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Consistently High Gravities

I am on my 6th AG batch and I have been getting higher than desired starting gravities. I brewed Northern Brewer’s Smashing Pumpkin AG kit yesterday. I have been getting very good mash efficiencies of about 76-77% consistently. Finally, my boil off rate is about 1.5 gallons per hour with my 15 gallon MegaPot.

So yesterday I hit an OG of 1.059 instead of 1.054. The previous batch I really killed, a Mild that was supposed to come in at 1.037 and I had a 1.046. I usually don’t craft my own recipes per se, as I get all the ingredients as a kit from Northern Brewer. I also wanted to shy away from diluting with water whenever possible.

Any recommendations on what I should do to rectify this?

You’re possibly getting higher than average efficiency from your grain. A good thing, actually.
Or, you may be concentrating the wort by evaporation a bit more in your boil.
I wouldn’t dilute the beers, since a few points too many is really not that big of a deal. I’d worry more if the gravities are coming in consistently low.

If you can determine what rate of efficiency you’re getting, you can adjust the grain quantities to get closer to the lower gravities indicated in the kit. Or, if it is a reult of evaporation, you can adjust your initial volume before boil and/or adjust the boil time.

A 10 point difference is pretty significant. But if the difference you’re experiencing is a mater of 4-5 points, I personally wouldn’t worry about it. A difference like that only really matters if you’re brewing commercially and need absolute consistency. Even there, the brewers often achieve consitent gravity by blending batches.

[quote=“TFrankMac”]I also wanted to shy away from diluting with water whenever possible.

I agree with the previous poster and wouldn’t worry too much if you are only 5 or so points off your target.

I am a little curious why you want to avoid diluting though? Diluting with a little water pre-boil shouldn’t be a big deal and would allow you to hit your target gravity much more consistently. You could either run off the normal amount of wort and add water and brew a slightly larger batch if you have fermenter space, or you could run off less wort and make up the difference with water to keep your batch size the same.

If you really don’t want to dilute, just reduce the amount of base malt you use in the mash by the appropriate amount and your gravity should drop.

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