Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Adding sugar to primary, part 2
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Old 08-25-2009, 05:30 PM   #1
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Default Adding sugar to primary, part 2

Didn't want to jack the other thread with a specific question - here's mine. I am brewing a stout kit from NB and my OG was crazy - 1.020. Would it be o.k. to add some more sugar (a week into ferment) to kick the gravity up to the point that the beer will be worth drinking? (who needs a 2% beer). How much would you recommend to get it close to 1.04 -1.05?


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Old 08-25-2009, 06:03 PM   #2
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That gravity reading is way too low for any stout. Did you do a partial boil and mix your wort with water? If so, it's critical to mix that solution up completely before you take a gravity reading. This is one of the more common reasons for an unusually low gravity reading.


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Old 08-25-2009, 06:05 PM   #3
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Yep - and made sure the stuff was well blended. I can't even begin to figure out what went wrong. In fact - I stirred and rechecked 3 times.
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Old 08-25-2009, 06:10 PM   #4
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How many pounds of grains or extracts were in the kit and was it for 5 gallons?
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:27 PM   #5
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Here's the recipe:

Specialty Grains
1 lbs. Simpson's Roasted Barley

Fermentables
6 lbs. Gold Malt Syrup

Boil Additions
1 oz. Nugget (60 min)

If you choose dry yeast
Safale S-04. Optimum temperature: 64-75 F.

If you choose liquid yeast
Wyeast #1084 Irish Ale Yeast. Optimum temperature: 62-72 F.


Pretty simple so I can't imagine what I screwed up. Whatever the issue - the fault was mine.

Back to my first thought - would it make sence to add more sugar now?
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:29 PM   #6
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Personally, I would not add more sugar. I'm still believing that something went wrong in the gravity measurement, though I don't know what it could be. If you used that ingredients bill, there is really no way you could have come out at 1.020. If indeed you did come out at that low reading, adding sugar is gonna make a very dry beer with no body.
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monty3777 View Post
Here's the recipe:

Specialty Grains
1 lbs. Simpson's Roasted Barley

Fermentables
6 lbs. Gold Malt Syrup

Boil Additions
1 oz. Nugget (60 min)

If you choose dry yeast
Safale S-04. Optimum temperature: 64-75 F.

If you choose liquid yeast
Wyeast #1084 Irish Ale Yeast. Optimum temperature: 62-72 F.


Pretty simple so I can't imagine what I screwed up. Whatever the issue - the fault was mine.

Back to my first thought - would it make sence to add more sugar now?
It's an extract batch, and they are almost foolproof.

At the minimum with that recipe your OG was 1.048

It's a pretty common issue for ANYONE using extract and then topping off with water (and that includes partial mashes) to have an error in reading the OG...In fact, it is actually nearly impossible to mix the wort and the top off water in a way to get an accurate OG reading...

When I am doing an extract with grain recipe I make sure to stir for a minimum of 5 minutes (whipping up a froth to aerate as well) before I draw a grav sample and pitch my yeast....It really is an effort to integrate the wort with the top off water...This is a fairly common new brewer issue we get on here...unless you under or over topped off or the final volume for the kit was 5 gallons and you topped off to 5, then the issue, sorry to say, is "operator error"

If you want you beer to be a stout, then regardless of the reading you took, do not add any sugar, you will thin and dry out the beer...that is really the main reason we add sugar to beers, and usually it is Belgians we are doing it to NOT STOUTS- boosting the ABV while thinning out the body and drying out the beer.

I really doubt you beer is as low as you think it is...it is RARELY what the new brewer who says it is ends up being. (We see this a lot)

In this case, since you have a pound of roasted barley, I wouldn't mess with changing anything.

Just trust that since this is an extract kit, unless you added too much water, that you did everything right, and the beer is the OG it was supposed to be.

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Old 08-26-2009, 01:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post

When I am doing an extract with grain recipe I make sure to stir for a minimum of 5 minutes (whipping up a froth to aerate as well) before I draw a grav sample and pitch my yeast....
There's my problem - no way did I stir it that long. Perhaps for about 20 seconds (4 times because I kept checking readings).
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monty3777 View Post
There's my problem - no way did I stir it that long. Perhaps for about 20 seconds (4 times because I kept checking readings).
And what I am saying is, it doesn't matter what your reading was.....the "real reading" in an extract batch is what it said it would be in the recipe or beersmith....Whether or not you mixed it up enough before you took the reading it mixed itself up fine during fermentation.

So unless you had a final volume a gallon or so higher than 5 gallons....you recipe will be fine and at the OG it was supposed to be, so don't add any more sugar....
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Old 08-26-2009, 07:20 PM   #10
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Yeah, he understands you, Revvy. And you're right: I just brewed a biggish beer that was predicted to be about 1.082. Stirred, measured, and it was 1.070. Stirred a lot again, and bingo: on target.


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