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Old 05-18-2011, 08:08 PM   #1
andrewcoopergt
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Default Wildly Missed OG! What Happened?

So today i tried my first attempt at a black IPA. It was an extract batch with steeping grains. Also, it was a partial boil, which i know is less than ideal.

The extracts/grains/sugars used were:

9# DME
.5# Carapils
.5# Crystal 10L
.25# Black Patent
.25# Honey

I was going for a big IPA, and Beer Smith said that my OG should be 1.082. After topping off with cold water and shaking the carboy, I got an OG reading of 1.053! How is this possible? The DME alone should have put it near 1.080. I lost a little very concentrated wort in the transfer to the carboy (trying to do it alone through a strainer is tough), but there is no way it should have affected my OG that much. I also checked my hydrometer to make sure it was working properly and it is fine.

Any thoughts on what might have happened? If it's only a 1.053 beer im in trouble because i had some serious hops in there.

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Old 05-18-2011, 08:13 PM   #2
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what temp was the wort when you took OG? that's all I got...?

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Old 05-18-2011, 08:17 PM   #3
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Possible that the water wasn't mixed in well, and your OG reading was skewed.

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Old 05-18-2011, 08:18 PM   #4
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Given this was an extract, partial boil recipe, I'm quite sure it just wasn't mixed enough. The concentrated wort coming out of the kettle is much more dense than the top-off water. Even after what you think it enough shaking/mixing, you end up with a stratified liquid with the less concentrated, less dense liquid on top. You're fine.

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Old 05-18-2011, 08:20 PM   #5
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If you thought you shook your carboy enough prior to reading, then shake it again anyway for good measure. And then again after that. It's taken me a good 5 or 6 times shaking before (for a few minutes at a time) to mix enough to give me an accurate reading. That, and I'm sure the extra aeration won't hurt

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Old 05-18-2011, 08:21 PM   #6
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It's almost impossible to miss your target OG with extract. I don't think extract brewers should even bother with taking readings. The instructions or calculations are more often than not more correct than a noobs reading after adding top off water. Just measure properly and trust the calculated values.

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Old 05-18-2011, 08:22 PM   #7
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66 degrees

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Old 05-18-2011, 08:24 PM   #8
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Ok thanks yall. Just another noob trying to get it right. I appreciate the help. Ill go shake it up again. There isnt any hurting shaking again and taking another reading after the yeast has been pitched is there? Or like said earlier, should i even worry that much with a reading unless im just particular like that?

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Old 05-18-2011, 08:25 PM   #9
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Forget to add some of the DME?

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Old 05-18-2011, 08:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewcoopergt View Post
Ok thanks yall. Just another noob trying to get it right. I appreciate the help. Ill go shake it up again. There isnt any hurting shaking again and taking another reading after the yeast has been pitched is there? Or like said earlier, should i even worry that much with a reading unless im just particular like that?
How long ago did you pitch? and is there krausen on top yet? I wouldn't shake it up at this point. Gravity readings (especially OG) are really just for record keeping, and not worth messing with your brew after the yeast has been pitched.

I definately agree that it just wasn't mixed well enough I have had that same problem when I did partial boils, and even though I shook the heck out of the bucket to aerate it, I still was getting insanely low OGs. After tasting some of them finished I can say pretty confidently that they are not only 2% alcohol lol.

I would say just plan for your next batch to put water in the carboy first, then some wort then some water or something, and mix a lot with a spoon with vertical motions or something maybe.
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