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Old 07-10-2008, 07:45 PM   #1
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Default Unexpected Low SG and Wrong Color

Last night I tried my hand at making my first non-kit recipe. It's as follows:

3/4 lb Crystal 40L (steeped 30 min @ 165)
1/4 lb Crystal 20L (steeped 30 min @ 165)
3 lbs Amber LME (boiled for 60 min)
3.5 lbs Pale LME (added last 15 min)
1. oz Nugget (boiled for 60 min)
1. oz Glacier (boiled for 10 min)
White Labs 060 American Ale

The brew session went fine. The color came out more like a pale ale, but I'm guessing that next time I should use some darker speacialty grains. The big problem came when it was time to take the gravity reading at the end of the night. It came in at 1.032. I thought "well this can't be right." The hydrometer didn't have any bubbles on it and it was at 65 degrees when the reading was taken. Just to be sure I shook the carboy up and took another sample and I had the same hydro reading. My question is what are some of the explanations that could explain why the SG is actually that low or my hydrometer is off?

Either way I went ahead and poured in my starter. By the time I left for work this morning it was bubbling away nicely. Hopefully I won't end up with a 2-3% abv beer.

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Old 07-10-2008, 07:50 PM   #2
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Something was off with either your water amount(you added too much) or your hyddrometer. Even without the grains and just factoring in your LME your sg with 5gallons should of been 1.044. CHeck your hydrometer in 60d water but I am willing to bet that the problem was actually with the amount of water that you added.

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Old 07-10-2008, 07:52 PM   #3
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Looks like you'll have a decent lawnmower beer you can drink all day long!!! Arneba came up with the only other possible explanations I can think of.

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Old 07-10-2008, 07:53 PM   #4
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Weird. By rights, your OG should be between 1046 and 1052, depending on the LME chosen. You're *sure* you stirred the sh!t out of the wort in the primary? That's the only thing I can think of.

Cheers,

Bob

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Old 07-10-2008, 07:54 PM   #5
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Omg I made a post and I was correct. I feel honored. Maybe I am moving out of nOObishnes with my 1000th post.

Could also be that you didnt still the lme in all the way. not sure.


(a tear just came to my eye)

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Old 07-10-2008, 07:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arneba28 View Post
Omg I made a post and I was correct. I feel honored. Maybe I am moving out of nOObishnes with my 1000th post.

Could also be that you didnt still the lme in all the way. not sure.


(a tear just came to my eye)
No, I was just trying to make you feel good. I sent a PM to the OP telling hime what really went wrong.
















(just kidding)
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:00 PM   #7
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Is it possible that you forgot the amber malt? that would accout for both the OG and the color.
Using the recipator http://hbd.org/cgi-bin/recipator/recipator, I get an OG of 1.051 and a color of 20 hcu. Without the amber malt I get 1.029 and 11 HCU

If you're sure that you put the amber malt in, I'd guess that your hydrometer could be miscalibrated. You can check it by putting in a glass of plain water and seeing if it measures 1.000 (either way I'd recomend throwing it away and not replacing it, but that's just my opinion)

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Old 07-10-2008, 08:04 PM   #8
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I boiled 3 gallon and then added 3 gallons to the fermentor. I figured the extra gallon would help offset the loss from boiling. Oh well, like McKBrew said, I'll atleast have a nice beer for the hot weather down here.

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Old 07-10-2008, 08:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin_LSU View Post
I boiled 3 gallon and then added 3 gallons to the fermentor. I figured the extra gallon would help offset the loss from boiling. Oh well, like McKBrew said, I'll atleast have a nice beer for the hot weather down here.
Well the extra gallon could certainly have something to do with it! Think about it this way, you added 20% more water than what your recipe called for even though it seems like "only a gallon". While it is true you lose some volume due to evaporation, you don't lose that much. What I do is boil 3 gallons, then top up until I have 5 in the fermenter.
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Old 07-10-2008, 09:22 PM   #10
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How much water does one usually lose in the boil? I figured I'd lose 3/4 a gallon during my boil.

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