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Old 09-07-2010, 04:35 AM   #1
Chris1272
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Default how to fix a lower than expected OG

I brewed an all grain heffeweisen today and the Target OG should have been about 1.050 It ended up at around 1.034. It is in the fermenter now is there a way to fix the gravity without messing up the flavor of the beer? A pound of dextrose maybe?



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Old 09-07-2010, 04:41 AM   #2
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I'd just leave it and enjoy your session strength wheat. I would advise against adding dextrose at this point since it would just boost alcohol as opposed to giving any flavor.

You might want to think about getting some liquid or dry malt extract for the next time you brew so that you can tweak your OG before putting it in the fermenter if your extraction wasn't quite what you thought it would be.



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Old 09-07-2010, 04:46 AM   #3
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I do have a pound of LME on hand. would adding that to the fermenter do the trick?

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Old 09-07-2010, 01:40 PM   #4
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One pound of LME should be a good idea. Dissolve it in some boiling water (as little as possible, so you don't further dilute your wort), cool and add.

One pound of LME should give you another .007 points or so. I like to have a three pound bag of DME on hand, just in case something like this happens and to use for starters.

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Old 09-07-2010, 01:41 PM   #5
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You can always add honey too...

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Old 09-07-2010, 03:29 PM   #6
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I agree with the just enjoy your session wheat that you made, but......

You could always make a jacked up recipe and do some blending. BeerSmith has some formulas in it to show what adding what to what makes what.

Yooper's add some DME, I'm sure would work too, but I'm not sure what it does to taste, especially with something so light. Yoop, do you find adding it during the fermentation makes any taste differences? I really only use DME for my starters, so I really know nothing about using it otherwise.

Also, this is a good reason to measure your pre-boil and post-boil gravities. It allows you to become more comfortable with your setup and gives you some room for predictability for when you brew. Saying your gravity should have been 1.050 and turned out to be 1.034 means you should have (roughly, off the top of my head) had something like a 1.036-1.040 pre-boil gravity and wound up with a 1.020-1.024 pre-boil gravity. If your efficiency came up shorter than expected, you could have boiled longer.

I'm not sure at what efficiency you write your recipes at. I write mine at 80%, but I think 70-75% is normally what people usually do.

So assuming you wrote your recipe for 70-75%, you got roughly 47-51% efficiency. (Sorry, if my math is off, I'm doing this without my BeerSmith crutch). It really sounds like your efficiency is low, either way. I think it would benefit you to take some readings to see what you're getting out of your mashtun.

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Old 09-07-2010, 04:55 PM   #7
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Any chance you measured your OG after topping off? I find it hard to believe your efficiency is only like 50%

If you're gunna add something tho, I'd go with LME (like yoop said) or turn it into a braggot using honey (like stubborn said)

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Old 09-07-2010, 10:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janzik View Post
I agree with the just enjoy your session wheat that you made, but......

You could always make a jacked up recipe and do some blending. BeerSmith has some formulas in it to show what adding what to what makes what.

Yooper's add some DME, I'm sure would work too, but I'm not sure what it does to taste, especially with something so light. Yoop, do you find adding it during the fermentation makes any taste differences? I really only use DME for my starters, so I really know nothing about using it otherwise.

Also, this is a good reason to measure your pre-boil and post-boil gravities. It allows you to become more comfortable with your setup and gives you some room for predictability for when you brew. Saying your gravity should have been 1.050 and turned out to be 1.034 means you should have (roughly, off the top of my head) had something like a 1.036-1.040 pre-boil gravity and wound up with a 1.020-1.024 pre-boil gravity. If your efficiency came up shorter than expected, you could have boiled longer.

I'm not sure at what efficiency you write your recipes at. I write mine at 80%, but I think 70-75% is normally what people usually do.

So assuming you wrote your recipe for 70-75%, you got roughly 47-51% efficiency. (Sorry, if my math is off, I'm doing this without my BeerSmith crutch). It really sounds like your efficiency is low, either way. I think it would benefit you to take some readings to see what you're getting out of your mashtun.
I've never had a problem with adding DME/LME after the boil or even after fermentation started. It'd work fine. You have to dissolve it first, of course, so it has to be cooled and gently added. It works, and I liked to use as little water as possible, as to not water it down even more!

When I first started brewing, my OGs were all over the place. Sometimes, I'd get 80% efficiency, sometimes 60%. I was always ready with some DME and/or water handy to get to the correct OG. Once you get your system down, it'll be more predictable- I promise!


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