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Old 12-23-2011, 04:05 AM   #1
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Default Og emergency!!!

OK so i just finished my second brew and by the title im sure you have figured out IM a NOOB freaking out. I have a Irish Red Ale Extract kit with speciality grains from Northern Brewer. I followed the directions to the "T." The recipe calls for an OG of 1.044. When I took my measurement, and i triple checked it im at 1.020. Here is the recipe

Speciality grains
.5 Dingmans Caramel Pils
.25 Briess Special Malt
.125 Dingmans Biscuit
.125 English Chocolate Malt

Fermentable
6lb Gold Malt Syrup (LME)

Hops
1 oz Willamette 60min
1 oz US Golding 30min

I did the standard 20 min steep on the speciality grain in 2.5 gal of water and removed, did not squeeze, just drained. brought to boil. Killed Flame and poured in LME. Brought back to bold, followed recipe and hop additons accodingly. Cooled using wort chiller. Got wort to 64* within 15mins. Drained into primary and topped off to 5 gal with cool water, When I took my OG i was at 1.020, I have no clue how i missed that far. Is there any way to get to my recommended OG? All i have at the house is brown sugar, maple syrup and regular table sugar????

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Old 12-23-2011, 04:08 AM   #2
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I just about promise you didn't miss your OG. Its about impossible to miss your OG on an extract brew unless you end up with the wrong amount of wort. You just didn't have good mixing. When you topped off with water, things didn't mix well, so you had very low gravity at the top. RDWHAHB.

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Old 12-23-2011, 04:11 AM   #3
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+1. Proceed and dont worry.

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Old 12-23-2011, 04:15 AM   #4
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You gentlemen are scholars and saints. IM going to shake the primary like a son of a b*itch, mostly because im mad at it, pitch my yeast, airlock it, and let it rip!!!

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Old 12-23-2011, 04:15 AM   #5
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Leave it alone. When you top off with additional water in the primary you often do not have the ability to mix it well enough to get a good OG reading.

i jammed those numbers in and got a rough 1.036 estimate.

I honestly believe you just have a bad reading and you should leave it alone.

Cheers

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Old 12-23-2011, 12:43 PM   #6
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Yep unless you do a full boil really hard to get the top off water mixed in and get a true og reading. Watch those fermentation temps and you will have a good beer.

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Old 12-23-2011, 01:41 PM   #7
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Yep unless you do a full boil really hard to get the top off water mixed in and get a true og reading. Watch those fermentation temps and you will have a good beer.
I haven't had a problem getting a correct (or within a point or two) reading by shaking the **** out of the bucket after topping off with a gallon or two.
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Old 12-23-2011, 02:00 PM   #8
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After you shake the s#@t out of it take another reading. That kit was also my first. I did mine the first of July. I let it ferment a little hot and had some off flavors after fermentation slowed. On advice I did a primary to 2 weeks and secondary to 4 weeks and bottled conditioned long. I tried one at 2 weeks and it tasted good but still flat. At 3 weeks and beyond they were very good. And they are long gone!

So, I also say don't worry it will be OK!

And welcome.

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Old 12-23-2011, 02:20 PM   #9
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I haven't had a problem getting a correct (or within a point or two) reading by shaking the **** out of the bucket after topping off with a gallon or two.
Me neither, man. But it's a very common happenstance, several thread here everyday about it. I follow revvy's advice and stir, shake, whip up a nice froth for several minutes before reading the OG, and never had (ok, once when I was lazy, but the beer was perfect) issues with not mixing top off water.
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Old 12-23-2011, 02:29 PM   #10
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You didn't do anything wrong. In fact nothing's wrong at all.

We get this question 3-4 times every day, so you're not alone. And in reality, nothing's wrong.

It's a pretty common issue for ANYONE topping off with water in the fermenter (and that includes partial mashes, extract or all grain recipes) to have an error in reading the OG...In fact, it is actually nearly impossible to mix the wort and the top off water in a way to get an accurate OG reading...

Brewers get a low reading if they get more of the top off water than the wort, conversely they get a higher number if they grabbed more of the extract than the top off water in their sample.

RM-MN has a great analogy;

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This phenomenon is easy to see if you have a glass measure cup, some dark honey, and water. Pour in half a cup of water into the glass container, then dribble in some honey. Notice the honey sinks right to the bottom? It's more dense because of the sugar it contains. Now use a toothpick to stir the water above the honey. This will simulate using a spoon in a 5 gallon container. Did you get the honey mixed in? Not likely. If you drop in some dry yeast, it will find the honey and begin eating and the activity of the yeast will mix the honey in just fine.
When I am doing an extract with grain recipe I make sure to stir for a minimum of 5 minutes (whipping up a froth to aerate as well) before I draw a grav sample and pitch my yeast....It really is an effort to integrate the wort with the top off water...This is a fairly common new brewer issue we get on here...unless you under or over topped off or the final volume for the kit was 5 gallons and you topped off to 5.5, then the issue, sorry to say, is "operator error"

More than likely your true OG is really what it's supposed to be. And it will mix itself fine during fermentation.

And just use the number it says in the instructions as the true OG, because it will be.

So the answer is, relax and do nothing.
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