Porter all grain low gravity

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Davisc1513, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. Cgdavis

    Cgdavis Member

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    So I brewed my second all grain. I mashed in a 5 gallon cooler the grains (10 lb American victory 2 row, 1 lb needs Carmel 80l, and 1 pound American chocolate malt) for 1 hour and the temp was 160 the whole hour. I have very few equipment items to work with so I'm held back in that area. I have the grain in mesh bags because it's easier to clean up and I don't have the equipment for a proper sparge. I sparge by taking each bag out and pouring water over it into the boil pot (laid it on top of it on a metal rack). After the boil the gravity was 1.026?!! That gave me roughly 25% efficiency! I'm not even nearly an expert but the color was good and the taste was very bitter. The grain was bitter also. It didn't taste as though any more sugar could be squeezed out. I added 1/3 cup brown sugar and 3 cups sugar to bring gravity to 1.044 and hopefully saved the beer. Where did I royally screw up?
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    don't mash at 160 , mash at 152ish, you going off extract notes, all grain is different
     
  3. Cgdavis

    Cgdavis Member

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    Is that probably the reason for the gravity being so low?
     
  4. Thurston Brewer

    Thurston Brewer Active Member

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    I second what OMB said... you probably had a pretty inefficient starch conversion at that temperature, and very little simple sugars. I'd rethink your sparging as well, as it doesn't seem like rinsing the bags would be very efficient. You could dump them into a colander with a layer or two of cheesecloth so you can run the sparge water right through the grain. Use 165 - 170 degree water and sparge in two batches if you need to (probably will with 10+ lbs of grain).

    Filling in with sugar as you did will probably save the batch. You may find the flavor rather thin, but after two pints you won't care! Do your best, enjoy the results and learn from each batch. The next one will always be better!

    ---> RDWHAHB :)
     
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  5. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Sound like a biab brewer to me there mate I'm not savvy with the 160 I work in Celsius but for sure use the recipe spread sheet on this site to do all your calculations for ya before brew session so so handy I love it! Your sparge sounds ok to me I lift my brew bag out with a pully I have set up over my brew pot where I suspend it and using pre heated 76c water (nice and hot ) trickle this through the bag slowly using small measuring cup a little bit at a time. I usually mash at near full volume eg if total mash water needed is 30lt I'll mash in with 25lt and sparge with 5 lt. I'm thinking your mash temp wasn't in the right zone so there wasn't much starch conversion. The beauty about biab Davis is that you can alter your temps whilst your mashing because you can apply direct heat to your kettle as it doubles for mash tun and kettle sweet:D. I hope I made some sense there? Cheers mate and brew on :) you can only get better from here.

    My philosophy my next brew will be my best one ha ha.
     
  6. Cgdavis

    Cgdavis Member

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    Very good to know. It's certainly a learning process. I dove head first into all grain. First was an IPA that had about 55% efficiency and mashed at 150 and dropped to 148 so definitely will be staying with 150 ish.
     
  7. Cgdavis

    Cgdavis Member

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    It made some sense. Definitely excited to try again!
     
  8. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Yep 150 ish that's midrange mash temp so hopefully both alpha and beta amelase will be at work. So as far as my understanding goes on the mash thing is low 60s Celsius is for more fermentable sugars enzymes chop up sugars into small size chunks easy for yeasties to chew up and high 60s is larger long sugar chains that are harder for the yeasties to chew up. I mash in low for 30 then high for 30 then mash out at 76 to kill enzyme activity and then sparge at that temp too. But single infusion is easier in that mid range 150s F or 65c.

    I've also herd it takes longer for conversion to happen in the low alpha amelase range but less time in high beta amelase range

    So if your looking to mash low for a light bodied fermentable brew you might need to mash for longer to get as much conversion out of ya grain.
     
  9. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Hope it ain't the blind leading the blind lol
     
  10. Cgdavis

    Cgdavis Member

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    That's helpful. I'm still trying to grasp the science and math but it comes with time for sure.
     
  11. Cgdavis

    Cgdavis Member

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    Haha that's how magic happens!
     
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  12. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Here ya go if you've got 40 mins. I found this very helpful when I was jumping into all grain brewing. Go to you tube and type in - Homebrewing Fundamentals all grain brewing basics. I remember it was a three part series. See what ya think
     
  13. Cgdavis

    Cgdavis Member

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    I will have to do that when I have the time. I've seen quite a few good videos but it's nice to see more.
     
  14. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Yep I watch a lot of home brewing pod casts on you tube, hints from the pros
     
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  15. Cgdavis

    Cgdavis Member

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    Yeah there is so much knowledge out there. It's fascinating.
     
  16. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Trust me, theres a minute where all of a sudden its like, "whoa, I know mash-fu"
    There's tons of places where you can fiddle with it, but once you realize you're just making a big bowl of oatmeal that your 1,000,000th great grandpa made, it really takes the pressure off.
    You have to try to make it not beer, and things that will hurt you do not live in beer.
    Imo, Those 3 things are important to keep in mind
     
  17. Cgdavis

    Cgdavis Member

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    Very true. It's just flavored water. That's a good way to simplify it!
     
  18. Thurston Brewer

    Thurston Brewer Active Member

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    Yes, but it's Flavored Water of the GODS!
     
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  19. Cgdavis

    Cgdavis Member

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    Haha well I appreciate all the help. I'm going to duplicate the exact recipe with different mash temp and see how that goes. Plus back to back porter wouldnt hurt my feelings either!
     
  20. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Tell you the truth fellas I've never gone much past a pale ale when all grain maybe my maltiest brew is my Octoberfest I'm drinking ATM. Porters stouts barley wines are an unexplored world to me:) I'll have to brew one up maybe the other side of summer:D.
     

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