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Old 12-03-2007, 02:31 AM   #1
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Default High Starting Gravity

I did two 5 gallon batches tonight. Both are William’s brewing kits, double stout and brown ale. Everything went fine boiled the correct amount of time and added hops on time. Chilled to 70 degrees with wort cooler and checked starting gravity before pitching. They both are a higher than they are projected to be. The Ale was supposed to be about 1.044 and was 1.072 and the double stout was to be 1.068 and was 1.086. Checked new hydrometer with water and it check 1.000.
Will this affect the projected finishing gravity? The ale instructions want finishing gravity below 1.019 and the stout below 1.032 before adding the priming sugar. I will not be adding priming sugar because I will be keging and force carbonating. But still not sure of how I tell if the yeast is done if this higher starting gravity changes the finishing gravity.

First brew by myself and not too worried, I had a home brew or 2.

Thanks Glenn

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Old 12-03-2007, 03:42 AM   #2
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did you actually end up with 5 gallons in the fermenter? those are strange numbers! you either boiled off too much water or added too much extract (i'm presuming this is an extract or partial mash recipe). the only other possibility i can think of is that who ever was packing the kits measured the extract wrong. your gravity will certainly finish higher that expected. a couple things you could do to help it get down toward your target is to rouse (shake) the fermenter after high krausen, maybe 4-5 days from pitching, aerate with oxygen for a few minutes every day for the first few days, or pitch some more yeast in a few days. that's quite a mystery. good luck. be sure to post a reply if you figure this one out!

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Old 12-03-2007, 08:52 AM   #3
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Im still fairly new, but from what I understand your final gravity should be about 25% of your OG. So do your math, and when you think its done do a check and see how close you come before you rack it to your secondary(if you are using one)..Then you can subtract your Final Gravity from your OG, and multiply by .131 to find out your ABV. If i am giving wrong information anyone feel free to correct me.

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Old 12-03-2007, 12:41 PM   #4
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Significant variances in extract brewing OGs seem to be generally due to one of the following:

-bad hydro measurement because wort wasn't mixed thoroughly
-incorrect top off volume (your batch is < or > the target volume)
-didn't all all the ingredients (woops, 1lb of DME still on the counter)
-temp correction on your reading

I would run the numbers on the recipe with the water quantities used and see what the OG calculates out to:

http://hbd.org/uchima/tech/gravity.html

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Old 12-04-2007, 12:55 AM   #5
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I appreciate all the inputs here is some more info:

Did not mix wort after adding rest of water
But I did a 4.5 gallon boil for the stout (what recipe called for)
The Ale was a 3.5 gallon boit
Did add water to have a little more than 5 gallons
Did add all ingredients
Did not correct for temp
Wort temp was 80 F so I should add .0025 making numbers worst

Not concerned about how the bear is going to come out, I think it will be fine. I just am trying to figure out the high reading. It was perking this AM so that is good.

Glenn

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Old 12-04-2007, 01:50 AM   #6
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It is quite difficult to have an incorrect starting gravity reading with extract brews.

99% of the time, you didn't mix thoroughly, even though it was a 4.5 gallon boil (since you likely boiled off a bit).

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Old 12-04-2007, 02:15 AM   #7
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The mixing is what I think it was too, but those are still high numbers. I will be going on a business trip for a weak so I will be racking to the secondary on Thursday. That will be 4 days in the primary. I will check gravity when I rack it over. So if the final gravity is close to the expected I will know I screwed up the stirring. If the number is high I won’t know what I did wrong.

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Old 12-04-2007, 12:27 PM   #8
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I wouldn't put it in secondary that early. Just keep it in primary, an extra week will only help, not hurt.

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Old 12-05-2007, 12:29 AM   #9
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PseudoChef
I will be gone a minimum of a weak and could be gone 2 weeks. I thought it would be bad to leave the bear in the primary that long (11-19 days). What is the down side of moving it to the secondary? Just asking the question because I’m new.

Thanks Glenn

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Old 12-05-2007, 03:13 PM   #10
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No down side, I left my American Brown in primary for 3 weeks, and up to 6-8 weeks I don't really see a problem.

The downside to moving it so soon is that it won't be finished fermenting yet. You also want to leave beer (at least, in my opinion) on the yeast AFTER fermentation because yeast actually clean up off flavours.

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