We brewed Denny’s BVIP today on the deck. Since it was in the teens we mashed on the stove with a continuous circulation and boiled outside. Missed the OG by 12 points. We’ve been having trouble hitting our OG so we brought the mash inside to make sure we controlled temps more accurately. I’m beginning to think we need to look at our water chemistry. That’s all I can think of since temps and volumes were on the nose this time. In any case, the wort looks and tastes amazing! We also kegged a rye today we made using Denny’s favorite yeast so we rinsed the yeast cake into a fresh fermenter with some of the BVIP wort and filled it up with the rest of the BVIP wort.We’ll see how that goes. Can’t wait to taste this one!
OK, need to ask… whats BVIP stand for? Perhaps British version IPA?
There are variables such as how much Hot Liquor is used in the mash… pH also is another piece of the puzzle… See, thats were note taking and re-doing a grain bill will help you find that answer… Water is a vast and technical variable… When you first start reading, you’ll be overwhelmed, unless you know chemistry… I see Mabrungard has been on here as of late… He’s the guru of water, as I know it… First place to start is a water report, then, a bunch of reading… I’m a carpenter, and I’ve grasped a very small bit, and I can manipulate my pH and have even better tasting brews… its taken time… Sneezles61
Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter. I missed my OG by 7 points this year whereas in the past I’ve hit it on the nose. I am going to blame my mill for the miss this year, it’s been acting up a bit lately. My batch is on tap currently and it is delicious.
If you consistently miss then you have to change your efficiency # in your calculations. If only occasional I’ll add a bit of DME
Seems like we were hitting out #s previously and the last few not so much. No off flavors or taste issues. Water is my same old well water but I guess it could change over time. With the control we had yesterday I think we’re down to crush and chemistry. First was supplied by two different LHBS. I think we need to do a batch with the same control as yesterday from each store.
Thanks for the reminder on my efficiency number bearing on the calculations @brew_cat.
I use 2 different suppliers and they must have crushed at different settings. Since I started crushing my own I have been pretty consistent. That said I don’t always use the same technique so I have to change efficiency variable depending on my process.
@WMNoob do you crush your own?
Nope. Mill is on the list however.
Yes the mill is the real game changer for me. I used to have efficiency problems that I was able to solve with consistent crush. Also have bulk grains on hand is fun. Often I design recipes from what I have on hand
What I’ve read tells me that’s the next game changer for us so we’re definitely moving that way just need to pull the trigger. Trying to hold off on new gear and brewing stuff until spring. May be a dedicated brew space coming in the form of a garage.
My own mill got me a lot more consistency efficiency wise.
Yes, need your own mill. That will cut out one variable. Then if your efficiency is low look for a cause or just add base malt.
I’d look more to crush and process. I think your water pH would have to be WAY off before it would have an impact on efficiency.
The BVIP recipe is probably based on what 75%? What efficiency are you building your other recipes around? Does this only occur with higher ABV recipes? If you detail your process, ie, water to grain ratio, etc, we might be able to help more.
Seems to be consistent. I am a little in denial so always use 75% efficiency. I use the Brewgr and Brewtoad calculators and our volumes are always on point. Our process is to heat strike water in our 15 gal. megapot with false bottom. 1.25 qt./pound grain. We always mix thoroughly and make sure there are no dough balls. Previously we would kill the flame and wrap the pot in blankets. We noticed that even though the flame was killed we were gaining a few degrees, likely from the heat left in the burner metal. That fact lead us to believe that maybe our temperature was going high enough to stop the conversion. We were pretty skeptical of that theory since the temp was still in reason at the end of the mash I also read somewhere that conversion is increased by stirring. To address those two, we mashed on the stove last time with constant circulation using the pump and sparge arm, making sure our temperature stayed where it should be, and stirred a number of times. Still missed by 12 points. Volumes were perfect. I’m leaning more toward crush now. My son and I were talking about it last night and think we need to do two identical recipes with grain from each of our LHBS and see if there’s a difference. Any help or things to check would be very much appreciated. Oh yeah, I have two hydrometers and a refractometer. They always match.
Make sure to ask them what their mill setting is. Should be about .030. If it’s higher that may be the problem.
What kind of thermometer are you using to check mash temperatures?
I’d suspect the crush too. That’s one of those variables that was easily worth $100 for me to control.
Only other variable for me is your software because I’ve never used either. I use BeerSmith2.
We do batch sparge. Required water at 170 deg F then recirculate for 10 minutes and drain second runnings. We use a digital thermometer but have a scientific glass one for backup. Checked our digital against the glass one and it was on.
Both Brewgr and Brewtoad are free web-based tools. I’ve planned on jumping to Beersmith but haven’t as of yet.
Yea all indicators point to your crush then IMHO.
Mind you I’m not saying you shouldn’t treat your water. Just that crush will sort out your efficiency issues.
I’ll go with pH and mash times… With a “big” crush, you need to mash longer … Rinsing is also of importance… without pH control, you’ll extract some harsh stuff you don’t want… See, it goes hand in hand… one variable affects another… It takes a bit to gather/herd up all them kittens… Sneezles61