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Old 11-11-2006, 06:48 AM   #1
Toadkiller Dog
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Jan 2006
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I swear that either the home brew kits exaggerate their alcohol potential or my water is less dense than other people's. Every time I make a kit, my OG is noticeably off. For example, I made MoreBeer's porter kit the other day. Followed the directions to a tee; they say the OG should be 1050 to 1055. Mine was 1038.

I even left it out in the cold to get it down to 60 degrees. And yes, I have tried 2 hydrometers and they concur. So what gives? Do I just need to add more malt extract?

On another note, man I love these smilies! They crack me up when I am trying to write a post.

 
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Old 11-11-2006, 07:01 AM   #2
Yuri_Rage
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Have you corrected for temperature? If you are measuring the OG when the wort is hot, the hydrometer will read low. Most hydrometers are calibrated for 60 degrees.

Are you doing partial mashes? If that's the case, your mash efficiency might be low due to a variety of variables.

Those are the only things I can think of that would cause such a disparity in your OG readings in comparison with the recipe estimates.
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Old 11-11-2006, 07:15 AM   #3
Mike B
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Nov 2006
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That's pretty funny. I just posted about the same problem. Maybe there's something going around . . .

 
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Old 11-11-2006, 07:22 AM   #4
Yuri_Rage
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I was just about to start in with the obligatory "don't double post" bit when I noticed that it's not a double post, just two people with the same problem. It would benefit both of you to give a detailed account of your ingredients and procedures so we can help you out. Low OG is common in AG brewing, but it's quite an oddity with extract beer. Wonder what's going on here?
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Old 11-11-2006, 04:56 PM   #5
Mikey
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Nov 2005
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There's two main causes:

1) larger batch size than intended. 5 imperial gallons is bigger the 5 US gallons. Some kits are for 20 liters/4 US gallons.

2) wort not stirred properly before taking a reading. All the extract is sitting on the bottom.

 
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Old 11-11-2006, 08:08 PM   #6
Caplan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadkiller Dog
I made MoreBeer's porter kit the other day. Followed the directions to a tee; they say the OG should be 1050 to 1055. Mine was 1038.
If it's an extract based kit then Mikey has come closest

1 US Gallon = 3.8 Litres. 5 US Gallons = 19 Litres
1 Imperial Gallon = 4.5 Litres. 5 Imperial Gallons = 23 Litres.

So it's roughly 6 US Gallons to 5 Imperial Gallons.

Basing DME on a hydrometer reading of roughly 1.040 a pound in a US Gallon, you'd expect 6.1/4 lb to give you a reading of 1.050ish with the US and 1.040ish with the Imperial Gallon.

 
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Old 11-11-2006, 09:52 PM   #7
Beerhead
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Nov 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey
There's two main causes:

2) wort not stirred properly before taking a reading. All the extract is sitting on the bottom.
If all of the extract is on the bottom, is it ok for me to stir it now? a day later, or will the yeast get down into the extract and just mix it up through the whole fermenter?
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Old 11-11-2006, 10:17 PM   #8
Seveneer
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If the yeast has been in the wort for a day already then it's too late to take an OG measurement. I wouldn't worry about it this time. So long as the yeast does its thing you're going to end up with beer anyway .

/Phil.
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