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Old 05-13-2010, 11:47 PM   #1
maxamuus
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Default Second brew days. Few questions.

Ok so brew day number 2, Fat Tire extract kit from AHS. Went smoother after learning lessons from brew day number one.

Few questions. Everything went off without a hitch. Took the hydrometer reading and again i am high. I was at 1.060 recipe says i should be at 1.050. Last time i was high because i forgot to account for evaporation. This time i started with 2.5 gallons added 3.5 gallons at the end and by the side of the bucket i was a little over 5 gallons so pretty close to the 5.25 gallons the recipe calls for.

Trying to understand why is my OG still higher then it should be?

I noticed this time (new thermometer) i had (what i would call) a rolling boil at about 205 degrees. I am in Utah at about 4000 ft ASL. Do i need a hotter boil maybe?

I thought the extra water would account for the evaporation. But maybe i was still under the 5.25 gallons. How much water does one typically lose in a hour boil?

Trying to understand the scale. How far off is the .010? I mean is that like trying to nuke Washington DC but hitting Atlanta? or more like Baltimore?

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Old 05-13-2010, 11:53 PM   #2
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You aren't going to get a higher temperature boil unless you use a pressure cooker. If your wort boiled at 205 then that is it.

Congrats with the brew!

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Old 05-14-2010, 12:26 AM   #3
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I agree with likwidbliss; whatever temp you boil at, that's it. Having a 'hotter boil', or a more vigorous boil, will only evaporate more water in the same amount of time.

As far as how much water you lose in an hour boil, that depends upon how vigorous your boil is. Only you can measure that accurately.

When you took your reading, did you adjust for temp or read it 'as is'? When you take a gravity reading, you need to let it cool to a certain temp that is on the scale, or adjust the reading accordingly.

RDWHAHB.

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Old 05-14-2010, 01:48 AM   #4
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Being off by .01 is pretty significant. If your temperature is high and you have somewhere in the neighborhood of 5% less volume than youre supposed to that could make a significant difference. But, assuming you are correct that you are a little over 5 gallons you must be making a mistake with your hydrometer reading. Perhaps it's not thoroughly mixed?

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Old 05-14-2010, 01:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avidhomebrewer View Post
When you took your reading, did you adjust for temp or read it 'as is'? When you take a gravity reading, you need to let it cool to a certain temp that is on the scale, or adjust the reading accordingly.
The wort was 69 degrees. Beer smith said the adjusted reading was the same. 1.060
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Old 05-14-2010, 02:03 AM   #6
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The most obvious reason would be that the wort wasnt mixed thoroughly enough, its actually not that easy to mix it fully. Based on the info you have given so far that would appear to me to be the most obvious problem and the good news is it will not effect you alcohol content or your brew at the end provided your yeasties get to work properly

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Old 05-14-2010, 02:10 AM   #7
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Hmmm.... Intresting. What should i be doing to mix it more?

I have just been stiring it when i add the Extract and when i add the hops and a few stirs here and there.

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Old 05-14-2010, 02:24 AM   #8
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Have you checked the hydrometer in plain water? Should be 1.000. If that is ok then you may be a little short on water.

Your altitude affects your boil temp. I am at 3000 ft and boil at about 208-209. Losses to steam depend on the aggressiveness of the boil, and the ambient temp and humidity. Typically around 11% for most people but my climate is dryer so I expect more loss.

But on the plus side, I have noticed that AHS kits often come in with a higher gravity than they print on the brew sheet. That is true for extract kits, partial mash and the all grains I have done. Maybe not that much high but I often get 2 to 4 points more than AHS claims. That makes me feel good, to think I did better than the recipe, and it is a darn good business practice if it is on purpose.

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Old 05-14-2010, 02:34 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
If you are brewing extract your original gravity reading may NOT match what your recipe says it should be. If you have the correct final volume, don't worry. It is nearly impossible short of stirring for over 5 minutes, to really integrate the heavier wort with the top of water. It WILL HAPPEN AUTOMATICALLY once fermentation begins. But don't sweat that initial reading. It happens all the time.
Just read this post on another thread. I wonder if this is my issue. When i pour the fresh water into the wort i haven't been stirring it all. Just assumed the motion of the pour was enough to mix it. Any tips on getting it thoroughly mixed then?
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Old 05-14-2010, 02:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxamuus View Post
Just read this post on another thread. I wonder if this is my issue. When i pour the fresh water into the wort i haven't been stirring it all. Just assumed the motion of the pour was enough to mix it. Any tips on getting it thoroughly mixed then?
When I was doing extract partial boils I always added most of the water first, then poured in the wort, and then topped off. I never had much problem getting the proper OG.

I have read many posts since about not getting a complete mix and have wondered how that happens when I never had much trouble with it.

I would suggest letting the final wort settle for an hour or so before taking a gravity and pitching. It might be one of the other reasons I never had that problem.

BTW for the OP, the shape of your boil kettle also has a lot to do with the evaporation rate.
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