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-   -   What the heck is going on... (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/what-heck-going-60014/)

shok 03-24-2008 02:44 PM

What the heck is going on...
Ok so I started a Brewmart Mexican Lager a few weeks back.

It was a pretty straight forward brew, pre-hopped and I added 2 1/2 cups of sugar like I did when I brewed my Ale.

I forgot to take a gravity before I closed it up.
Ok 2 weeks later I decided to move it to a secondary.
The color is a perfect gold.
I decided to take a gravity ready and I cant because its off the scale!
It wont even register at 1.

So then I decided to test the alcohol content with a vinometer and it's showing 10%!

WTF is happening here.
I took a taste and its a bit bitter. I hope something didnt get infected.

david_42 03-24-2008 03:12 PM

Not enough information.

Kit weight?
Brew volume?

RichBrewer 03-24-2008 04:07 PM

Yes. We need more information to try and figure this out. One question I have right off the bat though is why did you add 2 1/2 cups of sugar?

Post your recipe and we can get a better idea of what is going on.

shok 03-24-2008 04:44 PM

I added sugar to bring up the alcohol slightly like I did with my Ale and it was ok so I did it again.

Basically I used just 1 can 3lbs of extract boiled in about 1.5 gallons of water with the sugar.
I moved it to the primary and topped it off at just over 5 gallons in the bucket.

Nothing exotic.

IrregularPulse 03-24-2008 04:53 PM

have you calibrated your hydrometer on 60*F Water to make sure it reads 1.000? I've read that the papers inside can sometimes come loose.

FSR402 03-29-2008 01:40 AM

With the 3#LME and 2.5 cups of sugar I figure you would fall into a Sg of around 1.027 and an FG around the 1.007 puting you at about 2.5%abv..

SavageSteve 03-29-2008 01:52 AM


Originally Posted by shok
I decided to take a gravity ready and I cant because its off the scale!
It wont even register at 1.

What do you mean, "off the scale?" Is it off the low end of the scale or off the high end of the scale? Did the hydrometer float? Was it nearly submerged or was it floating high?

"Off the scale" might mean something is wrong with your hydrometer given the recipe you used.

shok 03-31-2008 02:30 PM

off the scale as in floating low with the scale below the surface

Funkenjaeger 03-31-2008 03:09 PM

As already suggested, you should try your hydrometer in plain water to make sure it reads 1.000 or at least close to it. And, it sort of goes without saying, but make sure you are using your hydrometer correctly. It would be a big help if you could simply post a picture of your hydrometer floating 'off the scale' so to speak, because it really sounds strange and maybe we can tell from looking at it what the deal is.

And lastly, though it's a bit off topic, I would suggest that you at least consider looking into kits that use all extract/steeping grains and a boil with actual hops, rather than relying on a tiny amount of pre-hopped extract supplemented with a ton of sugar - you'll make much better beer without any significant added effort.

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