My brother-in-law has been interested in homebrewing
for quite some time. Before Thanksgiving dinner yesterday,
I decided it was a great time to get him started. I bought a
an Oatmeal Stout AG kit and set out all of my beermaking
tools. Because the oven/stove was in use for obvious reasons,
I hooked up the turkey fryer outside in the garage. The whole
process couldn't have gone smoother. I used 1.5 qts/lb (for a
9 lb grain bill) and mashed out 2.5 gallons. I put about 3.5 gallons
of sparge water back in my mash tun and finished up with roughly
6.0 gallons of wort. Everything seems to be going perfect at
this point. I boiled it for 60 minutes and ended up with about 4.90
gallons. I cooled it and took a gravity reading and came up with
1.058.. (target was 1.044). Needless to say, I am a bit worried
and concerned about what might have caused my OG to be off
by such a large number. Is it because I boiled off too much with
the turkey fryer? Could it have been the hydometer was in cold
sanitary water and was dropped into a 73 degree bucket of wort?
I've been brewing for a few years and never had such a difference
in my OG reading. Is the beer going to taste alright or should I
covertly brew another batch and give him that one instead?
Thanks for any advice/suggestions you may have..