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Old 04-22-2012, 09:50 PM   #1
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Default Oops, I made a mistake, what should I expect?

last night I brewed this kit. It was all grain with Whyeast http://www.apexbrewwares.com/Recipe-Kits/Kolsch-American-Wheat.html The only thing I did differently was to add a ounce of sweet orange zest at 5 minutes.

My preboil gravity was 1.30. but it was supposed to be 1.040. I also noticed I should have had 6.5 gallons of wort but actually had a little over 8. I figured I would just boil longer so I set the timer for a 2 hour boil. I check it a half hour later and it hadn't changed much. So to bump the gravity a bit I added 2 cups of white sugar. proceeded with my boil and some how at the end I only ended up with 4 1/4 gallons. I should of had 5.5. my O.G. is now 1.080, it should have been 1.045. I was going to add a gallon of spring water from the store but it was midnight and I figured to see what it does. I'm not worried about it being bad I'm just wondering what should I expect.

I will say the Yeast seem to be loving it, there is a 3" tall krauzen and with in a hour it was bubbling like crazy.

Thanks for any input on what to expect or what I should have done.
Marcus

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Old 04-22-2012, 09:54 PM   #2
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You'll be fine.

How are you checking gravity? If you're checking pre-boil with a hydrometer, you realize you need to correct for temperature, right? Generally I'd say with extract, don't worry about preboil gravity at all.

With such a high OG, your yeast might have trouble chewing through it all (especially if you pitched a single vial w/o starter). So you may end up with a higher FG than expected.

But there's nothing fatal in your mistakes here...

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Old 04-23-2012, 12:56 PM   #3
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The beer will be fine but not what you expected, you will have less beer at a higher ABV and the FG might just not get there.

Make good notes of what you did because you need to get a better handle on your water volumes and process so you eliminate these mistakes next time

Also not sure how you are measuring your volumes. Did you measure 8 gallons while boiling, boiling wort expands while in boil and an accurate reading is just about impossible. Also, any hydrometer reading taken over 100F is just about worthless, even if adjusted it just isn't. A refractometer will give you a more accurate reading at this point in the process.

When AG brewing it is very important to take accurate readings and measurements so the final product meets your expectations. If you are not using software, try one as it will help you calculate all your volumes correctly.

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Old 04-23-2012, 04:48 PM   #4
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Thanks for the help. All of the reading were done at room temp, I let the samples sit for a while before reading. The pot I have doesn't have any way to measure so I made a cpvc stick with markings that show the depth and gallons contained. Do you guys think the yeast are up for the task? I didn't use a starter but the yeast was very fresh and active.

I agree I need brewsmith, I think I will buy it very soon.
Thanks,
Marcus

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Old 04-23-2012, 08:22 PM   #5
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Starters are for building up the proper amount of yeast as smack packs and vials aren't nearly enough for most beers. A completely fresh smack pack will have about 100 billion cells. For 4.5 gallons of 1.080 beer, you should have roughly 250 billion cells.

You'll still have beer, and there's even a chance that it'll finish fermenting. It's just that when you underpitch by that much, the yeast get seriously stressed and can add off flavors to the beer.

At this point, try not to worry about it since there's not really anything you can do. Once the airlock stops bubbling, take a gravity reading. If it's higher than you're expecting, you can always throw in some more yeast to help it finish. Taste it first, though. If you like the way it tastes, leave it as is. After all, it doesn't matter how it was supposed to finish as long as you like the way it tastes.

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Old 04-24-2012, 02:21 AM   #6
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Thanks turkeyjerky. I know I under pitched bad as a result of way over shooting my OG. I don't have a stir plate but I'm seeing I will need one very soon. this was only my 5th batch all of them have been all grain. I kinda skipped using extract. I will keep a eye on my FG and see what happens.

I was wondering has anybody made a wheat this strong? If so I'm curious what it was like.

Thanks
Marcus

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