So friend of mine did start to brew in capemay. All grain. But his. Og. Is constant to low. Did brew yesterday. A clone beer. His og needed to be 1.055 ended up with. 1.042. So now i dont know if he took a sample after. Mash was over. Or during the brew. But what i think. He sparging to. Fast. Could this bill. His grain bill 12lbs. Mash water. 4.9 gall sparge. 5 0 gall. Strike temp 170. Could it be his sparging method. Pour water untop of the grain bill
170°F sounds a little high. My strike temp is within 5° of my mash temp usually. What was the mash temp? What is he using for a mash tun? If it is a cooler, it helps to pre-heat it with hot water. Pouring water over the grain bed can make it “channel” and miss picking up the sugars on the way. He could either come up with some kind of fly sparge method or batch sparge.
Did tell him stick to 164 fh strike temp. And mash temp 153. What works fine for me. He does use a 10 gal cooler. But got to create a better way of sparging. Like a sparge arm. He relys on comp software. So he does not make notes on how it went. Needs to get a brew log book
Improperly crushed grain is the most likely culprit when OG is low. Next in line would be incorrect volumes and poor process including temperature control, pH, etc.
His process doesn’t sound far removed from what i do as a BIABer. My sparge is essentially a pour over sparge(water runs straight through, no sitting, stirring, vorlauf etc and I mash with fairly typical grain/water ratios unlike most BIABers) and I never end up with low OG. If he’s pouring water into the tun and letting it sit for any amount of time before draining he should be fine. Stirring and vorlaufing would also help.
To diagnose any further we’d need better info. 12 lbs of what? if strike was 170 what was mash temp? Volume of mash and strike used? etc
The strike temp is too high and could be of concern but I’d still place my bet on crush.
I would say crush or volume would be my first guess . The strike temp is a bit high if his grain was room temp but not if he kept it in a refrigerator. Also the mash temperature would affect the final gravity more than the OG. Depending on what the mashing temp was, he may end up with a low OG + high FG = a low ABV but that may be what he wants.
Agree with @brew_cat and @dannyboy58 about the volumes, 9.9 gallons of water sounds like a lot for 12 Lb. grainbill, at least in my experience.
He may want to run that through some different software, I would guess 8-9 gallons max, and the extra gallon could throw off an OG by 10 pts or so…especially with a weak boil.
And never forget about the dreaded Dough Balls!
Me think about the. Temp 170. Indeed high. I think he buys it pre. Crushed. Think as well. To much sparge water. For the grain bill. He lost his notes as well so he can not retrace. On what he did.
My first thought was the “mashed out” before his mash even started but honestly I doubt it. My guess would be less fermentables due to a higher temp, grain not crushed well, maybe volume issues. What kind of volume did he end up with prior to the boil?
He’s talking OG which shouldn’t be temperature dependent. Yes you will have more or less fermentable sugar but sugar is sugar to the hydrometer. There is way to little information.
good point…just kinda thinking outloud…
Think he said 3.8 gal. So at sparge. He add more water. Than planned. To get his 7.5 gal. Prior to boil. So think here is the issue. To much water. But not bad. If he took grav reading. And add sugar. Or dme. During the boil
Suck i can not help him. Me 2000 miles away from him
I bet he’s going to figure it out on his own. The fun thing I found out about this hobby is figuring out your own methods. From reading what people do on this forum we all do it a little different. I think that’s cool. By the way if he wanted help he can come to the forum. Third person advice is well almost worthless.
He will figur it out on his own. Told him keep on going. Dont give up. Its a fun hobby. Took me 2 years to adjust add. More gizmos. To my brew system to make it easy. Its a fun hobby. He will try again this sunday
I’ve a friend thats been trying home brew for a few years now… well he’s about to through in the towel… He’s brewed with me soooo many times… This stuff just plain out eludes him… His neighbor even tries to help… No luck… The point, you do have to understand some parts of the process to be able to produce a good brew… You can’t just mix up stuff and expect it to do this all by its self… Sneezles61
Well its not rocket science. Beer brewing. But you got to know your system. And what happens. To the hops. Grains. Yeast. And dont relly on well this came out good. But why i dont know. Learn to create your own recipy. Dont get them from the internet. Its easy. But you will not learn. On the happy part. My brew area. Is not really speeding up. Electric dude. Kind of slow. So me wait to pour the concreet floor