Author Topic: Did Extract brew - OG came out too high  (Read 392 times)

Offline jburhite

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Did Extract brew - OG came out too high
« on: May 11, 2020, 11:41:39 AM »
New to Beersmith, here.
I brewed an 11 gallon batch American Lager since I had a bunch of Pilsen Light DME sitting around. I had 8.5 lbs Pilsen Light DME, 2 lbs Corn Sugar, 1 lb Rice Syrup Solids, 2 lbs Flaked Maize. with 1 oz Cluster hops for 60 minutes and 1 oz Hallertauer Mittelfruh for 12.5 minutes. I was aiming for a target OG of 1.045. Beersmith told me I needed to up my DME to 10.5 lbs to hit my target OG. That sounded high to me, but I thought, the program knows the calcs better than I do. I ended up with an OG of 1.064. I noticed when I originally was switching between brewing types (extract, partial mash, mash), and the equipment profile, that it affects the estimated OG slider.

Why is the OG so off?
Thanks

I'm not trying to be negative, I'm just a little frustrated.
(modified post to not sound so pissy)
« Last Edit: May 11, 2020, 01:50:39 PM by jburhite »

Offline Oginme

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Re: Did Extract brew - OG came out too high
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2020, 01:57:55 PM »
What were you using for your equipment profile?   Generally, an extract recipe is pretty straight forward IF you have a profile which represents your process losses and correct boil off rate.  My second question is how much volume did you end up with in your fermenter?  How much water did you start with?

Without any losses, your DME should have produced 8.5 * 45 = 382.5
Corn Sugar: 2 * 46 = 92
Rice syrup: 1 * 32 = 32

For a total of 506.5 gravity points.  In 11 gallons, this would give you a gravity of 1.046.  Given a little process loss, it looks to be right on.

Two additional lbs of DME would give you 90 more points for a total of 596.5 and a gravity of around 1.054. This would indicate that your boil off was higher than what the profile you picked had planned for.  And I would suspect that you have less than 11 gallons in your fermenter.  Like about 9.3 gallons (give or take based upon other process losses).

Since the program was telling you that you needed an additional 2 lbs of DME to hit target, then either the profile was not an extract profile, and/or the losses in the profile did not reflect your process losses.

My advice is to top off the fermenter to where you feel comfortable with boiled and cooled water.  THEN, spend some time with your equipment profile.  Run a boil off test to get your hourly boil off rate in the ballpark.  Figure out what your ending loss to trub and kettle waste would be.  Update the equipment profile or create a new one with these figures.  Make sure the profile reflects an "extract".

You will notice that I skipped the flaked Maize.  Flaked raw grains (unmalted grains) need to be enzymatically converted to sugars in order to contribute to your gravity.  What you likely ended up with was starch in your beer and not sugars from the maize. 

A good starting reference that I encourage everyone to pick up is "How to Brew" by John Palmer.   You can find the first edition on line, but I would urge you to get the fourth edition.  It is pretty straight forward and you can pick the areas where you want to focus on for right now and it has the information you will need as you get more advanced.
Recycle your grains, feed them to a goat!

Offline Kevin58

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Re: Did Extract brew - OG came out too high
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2020, 02:41:15 PM »
A good starting reference that I encourage everyone to pick up is "How to Brew" by John Palmer.   You can find the first edition on line, but I would urge you to get the fourth edition. ...

The reason being, there have been shifts in knowledge and updates in best practices since John wrote that first edition that is free online. One example is that in the first edition he recommends using a secondary step whereas in the 4th edition he has changed his thinking and no longer advocates that extra step.
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Offline jburhite

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Re: Did Extract brew - OG came out too high
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2020, 06:07:19 PM »
Thank you guys.
For the equipment profile, I was using the default Extract - Large 10 gal/38 l Batch.  I started with 6 gals in my boil, my kettle's not big enough to do the full boil. After the boil I cooled the wort and transferred it to the fermenter, I topped it off with 5 gallons of water to hit my 11 gallons. Maybe because I keep a lid on my kettle most of the time, I didn't appear to lose much at all during the boil.
I have John Palmer's How to Brew, but it's a 1st addition, I'll check out the 4th edition.

I will do some tests later on to nail down my boil off and other potential losses. I began a new equipment profile by starting with the Extract - Large 10 gal to customize my own profile. When I inserted that in my recipe, I then had to drop the DME back down to 8.5 lbs to get the estimated OG to 1.045 again, so I must have screwed up the equipment profile before.

Oh well, I guess that's a part of brewing.

Offline Oginme

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Re: Did Extract brew - OG came out too high
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2020, 06:39:40 PM »
And part of developing a new profile.  And new software.  And the good thing is, you will still have beer!  It may not be exactly what you wanted, but it will definitely be beer.

Recycle your grains, feed them to a goat!

 

modification