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Old 01-31-2012, 02:42 AM   #1
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Default Full time soldier now a part time homebrewer (needs advice)

So I'm brand new to home brewing! I moved out here to Colorado for work reasons and decided to take my love of good brews to the next level. I am currently brewing my first 5 GAL batch of a nut brown ale variation.

I made sure not to go cheap and currently have a fairly good setup equipment wise for a beginner (including a 6.5 and 5.0 GAL glass carboys). Also, I took great care to sanitize and clean ALL my equipment used in the brew making process.

I did have one question. When I measured my original gravity prior to starting fermentation, I got a reading of 1.028 at a temperature of roughly 75 degrees. I've read that any temperature above 60 degrees will throw off the hydrometer readings some. I'm just wondering if the reading I got is a good or bad sign. Ive read different ranges on OG for different brews....

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Old 01-31-2012, 03:02 AM   #2
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In order to determine why your SG is that low you need to tell us some things:

How long you boiled for. What the ingredients were. Did you top off the wort with extra water after putting it in the fermenter? any other details?

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Old 01-31-2012, 03:07 AM   #3
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At 75F the hydrometer will not be off by much.

Each style will have differing gravities. 1.028 prior to fermenting is unusually low for any style.

Is this an extract? If so, Read this

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Revvy>>You shouldn't worry about ANYTHING, you didn't hurt the yeast, they know what they need to do, they want to eat all that sugar they are swimming around in. They want to pee alcohol and fart co2, it's their nature.

Bobby_M>>I flood the keg with CO2 for one minute with the lid off, rack the beer in to the bottom gently, seal it, flood it, vent it. If there's still O2 in there after that, F it.

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Old 01-31-2012, 03:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3PegBrew View Post
In order to determine why your SG is that low you need to tell us some things:

How long you boiled for. What the ingredients were. Did you top off the wort with extra water after putting it in the fermenter? any other details?
+1

Welcome to the best homebrew site on the web. Lot of people here from beginners to experts and most all willing to help out a fellow homebrewer!

The reason 3Peg is asking about ingredients is because the potential gravity of the ingredients is used determine the gravity after the boil.

Secondly, if you topped off with water the gravity reading you got could very well be low because you might have been (unknowingly) checking the gravity at the top of the wort. (According to a very active and knowledgeable guy named Revvy, and you'll see his post soon enough if you stay on this site) he says it's almost impossible to get an accurate gravity reading on a brew that has had water added, no matter how much you stir.

3Peg asked how long you boiled for because the longer the boil the more water evaporates, the more water that evaporates the gravity of your brew goes up. Same amount of sugar as started with, but less water same sugars.. higher gravity.
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:16 AM   #5
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(Sean Connery voice) That's right Dan!

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Old 01-31-2012, 03:17 AM   #6
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Did you top off the wort with extra water after putting it in the fermenter? any other details?
After reading your question and jetmac's link, I realized what probably happened. I added my wort to the carboy via filter funnel (aprox 2 GAL) and then added the spring water via funnel to the carboy as well (aprox 3 GAL). I then realized I did not have a sample for my hydrometer and took a sample off the top....which means I may have gotten more water than wort. The instructions with my kit said to do it in this fashion, but another homebrew friend told me he simply adds the water to the wort mixture before filtering and putting in the carboy. Any thoughts on which method is better?

I wont be a ton of help on the ingredients, other than I steeped the grains, then followed with the malts, and finally the hops. I do know that they were good quality, since I was directed to a reputable homebrew supplier.
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:19 AM   #7
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Also, it appears fermentation is well under way....

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Old 01-31-2012, 03:21 AM   #8
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No way is the "right" way. I would recommend, however, to give it a nice stir after adding water. The yeast will do a natural mixing when fermentation happens anyways. If you follow a recipe correctly, your OG (original Gravity) and FG (final Gravity) should be close (not always spot on).

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Old 01-31-2012, 03:23 AM   #9
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Is that 5 gallons for a batch or 3?

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Old 01-31-2012, 03:26 AM   #10
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5 gallons. The photo is poor quality, but I did add five gallons in total.

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