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Low og / first all grain brew


I brewed my first AG today and my OG came out a little on the low side. My OG, according Beersmith, was suppose to be 1.056 and it ended up at 1.042. I pitched anyway and hoped for the best.

I’m not really sure why this happened although I have my ideas. My recipe is below if anyone has any insight or their thoughts.

5lbs Belgian Wheat Malt
4.5lbs 2 Row (US)
.5lbs Torrified
.5lbs Caravienne

Amarillo hops (whole leaf) at 60min (.7oz), 30min (.5oz), 5min (.7oz)

Mashed with 3.3gal at 171. mash temp was 155 and ended at 153 after 60minutes (used a igloo cooler for mash tun). Batch sparged with 4.73gal at 168 (3 installments). I stirred the mash with each addition of sparge water. I ended up with 6.5gal of wort for my boil. I did a full 60 minute boil.

The wort did seem a little watery and i didn’t get the boil off i thought. I ended up with about 5.75gal of wort.

Again this was my first AG brew and my first own recipe brew.

Any and all comments are appreciated.


Did you crush your own grain, or was the kit per-crushed? The number one factor will be your crush.

I used the mill at the Home brew store when I bought the grain. There was only one setting and some of the grain seemed to be crushed more than others.

My effeciency would tank when I had wheat in the grain bill.
The wheat kernals are small and they werent getting crushed well.
I rolled them really good with a rolling pin on the last wheat brew and finally hit my Beersmith numbers.

My first AG also came in low. I was supposed to be about 1.055. Came in at 1.029. Lots of first time mistakes: poor crush and bad temp control.

But… it still turned out very drinkable. guess what i’m saying is, you made beer (woo hoo!) and your results will improve with practice.



Once I started getting a better crush I come close to or exceeded numbers I was looking for every time.

Did yo adjust your recipe to reflect the new starting/ending volumes?

Crush is the first thing to look at, but also keep in mind that it was your first AG brew. You don’t really know what kind of efficiency to expect with your system. I average about 85% these days, but it took years of fine tuning my system and the crush to get there. Just keep at it and take good notes. Figure your efficiency for every batch and see what happens. f it remains low for several batches in a row, try running your grain through the mill twice. And remember that every recipe, no matter what the source, will need to be adjusted for the efficiency of your own system.

With my first few batches, my efficiency was around 65%. A few weeks ago I bought a Barley Crusher. The guy at NB argued with me about getting better efficiency with a finer crush. He said ph and temperature would the first things to tweak. I politely nodded. My first batch with the finer crush resulted in an efficiency of 85%.

[quote=“rpwinkler”]I brewed my first AG today and my OG came out a little on the low side. My OG, according Beersmith, was suppose to be 1.056 and it ended up at 1.042. I pitched anyway and hoped for the best.
[/quote]When I put your recipe in BS and adjust to your SG it’s like 61% efficiency, not too bad for your first stab at it. Nonetheless, I’ll bet it comes out a tasty beer.

Thanks for all the input. After 24 hours its starting to ferment nicely. It took a while to start but i took a cpl peoples suggestions and kept the temps on the lower end since im using London ESB and hear that in the higher temp range it can produce strong esters. Wort temp is steady in the low to mid 60’s.

Im sure I will be happy with the results since it is my first AG brew as well as my first time using Beersmith and creating my own recipe.

I’m sure i dont know how to use the program completely but every time is a learning experience and it can only get better.

I’ll update after fermentation to let everyone know how it turned out.


Just to ask one more question… I am doing my first AG this weekend and was planning on a wheat, so should I crush the wheat at a different setting? I will be doing it at the store so once I am gone it is done. Also, is this why wheat’s may have a tendency to get “stuck”, because of the smaller size?

Can’t really give you and answer on your LHBS’s crush, I just run mine through with the rest of the grain, I have my own mill though.

The reason wheat and rye sometimes causes a stuck mash is that they don’t have the husk like barley to act as a filter when the grain bed is set. A couple pounds usually isn’t a big deal, however if a large part of your grain bill is wheat you may want to consider some rice hulls to supplement the barley husks. I’ve done batches with over 50% wheat and haven’t had a stuck mash, I have with rye though with only 30% of the grist.

Thank you for your reply… I am doing 4 lbs of wheat if I used rice how much should do the trick 1lb?

1 lb of Rice Hulls is A LOT and would be overkill. They weigh nearly nothing.

4 lbs of wheat malt in comparison to what other malts in the grain bill?

I would never recommend using a high % of wheat in your first AG beer. It introduces complexities that are better dealt with after you get a few batches under your belt.

I was planning 5 lbs of 2 row 4 lbs of wheat and 1lb flaked oats… I’m not scared to jump in… I’ll take good notes and it’ll be a learning experience…What kind of “complexities” are we speaking of?

Wheat causes a more sticky mash, and a lot of people have stuck sparges with wheat. I know I did my first time anyway. Its a real mess and very frustrating, but if you arent afraid, then go for it. Wheat beers are great, and the best wheat beeer Ive had was my own.

How do you figure out efficiency?

Crushing wheat can be a PITA.
Lautering wheat can be a PITA.

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