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Old 05-05-2009, 08:28 PM   #1
2-0turbo
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Default First batch of beer and high final SG

So I just finished bottling my first batch of beer. (Yeah!) But, I'm disappointed. I'm using a Midwest Newcastle clone kit and followed the directions. I'm in Paris, France now, so the only thing I couldn't do was brew in one fermenter. I was forced to use two, 10-liter fermenters.

OG: 1.040
FG: 1.020

The Midwest kit said that OG should be closer to 1.052. I wasn't too worried about the OG a little on the low side. My fermentation temps were about 75F for the first day and when I realized it was a little high, I moved the beer to a cooler spot and it stayed closer to 68-70 for the rest of the fermentation.

I took a SG reading at 1-week and got 1.020. I agitated the fermenters by swirling at 1-week. Same reading tonight, at 2-weeks after brewing. I added the corn sugar and decided to bottle. The beer tastes okay, kind of like a Killians, but a bit on the sweet side.

I re-hydrated my yeast as directed by Midwest and full-blown, blow your airlock off fermentation after 24-hours. Fermentation lasted about 4-days and slowed down from there.

Any suggestions on:

  1. Why my OG was low?
  2. My final SG was high?

Thanks for your help. Looking forward to the next batch--hopefully with some alcohol next time!

-Matt
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:20 PM   #2
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Well, I checked before I posted this, but I think I may have run across a post with the same problem. I used 1-pack of Munton's dry yeast and that apparently tends to give up a bit too soon. I'll look into some other yeast for my next batch.

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Old 05-06-2009, 08:32 PM   #3
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I'm in the same boat here. I brewed a Pale Ale from a kit that I got basically for free and fermentation seems to have stopped at 1.020 (looking for ~1.014ish). I'm not going to sweat it and have bought better stuff for my second batch.

edit: same boat as in same yeast...the Munton's yeast in the packet

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Old 05-06-2009, 09:25 PM   #4
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Low OG could be caused by a few things. For AG brewing it could be not hitting your mash temp, not retaining mash temp for long enough, too coarse grain crush, poor sparging effeciency, channeling, and so on.
I believe you can keep malt extract on hand to raise your OG in the case of an emergency.

Also try pitching more yeast if you feel like its the problem.

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Old 05-06-2009, 09:46 PM   #5
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If it was extract, the most common cause of a low OG is a lack of thorough mixing of the wort, as the sugar tends to sink to the bottom of the pot.

Secondly, a 1.020 FG is not necessarily too high for a brown ale. As it carbonates, the cloying sweetness will lessen. Sometimes I'll carb a bit more if the beer came out a little too sweet.

Finally, at 2 weeks, any disappointment is premature. Wait another three weeks and it'll get much better, and probably even better after that.

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Old 05-06-2009, 09:47 PM   #6
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Is it possible the low OG is from human error? I got an OG .01 higher than I expected when I brewed an extract hefe a couple weeks ago, but FG was on target. It's possible that you just didn't mix the carboy up enough before taking that OG measurement. Still, the FG in yours seems a bit high, be careful of bottle bombs =)

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Old 05-11-2009, 07:57 AM   #7
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I guess human error is possible. I boiled 3-gallons for my batch. I put 1-gallon cold water in each fermenter. I cooled my wort in the tub close to room temp and then used a funnel to distribute the wort equally into the two fermenters. Next time, I shake the crap out of it (good for yeast too, right?) before I take my OG. Thanks for the warning on the bottles. I haven't had any go "bang" yet. Heres hoping. Oh, wait, I'm getting worried...I better go have a beer. : )

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