First max-biab and have very high OG?

Post #1 made 6 years ago
I've done several normal BIAB batches including this recipe but it was scaled down to make a 3g batch. I liked the beer so much I wanted to make a 5g batch and figured I'd give this max method a shot.

I followed the guide exactly(except I mashed out @ 170) and was happy hitting the mash & sparge temperatures within a degree. Here is the recipe, rather simple Kolsch. Recipe estimates an OG of 1.052 but I came to 1.064 and that's after adding 1 gallon of water at the end.

6.00 2 row Pils Malt
2.25 Wheat Malt
1 oz Perle 7.8% AA for 60 minutes
1/2 oz. Tettnanger 4.4% AA for 15 min.
1/2 oz. Tettnanger 4.4% AA for 5 mi.

Post #3 made 6 years ago
It's not uncommon to get very high efficiency into the kettle with BIAB cbehr however this brew looks to be a measurement anomaly of some sort and they happen all the time. I remember one brewer asking me about this a few years ago and I said, "Definitely looks like a measurement error." He was positive that all his measurements were spot on. About 3 weeks later he emailed me with some weighing area he had just discovered he had only just discovered.

Even if you do weight your grain correctly and have double checked your volume calibrations, every brew, even of the same recipe, varies a bit in its results. Water chemistry changes daily in most cities as do evaporation rates, batches of grain etc etc.

Hydrometer and refractometer readings can often be dodgy. Try and use a large diameter hydrometer tube and take your readings at room temperature. Refractomter readings also have great room for error. (And, even the hydrometers and refractometers themselves can be dodgy. I've had lots of hydrometers and their readings on the same sample have varied by up to 6 points :smoke:.)

I think the value of taking readings is only to see if you keep getting one-sided errors over several brews. So, if you did five brews and saw that your actual figure consistently came in higher or lower than expected, then you can start asking why. On a single brew, nothing much can be learned as there is so much room for error.

If the above repeats itself again, then you'll need to look for an error in your measurement process or calculation process as your efficiency into the kettle was about 150% on this brew :o.

An Experiment for You

On your next brew, as a matter of interest see if you can take a gravity and volume reading at the end of the mash after you pull the bag. (If you continue to drain the bag while waiting for the boil to start, measure how much extra wort you collect and add it to the above volume figure.)

Then take another volume and gravity reading at the beginning of the boil. The above two should agree but they probably wont even when you adjust for wort expansion :).

Then take an end of boil volume and gravity reading. Then, finally, measure how much wort was left in your kettle and add it to the volume you got in the fermentor and take one last gravity reading from the fermentor.

If you take the above four gravity and four volume readings, these can be converted to efficiency readings (we can do that here for you) and they should all agree with each other. The chances are though that they will seldom match and at least one reading will seem a bit odd.

It's a good thing to try this experiment at least once as it will show you that single measurements should never be given too much respect and should never be trusted. The best that measurements can do, if many are taken, is help reveal if you have a process error somewhere.

Whoops! That was a bit long wasn't it :lol:,

PS The best measurement instrument is your mouth so let us know if you end up tasting some sort of difference on this brew from your prior batches. A hard ask but maybe something obvious will pop up :think:.
Last edited by PistolPatch on 06 Sep 2012, 18:34, edited 2 times in total.
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