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First AG brew - a US-style IPA with a surprise OG

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elmoMakesBeer

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After a few kit brews (two fresh wort and one extract) I thought I'd give all-grain brewing a try to see if I like it. My very sophisticated set up includes a cheap stock pot on the kitchen stove as mash tun and boil kettle and an esky to lauter with part of an old shear curtain over a biscuit tray as a false bottom. Hot cubed into a 15 litre cube (actually about 16.5 litre when full) that a fresh wort kit came in. I created a recipe on the Wort app following the US IPA profile using 4kg pale malt as a base, 300g of toffee malt (adding flavour while keeping the beer pale) and 70g of acidulated malt (no philosophical objection to adding drops of acid but this seemed easier to handle - and get delivered - six of one and half a dozen of the other really). I bittered with 10g of Columbus CTZ at 60min, then 20g of Citra at 15min and again at 5min. It cooled overnight to 22deg and is fermenting now. I'll dry hop with Citra for a few days. The app says I should end up with 50 IBUs, which I'm happy with.
I obviously made a couple of mistakes - I thought I had the stove holding a nice 67deg mash on a low flame but some gremlin must have turned the knob up because it got up to 80deg pretty early on - putting this down to a learning experience I persisted, despite being pretty sure I'd screwed up severely, and let it cool back to where it should be. It also boiled over during the boil, making a mess of the stove and putting out the burner - but I got it going again on another burner and cleaned the stove pretty well with PBW after all was done.
According to the Wort app the recipe should have had a OG of 1.057 based on a 70% efficiency, which I thought was ok given my rudimentary setup and confidence I'd screw something up and with the idea I could dilute the wort if it ended up going higher. I was a bit bummed when after the boil my hydrometer reading was just 1.046, but given my poor mash temperature control I couldn't be too surprised. That OG and resulting alcohol content is fine but it wasn't what I was planning.
I was a bit surprised when I took an OG hydrometer reading after putting the wort in the fermenter (and letting the trub settle in the test tube) and it had mysteriously jumped up to 1.066. I definitely had 4.37kg of grain in the mash, I definitely have 16.5 litres in the fermenter, and I definitely have an OG of 1.066. What I'd forgotten was the my post-boil hydrometer reading on hot wart needed to be corrected for temperature. After triple-checking everything and running it through the app again it looks like my efficiency was actually 84%, and in a few weeks time I'll be enjoying a smallish batch of some big beer. I toyed with the idea of diluting it down to my target OG so I end up with more beer, but decided to keep it as-is. It's at the upper-end of the OG and ABV range for a US IPA in the Wort style guide.
I was planning to dry hop with 40g of Citra (2.4 g/l for 16.5l batch), but given it looks like I'll end up with ~7% ABV by the time it's primed and bottled, do you think it's worth bumping that up a bit?

Edit: fix typo in total grain weight
 
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kadmium

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Regarding the 80c rise, most of the mash is over within 20 minutes on todays highly modified malts. By the time you pour the grain in, give it a good stir, let it settle and get it nice and comfy it's probably most of the way through conversion. So I wouldn't stress about it too much. It may effect your Final Gravity as a higher mash temp does lead to more unfermentable sugars. Worst case, you get a fuller body and some residual sweetness.

Are you sure you only had 3.77kg in the mash? You stated 4kg ale malt, 300g toffee and 70 acidulated? If I put the 4.37kg into a calculator, with 84% and a final volume of 17L it gives 1.066
 

elmoMakesBeer

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Regarding the 80c rise, most of the mash is over within 20 minutes on todays highly modified malts. By the time you pour the grain in, give it a good stir, let it settle and get it nice and comfy it's probably most of the way through conversion. So I wouldn't stress about it too much. It may effect your Final Gravity as a higher mash temp does lead to more unfermentable sugars. Worst case, you get a fuller body and some residual sweetness.

Are you sure you only had 3.77kg in the mash? You stated 4kg ale malt, 300g toffee and 70 acidulated? If I put the 4.37kg into a calculator, with 84% and a final volume of 17L it gives 1.066
Thanks for the info about mashing and modern malts. Yes the 3.77kg was a typo.
 

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