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-   -   Low OG... What's wrong? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/low-og-whats-wrong-388635/)

ajeismont 02-09-2013 04:30 PM

Low OG... What's wrong?
 
I've now got two batches under my belt, but it seems as if I'm having a hard time reaching my intended original gravity. I think I should be reaching 1.045 but it seems as if I'm barely scraping 1.03. Being new to the brew process, I need some help troubleshooting this problem. I've come up with possible reasons in my head. I'd appreciate anyone's thoughts/insights. Thanks.

Am I not boiling the wort long enough? (I still have residue from the hop pellets after the boil)

Am I boiling the wort too long? (Maybe too much boils off and then I'm adding too much water at the end to make up for it)

Could it be because I'm using tap water and not bottled water?

Is it my pot (it's one of the lobster pots with a porcelain enamel finish)

PJoyce85 02-09-2013 04:31 PM

Is this extract brewing?


Describe your process. We need more information to help.

It's not the tap vs bottle water and its not your pot.

ajeismont 02-09-2013 04:58 PM

Yes. Extract brewing. I've used two kits from my local brew store (an amber and a belgian wit). Each time, I've boiled 1.5 gallons of water with hops for 60 minutes. Cooled with my wort chiller. Mixed with 3 gallons of water. Put in fermenter and topped off.

Could it have something to do with a partial boil vs full boil?

PJoyce85 02-09-2013 05:04 PM

Can you list the ingredients and the directions for one if the kits?

What is the final volume supposed to be?

From what you described you are ending up with 4 gallons? I have only seen 3 and 5 gallon kits. If it was a 5 gallon kit, you would blow past your OG with that water volume. If its a 3 gallon kit and you are going to 4 gallons, that could be your problem.

Yooper 02-09-2013 05:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ajeismont (Post 4884492)
Yes. Extract brewing. I've used two kits from my local brew store (an amber and a belgian wit). Each time, I've boiled 1.5 gallons of water with hops for 60 minutes. Cooled with my wort chiller. Mixed with 3 gallons of water. Put in fermenter and topped off.

Could it have something to do with a partial boil vs full boil?

Only indirectly. Since you're using XXX amount of extract, and ending up with XXX amount of wort, it's not possible for the SG to vary. The sugars are there, and don't go away.

It's more likely that adding the top off water to such a thick (1.5 gallons would be very syrupy thick!) wort just didn't mix up well.

It's no problem, really, except that your OG reading is incorrect.

As an example, if you used 6 pounds of liquid extract in 5 gallons of liquid total, then the OG has to be 1.043. It has to be, and any other reading is just wrong.

ajeismont 02-09-2013 05:13 PM

This the amber kit:
bring 1 1/2 gallons of water to boil
remove kettle from heat and add extract ( I didn't remove it from the heat, but stirred vigorously to avoid scorching)
return to heat and add hops
boil 60 minutes
pour 3 gallons cold water to bucket
add wort to bucket, mix, and transfer to carboy
fill with water to the 5 gallon mark.

The wit was fairly similar:

boil 1 1/2 gallons of water and grains in bag for 30-60 min
remove grains, add extract
full boil for 60 minutes
hallertauer hop pellets were added at the beginning


Should I just forget the initial 1 1/2 gallons and boil as much as I can? I figured just adding straight water wouldn't do anything to help my OG problem. I'm looking into turkey fryers and keggles to avoid partial boiling right now.

PJoyce85 02-09-2013 05:19 PM

Yooper is right. Your measurement is not right.


How are you measuring your gravity?

ajeismont 02-09-2013 05:26 PM

For my last batch, I mixed the boiled wort and the 3 gallons of water in my ale pail, and then used my hydrometer and adjusted for the temperature. 1.03 + .001 = 1.031

PJoyce85 02-09-2013 05:30 PM

What was your final volume? 4 gallons?

ajeismont 02-09-2013 05:39 PM

My directions said to fill to the 5 gallon mark in the carboy so I did just that. I didn't measure how much it was before topping it off. I just topped off.


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