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Old 10-16-2010, 02:05 AM   #1
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Default I racked to secondary at less than 1.0 ???

I'm a recent convert to the joy of homebrewing. I started with extracts last Feb and have had great results for 6 plus batches. I just started all grain brewing and had good success for the first two brews. This last one however, came out a bit strange. I used the following recipe for Hobgolin I think I found on this site:

Batch Size: 5.25 gal
Boil Size: 7.10 gal
Estimated OG: 1.059 SG
Estimated Color: 14.3 SRM
Estimated IBU: 32.3 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 68.0 %
Boil Time: 75 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
11.00 lb Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 90.5 %
0.50 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 4.1 %
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 4.1 %
0.10 lb Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 0.8 %
0.06 lb Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM) Grain 0.5 %
1.00 oz Fuggles [4.20%] (60 min) Hops 14.6 IBU
1.00 oz Progress [3.40%] (60 min) Hops 11.8 IBU
0.50 oz Styrian Goldings [4.90%] (20 min) Hops 5.2 IBU
0.50 oz Styrian Goldings [4.90%] (2 min) Hops 0.7 IBU
1 Pkgs Burton Ale (White Labs #WLP023) Yeast-Ale


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body
Total Grain Weight: 12.16 lb
----------------------------
Name Description Step Temp Step Time
Mash In Add 15.20 qt of water at 165.9 F 154.0 F 60 min
Mash Out Add 8.51 qt of water at 199.5 F 168.0 F 10 min

Everything went well though I overshot my mash temp by about 5 deg F. I took a pre-boil SG reading of about 1.065. The weird thing was, I saw a post boil reading around 1.035 which I assumed must have been an error. However, when I racked over to secondary after 6 days I see a SG of around .998. The resulting liquid also tastes a bit thin.

Any ideas on how these SG readings could happen without serious user error?

Anything I can do to give more body back to this beer? (It still tastes good--just a bit week)

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Old 10-16-2010, 02:26 AM   #2
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The only other reason I can think why the FG was so low is that you have an infection of some kind. Though after only 6 days, this seems unlikely. (BTW, why are you racking the beer after only 6 days?)

If your pre-boil SG and volume measurements are correct, your post-boil SG should have been 1.088 - since you boiled off 2ish gallons, the wort becomes more concentrated, so the gravity reading is higher post-boil than it is pre-boil.

For these reasons, I am voting for user error. Did you cool the wort before taking your reading?

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Old 10-16-2010, 02:42 AM   #3
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I don't see an infection--I'm only racking this early because things look weird (low SG after bubbling stopped). Normally I like 2 weeks but I'm a noob so there's is no real reason for this other than hearing what other do.

I agree about the pre/post boil readings must be user error I just can't figure out how to mess that up.

I took my post boil measurement post cooling (~85)

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Old 10-16-2010, 02:45 AM   #4
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Don't know what to tell you...none of those readings make much sense to me - pre, post or FG

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Old 10-16-2010, 02:48 AM   #5
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are you sure your hydrometer is working properly? is it even possible to have a fg less than one?

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Old 10-16-2010, 02:56 AM   #6
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That's kind of where I am.

For wine/cider you can get that low but I don't think you should for beer.

I'm working off of taste now since I don't trust my hyd. reading. It does seem very thin for the amount of grain I used. That being said, this is only the third time I've done all-grain so I could have messed something up. The grain left in the LT didn't seem to have any sugar left in it though.

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Old 10-16-2010, 03:00 AM   #7
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Yes it is possible to have a specific gravity of less than 1.000. A final gravity of <1.000, maybe in theory, but your sample has to be less dense than pure water.

OP, what is your hydrometer reading when you take a sample of regular tap water at the correct temp your hydrometer is calibrated for? (60ºF, 68º, 70º)

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Old 10-16-2010, 03:09 AM   #8
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I hate to say it but, it's about 1: that's the first thing I checked. I'm an engineer with a background in sensor failures. I'm assuming I have a hyd problem. In the meantime, the beer tastes a little thin. Should I add a bit of sugar in secondary to help with the body?

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Old 10-16-2010, 03:17 AM   #9
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No, sugar is going to ferment fully and lower the gravity even more!

I agree, your gravity readings make no sense. You only get under 1.000 when there's enough alcohol to make it less dense than pure water. Ciders, wines and meads can do that...but I've never seen a beer do it that wasn't screwy.

Are you sure your thermometer was right? 154F should not yield a thin beer.

Infection..maybe. You do NOT always see infections. I just got my first infected beer and other than it never getting clear, it never looked 'infected'. But you can sure taste it

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Old 10-16-2010, 03:23 AM   #10
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Uncarbonated green beer can taste a little thin. Conditioning and carbonation work wonders on that.

I have to agree that the reading has to be in error. Let it be, check your hydrometer and sample it again. In the meantime, don't mess with it!

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