? When I first got my refractometer I tested gravity at 5 minute intervals during the mash, and found that I reached pre-boil gravity within 10 minutes, so if you did a 60 minute mash that’s not the problem.

Just re-read your post. If you did a 10 gallon batch I would be willing to bet you had dough balls, since you were dealing with about 24lbs of grain. What are you mashing in?

I believed I stirred well because I did so at different intervals knowing that I had so much grain. I used a mash ( 15 gal beer keg).My mash temp was 152

Probably your crush then. What was your mill setting?

I don’t know the setting. It was preset at the company. What should the setting be so I’ll know for the next batch.

The setting doesn’t matter, the crush does. The setting will vary for different people depending on what your lautering system is like. That said, I think there must be another problem to be so far off your mark. Not to mention that it would mean you only got 10 points of attenuation, which is truly weird. I’d guess either your mash temp somehow got so high you denatured the enzymes, or your initial reading of 1.020 was wrong somehow.

Not to sound stupid, but you did a 10 gal batch. Did you buy the recipe kit or did you buy in bulk?

The reason I ask is because if you bought the kit and only bought one, this could have been the problem. I put it into Beersmith and when I doubled the batch size and not the recipe the OG was around 1.030.

Is this possible that you only made one kit but tried making 10 gals?

Not to conflict with what Denny said (I would never dream of it), but default mill setting is usually .039", which is usually too wide. I like .028", but like Denny said; settings will vary by the system, and crush is what matters.

I too was wondering about what Loopie brought up… What was your grain bill exactly?

What temp did you take your gravity sample at? The gravity reading varies based on temp its taken at for example a reading of 1.020 at 212F is corrected to 1.061.

I used 2- 5 gal kits for the 10 gal brew.I had a total of 24lbs. of grain and i took my sp. gravity after cooling the wort at around 70-72 degrees w/o yeast

Since everything else was correct (grain bill, mash temp, sample temp, stirring) I would go back to your crush, but as Denny pointed out that’s pretty far off the mark for it to just be your crush. Is your hydrometer calibrated correctly? Other than that I’m running out of ideas.

Thanks to everyone for your feedback, I too am leaning toward the crush. I’ll check the mill and run some tests and see what happens. I’ll just do a short batch! thanks again guys!

Crush til you’re scared!

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