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Old 08-14-2012, 07:42 PM   #1
DethApostle
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Default First timer question(s)

So then I'm now approaching the end of my first attempt and I've a couple of questions/assumptions that I would like to understand for brew two!
I'm using the Coopers Cervaza kit with Brew Enhancer 1.
Firstly its around day 9 and my hydrometer reading has said my SG is 1.020 for the last 3 days so I assume that the fermentation has pretty much stopped?
The OG was 1.036 which by my maths says the abv is roughly 2.1% (2.6% after bottling) which is a way off the 4.5% the kit says. The first few days of the brew the temp was around 19 celsius - is this too low for the ale yeast that came in the kit and has this had and effect on the abv?
Finally I've heard people make up this kit to 20l instead of 23l, would this have effect on abv or not?

A load of random info there but if ive missed anything... Oops!
Thanks in advance for any advice!
DA

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Old 08-14-2012, 07:45 PM   #2
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Was the temp of the wort when took the SG? If it wasn't at the calibrated temp for your hydrometer it was incorrect.

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Old 08-14-2012, 07:49 PM   #3
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What was the final batch size supposed to be? If you added more water than what was called for, it will dilute your wort and cause you OG to drop. What temp did you pitch your yeast at? I assume it was dry yeast. 19C is pretty good.

EDIT: The recipe calls for topping off to 5 gallons, so if you went to 6, that would decrease your OG and your ABV.

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Old 08-14-2012, 07:53 PM   #4
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Your ferment is probably done.

19C won't hurt your yeast, it might cause problems with flavor though.

If you made 23l instead of 20l, then that would effect your abv because your wort is too thin.

Adjust your gravity reading for temp like mux said and see what you get. Your FG maybe so high because the extract may not be very fermentable.

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Old 08-14-2012, 09:26 PM   #5
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Wow, quick replies on here! Thanks!

In answer, the wort was topped up to 23l and was c. 27C when the yeast was added. The OG reading was taken at this temp before the yeast went in.
It was the dry yeast supplied with the kit.
The most recent SG readings have been at c. 24C

Judging from the answers already I guess the wort was a little too diluted? Is this a standard problem with kits and how can it be avoided in the future?

Also how do you go about calibrating a hydrometer? (link to another post is fine!)

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Old 08-15-2012, 03:44 AM   #6
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I think most kits are designed for 5 gallons or 20L.

You can calibrate your hydrometer by putting it in distilled water and it should read 1.00. But to adjust for temp you can use a hydrometer correction calculator. Just google it. Most hydrometers are calibrated at 60F.

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Old 08-15-2012, 01:09 PM   #7
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The hydrometer should be pre-calibrated. This link has a table at the bottom that gives you the corrections for different temperatures.

The directions I found for your kit indicated that it should be a 20L batch. The 23L number could be what is required pre-boil, then you expect a gallon or so to boil off bringing you back to the 5 gallon/20L batch volume.

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Old 08-15-2012, 02:22 PM   #8
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That's weird, the booklet in the pack and attached to the can both said make to 23l and didn't say anything about boiling down to 20l...
Generally speaking is that the same for all beer kits?

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Old 08-15-2012, 02:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DethApostle View Post
That's weird, the booklet in the pack and attached to the can both said make to 23l and didn't say anything about boiling down to 20l...
Generally speaking is that the same for all beer kits?
No- I think your kit is for 23L, which is very common for Cooper's kits. It makes 6 US gallons.
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:45 PM   #10
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If you topped up and then took your OG without stirring REALLY WeLL, it is going to come in low. Your FG does seem a little high, though

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