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Old 07-09-2012, 02:28 AM   #1
Nike_Eayrs
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Default Does sugar affect gravity reading?

Does adding sugar affect a hydrometer reading? I was trying to lighten up a partial mash recipe. I subbed some sugar for malt extract and the numbers were a bit low. Cheers!

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Old 07-09-2012, 02:38 AM   #2
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Yes, sugar does change the gravity. Distilled water = 1.000 add sugar and that number will rise.

The difference between DME and sugar will depend on the types of DME, Sugar and amounts.

The main effect of subbing sugar for the DME would be to get a thinner, dryer beer.

Gravity numbers being lower could be the results of a number of different factors.

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Old 07-09-2012, 02:41 AM   #3
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since the reason you take hydrometer readings is to see how much sugar the yeast has consumed, I'd say defiantly yes.

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Old 07-09-2012, 02:37 PM   #4
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You should find that your FG will be lower than expected as well. How much sugar are you talking about?

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Old 07-09-2012, 04:39 PM   #5
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I used 1lb of sugar, mashed out 6lbs of grain and 2lbs of dry malt extract for a 5 gallon batch. It's also the first time that I mashed out that much grain. I was just curious if sugar affected the reading the same way DME or mashed out grain did. Original gravity was 1.041, I figured it should have been around 1.050.

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Old 07-09-2012, 05:23 PM   #6
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1LB of sugar (dextrose) is roughly equal to 0.8lbs of DME gravity wise.

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Old 07-09-2012, 05:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nike_Eayrs View Post
I used 1lb of sugar, mashed out 6lbs of grain and 2lbs of dry malt extract for a 5 gallon batch. It's also the first time that I mashed out that much grain. I was just curious if sugar affected the reading the same way DME or mashed out grain did. Original gravity was 1.041, I figured it should have been around 1.050.
did you happen to do a partial boil and take the reading after topping off? wort and water are difficult to mix well enough to get an accurate reading. if not, then you got very poor efficiency (~32%). what was your mash temp, time, and amount of water? was the grain bag tight?
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcp27 View Post
did you happen to do a partial boil and take the reading after topping off? wort and water are difficult to mix well enough to get an accurate reading. if not, then you got very poor efficiency (~32%). what was your mash temp, time, and amount of water? was the grain bag tight?
I used a paint strainer bag to mash the grain. I mashed with 1 1/2 gallons of water at 122 for 20 min, 152-160 for 60, and mashed out at 170 for 10 min. I then rinsed the grain with 2 1/2 gallons of water over a fermenting bucket. I boiled that for an hour, and added dme and sugar 15 before flame out. It was then topped off with water to get to 5 gallons. I have purchased a steel 7 1/2 gallon pot and a propane burner for the next batch. Do you think that is the reason for the reading? Could it be higher or lower than the reading I got? Cheers!
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SledgeH View Post
1LB of sugar (dextrose) is roughly equal to 0.8lbs of DME gravity wise.
Waiddaminnit.....Il thought they wer both about 45 ppg. What numbers are you using?
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:00 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Nike_Eayrs View Post
I used a paint strainer bag to mash the grain. I mashed with 1 1/2 gallons of water at 122 for 20 min, 152-160 for 60, and mashed out at 170 for 10 min. I then rinsed the grain with 2 1/2 gallons of water over a fermenting bucket. I boiled that for an hour, and added dme and sugar 15 before flame out. It was then topped off with water to get to 5 gallons. I have purchased a steel 7 1/2 gallon pot and a propane burner for the next batch. Do you think that is the reason for the reading? Could it be higher or lower than the reading I got? Cheers!
Make your life easier. Not only is there almost never a need for a 122 rest, it could be detrimental to the head and body of your beer.

It's common to get incorrect OG readings when you top off. Even if you think you have it well mixed, the wort is heavier and will sink to the bottom, meaning you'll be taking a reading from the watered down wort on top.
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