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OG procedural question

I brewed a Hefeweizen yesterday (seem to be backwards brewing lighter stuff as it gets colder vs heftier brews!) and I thought everything was going very well.

Hit my mash temp right on at 152. Was only slightly over on spare water volume , 2qts…Boiled down and hit 5 gal mark in fermenter.

My calculated OG was 1.052. My OG was 1.042.

I had to run out for some errands before taking my sample so the wort sat cooling for about an hour or more and I did not stir before just dipping the measureing cup in to pull a sample.

Question is, does any settling occur that would lower my OG reading or is wort gravity uniform throughout and it is what it is?

Nope. Your OG is your OG. The issues you have pointed out would have no impact.

Assuming you hit all your #s - mash temp / time / volumes etc. Any deviation from your calculations would result from a lower efficiency rate than you were factoring for.

Everyone’s efficiency is going to be a little different based on different factors - meathods / equipment / ingredients etc.

If for example you are using a program like Beersmith, it assumes a standard overall efficiency. If you are way off of their numbers you would just adjust yours down, and it will calibrate all calculations to your brewery.

Seems you were 20% less efficient than what you calculated. Why this would be the case - if you have been hitting your #s previously - I could not say. If your #s were always coming up short then it would just be a matter of adjusting all of your recipes to accomodate for this difference.

Any different crush method/equipment for your grain?

That is kinda what I was wondering. I use a spreadsheet that I got from another users website and I usually am pretty close to the calced numbers.

I dont have a mill so I get my grains crushed at the LHBS. Wonder if something changed there since last brew.

Will type of grain have an effect that would warrent a different crush setting?

[quote=“Kgetch”]I dont have a mill so I get my grains crushed at the LHBS. Wonder if something changed there since last brew.

Will type of grain have an effect that would warrent a different crush setting?[/quote]

The crush can have a huge impact on efficiency.

There can be reasons to crush certain specialty grains extra fine, but it should not have a significant impact on your overall efficiency.

Mullerbrau posted a great photo a couple of months back of perfectly crushed grain:


If yours did not look like this, it could be a major factor in your low efficiency.

Actually,I think that settling does play an issue here,but probably not to the degree that would throw off an OG reading to the point where it’s a good 10 points lower than where you want it.Hot wort does tend to stratify a little bit,and the heaviest stuff settles to the bottom.That’s why you should stir it really well just before you take a sample for a gravity reading.But,like I said,the stuff at the bottom isn’t likely to be a whole lot heavier than the stuff at the top.You probably just didn’t get the mash efficiency you were expecting,which is always a bumber.I just brewed a batch yesterday,and got an OG that was about 9 points lower than I was shooting for :frowning: .I’m not certain why that is,but I have a theory.The grain (which was purchased from my local homebrew supply shop) was a bit undercrushed compared to the stuff I’ve ordered in the past from NB.That could definitely explain it.Anyway,there are a variety of possible reasons why you didn’t hit your target OG (I have no idea how you brew),but your trusty hydrometer isn’t likely to be too far off the mark.Just remember to always let it sit at room temp for a while before you conclude that the reading it’s giving you is accurate.Hot wort is significantly thinner than room temp wort.That’s all I can say.

Wheat is a little smaller than malt and may be why your eff went down.

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