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Surly Bender Low OG

Hey All,

Just brewed the partial mash Surley Bender kit from NB. First time brewing partial mash. Anyway, according to the instructions/forums I’ve seen, OG should be around 1.060. I hit right around 1.051. Now I know this isn’t super low, but wondering why I didn’t get closer to what the recipe says I should have gotten. I have a couple thoughts:

  1. Brain fart moment- after the mash/sparge, I only filled the kettle up to 3 gal instead of 3.5 or 4 to account for evaporation- ended up around 2.25 gal and had to add a good amount of water to get back to 5
  2. ground up the grains about a week before I brewed- could I have lost some effectiveness because of that? (don’t think so)
  3. First time sparging- maybe I screwed up? Poured sparge water over grain bag but definitely didn’t hit it 100% like i would have liked to.

Any thoughts? Overall, feel like it was a successful brew day- had a great time doing this partial and think I’d like to go to full grain as soon as I can.

  1. Just like extract brewing, you may have picked up more water than wort in your sample.

  2. No. The quality of the crush will effect the efficiency. Not the delay in brewing from the date of the crush. How did you crush it?

  3. Possibility you lost some with this.

If you are truly low on the OG, I would say a combination of 2 & 3.

Used electric grain mill at Northern Brewer in Saint Paul- looking at the grain, it seemed sufficiently ground

I got the same OG as you when I brewed my bender. I was worried, but it turned out awesome. It is one of my favorites so far. I think I added a bit too much water and didn’t mix well for my gravity reading.

Interesting- good to know!

Fermentation has started, but it’s definitely the slowest starting to date- nowhere near what I’m used to seeing. Not particularly cold in my place (around 70 degrees). Wondering if anyone else experienced this before with this beer? I’m seeing one bubble in the air lock every 4-5 seconds or so. Used smack pack that was well inflated so yeast should be good in theory.

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