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Old 09-20-2010, 04:03 AM   #1
Ryush806
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Default OG higher than kit specs

I just finished brewing a TrueBrew Nut Brown Ale kit (my second brew ever). The OG listed on the kit instructions is 1.051. My reading came out as 1.094. A good deal higher...almost unbelievable since it came from a mass produced kit. The ingredients involved are:

3.3 lb hopped light liquid extract
1.0 lb light dry extract
1.0 lb amber dry extract
1.0 lb special dark brown sugar
8 oz. Dark Crystal Specialty grains
6 oz. Chocolate Specialty grains
1 oz. Roasted Barley Specialty grains
1 oz. Fuggle Pellets

Anybody have any idea where the extra 40 points came from? I searched around the forum some and saw some ideas others have had before. So to skip past those:

Steeped specialty grains at ~160F for 30 minutes
Added all the malt extracts and boiled for ~50 minutes
Actual boil volume was ~2 gal. Diluted to 5 gal in fermenter
I picked up the full fermenter and shook it for about 2 minutes so I don't think mixing is a problem.
Pulled sample to test SG after done with mixing.

Let me know if you have any ideas. Thanks in advance!

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Old 09-20-2010, 04:38 AM   #2
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Well your recipe is most likely for a 5 gallon batch. I put it into beer tools and it came out as 1.054. Then I changed it to a Mr. Beer size of 2.2 gallons and it came out as 1.094.

You made your beer wayyy to strong. The alcohol content will be 20% and most yeasts can't survive that high.

:Edit: Sorry I just re-read your post and saw the part about filling to 5 gallons. So not really sure.

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Old 09-20-2010, 05:47 AM   #3
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Well there are three potential causes:

one is that you took your gravity reading at too high a temp.

two is you did not mix the beer thoroughly enough before taking the gravity reading.

(When you top off an extract batch the different densities of the wort and the water make them very difficult to mix well enough to get an accurate gravity reading. Stirring for about 5 minutes or so should get you close enough.)

Third potential problem is that your measurements are off. 6.3lbs of extract in 5gal of water is going to be a constant number so are you sure you have accurate measures of sugar/extract and water?

Just my .02 cents!

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Old 09-20-2010, 07:58 AM   #4
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I think you're going to get hammered.

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Old 09-20-2010, 01:26 PM   #5
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My vote is for inadequate mixing.

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Old 09-20-2010, 02:04 PM   #6
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Unless the people at TrueBrew don't know how to weigh things I doubt I had false numbers on the amount of stuff that went in. When I took the gravity the temperature was about 70 (which would add a point or so but not 40).

My vote is mixing as well. I thought what I did with picking the carboy up and shaking for a few minutes would be adequate but I guess not.

So what are your suggestions for a next step? Or should I even worry about it? I'd like to actually know what my OG was but the fermentation is already underway. Is the risk of contamination worth pulling another sample? Also, not for gravity readings but for overall quailty, should I attempt more mixing?

Thanks everyone for your replies!

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Old 09-20-2010, 02:13 PM   #7
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Personally I wouldn't risk contamination and I DEFINITELY wouldnt attempt more mixing. That could lead to oxygenation which could lead to an infection. Just chalk the high OG to inadequate mixing. Use the kit's specified OG to determine the ABV when fermentation is finished.

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Old 09-20-2010, 02:13 PM   #8
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Have you checked your hydrometer for accuracy? I can't explain how you added that amount of LME/DME to 5 gallons of water, shook well, and ended up with that OG.

Drop your hydrometer in some water and it should be at 1.000.

good luck!

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Old 09-20-2010, 02:14 PM   #9
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If you indeed topped up to 5 gallons, your OG was 054. I've never heard of an extract kit being off.

Just let it ferment away, you'll have a beer in the 5 1/2% ABV range and you'll be happy with it in a few weeks.

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Old 09-20-2010, 02:43 PM   #10
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Yeah...I think I'll chock this one up to inadequate mixing and just go with the kit listed gravity. I did check my hydrometer...in spring water from the Wal*Mart that I use for brewing - 1.000. In the absolutely terrible tap water from my town's idiodic water treatment facility - 1.002 (they add so much calcium sulfate that even those daily mist the shower with tilex things don't keep the scum away...)

Thanks for your help!

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