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Old 12-30-2007, 07:38 PM   #1
DaleJ
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Default Low Starting Gravity?

I just did the following recipe.
Followed it exactly except that my LHBS didn't have Coopers extract so I used Muntons.
I started with 3.5gals of water and added 2.5 gals to top off the fermenter. 60 minute boil.

The recipe says SG s/b 1.052 but I got 1.042.

Is there that much difference in the two LME's? Or did I muff up somewhere else?

Quote:
Amber Ale
OG = 1.052 FG = 1.013
IBU = 39 ABV = 5.0%

Ingredients
3.3 lbs. (1.5 kg) Coopers light malt extract
3 lbs. (1.4 kg) amber dry malt extract
8oz. (224 grams) crystal 40 L
2oz. (56 grams) crystal 135 - 165L
1/2. oz. (14 grams) Chinook hops (60 minutes)
1 oz. (28 grams) Willamette hops (30 minutes)
1 oz. (28 grams) Willamette hops (5 minutes)
White Labs WLP001 (California Ale) yeast


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Old 12-30-2007, 07:47 PM   #2
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Three things will affect your reading:

1. The temp of your wort at the time you measured the gravity and didn't compensate for the temp.

2. The amount of water at the end (what will ferment). You mentioned 6 gals, but how much evaporated? If your brew is more than 5 gals the gravity will drop.

3. Did you thoroughly stir in your top off water before taking your reading? I stir it in and wait a few minutes and repeat to try to get the temp to even out.



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Old 12-30-2007, 07:50 PM   #3
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It should have been about 1.052 based on what I put into Beer Tools.

How much was your total volume at the end (batch size)?

Once you added the top off water, did you ensure it was mixed extremely well?

A problem with too much water or a mixing issue would be about the only two things that should have affected your SG.

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Old 12-30-2007, 07:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
Three things will affect your reading:

1. The temp of your wort at the time you measured the gravity and didn't compensate for the temp.

2. The amount of water at the end (what will ferment). You mentioned 6 gals, but how much evaporated? If your brew is more than 5 gals the gravity will drop.

3. Did you thoroughly stir in your top off water before taking your reading? I stir it in and wait a few minutes and repeat to try to get the temp to even out.

You beat me this time HB-99
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Old 12-30-2007, 08:10 PM   #5
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I lost about 1gal to the boil, and I stirred thoroughly.
Temp was 65F and my hydrometer is calibrated to 68F with 1pt adjustments at about 9 degrees.
My pail does have a spigot at the bottom and I drew from that this time. Usually I just plop the hydro into the bucket before pitching.
Maybe there was enough water in the spigot to dilute it down.

BTW, ProMash said I should have had 1.055.
Hope it's just an issue with that sample.

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  • What doesn't kill you makes you stronger; however, not everyone makes it into the second category.
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Last edited by DaleJ; 12-30-2007 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 12-30-2007, 10:47 PM   #6
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Why are you using your bottling bucket to ferment in?

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Old 12-31-2007, 09:45 AM   #7
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I'm not.

It's a fermentation bucket that has a drain spout.

http://www.williamsbrewing.com/SIPHONLESS_FERMENTOR_P143C66.cfm

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Old 12-31-2007, 10:30 AM   #8
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It's important to note that no brewing calculator software can know precisely the fermentables any particular extract can provide. There are differences from batch to batch.

If you look at the manufacturer's datasheets, you'll see the word "approximate" all over the place. Unfortunately, Briess are the only major malt extract producer that has detailed analyses on the web; Cooper's has none, and Muntons has theirs behind a password.

At any rate, there is no reason to believe that Muntons extract will provide, say, the 8.6 points Balling (or 0.034 SG) per pound per gallon that Briess says its extract will approximately provide. It could be far less, like 8 (or 0.032). In other words, there could be a massive difference in the fermentable potential in the different extracts, which will be reflected in your original gravity readings.

The only thing to do is modify the software database to reflect your observations about gravity contributions. (In this specific recipe, that's not really possible; you're using more than LME, which makes the variables too complex to assign a discrete value to the LME's contribution.) Of course, you'll have to keep in mind that the next batch of LME might be slightly different than the one you used as a baseline.

Cheers,

Bob

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Old 12-31-2007, 12:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleJ
I'm not.

It's a fermentation bucket that has a drain spout.

http://www.williamsbrewing.com/SIPHONLESS_FERMENTOR_P143C66.cfm
No, you are...it is a bottling bucket with a different name...and way overpriced (just about double...ouch!!).

Midwestsupplies.com catalog:

6.5 gallon plastic fermenter with lid and drum tap, but includes a drum tap. Has gallon markings on the
side. Allows you to use gravity to siphon, or can be used as a bottling bucket. (6013) (10 lb.) . . . $14.95

No matter what they call it we call it a bolling bucket...



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Last edited by homebrewer_99; 12-31-2007 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 01-02-2008, 03:11 PM   #10
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It has to do with mixing your top-off water. In the past I was always low on my actual OG as compared to target OG (never above). Monday I did my first full volume boil anbd I hit my target right on the nose.



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