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-   -   new to measuring gravity (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/new-measuring-gravity-285916/)

jamesco 12-08-2011 03:23 AM

new to measuring gravity
I have brewed about 5 batches now, but have never measured the gravity.

This time i did, but my og was 1.026, but my recipe said it should have been 1.054. What could account for this difference?

Now, after 8 days, i am at 1.015. The target fg is 1.014-1.020.

When should i bottle?


BeerBrewBob 12-08-2011 04:44 AM

In short, the higher the OG, the more sugar is in the mix. Because your gravity was lower than the recipe called for only means there isn't enough sugar involved before fermentation begins. This will result in a lower ABV (Alcohol content).
My question is did you brew by way of Extract or All Grain?
Your Final Gravity (FG) is on target with the recipe, however, your OG was off quite a bit so the only way to recover the ABV is to just let it ferment all the way out to 1.000. This will increase your alcohol content another 1%, meaning you will yield about 3% (estimate)

At this moment, your beer will not have much of an alcohol content. You will be looking at about 2% ABV. It sounds like the brew was calling for about 6% ABV and missing your OG (sugar %) is the cause.

Remember that fermenting all the way out means all of your sugars will be gone so the taste will be greatly affected. So you need to make a judgment call....higher ABV or taste? If it is taste you want, then go ahead and bottle now. If you want higher ABV, then let it sit for another few days before bottling. Hope this helps....

beergolf 12-08-2011 12:02 PM

Did you do an extract partial boil and top of with water? If so then your reading is just because the wort and water were not properly mixed. Using extract it is almost impossible to miss you OG unless your volumes are waaaaay off.

Your FG is in the recipe specs. I would still let it sit for another couple of weeks to let things clean up. Then bottle.

JeffersonJ 12-08-2011 01:36 PM

Also very important in the readings - at what temperature did you take the reading? The scale is based off of about 60F. If you took your OG reading at a higher temperature, then your actual gravity is higher than 1.026.

See here: How to Brew - By John Palmer - Appendix A - Using Hydrometers

helibrewer 12-08-2011 02:37 PM

And when did you measure your OG; Pre-boil, post-boil, pre-fermentation? If you added top off water to the fermenter before you took your reading it may not have been mixed well enough.

What was the post boil batch size for the recipe and what did you end up with? If you follow an extract recipe and use the proper amount of water it is nearly impossible to not hit the target OG because extract is 100% efficient, you're not converting any starches.

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