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Old 07-19-2010, 11:41 PM   #1
DanOmite
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Default Low OG reading

I brewed a Bitter Brown Ale yesterday and my OG was 1.045 (after the yeast had been added; I forgot to take the sample beforehand). According to Beertools my OG ought to be about 1.067. I have no idea what went wrong, because I have done similar recipes many times. This was a 3-gallon batch with a boil volume of 1.5 gallons, which usually reduces to about 1.2 gallons.

I did have trouble maintaining the temperature during the mash. I wanted the temp to be about 150F, but my brewing thermometer kept jumping up to about 160-165. That didn't seem right to me, so I found a candy thermometer in my kitchen and placed it in the mash. To my surprise the thermometer read 145-150F. This confused, me, because I didn't know which thermometer to trust. So, I went with the candy thermometer, since it is meant for hot liquids. Therefore, I let the mash go an extra 15 minutes (original 30 minutes) to make up for the time it may have been sitting at 145F. I would say, on average, according to the candy thermometer, the mash temp was around 149F.

Given the struggles above, the only reason I can think of to explain the low OG reading is that I didn't get much from the specialty grains. But, even if set all my specialty grains to zero in Beertools I should get a gravity reading of about 1.058. Still, much higher than what I actually got.

I check the hydrometer and I didn't see any cracks or anything.

Anybody experience this or have any idea of what is going on?

Thanks


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Old 07-20-2010, 12:11 AM   #2
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So this was a partial boil? If so then I'd be willing to bet you didn't mix the wort enough before taking your reading.


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Old 07-20-2010, 01:20 AM   #3
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So this was a partial boil? If so then I'd be willing to bet you didn't mix the wort enough before taking your reading.
Yeah, 1.5 gallon boil, which reduced to about 1-1.2 gallons. I then added the rest of the water right before the yeast.

You think I should take a gravity reading now? I am not sure if it worth messing with the beer now, because the yeast is pretty active already.

Can I calculate ABV after fermentation, before carbination? I don't know any other methods other than taking gravity readings.

Thanks
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Old 07-20-2010, 01:45 AM   #4
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If you were using extract, and you used the amount you planned of both water and extract, your OG is almost without a doubt what the software said.

As it ferments, it will mix well. Your FG will be acurate.
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Old 07-20-2010, 01:49 AM   #5
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Yeah I wouldn't worry about it. It is extremely difficult to miss your OG with extract if you use the right amount of ingredients, and end up with the right volume
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Old 07-20-2010, 03:04 AM   #6
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So I should just assume my OG is what Beertools predicted and just take the FG in a couple weeks?

I know for a sure I added the right amounts of everything. I had temp issues, but nothing too crazy.

Thanks for the advice. That puts my mind at ease.
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:14 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by DanOmite View Post
So I should just assume my OG is what Beertools predicted and just take the FG in a couple weeks?

I know for a sure I added the right amounts of everything. I had temp issues, but nothing too crazy.

Thanks for the advice. That puts my mind at ease.
Correct, it'll be close enough that the ABV won't be very far off.
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:06 AM   #8
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Bump

So, it has been 10 days since the brew and hit an FG of 1.0166 which is almost exactly what beer tools spit out for the predicted FG=1.016.

I am hoping that means everything went well and I didn't mess up too bad. I do think my final wort volume was a little low, since the boil did seem to get a little out of hand a few times and splash up some of the wort. Even so, I don't think I lost more than half a gallon due to evaportation and splashing.

Thanks guys
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:42 AM   #9
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Sounds like it went well, congrats and enjoy.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:04 AM   #10
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Thank the Beer Gods for the search feature. I just took the OG of my second brew (and I never took the OG of the first one) and came out at 1.032 (expected OG was 1.044). It's an extract with specialty grains; I couldn't see how I could really miss the OG that much given that the majority of the grain bill was LME.


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