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Old 07-19-2010, 11:06 PM   #1
Salanis
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Default Original Gravity Too Low

Just finished a brew today and my O.G. was way too low. My target gravity was 1.074. I ended up with 1.052. Not quite sure how I screwed things up that badly. I had a small boil-over, but that doesn't account for it all. Maybe I need to mash for 90min., instead of 60? It's a partial-mash brew, so it shouldn't have made *that* much difference.

Anything I can do to reasonably crank up my alcohol? This is for a holiday ale, and I want it heavy.

I have some DME. I could maybe boil up a half pound of that and a half pound of table sugar. That seems like it would do the trick... or would it just screw up the flavor?

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Old 07-19-2010, 11:12 PM   #2
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Don't do anything.....You did nothing wrong, more than likely.

It's a pretty common issue for ANYONE topping off with water in the fermenter (and that includes partial mashes, extract or all grain revcipes) to have an error in reading the OG...In fact, it is actually nearly impossible to mix the wort and the top off water in a way to get an accurate OG reading...

Brewers get a low reading if they get more of the top off water than the wort, conversely they get a higher number if they grabbed more of the extract than the top off water in their sample.

When I am doing an extract with grain recipe I make sure to stir for a minimum of 5 minutes (whipping up a froth to aerate as well) before I draw a grav sample and pitch my yeast....It really is an effort to integrate the wort with the top off water...This is a fairly common new brewer issue we get on here...unless you under or over topped off or the final volume for the kit was 5 gallons and you topped off to 5.5, then the issue, sorry to say, is "operator error"

More than likely your OG is really what it's supposed to be. And it will mix itself fine during fermentation.

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Old 07-20-2010, 01:00 AM   #3
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I figured I'd have mixed it well enough (although I am new and discovering all the stuff I don't know). I do top off with water. My top-off/aeration system is to siphon to my bottling bucket through a strainer, and then drain that to the carboy. I top off in the bottling bucket. I guess that may not have gotten things as blended as it should have been. I'm pretty sure I drew my sample from lower in the carboy.

Man... that seems way lower than expected.

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Old 07-20-2010, 01:38 AM   #4
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How did you measure your volume?
If you used the lines on an Ale Pail type bucket, they are notoriously inaccurate.

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Old 07-20-2010, 01:46 AM   #5
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I did use the lines on one of those buckets, but I'd checked it earlier using a gallon jug. Up to 3 gallons, it seemed pretty good. My wort filled up a bit over 4 gallons, and I added 1 more gallon of water. (I used a total of 2 gallons to top off, but one got added to the brew kettle to help cool it.)

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