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Old 05-31-2007, 08:54 PM   #1
_Edge
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Default Broken Hydrometer - 4 day delayed reading

Hello forum.

I've been searching the archives for this question, but I haven't seen it come up yet so I thought I'd post for responses.

I was doing a brew day a few weeks back with this recipe:

http://www.ratebeer.com/Recipe.asp?RecipeID=88

The only change is that I used 6.6 lbs of DME instead of 7 (obviously because of the weight it ships in). Unfortunately just before I was going to take the hydrometer reading, my roommate bumped it, knocking it on the floor where it broke.

as a n00b, I didn't have a backup. Instead I took a sample in the hydrometer tube (which I kept in the fridge) until I could get another one. about a week later I got my new hydrometer. I warmed up the wort in the fridge to room temperature and took the reading. My beer's OG was 1.042. the expected OG is 1.072

The question is -- would there be any reason to think that the reading would be off after a week in the fridge? would some little bacteria been chomping away at the goods?

The main reason I am interested is that IPA's tend to have a high ABV, and I don't want to ruin any of my friends by telling them that it "only" has ~4.5% ABV.

Side notes: I boiled a 4 gallon batch and added 1 gallon of water. I also think that I didn't "mill" the grains with a rolling pin very well (not knowing how to do it well until reading here). These might be factors in the OG.

Thanks,

-Ed

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Old 05-31-2007, 08:58 PM   #2
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No worry, you really can't loose much from the extract. I am sure it is fine.

Did you mix the sample up after taking it out of the fridge?

Since you are not expecting sugars from the grain the crush should be no problem.

Tell your friends whatever ABV you want, mind over matter.

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Old 05-31-2007, 08:59 PM   #3
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The biggest reason why new people's OG readings are off is because they didn't fully stir the wort after adding the top-off water. The water wants to float on top of the more viscous wort you have boiled, if you don't stir pretty aggressively (AFTER IT IS COOLED), the sample you pull tends to have proportionately more water and therefore a lower OG reading.

Now, it is possible a bug got in and ate some sugars - but since it was in the fridge, I doubt it would have done too much. Did you taste the sample? Did it taste like it was sour, or fermented out at all? Did it still taste sweet, like fresh, unfermented wort?

I still strongly suspect that the batch wasn't stirred enough before grabbing the sample. I wouldn't worry about it at all - honestly, you really can't screw up how much sugar ends up in an extract batch, and the yeast will find the sugars.

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Old 05-31-2007, 09:13 PM   #4
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I'm betting water is the answer. I took the sample just after mixing the gallon into the other 4 gal and I didn't aerate it first. I did shake it up first and it did taste like it should have -- nothing was growing on it and it wasn't sour.

I'll remember to take the reading after aerating next time.

and maybe it's better to "fib" about the ABV. might make for an interesting evening.

As far as the actual beer goes, it looks like it's going to be exactly the right color and it's surprisingly clear after a week in the secondary. I'm much more excited about this beer than the so-so turnout from my first! I'm addicted.

Thanks guys.

-Ed

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Old 05-31-2007, 09:43 PM   #5
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I think 1.072 seems like a high OG for steeped grains and 7 lbs. of DME. Your reading isn't very far off from where it belongs.

The recipe looks good, should be some yummy hoppy beer.

Cheers

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Old 05-31-2007, 10:40 PM   #6
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I just ran it through Beersmith- 6.6 pounds of DME would give you an OG of 1.063. If you used LME (which comes in 3.3 pound cans) your og would be 1.055. I think you have plenty of hops for that OG, in any case. In fact, this sounds like a mighty tasty beer!

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Old 06-01-2007, 12:39 AM   #7
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To the OP... This might sound weird, but are you from Watertown, SD by chance?

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Old 06-01-2007, 07:27 PM   #8
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Sent private message. But yeah, I am.

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Old 06-04-2007, 06:37 PM   #9
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Thanks for all of the help. Here is the update:

I just bottled my IPA on Saturday. The final gravity was 1.013 and was completely clear. It has a great cascade aroma and it *tastes* like it must have more than 4.39% abv as the alcohol could be tasted but was balanced well with the bittering hops. I am guessing it's much closer to the 7.5% that Yooper Chick suggested (I used DME).

I was ready to fill a glass and chill it, the beer tasted so good! Patience...

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