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Old 12-30-2006, 08:02 PM   #1
BrettMan
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Default Will it be alright?

I just made my first batch 'o beer and I have a quick question about a low OG reading.

I made Brewer's Best American Amber. I think I did everything just right except, when I cooled the wort, I noticed some cloudiness in the wort (is that the cold break?). I was hoping it would settle so that I could minimize the transfer when I racked it to the primary fermenter, but it just stayed suspended. After waiting about 15-20 minutes, I decided to just rack it. I was so concerned with avoiding the cloudy stuff that I think I left too much wort in the brewpot. When I topped it off with water to get to 5 gallons, I had to add over 2.5 gallons, so I had less than 2.5 gallons of cooled wort (there was about 3 in the brewpot). I think that explains the low OG, which was 1.032. The recipe says I should have had 1.042 - 1.045.

Is this beer going to suck - or just be a little lighter than intended??

Thanks!

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Old 12-30-2006, 08:25 PM   #2
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It'll probably taste fine, but it will have a pretty low ABV. Don't worry about getting the cloudy stuff into the primary; it will settle out later on anyway.

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Old 12-30-2006, 08:29 PM   #3
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Ideally all of the crud gets left behind, but I'd transfer crud rather than leave the wort behind. It all settles out eventually.

2.5/3 = 0.83
32/40 = 0.76

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Old 01-03-2007, 11:16 PM   #4
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Default Racked to secondary fermenter

Well - I racked it to the secondary fermenter today and took another gravity reading. It was 1.009 - so I guess it's 3.1% ABV right now and I don't see it getting much better than that. Is secondary fermenting even necessary for a beer like this? I plan on bottling in 10 days, but the airlock hasn't shown much activity for the last day and I haven't seen any activity since I racked it a few hours ago. Should I go ahead and bottle?

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Old 01-03-2007, 11:18 PM   #5
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Have you tasted it? What do you think of it? Maybe we can provide a simple little fix?

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Old 01-03-2007, 11:27 PM   #6
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Relatively new brewer myself but I have learned to dump all the wort into primary. I am going to try doing it through a strainer on my next batch (I learned that on this board).

In this hobby you have to learn how to wait! Most people will have their primary go from a week to even two. Secondary fermentation is never really necessary but it does help with clarity. Secondary usually should be 2 weeks.

After bottling you must wait another 2-3 weeks. The longer in the bottle at room temp the better the flavors become.

Good luck on the next brew and no two brews are alike.

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Old 01-03-2007, 11:43 PM   #7
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At your finishing gravity you will not get airlock activity. The secondary is just to help the brew clear. I would bottle it in 7 days since it is the first batch and patience is fleeting. Make another brew soon so that you get a good supply going.

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Old 01-04-2007, 03:15 AM   #8
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Default Tastes fine

Hey Toot,

I did taste it when I took the gravity reading and it tasted fine - what's the simple fix?

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Old 01-04-2007, 03:20 AM   #9
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Did you stir the wort before taking your primary fermentation reading? With extract batches, as long as you add all the malt and don't add too much water, it's pretty much impossible to not have the proper amount of sugars in there. What happens, though, is that the sugars can sink, so if you pull your original gravity sample from the top, the gravity will read low. Trust me, I've done that. The wort doesn't remain as uniformly mixed as you might imagine, when you top off, even if you splash around a bit, the wort on top will tend to be more watery.

With that said, don't worry about it. The yeast will find and consumer the sugars, there's nothing you need to do. But, you won't be able to PRECISELY tell the ABV of the beer.

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Old 01-04-2007, 04:53 AM   #10
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Did you take a temperature when you checked your starting gravity? If your wort was still warm, maybe you forgot to adjust for temp. Probably more likely a stirring issue, but if your wort was still above 100 F, that could seriously affect the OG reading (for my hydrometer a temp of 105 would add ~.010 to the gravity). Just a thought. Good luck with the taste tests.

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