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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Midwest kits and undershooting my OG
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:33 PM   #1
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Default Midwest kits and undershooting my OG

The past two kits I have done from Midwest I have undershot the OG the first was a honey porter which came in about 1.046 instead of the 1.056 it called for, and I did a cream ale last night and it ended at 1.033 both samples were at 60 degrees, and both recipes were a partial lme. Am I over boiling these? I did a full 60 min boil.

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Old 12-23-2008, 01:56 PM   #2
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Not sure, but "mysteriously" I seem to miss all of my OG's when I use a Midwest kit as well. Funny, it doesn't seem to happen with other kit providers like AHBS and Williams. Maybe it is just the cynic in me, but just maybe there is a reason the Midwest kits are constantly cheaper than the other guys...

So, now I just add to my Midwest kits to reach my goal OG. For instance, I bought their standard Porter kit and added 16 oz, of my own honey and 1 lb. of Crystal 60. Even with the addition of the honey and grains, I came out with 1.046 OG - which is the OG they state their standard kit produces. Hmmmm.

In all seriousness, I really don't care how a kit is packaged for a company to meet their margins (after all, they must make money to stay in business) - I am more concerned about truth in advertising on what I am buying. After all - on a pre-measured, pre-packaged beer kit, you should pretty much hit dead on with all your OGs every time.

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Old 12-23-2008, 02:02 PM   #3
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I also routinely miss O.G.'s as well with Midwest kits (although I get an efficiency of 75%). This never happens with Northern Brewer kits.

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Old 12-23-2008, 02:19 PM   #4
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I have never missed an OG with Midwest kits, but nearly always do with Morebeer. But I have NEVER missed an OG by 10 points!

Also, if you are "over boiling" you will have a HIGHER OG... because you will drive off more water and retain a higher concentration of sugar.

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Old 12-24-2008, 07:16 PM   #5
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Did you thoroughly mix in all the top off water with your partial boil volumn before you took the gravity reading? I've had my OG off from that. Have brewed several Midwest kits and I have not noticed any drastic gravity offs as you report.

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Old 12-24-2008, 07:52 PM   #6
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I have brewed two Midwest kits, one extract, one partial mash. I did NOT follow their two-pot mashing method and instead used my 2 gallon cooler MLT. Got around 74% efficiency on the mash, and hit slightly over the OG (by 0.002). I did not adjust the kit, and I took the reading from the primary fermenter after topping up to exactly 5 gal, before pitching the yeast.

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Old 12-24-2008, 09:29 PM   #7
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Hmm... I never thought there were any issues with efficiency on PM and all extract brewing. The specialty grains don't give off that much fermentable sugar, I thought the extract has all the sugar you need and it is a matter of getting into a liquid form from the gooey mess you start with.

My question is what does beersmith say? How much extract did they send you and what does beer smith say your OG should be when you plug the recipe in?

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Old 12-24-2008, 10:39 PM   #8
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There seems to be a bit of confusion as to what type of Midwest kit you are using. Was this an extract, partial mash, or all-grain kit?

If it was an extract kit, you have to be adding too much top-up water. If you're using a carboy and expecting that the carboy holds a certain amount of water and adding top-up water to reflect this, you should probably measure it's actual capacity. Often times, they hold more water than their advertised size. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/actu...-carboy-89216/

I've been part of the extract ale-of-the-month club for over 2 years, and have never had issues with the OG estimates. The stuff is pre-weighed and packaged by Briess.

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Old 12-26-2008, 02:44 PM   #9
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he says both kits where a partial LME but he doesnt say how much wort was collected.....

I myself never had any probs with midwests kits until i went to AG with out my own crusher.............hit 3 in a row under 10

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Old 12-27-2008, 03:39 AM   #10
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With any partial boil, you should hit your numbers every time. Just do a gravity reading before adding any top up water. Then only add enough water to bring the gravity down to your target. You may only end up with 4.5 gallons at the proper gravity but at least it should reflect the taste it is supposed to give.

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