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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > SG low again using DME -- Blonde Ale
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Old 04-25-2011, 12:44 AM   #1
WahHooJames
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Default SG low again using DME -- Blonde Ale

Okay. I've done roughly 30 home-brews now using liquid extract. The last two attempts I've had at making a blonde and it just cuts my OG back big time. I plugged into BeerSmith and get this:

Recipe Type: Extract
Yeast: WYEAST 1272 - American Ale II
Yeast Starter: No
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.5
Original Gravity: 1.043
Final Gravity: 1.011
IBU: 22
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Color: 7
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 7 @ 68 F
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 14 @ 68 F

Ingredients
======================================
0.50 lb CaraPils (steeped)
0.50 lb Crystal 10L (steeped)
6.00 lb Extra Light Dry Malt Extract

Hops
======================================
0.75 oz Willamette at 60
0.75 oz Willamette at 20
0.50 oz Willamette at 1

Other
======================================
1 unit, Whirfloc at 20


By the end of my boil my sweet wort was great but, following the process I started with a 3 gallon boil which brought it down to about two at flame out. Then I added a gallon of cool water, whirlpooled and let it rest. I racked off of the trub (thanks Whirlfloc) and when in my 6.5 gallon conical I only had about 3 gallons of wort. So 2.5 gallons of water my wort looked ready and sort of darker hue or a blonde. I put it in my hydrometer and slam... Only 1.020 for OG! Is it the DME that has it off? Is it the concentrated wort that gets watered down? It's gonna leave me with a keystone light piss flavored ale with around 3.0%ABV if I don't add something at secondary. Solutions? Comments? Just frustrating because using liquid I was only ever .02 off on average.

(for the record I have an all electric brewery being built right now to be fully operational by end of May!!! Wahoooooooo)

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Old 04-25-2011, 12:59 AM   #2
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Did you stir it really, really well between adding the top off water and taking a hydrometer shample? The sugars in the wort make it quite dense and it wants to sink. It's really easy to get a sample that is more water than wort and it's really hard to miss the OG when you are using extract.

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Old 04-25-2011, 01:55 AM   #3
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Good call. I did stir it but I was drawing off the top with a baster. Could be part of the problem.

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Old 04-25-2011, 03:20 AM   #4
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That is the problem. If your volumes are correct, you cannot possibly be off in OG.

Extracts vary, but not that much. You should see ~1.043 per pound of DME per gallon of wort. Unless your fluid volume is waaaaaay off - like you've got 7-8 gallons instead of 5.5 - or you forgot a couple pounds of DME, your calculated OG is accurate.

I don't even bother to check OG on my extract brews anymore. I know where they're going to be, so why bother?

Cheers!

Bob

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Old 04-25-2011, 03:56 PM   #5
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Good call Bob. I'll roll with it and see what my final gravity hits at. Na zdrowie!

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Old 04-25-2011, 04:13 PM   #6
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I agree with it not being mixed. Also, if you did a concentrated 3 gallon boil for a 5.5 gallon batch, every quart of concerted wort left in the kettle equals 1.8 quarts worth of diluted wort. Even worse if you only brought the kettle volume back to 2.5 gallons.

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Old 04-25-2011, 05:45 PM   #7
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Yeah, I'm with Bob, I only check OG and FG for practice and preparation to step up to All Grain. I actually had the same problem with a blonde ale extract brew too, and freaked out, but my buddy explained the same issue of having more water than wort mixture in your hydrometer tube.

I'm sure it'll taste great in 6-7 weeks!

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Old 04-25-2011, 05:49 PM   #8
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Also, to add to PT Rays comment, I avoided this on my next brew day by doing as close to a full boil as my kettle would allow. Harder to cool, but less likely to have any mixture issues if your using less top off water. Also, better Hop utilization.

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