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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > gravity reading doesn't match up
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Old 10-02-2011, 01:34 PM   #1
millhouse46
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Default gravity reading doesn't match up

I just brewed the Brewers Best Pumpkin Porter last night and I followed the directions as they were written. I added 4 lbs. of pumpkin to the wort as it boiled, which was not in the directions, and backed off the spices by about half. I put 4 tbsp. instead of the whole 2.5 oz. packet. So the issue I have is the gravity. I added 3 more gallons of water to make the 5.5 gallons and my gravity reading was at 1.044 where the directions suggest a 1.057-1.061. It is much lower than suggested. I realize there is nothing I can do about it now and it will be beer and come out good regardless, but I know there is a reason for it and something to be learned here. I am sure someone here can lend some good brewing advice. I seem to learn a little more with each brew and usually when I have done one of these kits they are spot on so i guess that is where my concern comes from.

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Old 10-02-2011, 01:38 PM   #2
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We get this question 3-4 times every day, so you're not alone. And in reality, nothing's wrong.

It's a pretty common issue for ANYONE topping off with water in the fermenter (and that includes partial mashes, extract or all grain revcipes) to have an error in reading the OG...In fact, it is actually nearly impossible to mix the wort and the top off water in a way to get an accurate OG reading...

Brewers get a low reading if they get more of the top off water than the wort, conversely they get a higher number if they grabbed more of the extract than the top off water in their sample.

When I am doing an extract with grain recipe I make sure to stir for a minimum of 5 minutes (whipping up a froth to aerate as well) before I draw a grav sample and pitch my yeast....It really is an effort to integrate the wort with the top off water...This is a fairly common new brewer issue we get on here...unless you under or over topped off or the final volume for the kit was 5 gallons and you topped off to 5.5, then the issue, sorry to say, is "operator error"

More than likely your true OG is really what it's supposed to be. And it will mix itself fine during fermentation.

And just use the number it says in the instructions as the true OG, because it will be.

So the answer is, relax and do nothing.

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Old 10-02-2011, 03:53 PM   #3
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Great advice and insight. I do realize there is nothing I can do at this point but looking back I aerate the wort back and for between the brew pot and fermentor through a fine strainer and created a fine looking frothy concoction, but I did not aerate after adding the water like i have in the past. I have had gravities be off by only a few points but not like this. I bet that is why the readings are off by so much. I bet that will contribute to a slow start in fermentation. Thanks.

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Old 10-02-2011, 11:56 PM   #4
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The great thing about extract brewing is that you KNOW the sugars must be in there and they will ferment. Yay.

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