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I did something wrong. Just not sure what, yet

2nd time brewing an All Grain batch. This one is Denny’s Wry Smile Rye IPA

16 lbs. of grain, 20-24 quarts or 5-6 gallons of water at 153F for strike.

1.5 gallons for mashout, and 8 gallons for Sparge.

I’m no good at math, but I checked and double checked with N.B.'s viddy and the numbers jibe.
I ended up with around 10 gallons of wort, wasn’t expecting that, I figured 6gal. like the extracts (once again I doubted my arithmetic) but I knew I was going to have more when the recipe calls for 14 gallons of water

The OG is way off. 1.044 on the refractometer, (brix of 11.2)

I wasn’t going to give up on it, so I pitched the yeast and carted it downstairs. Wait and see I guess…
What do you guys think? Will this be the first batch I toss? Any help would be appreciated

            Foamfollower

With 16 lbs of grain and 7.5 gallons in the mashtun, you could have drained out 5.5 gallons with no additional sparge. You could have boiled it down to the proper OG, though.

I thought the sparge step was done each brew. Not required?
Only my second brew at AG, how do I know when not to sparge?
More confusion now.
I thought about boiling the snot out of it, but ran out of time.

It sounds like you had too large of a pre-boil volume. How many gallons went into the fermenter at 1.044?

Tell us about your process. Are you BIAB, batch, or fly sparging?

One thing it took me a couple of AG batches(plus a lot of readings on this forum) to figure out is this:
You know of course that there is water absorption with your intial mashin. So, your 1st runnings will always be less than the volume of water you put in.
BUT, with the sparge, there is no further water absorption. So, whatever sparge volume you put in, you can expect the same volume to come out.
So, what I do now, is prepare my usual 3-4 gallons of sparge water, but wait to see how much to actually add after I have finished my 1st run. If I get 2.5 G 1st running, I’ll add 4 G sparge to get my 6.5 G boil volume. But if I get 3.5 G, then I only add 3G sparge.

[quote=“FoamFollower”]I thought the sparge step was done each brew. Not required?
Only my second brew at AG, how do I know when not to sparge?
More confusion now.[/quote]Sorry, not trying to be confusing. My point was that with the volume you used to mash plus the mashout, you almost had your desired kettle volume without a sparge. Assuming you’re batch-sparing (since you’re doing a Denny recipe), you could have mashed with six gallons (a 1.5 qt/lb ratio), skipped the mashout (you don’t need a mashout when batch-sparging), drained four gallons into the kettle, and then added two gallons of water to the mashtun and drained that to the kettle for a total of six gallons pre-boil.

Thanks for all the help. I’m thinking I should re do this brew using the cake that will be in the carboy.
Dump the watery wort and then add the properly done recipe.
Still…I’m going to be wary about sparging when the numbers go over 6 gallons from now on. I assumed it was a necessary step to obtain more out of the mash. I guess what I really need is to obtain more knowledge

Cangrejo Fly sparging. I dunno how to BIAB. Kettles and carboys.
About 7 gallons went into the fermentor at 1.044

what temp did you test the OG at?

here you go, man. never had a problem: http://www.brew365.com/mash_sparge_water_calculator.php

room temp, 68-70F

Thanks for that!

It appears that instead of blindly following the video instructions, I should never sparge over 7-7.5 gallons of total preboil wort. Stoopid mistake, I knew it, but did not listen to my instincts, newb mistake.
thanks for weighing in everyone.

Check out Denny’s site on batch sparging:
http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/

With 7 gallons you’re about 2 gallons high on final volume in the fermenter, diluting your wort by around 25 points. If you had boiled down to 5 gallons your OG would have been ~1.070

[quote=“FoamFollower”]…I should never sparge over 7-7.5 gallons of total preboil wort…[/quote]You should figure out your boiloff rate (in gallons per hour) so you can predict the proper volume of wort for the kettle and that you’ll end up with the desired fermenter volume post-boil.

Is there an accepted way to bump up the numbers to a more acceptable final?

[quote=“FoamFollower”]Is there an accepted way to bump up the numbers to a more acceptable final?[/quote]Yes, start out batch sparging or BIAB.

There’s nothing wrong with fly sparging but you have to know when to stop your sparge and have a handle on your boil off, something most new AG brewers have no idea of.

Batch sparging and BIAB eliminates that, all you need to know is your desired pre-boil volume and your absorption rate (usually ~1/10 a gallon/pound) Mash in with half the pre-boil volume plus the absorption volume and sparge with the rest. It works well until you get into bigger beers, then you need to look at collecting more and boiling longer or taking the hit on your efficiency.

Measuring boil off rate is easy, and you really need to know this for your system regardless of how you conduct your mash and sparge.

Fill your kettle with a measured amount of water (if you do 5 gallon batches, 6 gallons is a good volume to test with), then heat it with the lid on until it gets to boiling. Once boiling, remove the lid, then exactly one hour after the start of the boil, turn off the heat and put the lid back on. When it is cool enough to handle, measure the remaining volume. That is your hourly boil off rate. If you plan to do a 60 minute boil with a 5 gallon batch, you need to stop collecting wort when you have 5 gallons plus the boil off amount. For a 90 minute boil, it would be 5 plus 1.5 x the boil off rate.

Is there a way to save the 7 gallons of 1.044? Make it more, not so thin as I expect it will be?
It’s burbling away nicely in the fermenter

You have several options for what to do with your batch.

  1. Add sugar. This will make the beer more alcoholic, but will do so at the expense of body. The beer will come out dryer, thinner and have more of a kick. Not an option I’d recommend.

  2. Brew another batch of beer with a very high OG (you might want to start with extract for this, as you are still new with AG), and blend it with this beer. That will get around the problems with sugar additions, though there is more work involved. You will need to worry about boiling to get out the break materials and balancing bitterness will also be a concern. Not sure exactly what you could expect out of that.

  3. Drink it as-is. It will finish with about 4.5% ABV, which is a nice easy-drinking strength. The fact that you used fewer hops than you would at first think of for that much beer will be offset by the lower gravity, which may just work out perfectly. In fact, you may decide you like it better this way.

[quote=“rebuiltcellars”]You have several options for what to do with your batch.

  1. Add sugar. This will make the beer more alcoholic, but will do so at the expense of body. The beer will come out dryer, thinner and have more of a kick. Not an option I’d recommend.

  2. Brew another batch of beer with a very high OG (you might want to start with extract for this, as you are still new with AG), and blend it with this beer. That will get around the problems with sugar additions, though there is more work involved. You will need to worry about boiling to get out the break materials and balancing bitterness will also be a concern. Not sure exactly what you could expect out of that.

  3. Drink it as-is. It will finish with about 4.5% ABV, which is a nice easy-drinking strength. The fact that you used fewer hops than you would at first think of for that much beer will be offset by the lower gravity, which may just work out perfectly. In fact, you may decide you like it better this way.[/quote]

Thank you very much for your time and help with this response. I’m going to try #3.
I know what I did wrong and I’m going to get set up to do this exact recipe again. Correctly this time :roll:

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