Happy HolidaySs Giveaway - Last Sponsor Giveaway of the Year!

Come Enter the BrewDeals/FastFerment Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > First brew - Low gravity and fermenting question
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 05-07-2013, 08:22 PM   #1
BinghamtonEd
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Binghamton, NY
Posts: 285
Liked 115 Times on 73 Posts
Likes Given: 20

Default First brew - Low gravity and fermenting question

So I started my first batch ever yesterday afternoon. It is one of those pre-packaged Red Ale kits from True Brew.

Directions said that the starting gravity should be around the 1.05 range. When I measured mine, pre-yeast, it measured just north of 1.030. Accounting for the temperature of 85 deg F (according to the directions on the hydrometer package) this would be roughly 1.035. Is this common, or is there something I perhaps did wrong or could do differently next time? I followed the directions exactly.

Also, the kit said to expect to see fermentation starting (bubbling air-lock) in the 12-24 hour range. Well, I finished the batch at 3:30, and at 7:30 it was bubbling away pretty well. Again, normal? Temp of the batch was 85 when I pitched the yeast, stirred it in after 10 minutes, and closed up the pail.

Thanks again. Don't mean for this to be a "Did I ruin my beer" thread. More of a "Hey, is this normal?" I don't think it's ruined by any means.

BTW I'm sorry if this has been asked before. I took a quick look at the stickies and didn't see an answer, but I'm a mod on another forum and know how annoying it is when newbies show up and ask stupid questions.

__________________
BinghamtonEd is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-07-2013, 08:37 PM   #2
Johnnyhamer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 355
Liked 25 Times on 12 Posts
Likes Given: 47

Default

Sounds fine. You'll still have beer. What temp are you fermenting at?

__________________

Drinking: Beer

Johnnyhamer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-07-2013, 08:51 PM   #3
BinghamtonEd
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Binghamton, NY
Posts: 285
Liked 115 Times on 73 Posts
Likes Given: 20

Default

Well, I have it stashed in the corner of the kitchen. Kitchen stays in the 65(night) to 70(day) range this time of year. I'll have to check the awesome stick-on thermometer tape on the pail tonight.

__________________
BinghamtonEd is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-07-2013, 08:59 PM   #4
Johnnyhamer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 355
Liked 25 Times on 12 Posts
Likes Given: 47

Default

Cool. Maybe a damp towel around it and a fan for the first few days. The beer temp can be 6 degrees higher at the beginning of fermentation.

__________________

Drinking: Beer

Johnnyhamer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-07-2013, 09:07 PM   #5
BinghamtonEd
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Binghamton, NY
Posts: 285
Liked 115 Times on 73 Posts
Likes Given: 20

Default

Maybe I'd be better off moving it to the basement for now, then. Temp range down there right now is steady around 60. Thanks for the information.

__________________
BinghamtonEd is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-07-2013, 09:10 PM   #6
Johnnyhamer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 355
Liked 25 Times on 12 Posts
Likes Given: 47

Default

No prob. 60 would be perfect for 2 days. I usually go with a swamp cooler in my 68 degree basement for the beginning.

__________________

Drinking: Beer

Johnnyhamer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-07-2013, 09:19 PM   #7
Hopper5000
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 1,066
Liked 56 Times on 46 Posts
Likes Given: 48

Default

do you know what your volume of wort was in your fermenter? If it was more than 5 gallons that can account for lower gravity. Also, did you top off with tap water? If you topped off with tap water and didn't stir very well than you might have gotten a lower gravity reading. Pitching the yeast at 85F will make it start very quickly. Normally you want to get it below 80, but don't worry you didn't mess it up because you pitched so high. Most british and american ale yeasts like to ferment between 60 and 72F so I would do the best you can to keep it around there temp wise. All yeasts have a recommended range which you can find on the manufacturers websites. If you ferment warm you will get more esters from the yeast and potentially fusel alcohol which can give you a headache. The majority of these compounds are formed in the first 48-36 hours of fermentation. Again you are probably fine and I wouldn't worry too much, just something to consider for next time. Fermentation also usually warms up your beer more than the the ambient temp of the room. It's good to get a thermometer sticker and slap it on your fermenter which should give you a rough idea of the temp inside.

Basement is a good choice. After the first few days and when the fermentation starts to slow down a bit, it helps to warm the brew up a few degrees which will aid in yeast attenuation.

__________________
Hopper5000 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-07-2013, 09:29 PM   #8
woozy
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,283
Liked 130 Times on 109 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Theoretically the only way you can get a different O.G. with an extract kit is to have different amounts of water so as long as you added all the ingredients and didn't over do it it with the water, you couldn't have done anything wrong (as for as o.g.) Perhaps you misread (I certainly did the first few times[*]) or maybe you hydrometer is faulty (unlikely) or .... who knows ... lets worry about it with the next batch. For now, you made beer!
[*] I read the balling scale at 15, and interpreted it as specific gravity as 1.015 (instead of 1.058). But you can't have made that mistake...
====

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopper5000 View Post
do you know what your volume of wort was in your fermenter? If it was more than 5 gallons that can account for lower gravity. Also, did you top off with tap water?
Five gallons at 1.05 is roughly the same as 7 gallons at 1.035 because 5 x 50 is roughly 7 x 35.

Volume x Gravity Points (that is "drop the one"), for a particular wort or beer, will be constant whether boiled down to a high gravity or watered up to a low gravity.
__________________

Once it's determined that Bob's Net Works makes fishing equipment there's really no point discussing why nylon woven rope is not a good choice for the router and server needs of your online presence.

woozy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-08-2013, 03:22 AM   #9
BinghamtonEd
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Binghamton, NY
Posts: 285
Liked 115 Times on 73 Posts
Likes Given: 20

Default

Thanks for all the responses guys. I think the problem, if there was one, was that I had to top off with tap water and did not stir before taking the sample. I did not want to run into a situation where i began pouring the wort into the fermenter and found out i had too much water and had 6 gallons instead of 5. I'm pretty sure I read the hydrometer correctly, since I ended up checking the sample about a dozen times as it cooled! Also, when I was done, I dumped the sample out and tested the hydrometer on just tap water as a control, and it sat right at 1.000.

Just out of curiosity, what happens if you do add too much water? Just less concentrated beer?

__________________
BinghamtonEd is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-08-2013, 03:24 AM   #10
aeviaanah
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 588
Liked 58 Times on 36 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

Yes more water lowers gravity

__________________
"I fear the man who drinks water and so remembers this morning what the rest of us said last night."
Greek Proverb

http://hopville.com/brewer/aeviaanah
aeviaanah is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
First post/brew! Heavy IPA stopped fermenting at 1.035 gravity. IanEiderbo Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 9 09-14-2011 10:49 PM
My first brew is fermenting! Got a quick question! Micheletti Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 01-05-2011 03:27 AM
First time Brew fermenting question Bones99839 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 9 01-02-2011 03:38 AM
Question in Fermenting...Bubbling past final gravity? BaySideBrewing Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 9 02-24-2009 03:55 AM
First brew, going well! - question about fermenting temp. blebo33 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 6 01-14-2009 09:59 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS