From the HBD Archive
From: Tom Hotchkiss <trh@hpestrh>
Subject: S.G. and other novice questions
Date: 1989-12-15 17:11:04 GMT

Bryan Hilterbrand writes:

> Papazian showed the starting S.G. for this style to be 1.070 to 1090
> but the S.G. of my brew came out to about 1.043.

Well... If I remember correctly the recipe you mentioned included 7# of
Pale Malt. When you described your procedure, you said that you steeped
the grains in water while bringing it to a boil. Steeping the grains
works just fine for specialty grains (i.e. Crystal Malt, Black Malt, etc...),
but doesn't work for Pale Malt. Steeping simply extracts body, flavor,
and color, but really won't extract much sugar. In order to achieve the
target SG, you need to *mash* the Pale Malt in order to convert the
starches to sugar.

If you mashed the Pale Malt properly then I misunderstood your description.
My limited experience tells me that the single most important factor in
extract efficieny is proper sparging (assuming you use a reasonable
mash procedure). Building a proper lauter tun and having a tremendous
amount of patience when sparging will significantly increase your
extract efficiency.

Tom Hotchkiss
trh@hpestrh.hplabs.hp.com

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