appeal for help: specific gravity question

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I've been brewing 25+ years, and all-grain brewing about 3 years. I have an
intermittent problem with specific gravity readings and hope somebody can
help. On occasion, perhaps 25% of the time, my sweet liquor after sparging
will read very high--much higher than expected. Case in point: an ale mash
using about 10 lbs of Maris Otter malt in 2.5 gal water produced a liquor
reading 1.080! I repeated the reading twice, and all three times got the
same reading. Of course that affects the hop extraction, and I had no choice
but to hop according to that reading. After boiling, however, when the wort
was going into the fermenter, the s.g. read 1.048--about what I'd expect for
the amount of grain used. MOST of the time the readings for extracted liquor
and wort are within a very few points of one another, but on occasion I get
this huge differential. Does anybody have any ideas? I'd sure appreciate
some input! Thanks--

TJG



Re: appeal for help: specific gravity question


So why is this a problem?
Most people would kill to have effientcy like that, according to Promash you
have about 88% eff.
Just go with it, Relax, Don't Worry, Have a Homebrew.
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Re: appeal for help: specific gravity question


wrote:

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You miss the OP's point.  He states that after the boil, the gravity
is what he would have expected.  The pre-boil gravity should be less
than, not more than the post-boil gravity.  Something's not right
here.  I wish I could be of help, but your response offers none.

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Re: appeal for help: specific gravity question


Hmm... let's see if I read it right...

(( you ARE adjusting for temperature, right? ))

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That's 80*2.5 = 200 sugar points.


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If you had 5 gallons, then that is 48*5 = 240 sugar points.

The 200 and 240 is pretty close, especially since I'm guessing about
the water volumes... if either volume is different, those numbers will
probably be much closer.

Bottom line...  you must consider the volume of water and the amount of
sugar you get out...  using "sugar points" is the best way to do that.

((Note, you can do all kinds of math with sugar points to figure volumes
and gravities out... for example, from the initial 200 sugar points,
you can determine how many final gallons of wort you'll need for a given
gravity so you know when to stop your boil or how much water to add, ie:
    If you want 1.060 FG and you started with 200 sugar points, then
    you just do 200/60 = 3.3 gallons final at 1.060.
You can also use them to figure how much water you need to add post boil
to reduce your gravity to a desired point, etc.))

It could be that I'm off on a tangent... if so, please post what volumes
of water/wort you're measuring the gravity in, temperatures,
adjustments, etc...

Derric


Re: appeal for help: specific gravity question


See, I've been fretting about this problem for months...FINALLY put it up on
the group. And only THEN did revelation strike me (in the shower, actually,
which seems to be where I do my best thinking). The answer is two-fold:
pilot error and stratification. My sparge takes over an hour to complete,
and the flow into the brewpot is so slow that the sweet liquor doesn't mix.
The first part of the runoff is highly sugared . . . and settles to the
bottom. The later runoff has very little sugar, and there's no current in
the brewpot to interrupt the gradient. Then, when I draw off a sample from
the pot's valve, located at the bottom of the pot, I get a sample of the
high-sugar end of the gradient. So the answer is simple: stir it up before
drawing the sample.

My thanks to those who offered help--sorry I couldn't provide anything more
exciting than a bit of stupidity!

TJG




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Re: appeal for help: specific gravity question




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I had a similar issue with my last brew.  Even if you stir it up you
can get areas of more or less sugar.  I'd say try to stir really well
and then take a few samples from here and there with a turkey baster
and mix them in the test jar to get a good overall gravity


Re: appeal for help: specific gravity question


TIG,
Mate put your hydrometer away, I believe they introduce more confusion than
enlightenment.
If you are doing something the same over & over just do it by rote.
If you are experimenting, fine use the hydro, but common sense is always
better than an unexpected hydro reading.
Pete.

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