Final Gravity question

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by jason&cassandra, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. jason&cassandra

    jason&cassandra New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    My girlfriend and I have been brewing for about two years now. We switched from extract to all grain about 6 months ago and have done 5 all grain batches. We use two coolers, one for the mash and one for the fly sparging. All my recipes are built here on Brewers Friend. The problem I'm running into is, we hit our estimated original gravity every time, but our final gravity is always 8-10 points lower than the recipe estimate. Anyone have any idea why this is happening?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    the final gravity is just an estimate, yeast sugar air, nutrients and water all play in the final gravity, also your settings and whether you had a starter or not, if you add late sugar that can change things too but in most cases water is the culprit
     
  3. social_misfit

    social_misfit New Member

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    a bit more info about your recipe and mash temp would be helpful

    all the best

    S_M
     
  4. nzbrew

    nzbrew Active Member

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  5. social_misfit

    social_misfit New Member

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    how hot or cold you mash at will change things, so will how much water you use per pound of grain

    with SMaSH brews I mash at 156 for 60 minutes and for a dry cream ale I like 152 for 90 minutes

    good read thanks for putting it up

    all the best

    S_M
     
  6. EPV Brewing

    EPV Brewing New Member

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    Just means stronger beer (little more alcohol) what the problem :D
     
  7. social_misfit

    social_misfit New Member

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    that is true, but it can lead to a beer that is thin

    the higher mash temp will give your beer more body and mouth feel

    S_M
     
  8. GernBlanston

    GernBlanston New Member

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    The problem, IMHO, is that it would not be the beer you wanted to make. I make big beers, and session beers, and everything in between, and I always try to get the final product that I want, not the final product I just happen to end up with. Occasionally, I'm way off, and I will try to find out what happened so the process can be refined. That way, when I do want to change an aspect, I will know the difference that I taste, comes from that change, and not some fluke happenstance.
     
  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Gern's exactly right. If you view making beer as a production process, achieving a stronger beer than desired is a process error just as much as getting the wort too thin. Analyze your process and see what happened. Look at things like boil rate, dilution if applicable, conversion if applicable, attenuation.... Same thing happened to me recently. I made a Helles targeting 5.5%. In the end, I would up with 6.5%, a helluva Helles. Looking through my notes, I see I got better than expected conversion and better than expected attenuation. Possibilities: I weighed my grain wrong. I mashed too cool. I know boil rate wasn't a factor from the volume of wort I got. I did a decoction mash so there is a very good possibility that the main mash got cooler than I planned during the long rest and boil. Cool temps make for a more fermentable wort, ergo, all the signs point to a cool mash.
     
  10. jason&cassandra

    jason&cassandra New Member

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    I too have done big beers, session beers, etc. I've done really dry beers(mashed at 150) and very malty beers(mashed at 158) and a few temps in between and every time it's the same result...original gravity is almost spot on and final gravity is way under.
     
  11. jason&cassandra

    jason&cassandra New Member

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    Thanks for the article!!
     
  12. jason&cassandra

    jason&cassandra New Member

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    And I don't think it's the water. When we brewed with extract we were hitting our original and final gravity pretty much every time.
     
  13. nzbrew

    nzbrew Active Member

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    Have you checked the calibration of your thermometer? If it was reading a few degrees low it could be the culprit.
     
  14. GernBlanston

    GernBlanston New Member

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    Are you using a hydrometer? Or a refractometer. Only a hydrometer will give you a accurate F.G.
     
  15. jason&cassandra

    jason&cassandra New Member

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    I calibrate my thermometers everytime. And I use a hydrometer.
     
  16. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    even if this isn't it there is a big difference between extract and all grain and its grain absorption and evaporation. in your profile settings, your probably using the default set up so if thats correct for extract. rename that profile to extract then create a different profile for all grain and name it as such, then change the grain absorption until it comes out right. you should be taking readings at 60 degrees for both beginning and ending gravity, I hope this helps

    when you create a recipe, go to the more button and pick your equipment profile before you save
     
  17. jason&cassandra

    jason&cassandra New Member

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    I will give that a try. Thanks
     
  18. jason&cassandra

    jason&cassandra New Member

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    Should I start by raising or lowering the grain absorption loss setting?
     
  19. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    you will have more losses with all grain so raise would be correct making you add more water
     
  20. jason&cassandra

    jason&cassandra New Member

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    Thanks. I'll give it a try
     

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