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Old 11-04-2008, 12:13 AM   #1
Badger454
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Default Higher than expected OG

I've been lurking in these forums for a while now soaking up all the wisdom here, this is definitely my #1 resource for brewing outside of the "intro" books I've read. So, thank you all.

I just brewed my second batch yesterday: Peace coffee Java Stout, LME kit from midwest. The expected OG was supposed to be around 1.045 but mine was 1.058. I deviated from the directions in only 1 place, I added the LME at the end of the boil like I've seen suggested a few times here. Could this have caused the high gravity reading? Will it make the beer sweeter, or higher ABV?

Also, when I added the LME the wort stopped boiling for about 10 minutes until the temp came back up (glass top stove). Should I have boiled for an additional 10 minutes to make up for it?

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Old 11-04-2008, 12:17 AM   #2
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I think that your OG reading was just "off" because of incomplete mixing of the wort after the boil. When the water is added, it seems like the heavier wort that was boiled, and the top off water don't really mix that well. Since there is a set amount of sugars in LME, it can't really vary all that much. But it is very common to have either a high or low OG, because it's hard to mix it thoroughly. I would assume that your kit's OG is correct, but if you post the recipe, we can double check the projected OG.

I'm not surprised that the LME stopped the boil, but don't worry about it! It'll still be fine. I probably would have added the 10 minutes back in the length of the boil, but it is fine that you didn't.

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Old 11-04-2008, 12:48 AM   #3
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Here's the recipe:

6 lbs. Dark liquid malt extract
8 oz. Chocolate Malt
4 oz. Flaked Barley
4 oz. Caramel 60°L
4 oz. Roasted Barley specialty grains
1/2 oz. Target bittering hops
1 oz. German tradition aroma hops

Thank you for the quick assessment. That definitely makes sense about incomplete mixing, I did stir the wort with a ladle after adding the top-up water but not enough I guess. Next time I'll just pick the whole thing up and shake it!

I took the sample with a wine thief, but I don't really care for it (the thief, not the sample). Besides being hard to sanitize it takes the sample from the bottom of the bucket and I have to be careful not to pick up sediment, which now that I think about it goes along with what you said. The heavier wort with the higher OG, would be at the bottom of the bucket. I'm going to start using a turkey baster like everyone else.

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Old 11-04-2008, 12:54 AM   #4
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With 6 pounds of LME, a 5 gallon batch should give you 1.043-1.045, so your recipe is right. With the wine thief reaching to the bottom, I'd use the kit's suggestion of 1.045 as your OG.

I always use a turkey baster- but a wine thief sure is nice to have! If you're doing partial boils and topping up with water, you're getting some aeration in there from the top off water. You still may want to think about getting a big stainless steel spoon and sanitizing it and stirring up your wort after it's cooled. That will aerate your wort, as well as mix it up. Still, it's not a problem that your wort is bottom heavy- the yeast know where to find all the sugars and will mix it up for you during fermentation!

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Old 11-04-2008, 02:46 AM   #5
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I'll go with Yoop for 100!

Kits are normally right on or off by a point. I bet you took a sample from a layer that was not mixed in.

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Old 11-04-2008, 05:01 AM   #6
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Badger454 - Adding the majority of the LME/DME late is a good thing, but without adding any your wort boil SG was less than normal which means your hops utilization will be higher. Not a problem, but it MAY be a little more bitter than the original recipe meant it to be.
Otherwise, I'm pretty sure it was just a "layering effect" that threw off your OG.
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinder12000 View Post
I'll go with Yoop for 100!
+1
Seeing as how she has had to answer this very question for me...and she was quite right then....I'm guessing she's still on the money!
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Old 11-04-2008, 12:44 PM   #8
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I was wondering, and this seems like as good as a place as any to ask:

I know some folks dump the entire contents of their boil into the primary. Some siphon the wort, leaving behind gobs of trub. wouldn't this have some effect on OG?

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Old 11-04-2008, 01:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jklotz View Post
I was wondering, and this seems like as good as a place as any to ask:

I know some folks dump the entire contents of their boil into the primary. Some siphon the wort, leaving behind gobs of trub. wouldn't this have some effect on OG?
No, it won't. The SG will measure the amount of sugars in the wort, regardless of how much trub is in there. Now, if you've got the hydrometer sitting on 5 inches of trub, it may be higher. But if it's free floating in the test jar, you'll still get an accurate reading.
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