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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Hitting gravity - what about you?
View Poll Results: My approach to OG is
I want to match the recipe gravity exactly and am pissed if I miss target! 5 11.36%
I get in the general range of the recipe but relax, don't worry and drink a homebrew if I don't. 29 65.91%
I measure OG sometimes and other times, it is too late and too many homebrews later... 7 15.91%
OG, what is OG? 3 6.82%
Voters: 44. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-31-2006, 01:45 PM   #1
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Default Hitting gravity - what about you?

When I brew, I record gravity but have written off differences between what I measure and what the recipe suggests to "lots of variables". I haven't been off by much, a point or two and usually above, which is good right?

Anyhoo... this thread got me thinking, what do you prefer and why?

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Old 12-31-2006, 01:51 PM   #2
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I personally break hydrometers too often, probably because I drank that extra homebrew!

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Old 12-31-2006, 03:24 PM   #3
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Recipe?

What's a recipe?

I haven't followed a recipe in twenty years, but Promash gives a pretty accurate estimation of the gravity.

-a.

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Old 12-31-2006, 03:28 PM   #4
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Since I'm still new to AG brewing, I'm still dialing in my efficiency. As such, I know that the OG calced by BeerSmith differs from what I end up with - but as long as I'm in the style range and not off by that much (so that the BU/GU ratio gets whacked), I don't stress.

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Old 12-31-2006, 03:52 PM   #5
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I couldn't care less what my ABV is, I'm more concerned about taste. As an extract brewer+, there's not much to wonder about.

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Old 12-31-2006, 04:03 PM   #6
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In the grand scheme of things, I would think that this question really applies mostly to AG brewers. Us extract folk have it easy...my guys at Munton & Fisson's have my efficiency damn near 100%! wink wink. I do suppose that I'll eventually move on to AG and then I'll start to go gray worrying about all the subtle aspects of zymurgy. Until then, I'll content myself to drinking homebrew and forgetting to measure OG, and not measuring FG until I realize that I've already added priming sugar...and never correcting gravity based on temperature! I have enough stress in my life anyways!

Marc.

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Old 12-31-2006, 04:31 PM   #7
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I fall somewhere between answers #1 and #2. I don't necessarily get pissed about missing by a point or two, but I do shoot for an exact OG, and I do get a little disappointed if I'm off by more than about 2 points.

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Old 12-31-2006, 04:36 PM   #8
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Only have done 1 Ag so far and I didn't even keep track that first time since I was more interested in getting a feel for the whole process as apposed to hitting numbers. I'm doing my next tommorrow and now that I'm back home and am able to control more of the environment I'll start lookng at all that.

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Old 12-31-2006, 05:19 PM   #9
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I am an extract brewer and after 7 batches, I have never hit the OG. I come close which suits me fine, but in the back of your mind you wonder what you did wrong. I have never hit my FG either, this is where I get pissed off! I have been close but I am usually almost .005 off! Most of my extract brews say they should finish around 1.015 or lower, but I get around 1.020.

Next time I may pitch more yeast (I usually just do the 1 vial of Whitelabs that comes with the kit).

In the end the beer tastes fine which is my ultimate goal. People always ask what the ABV content is and I usually just say "around 5%". They get hung up on the ABV instead of the taste, but I am slowly changing my friends to appreciate taste more.

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Old 12-31-2006, 05:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardball
I am an extract brewer and after 7 batches, I have never hit the OG. I come close which suits me fine, but in the back of your mind you wonder what you did wrong. I have never hit my FG either, this is where I get pissed off! I have been close but I am usually almost .005 off! Most of my extract brews say they should finish around 1.015 or lower, but I get around 1.020.
This sounds more like hydrometer reading error than recipe error. Are you correcting for temperature? When are you measuring OG? When you measure FG, do you take several readings over the course of several days?

Also, if your readings are correct, your beers are finishing at way too high an FG. You should be seeing 1.010-1.012 (or less, even) for most 5%-ish beers (like the pale ale in your signature). Low attenuation is usually because of a poor environment for yeast to do their work. Are you aerating? How? Are you keeping the temperature around 65-ish (for ales)?
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