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Old 10-13-2010, 12:54 AM   #1
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Default OG lower than expected

Brewed an LME recipe from AHS. OG was estimated at 1.074 and I yielded 1.064. The final boil volume was 3 gallons, topped with filter water and stirred well. I found it kind of interesting the OG was off an entire .010.

Does that make sense -- did I mess something up? All my proportions were on.

Thanks

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Old 10-13-2010, 12:58 AM   #2
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Hydrometers are calibrated to be used at either 60 deg F or 68 deg F. If the wort was hot you can have measurements that are way off unless you correct it, there is a function in beersmith that with do this for you called "Hydrometer Adjust".

Alternatively you can use an online one I just googled here:
http://www.brewersfriend.com/hydrometer-temp/

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Old 10-13-2010, 01:01 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by DeNomad View Post
Hydrometers are calibrated to be used at either 60 deg F or 68 deg F. If the wort was hot you can have measurements that are way off unless you correct it, there is a function in beersmith that with do this for you called "Hydrometer Adjust".

Alternatively you can use an online one I just googled here:
http://www.brewersfriend.com/hydrometer-temp/
Thanks - unfortunately I didn't take a temperature reading when I took the hydrometer reading. Would not transferring the full amount of the boil have any effect (i.e., some spilled and some was left in the pot because of the leftover gunk)?
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:01 AM   #4
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What temp was the wort when you measured the OG?

Are your thermometer and hydrometer calibrated?

Any chance you didn't end up with exactly 5.0 gal?

Was this a partial mash with any base grains? It is pretty hard to imagine being that far off the target OG with 100% extracts.

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Old 10-13-2010, 01:03 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by g-star View Post
What temp was the wort when you measured the OG?

Are your thermometer and hydrometer calibrated?

Any chance you didn't end up with exactly 5.0 gal?

Was this a partial mash with any base grains? It is pretty hard to imagine being that far off the target OG with 100% extracts.
Didn't get a temperature read, unfortunately. I did end up with 5 gallons total, but I believe I had less wort than originally intended from the recipe because some spilled when transferring and some I left in the pot due to excess gunk.

Would that play a role?
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:08 AM   #6
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Thanks - unfortunately I didn't take a temperature reading when I took the hydrometer reading. Would not transferring the full amount of the boil have any effect (i.e., some spilled and some was left in the pot because of the leftover gunk)?
Well it depends if the wort was well mixed at the time of transfer. The heavier stuff at the bottom will settle out eventually and that heavy stuff has the highest OG.

So that might account for the loss, depends how much. If you topped up with water to achieve your desired volume then definitely, but you said you hit your volumes right on?

EDIT: Note that wort should not be mixed before transfer, I was not implying that. I like to keep the sludge in the bottom out of my primary.
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:11 AM   #7
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Well it depends if the wort was well mixed at the time of transfer. The heavier stuff at the bottom will settle out eventually and that heavy stuff has the highest OG.

So that might account for the loss, depends how much. If you topped up with water to achieve your desired volume then definitely, but you said you hit your volumes right on?

EDIT: Note that wort should not be mixed before transfer, I was not implying that. I like to keep the sludge in the bottom out of my primary.
Right, I never mixed the wort before transfer. Though I will say, a nice amount got on my floor (really can't believe it happened) so my total transfer to the primary was definitely less than 3 gallons, naturally requiring me to top off with more than 2 gallons of water.

I did stir well, so I'm assuming not transferring all 3 gallons of wort was the issue...?
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:15 AM   #8
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I did stir well, so I'm assuming not transferring all 3 gallons of wort was the issue...?
Bingo. If the recipe called for 3 gallons + 2 gallons of water and you used 2.75 gallons + 2.25 gallons of water that would be enough to throw your OG off by about 10%. You are basically diluting a smaller volume of wort with a greater amount of water than intended.
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:17 AM   #9
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Bingo. If the recipe called for 3 gallons + 2 gallons of water and you used 2.75 gallons + 2.25 gallons of water that would be enough to throw your OG off by about 10%. You are basically diluting a smaller volume of wort with a greater amount of water than intended.
Crap, okay that makes sense.

So my only consequence from this (having a lower OG) is that my alcohol content will be lower, too? Should this throw off my expected FG, perhaps?
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:29 AM   #10
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Yea the alcohol content will just be a bit lower. I wouldn't really worry about it, 1.064 should yield a pretty strong beer, I'm guessing this is an IPA?

Anyway the FG seems to be a function of efficiency but your efficiency was not effected by the spill. So you should come down to the same FG. If your yeast is very attenuative you might get a few points lower but that is hard to predict.

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