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Old 08-12-2012, 03:50 PM   #1
brewski65
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Default OG Reading Lower Than it Should be

Hi. I'm brewing my 3rd batch of homebrew, this time is a Northern Brewer extract kit for a Belgian Strong Ale using Wyeast 1388 (belgian strong ale yeast). All seemed to be going well...until I did the OG reading (yeast not pitched yet). My OG reading is 1.075. The brewing instructions say OG should be 1.081. Will a lower OG effect beer taste or quality? Is this correctible? Is there anything I can do to raise it or should I just let it be and hope for the best?

Any and all suggestions or recommendations are very welcome!

Thanks.
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:56 PM   #2
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You can always add some dry or liquid malt extract if you have any to bump the gravity up a little. However, that's a pretty big beer and 6 points really isn't that much in my opinion. I doubt you will be able to tell the difference. If you want to add extract there are calculators on the internets that tell you how much to add to get your desired gravity, and you can boil it up in some water then cool it and add it to the fermenter in the first 24 hours of fermentation. Good luck.

Just on a sidenote, you also may not be getting an accurate hydrometer reading. I find it's very difficult to get a good representation of the actual gravity of the post boil wort due to the hops and stratification of the wort. I'd make sure you're wort is mixed really well and take a couple readings with temperature correction before you add any more extract.
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:57 PM   #3
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Since this is an extract kit, I'm assuming a partial boil and top off water in the fermenter? If that's the case, and you hit the proper volume for the batch, your OG is doubtfully off. What happens is it's nearly impossible to mix the top up water properly, and the lighter watery wort floats on top of the heavier wort, so you get a false low reading. It happens all the time and isn't something to worry about. Fermentation will mix everything in.
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:04 PM   #4
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With extracts, as long as you're following the instructions and measuring your water correctly it's pretty near impossible to be more than half a point or so off your target gravity. It is, however, very common to for brewers to report a low OG reading due to not thoroughly mixing in their top-off water. It's harder than you'd think to really mix the concentrated wort from a partial boil with clean water homogeneously.
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:31 AM   #5
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Thank you for the helpful ideas and feedback. It appears so far the brewing is going well. This one isn't ready until December...good thing I'm brewing others to keep from testing too early... cheers.

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Old 08-29-2012, 12:37 AM   #6
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Thank you for the helpful ideas and feedback. It appears so far the brewing is going well. This one isn't ready until December...good thing I'm brewing others to keep from testing too early... cheers.

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