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Old 02-21-2010, 01:18 PM   #1
CCBW
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Default Higher OG than expected, what do I now change?

So I am on Brewers Best Kit number three. First one (Arrogant Bastard clone) was great, Second one (Black Lager) tasted great on bottling day.
My third batch, the Brewers Best IPA, did not go so smooth. After reading the instructions about the IBU projection being for a 2.5 gallon boil, I decided to try and up the hop bitterness by boiling 3.5 gallons of wort. What did not occur to me was how this would affect the OG. Long story short, I now have about 6 gallons in the fermenter at an OG of 1.080 (the goal was 1.061-1.065). That was as close as I could get with room left in my Better Bottle.
The original plan was 5-7 days in the primary, then about 2 weeks in the secondary. Does the higher OG change anything? Should I age this in the secondary like a DIPA? Any advice on how to make this the best beer possible?
Thanks in advance!

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Old 02-21-2010, 01:48 PM   #2
iron_city_ap
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I would think it would take more than just boiling an additional gallon of water to up the OG... What exactly did you add to the recipe?

The higher gravity just means that there is more food for the yeast, which means higher ABV. Some yeasts can't take the higher alchohol levels and others can.

I would leave it in the primary as long as it wants to be there... until you get a stalled gravity. I'm not sure how the Nottingham that comes with those kits holds up with the higher gravity beers. I've used it on one that was 1.063, which was a BB IPA kit actually, and it turned out fine. Keep an eye on it and depending on what it does, you may need to pitch another packet of yeast if the stuff you have in there now can't handle the alchohol, but I think you should be fine as it, but I'm lucky if I can spell my name some days.

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Old 02-21-2010, 02:04 PM   #3
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You can't really change it now, but I don't think you got the OG you got. Brewers Best kits are extract kits, and there's nothing you can really do with them to change the OG. All the sugars are in the extract and you're not going to overshoot by 30% more unless you add 30% more extract.

Are you taking your gravity reading after you spend a few minutes shaking your fermenter to aerate your wort? Shaking the fermenter helps mix everything together (but don't do it after fermentation has started!). Partial boils (boiling part of the wort and then topping off with water) are notorious for getting good OG readings. The wort and the top off water are hard to mix together; when I was doing partial boil extract kits I had gravity readings that were way high and way low.

I think you should relax, don't worry and have a homebrew. Your beer is going to be fine. If I'm wrong and you did overshoot the OG then your only problem is going to be dealing with drunker-than-normal friends.

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Old 02-21-2010, 02:52 PM   #4
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If you're not doing a FULL BOIL, than there is almost no way you are thoroughly mixing your wort with the top off water. (Short of mixing for 30mins with a mix-stir on a drill.) So, use the OG that came with the kit and take your subsequent readings with your hydrometer. The yeasties will stir that water/wort mixture up for you so your readings after fermentation has started/completed will be spot on.

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And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)
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Old 02-21-2010, 03:19 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. So how bad did I screw it up by adding more water to get the gravity to move? Not that I can do anything now, other than let it be.
I did mix the top off into the wort, but most likely not enough from what you guys have said. In fact, i used the "shake the fermenter" method, which probably is not effective enough.
Thanks again, time will tell with this one.

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