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Old 02-12-2013, 06:19 PM   #1
canadianeh
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Default Starting gravity with Cooper's kits.

Hey All,

I am new to Home Brewing, but I feel addicted already. I currently have a batch of red wine going as well as two Cooper's beer kits. I figured I would start with the Cooper's first because all of my brewing buddies said they would be easy to start with.

The only issue I have had so far was the starting gravity. I like my beer strong but for both the IPA and the Dark Ale the starting gravity was pretty low at around 1.032 and 1.030 respectively. I followed the directions as best I could and was wondering if the starting gravity is supposed to be that low?

For the latest one, I used the Dark Ale kit. I added 500g of DME and also 300g of Corn Sugar (Dextrose) as well as the Malt Extract from the kit. The total volume was 23 litres of water along with the additives. I took a Hydrometer reading at about 31 degrees Celsius right before I pitched the yeast and came out with about 1031 reading.

Should I be adding more sugar? I don't want to kill the body of the beer. Any suggestions?

Cheers.

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Old 02-12-2013, 08:39 PM   #2
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First step is to calibrate your hydrometer (If that's what you are using) it should be zero in water, preferably use distilled water.

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Old 02-13-2013, 02:58 PM   #3
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First step is to calibrate your hydrometer (If that's what you are using) it should be zero in water, preferably use distilled water.
Thanks for the reply. Not sure what you mean by calibrate. My Hydrometer just looks like a Thermometer that floats straight up and down. I didn't see anything on it that would allow me to change the readings it gives. It does read 1.000 in water.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:08 PM   #4
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As long as it reads 1.000 in water of about 66F,it's good. It sounds to me like maybe you didn't get the wort & top off water mixed well,& took the sample off the top. Those kits should measure about 1.044-1.046 on the OG with the amounts you added of DME & sugar. Mine did.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:14 PM   #5
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As long as it reads 1.000 in water of about 66F,it's good. It sounds to me like maybe you didn't get the wort & top off water mixed well,& took the sample off the top. Those kits should measure about 1.044-1.046 on the OG with the amounts you added of DME & sugar. Mine did.
This makes sense. I did get lazy and take the reading right from the bucket with a sanitized Hydrometer. Only reason was because I didn't have a proper Thief or Sampler which I now have. Anyways, I let that batch condition for a week and I cracked open my first brew yesterday. Tasted a bit weak as I expected but I think it was because I had put too much water in from the beginning. It also had a tiny skunky flavor to it which I am hoping will leave with age. I still felt a slight buzz after 2 pints so it's all good, live and learn. I have another batch of Dark Ale ready to be bottled tomorrow and it looks way better than my first batch.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:35 PM   #6
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This makes sense. I did get lazy and take the reading right from the bucket with a sanitized Hydrometer. Only reason was because I didn't have a proper Thief or Sampler which I now have. Anyways, I let that batch condition for a week and I cracked open my first brew yesterday. Tasted a bit weak as I expected but I think it was because I had put too much water in from the beginning. It also had a tiny skunky flavor to it which I am hoping will leave with age. I still felt a slight buzz after 2 pints so it's all good, live and learn. I have another batch of Dark Ale ready to be bottled tomorrow and it looks way better than my first batch.
Also make sure you aerate the wort & top off water well,not tomention mixing them better. I pour all through a large fine mesh strainer resting atop the fermenter. I pour in a circular motion that makes it come out the bottom of the strainer like rain. Then take my plastic paddle & stir roughly for 5 minutes. This mixes the wort & top off water well,& aerates it a bit more. Take hydrometer sample,pitch yeast & seale'er up.
If the OG still seems a bit low,then try replacing the sugar with plain light DME. You could even put some of the DME in the partial boil for som flavor hop additions. That's what I do. You can read through my recipes to get an idea of how I used Cooper's cans.
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