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Old 11-29-2012, 04:37 PM   #1
resQman4
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Default WTF happened and can it be fixed?

So I am doing my first ever fruit beer (Strawberry Blonde). I am 8 batches in to this fantastic hobby and have gone from extract to steeping grains to partial mashes and now to all grain but this will be my first ever fruit beer. First here is the recipe:
Strawberry Blonde

Style: Blonde Ale OG: 1.057
Type: Extract FG: 1.015
Rating: 0.0 ABV: 5.50 %
Calories: 187 IBU's: 20.35
Efficiency: 70 % Boil Size: 5.57 Gal
Color: 8.6 SRM Batch Size: 5.00 Gal
Preboil OG: 1.054 Boil Time: 60 minutes

Fermentation Steps
Name Days / Temp
Primary 7 days @ 68.0°F
Secondary 14 days @ 72.0°F
Bottle/Keg 14 days @ 72.0°F

Grains & Adjuncts
Amount Percentage Name Time Gravity
6.50 lbs 76.44 % Pale Liquid Extract 60 mins 1.036
1.50 lbs 17.68 % Wheat Liquid Extract 60 mins 1.036
8.00 ozs 5.88 % Briess Carapils 60 mins 1.034

Hops
Amount IBU's Name Time AA %
0.50 ozs 12.54 Cascade 60 mins 7.50
0.50 ozs 5.88 Saaz 20 mins 5.80
0.50 ozs 1.93 Saaz 5 mins 5.80

Yeasts
Amount Name Laboratory / ID
1.0 pkg American Ale II Wyeast Labs 1272

Additions
Amount Name Time Stage
1.00 oz Whirlfloc Tablet 15 mins Boil
4.00 lb Strawberries 14 days Secondary

Now the problem. My LHBS was out of Wheat LME and he only had 1# of Wheat DME. So that is what I got. He said the wheat would be better anyway and a half pound wouldn't make a big difference. That and the strawberries would add more gravity. My OG was 1.045 instead of 1.057. Thats a pretty big gap to me. I did some research and found the opposite to be true. Fruit does add sugar but also adds water and absorbs liquid so it can actually drop my gravity. I am 24 hours into primary now. Is there anything I can do to fix this? Or just have a low gravity beer? Thanks for your help.

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Old 11-29-2012, 04:53 PM   #2
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Did you do a full or partial boil? If your volume was correct and you used all the LME/DME then most likely your OG measurement was off (which is especially common with a partial boil). Wheat DME gives around 43 ppg, so the difference in OG using 1lb of wheat DME instead of 1.5lbs wheat LME is:

change in gravity points = (1.0*43 - 1.5*36)/5 = -2.2

So your OG should have been around 1.055

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Old 11-29-2012, 04:54 PM   #3
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there is a conversion wherein DME should be approx 80% of the amount of LME, to accommodate the water in the LME, so based on that recipe about 1.2 lbs DME

how much Wheat DME did you use?

and, i am not big on "fixing" once things are on the road. just go with it, take good notes, and enjoy your beer

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Old 11-29-2012, 04:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by resQman4 View Post
WTF HAPPENED?

OK THIS is what happened!

Quote:
Originally Posted by resQman4 View Post
My LHBS was out of Wheat LME and he only had 1# of Wheat DME. So that is what I got.
You asked:

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Originally Posted by resQman4 View Post
can it be fixed?

Yes! You can boil 1/2 lb of pale DME in as little water as possible and add it to the fermenter.

There is no problem with aeration at this point.


Would I do that?

No. I would let it ride.

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Old 11-29-2012, 05:00 PM   #5
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I used 1 pound of Wheat DME. That was all they had. And I did a partial boil. I had one problem in the past with a low gravity reading due to not mixing the water and wort well enough in the primary before pitching. I felt I got a good mix on this one so I thought my OG would be fairly accurate. And I agree on letting it ride. I think now it is more for learning than anything. Thank you for your input. It really helps

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Old 11-29-2012, 05:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by resQman4 View Post
I used 1 pound of Wheat DME. That was all they had. And I did a partial boil. I had one problem in the past with a low gravity reading due to not mixing the water and wort well enough in the primary before pitching. I felt I got a good mix on this one so I thought my OG would be fairly accurate.
Yeah, there are plenty of threads discussing how hard (borderline impossible) it can be to get a good OG reading with partial boils. If your OG was truly 1.045 (instead of the 1.055 that is predicted), then that would mean either:

1) Your final volume was ~22% too large, which would mean you ended up with 6.1 gals.

2) You left out 22% of the malt extracts.

3) Some combination of these which adds up to a 22% error.

Mistakes these large are usually pretty noticeable (i.e. you've got a bag of DME sitting around that you forgot to throw in). I'd blame the OG measurement.
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:13 PM   #7
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I was just a hair over 5 gallons in my primary. And according to the math that people have been so kind to put out there for me because I do not know it yet, I am only .2 pounds off on my extract. So as far as I can figure that is nowhere near 22% so I am chalking it up to another bad OG reading. So I guess when doing extract brewing I will just assume that as long as I use everything ,the predicted gravity will be close. Since I do not know any home brewers around me this thread is an invaluable tool. Thank you everybody for your help.

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Old 11-29-2012, 06:17 PM   #8
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just leave it alone... it's beer... it's nearly impossible to screw it up completely, or we wouldn't all still be brewing it.

and, it's also entirely possible that you just read the hyrdometer wrong.

like the man said, relax, don't worry, have a home brew

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Old 11-29-2012, 07:43 PM   #9
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Trust what your OG SHOULD BE when using extract and doing a partial boil. It is damn near impossible to mix it well enough with the top off water to get a good reading. You know how much extract you used, you know the volume of the wort, you can figure out the OG without a hydrometer.

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Old 11-29-2012, 07:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdh View Post
Yeah, there are plenty of threads discussing how hard (borderline impossible) it can be to get a good OG reading with partial boils. If your OG was truly 1.045 (instead of the 1.055 that is predicted), then that would mean either:

1) Your final volume was ~22% too large, which would mean you ended up with 6.1 gals.

2) You left out 22% of the malt extracts.

3) Some combination of these which adds up to a 22% error.

Mistakes these large are usually pretty noticeable (i.e. you've got a bag of DME sitting around that you forgot to throw in). I'd blame the OG measurement.
Methinks "22" don't work in all of those.

You are right in concept.
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