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Old 09-27-2012, 08:40 PM   #1
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Default Pumpkin Ale low gravity?

Hi Everyone,

I've got a general question about a pumpkin ale I have made (recipe below).

I took a hydrometer reading three days after brew day (when fermentation started) and just two days ago, with a total ABV that is very low.

First Hydro reading: 1.030 @ 78F

Current hydro: 1.014 @69F

According to my calculation I only have an ABV of 2-3%

Does that sound right? Did I mis-calculate?

I would like to bottle this weekend, but is there any way to boost the ABV?

Thanks!

Pumpkin Ale:

2 lb baking pumpkin
3 lb canned pumpkin
6.6 lb LME
8 oz flaked barley
1 lb crystal 60L

2 oz Mt. Hood Hops

1 c. b-sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
US -05 yeast

Bake pumpkins until soft.

Bring 2 gal. water to boil. Add pumpkin canned and fresh. Add grains, steep @ 155 F for 1 hour.

Add malt extract and brown sugar.

Add 3/4 of the hops and boil 60 mins.

add last hops in 5 mins of boil.

Add spices at flameout. steep 15 mins.

Cold crash. Pitch yeast @ 45F

Five days into ferment: Add 3/4 teaspoons pumpkin spice and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

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Old 09-27-2012, 10:25 PM   #2
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How big is the batch? Did you add top up water on top of 2G boil? Did you really pitch the ale yeast at 45 degrees?

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Old 09-27-2012, 11:25 PM   #3
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I think your OG is incorrect. 6.6 lbs of extract in a 5 gallon batch would yield you an OG of 1.050 or so.

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Old 09-28-2012, 12:05 AM   #4
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@ BrewThruYou I did a 5 gallon batch and topped off in the fermentor.

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Old 09-28-2012, 12:06 AM   #5
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Also, I hastily wrote pitch temp at 45, but it could have been warmer. That was 45 on the fermometor on the side of my bucket.

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Old 09-28-2012, 02:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nlpavalko View Post
@ BrewThruYou I did a 5 gallon batch and topped off in the fermentor.
For a 5 gallon batch, your recipe should give you a wort with an OG of at least 1.050. It is possible that your reading of 1.030 is not correct - it is very difficult to get a good reading with you add fresh water to a dense, sugary wort (no matter how much you think you mixed it up). If your wort was closer to 1.050 then your ABV is closer to 4.7%

The other possibility is that all that pumpkin absorbed a fair amount of your wort (seems like a lot of pumpkin to me). Do you remember how much water you needed to add to top up to 5 gallons?
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:41 AM   #7
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@JLem I topped off with three extra gallons and maybe a half gallon worth of ice into the fermentor.

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Old 09-28-2012, 05:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLem View Post
It is possible that your reading of 1.030 is not correct - it is very difficult to get a good reading with you add fresh water to a dense, sugary wort (no matter how much you think you mixed it up).
This is the most likely issue. The hydrometer reading was taken from a less dense section of the fermenter and the actual OG is closer to 1.050.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:38 PM   #9
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Thanks for the input guys. I'll be bottling tomorrow and I'll let you know how things turn out once I try my first beer.

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