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Old 04-04-2006, 02:24 AM   #1
slushy1975
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Default Can My Final Gravity Be Lower Than 1.000?

Hello all,

I'm a beginning all-grain brewer having climbed the ranks over two years from Mr. Beer through steeping, mini-mash, etc.

Anyway, on my first all-grain, my extraction efficiency was 49% (very low), my boil gravity was 1.028. After boiling and adding water to 5 gallons, the gravity (original gravity) registered 1.040 when I put the cork on the carboy. This didn't seem right to me.

I bottled today (five weeks later) and the Final Gravity is .994! That seems unrealistic and reflective I've, of course, made not only a very light beer (I sampled), but messed up my math calculations as well.

However, is it possible a beer could be that light? It's not what I shot for, but two cases will NOT be thrown away

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Old 04-04-2006, 02:29 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by slushy1975
I bottled today (five weeks later) and the Final Gravity is .994! That seems unrealistic and reflective I've, of course, made not only a very light beer (I sampled), but messed up my math calculations as well.
Yes, because the gravity you measure is the gravity of the water/remaining extract/alcohol mixture. Alcohol has gravity of less then 1 and if there is enough alcohol to offset the remaining extract your gravity can be lower than 1. At this point you have made "rocket fuel" and the beer should not have any noticeable body to it.

But getting that low with regual infusion mashing seems to be impossible due to the limit-dextrines. These are dextrines that are neither boken up by the alpha nor the beta amylase. They are also unfermentable and present the lower limit for the FG. I'm not exactly sure where this limit is though. But it should be > 1.

Maybe you read your hydometer wrong and or forgot to compensate for the beer temperature.

BTW the style guidelines for "Light American Lager" list an FG as low as 0.998 or so.


Kai

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Old 04-04-2006, 02:31 AM   #3
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I've never heard of a beer going lower than 1.000...isn't it more likely that his hydrometer is off?

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Old 04-04-2006, 03:38 AM   #4
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Your numbers don't make any sense to me, but then again, I left my sober brain in my other pants.

I constantly make meads below 0.999. Is it possible for beer. Why not?

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Old 04-04-2006, 04:05 AM   #5
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I didn't realize that hydrometers (mine being sealed glass) could get off or lose calibration. I did ponder the same thought, but being so new to all-grain, I chalked it up to inexperience in regards to low original gravity readings for my first two all-grain batches.

I was told it's tough using all grain methods (single infusion in my case) and that some homebrewers throw their hands up. Not me! Not Yet! I'll go down drinking the American Light Ale and mash again.

After all, it's just water and a little grain, isn't it?

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Old 04-04-2006, 04:11 AM   #6
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To the Kaiser: I noticed you live in Morrisville. I'm in West Cary near Morrisville. Still can't find a great beer selection without driving into Raleigh or down on South Kildaire Farm Road where the Whole Foods Grocer sits. Still haven't visited the local CARBOY club either. You a member?

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Old 04-04-2006, 04:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slushy1975
To the Kaiser: I noticed you live in Morrisville. I'm in West Cary near Morrisville. Still can't find a great beer selection without driving into Raleigh or down on South Kildaire Farm Road where the Whole Foods Grocer sits. Still haven't visited the local CARBOY club either. You a member?
Just replied to your PM. No I'm not a member of an offcial club.
You shlould join us for our next lunch meeting.

Kai
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Old 04-04-2006, 11:14 PM   #8
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Ales can go below 1.000. You need a low-gravity, highly fermentable wort, a good hot & cold break, and no specialty grains that add non-fermentables. I've seen a technique for "low-carb" ales that would give you this result. I'll post the link if I can find it.

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Old 04-05-2006, 04:46 AM   #9
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CO2 bubbles on the hydrometer can cause an abnormaly low reading.

What does the Hydrometer readin tap water @60F?

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Old 04-05-2006, 02:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slushy1975
To the Kaiser: I noticed you live in Morrisville. I'm in West Cary near Morrisville. Still can't find a great beer selection without driving into Raleigh or down on South Kildaire Farm Road where the Whole Foods Grocer sits. Still haven't visited the local CARBOY club either. You a member?
Hey, Slushy... There are a few of in the area.

BONSTONBREWIN' lives in Cary (East Side).
Der Kaiser lives in Morrisville.
Baron von BeeGee lives in Fuquay-varina.
I live in Raleigh right now, but am moving to Cary in a few months (South Side.)

BOSTON has been to a single TRUB meeting in Durham.
I have been to a single CARBOY meeting in Raleigh.
Neither of us have a strong desire to return.

Our 100% unofficial club is the Greater Raleigh Area Brewers and Suds Sippers (GRABASS... kudos to BOSTON for naming the group). We meet to tour breweries, drink beer (duh), and occasionally eat something while splitting up bulk ingredients (DME and hops) or sharing yeast.

You should join us; no club dues, no organization or structure, no egos or attitudes. It's perfect.

-walker
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