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Old 11-26-2012, 07:26 PM   #1
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Default OG reading below 1.0?

Hello all, first time posting to the forum but love the wealth of information available! That being said, I had a problem that I didn't see covered anywhere. I have just started brewing and use extract. I have made 2 beers so far that have seemingly turned out pretty good.

The problem is, I just started using the hydrometer and taking readings on a new batch, and have gotten an OG with a number below 1.0. I know all the tricks of spinning it to get bubbles out and letting the sample sit for a while, but nothing produced different results. The hydrometer seems to function fine in water, reading at 1.0 as it should, but for whatever reason, the samples from the carboy have been coming up below that. I have read that this happens when a beer has been infected, but this is impossible since it hasn't undergone any fermentation yet.

How is this possible?, and what can i do to fix this batch currently in the primary?

Much appreciated!

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Old 11-26-2012, 07:32 PM   #2
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OG or FG?

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Old 11-26-2012, 07:34 PM   #3
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Attention new brewers, yes your original gravity reading is wrong. Don't panic.

Could this be your answer?
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:41 PM   #4
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I did notice this thread, however, I was confused because my original gravity readings are below 1.0 (which, as you know is water's reading). How can this be when the additional sugar added via extract should cause it to have a higher gravity? I guess what im trying to say is how is my OG reading below 1.0 if its a bunch of water (1.0) and wort (higher than 1.0). Mathmatically it doesn't seem to equate.

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Old 11-26-2012, 09:17 PM   #5
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I know it's confusing to me, that's why I asked if you thought it was an issue.

A couple other random thoughts. Look at the paper core of the hydromter, does it look solidly in place? The core sometimes slips out of alignment.

Also check it for any cracks or anything, that might be changing the boyancy?

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Old 11-27-2012, 02:50 AM   #6
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How well did you mix your wort with the top off water (if you topped off)? It is possible that when you added water, it didn't mix well and you have water on the top of the wort. This doesn't explain why you are reading below 1.000, but it could explain some of the error.

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Old 11-27-2012, 03:38 AM   #7
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Have you by any chance tested your hydrometer in clear water? The two possibilities I can see (because both have happened to me...) are your hydrometer is out of tolerance or you are reading the wrong scale (not poking fun, it's EASY to get confused on some hydrometer scales). I always have at least two hydrometers on hand at all times for two reasons - 1. sanity check in case I'm getting readings I didn't expect from one and 2. they are way easy to break (usually right in the middle of a brew day lol). Sure that doesn't help you now, but maybe something to consider next time your making an order or at your LHBS.

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Old 11-27-2012, 11:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freisste View Post
How well did you mix your wort with the top off water (if you topped off)? It is possible that when you added water, it didn't mix well and you have water on the top of the wort. This doesn't explain why you are reading below 1.000, but it could explain some of the error.
That's the first thing we dicussed, in my first post on here......
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:06 PM   #9
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It could be that you are reading the hydrometer incorrectly:

1) are you reading the correct side

2) go out three digits past the decimel. Because you are only giving us one digit past the decimel, I wonder if you are confusing what less than 1.0 is. What is your actual reading (to three digits)? If it is 0.999 then that is less than 1.0 and you have a problem. If it is 1.042 or something like that, then it is not less than 1.0 and you are fine.

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Old 11-27-2012, 02:18 PM   #10
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If it's reading 1.0(00) in water, you're right, it can't be reading < 1.0(00) in wort. I guess it could if you're measuring 200° wort right out of the boil, maybe, but at any reasonable room temperature, it's going to be within a few points of the correct reading.

I suggest taking a picture of the hydrometer and posting that here. I think Pappers suggestion of misreading the hydrometer is the most likely. It's not quite as simple as it looks if you haven't done it before, plenty of people use them incorrectly.

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