Author Topic: OG is ALWAYS high  (Read 664 times)

Offline Korigin

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OG is ALWAYS high
« on: June 14, 2020, 10:18:30 AM »
Hi everyone!

I am new to the community and also new to brewing in general. My friend and I have brewed about 5 times now at this point using all grain brewing and what I am noticing is a few things.

1. We always miss our OG and it is always on the high side. For example, yesterday we brewed with a grain bill of 11lbs of 2 row and 2lbs of 40L crystal. Our estimated OG was 1.067 but we achieved 1.079. Our pre-boil volume was 6.25 gallons so I didn't want to add any more water to dilute it. Not sure how to get that down.

2. I am having a little trouble with yeast as well. When is a starter appropriate? I have been using them for the past 3 batches because the OG was supposed to be about 1.050 or higher, but all 3 of these beers are coming out to around 8% or higher which is not what I want.

3. The next thing I noticed is that our beers are turning out very sweet. We made a beer that we thought would be really strong in hop aromas because we added about 5 oz of hops over the course of the brew and dry hopping. Now looking at beersmith it shows it on the sweeter side, but I was wondering if the 40L crystal malt would overpower the hops and make it more sweet.

So I guess to sum this up, we are having trouble with consistency. Any thoughts and advice would be beneficial. Thanks for reading this. Cheers!

Offline Oginme

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Re: OG is ALWAYS high
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2020, 11:09:51 AM »
Hi everyone!

I am new to the community and also new to brewing in general. My friend and I have brewed about 5 times now at this point using all grain brewing and what I am noticing is a few things.

1. We always miss our OG and it is always on the high side. For example, yesterday we brewed with a grain bill of 11lbs of 2 row and 2lbs of 40L crystal. Our estimated OG was 1.067 but we achieved 1.079. Our pre-boil volume was 6.25 gallons so I didn't want to add any more water to dilute it. Not sure how to get that down.

It would appear that your efficiency is higher than what you have for the estimated efficiency in your equipment profile.  I am not sure if you customized your equipment profile to fit your system or if you are using a template which came with the program, but the equipment profile should always be adjusted to match your system and process.  If you have taken your gravity and volume readings and entered them into the session tab of your recipes, the program will calculate your actual efficiency versus your estimated efficiency from your equipment profile.  Look at the last few batches you have brewed and take the average of your actual total (brewhouse) efficiency and use that to update your equipment profile.  You will need to update any recipes you have already written to brew next with your new equipment profile to change it within those recipes.  Each recipe is a self contained archive, and changing the profiles outside of a recipe will not affect those other recipes with that profile.

2. I am having a little trouble with yeast as well. When is a starter appropriate? I have been using them for the past 3 batches because the OG was supposed to be about 1.050 or higher, but all 3 of these beers are coming out to around 8% or higher which is not what I want.

Once you have written your recipe and a few days before you go to brew it, look at the 'starter' tab in the recipe.  Make sure your yeast manufacturing date matches that of your yeast packet.  This will show you the number of cells you need for the recipe and an estimate of the number of viable cells in your yeast packet.  If you are anywhere close to the number or over, you are all set.  If you are well under the needed number of yeast cells, then a starter is in order.  BeerSmith will give you an estimate of the starter size needed to grow the approximate number of cells the recipe requires.

3. The next thing I noticed is that our beers are turning out very sweet. We made a beer that we thought would be really strong in hop aromas because we added about 5 oz of hops over the course of the brew and dry hopping. Now looking at beersmith it shows it on the sweeter side, but I was wondering if the 40L crystal malt would overpower the hops and make it more sweet.

Your recipe above has 15% crystal malt which is a pretty hefty amount. You would need quite a bit if bitterness to counter that amount of unfermentable sugars from the crystal malt.  You don't indicate what your bitterness target was, but especially with high gravity beers you will need to aim your BU/OG ratio a bit higher.  A BU/OG ratio of 0.6 and under will emphasize the malt sweetness.  In general a ratio from 0.6 to 0.9 is the pale ale category, and over 0.9 is in the IPA range.  The greater the gravity the higher in the range you will most likely need to aim for to keep the beer from becoming too sweet.  A couple of brews and watching the relationship between what your taste buds tell you versus the IBU number will help you figure out where to set your targets for similar type beers in the future.

So I guess to sum this up, we are having trouble with consistency. Any thoughts and advice would be beneficial. Thanks for reading this. Cheers!
Recycle your grains, feed them to a goat!

Offline BOB357

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Re: OG is ALWAYS high
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2020, 11:20:24 AM »
My first guess is that you haven't set up an equipment profile that properly represents your brewing setup. If that's the case, this will link you to a page with a video that will walk you through the process:
http://brulosophy.com/2014/08/04/beersmith-tutorial-equipment-profile-setup/

If you're doing BIAB, this will link you to a page with instructions on how to set up a mash profile for BIAB.
http://brulosophy.com/2014/08/11/beersmith-tutorial-biab-mash-profile-setup/

BeerSmith calculations rely heavily on user inputs, The closer your inputs are to actual values, the closer the estimated gravity, IBUs, color and ABV estimates will be. The same applies to temperature and volume numbers. Using default values will seldom lead to accurate  results.

For more information on various aspects of brewing and BeerSmith features, this will lead you to an index of articles on th ebeerSmith site:
http://beersmith.com/blog/beersmith-home-brewing-guide/

Scroll down for articles on BeerSmith software.
Bob

Offline Korigin

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Re: OG is ALWAYS high
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2020, 02:43:49 PM »
Thank you so much for the suggestions and advice. I'll take these into account moving forward on my next brew day and provide an update in a few weeks.

Offline Korigin

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Re: OG is ALWAYS high
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2020, 03:31:23 PM »
Hello, I wanted to say thank you for the replies to my post a few months ago. I took your advice and changed my specs in beersmith and I hit my OG AND FG. Thank you again

Offline BOB357

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Re: OG is ALWAYS high
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2020, 05:48:28 PM »
Glad to hear you solved the problem.  BeerSmith does have a learning curve and requires some time to get the hang of. I've been using it since one of the earliest versions and still learning a few new tricks now and then.
Bob