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Old 09-01-2010, 11:52 PM   #1
thorson138
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Default What a surprise...

Today I started my first batch of beer ever... Been making mead for a bit, but just started beer.

I got the extract kit from Northern for Houblon Monstre Triple IPA. I love super hoppy and bitter beers with high ABV (so sue me). I got down to the last 5-7 minutes of the boil and guess what I got??? An extreme boil over. Yes, I had a fair mead buzz goin but damn, I've never seen anything come up like that!!!

Anyway, my O.G. reading came up about 10 points short of what the directions said. Any reason to be concerned here??? I have the batch under airlock now and it's in a 9 gallon tuff-tank. I plan to leave it there for a month or maybe a week or two more then either bottle or keg.

Give me your thoughts or ideas if you don't mind. O.G was stated in the directions to be 1.08something. My reading was about 1.076...

Anyway, I hope this turns out well. I had a huge boil over in the last 5 minutes of the boil when I made the last hops addition. Surprise, surprise!!! Smoke alarm went off for quite a while

Mike

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Old 09-01-2010, 11:56 PM   #2
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Did you do a partial boil and top up with water afterwards? If you did, it's VERY, VERY easy to end up with a bad OG reading. Thicker wort sinks to the bottom while thinner wort floats to the top. Even after stirring it a lot. So, if you get more of your sample from the top, you get a lower reading. Higher reading if you sample from the bottom. I have my brew assistant (child slave labor) stir for a couple minutes to aerate, then I take my sample while she is still stirring the wort, that way it doesn't get a chance to settle.

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Old 09-02-2010, 12:25 AM   #3
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Well, if the OG was supposed to be 1.080ish and you got 1.076, that's only a difference of .004. That could be simply from adding a quart more water when topping up the fermenter, or from that tiny boil over. I wouldn't worry about it.

Or, like the Cat said, you just didn't get a thoroughly mixed sample. It really doesn't matter very much- with extract, the sugars will be in the wort so you can't really miss the OG by much.

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Old 09-02-2010, 07:29 AM   #4
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Yea, it was a partial boil that I topped up with water. I'm not concerned in a big way, I am just a bit curious about how this is gonna turn out. I do know I have found I like the smell of beer cooking!!

By the way, I use the same type of child slave labor when I brew my mead all the time

Funny thing about the boil over was that I was very focused on the batch all the way through the process to make sure it didn't happen... In the last 5 minutes, I turned my head literally for about a half a second and BAMMM--The beer gods kicked it up a notch.hmhmhm.

Thanks for your replies!!

Mike

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Old 09-02-2010, 03:40 PM   #5
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Look into getting some Fermcap. A few drops in the boil and you never boil over. Also helps avoid blowoff in the fermenter.

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Old 09-02-2010, 03:41 PM   #6
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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.

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Old 09-02-2010, 08:01 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies! I feel much better about it now.

Also, thanks for the heads up on the Firmcap Cat... I'll try to pick some up next time I'm at the brew store.

Mike

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Old 09-02-2010, 11:36 PM   #8
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And even if your OG is 1.076... thats still plenty high. I wouldn't worry about it.

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Old 09-03-2010, 12:03 AM   #9
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i did the same kit in the winter, i too had a lower og by a bit. long story short, drinking one now and they are great!

if you are only .04 off the target og you are ok.

Let me know how it turns out!

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Old 09-03-2010, 12:22 AM   #10
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I'm suprised about the boilover at the END of the boil. Don't people typically get boilovers at the beginning or when adding malt extract?

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