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Old 08-31-2010, 12:23 AM   #1
johnodon
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Aug 2010
Douglassville, PA
Posts: 643
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I am only posting this for informational purposes in case someone makes the same mistake I did.

I was in utter shambles about an hour ago. I did my first extract brew (the AHS Bass clone) and followed the instructions to the letter! The OG for this kit is supposed to come in around 1051. When I took my hydrometer reading for my OG, I came in at a whopping 1034.

I paniced and tried the usual tricks...put the tube in the freezer to get the temp down to 60F...shake the tube violently to de-gas it...etc. I think I may have gained another 2 points...that is it.

So what did I do next. I came here and searched for "low gravity". Thank God I found this post:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/grav...ng-off-183395/

More specifically this...

"Most of the time if your gravity reading is off in an extract kit you didn't fully combine your wort and top off water."
That is exactly what happened to me. I just took another reading after I had pitched the yeast (i know this is a no-no but it was within 5 minutes after) and I now have a happy old reading of 1051...dead on!!!

Ahhhh..now I will be able to sleep!

Anyway, just wanted this is be more easily found by anyone in the future who has the same issue.

John

 
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:47 AM   #2
PerpetualBuzz
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Aug 2010
Indian Land, South Carolina
Posts: 71


That's encouraging...tonight's pumpkin ale extract kit says OG 1.058. Hydro reading from my bucketed batch...1.020. I guess I'll have to wait it out and see what happens, hopefully it's just a mixing issue.

 
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:08 PM   #3
Brewham
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May 2010
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Posts: 262
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Sure - unless you stir, the heavy stuff will stay at the bottom and your hydrometer will ride in the thin water at the top.

 
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:16 PM   #4
johnodon
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Aug 2010
Douglassville, PA
Posts: 643
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The issue I ran into is that I followed the kit instructions too closely. Here is the exceprt regarding topping off and taking the hydro reading:
"Once the wort has cooled to 80F, pour the mixture into the sanitized primary fermenter and add cool water to make 5 1/4 gallons. Check the specific gravity of the wort using a hydrometer."
A beginner like me is going to do exactly what we are told. The issue is that the instructions do not say to thoroughly mix the wort and top-off water via aggitation or some other means. It just says top off and take a reading.

Since I aggitated when I added the yeast, that is when I took my second reading and I hit the gravity on the nose.

John

 
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Old 08-31-2010, 01:35 PM   #5
nanofreak
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Mar 2010
Atlanta
Posts: 408
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Chances are no matter how well you mix it you will not get a true reading. I don't know why it is but that seems to be the case. That said if you are using extract, anf your final volume is what is stated on the recipe, you are almost always dead on the OG. You can shake the living snot out of a bucket or carboy, and still be off.

 
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:08 PM   #6
johnodon
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Aug 2010
Douglassville, PA
Posts: 643
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Is it fair to say that you will only be off by just a few points though and not 20 like I was?

 
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:51 PM   #7
PerpetualBuzz
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Aug 2010
Indian Land, South Carolina
Posts: 71


On a positive note, my pumkin ale is bubbling furiously. It took less than 12 hours to get really going. Here's hoping it will rock

 
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:37 PM   #8
thorson138
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Sep 2009
USA
Posts: 116

Good luck brother! I just pit my first ever beer brew together, gravity reading came out about 10 points under and I was worried. Glad I saw this thread. It's under airlock and I'm hoping for the best. I got the Houblon Monster Triple IPA from Northern Brewer, hope it works out for you and me...

Mike

 
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:14 AM   #9
josers
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Apr 2010
La Jolla, CA
Posts: 26

Also glad I saw this thread, I wondered why my reading was always off. Hey Mike just bottled my HM Trippel IPA a week ago. I ended up dryhopping because wasn't as hoppy as i wanted. this is what happen after acouple days

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/top...-caked-188107/

 
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:23 AM   #10
lumpher
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Jul 2009
texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josers View Post
. this is what happen after acouple days

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/top...-caked-188107/
looks like tasty stuff (i love hops)
__________________
There is no "i" in denial.

 
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