Originally Posted by CastleHollow
It's unlikely your SG was really that low for a partial extract brew. If you topped off before pitching, you may have just not stirred things up well enough to get a good sample. What other fermentables were in the recipe?
5lbs light malt extract
2 1/2lbs 2-row pale malted barley
3/4 lb Dark roaster barley 500*L
1/4lb black patent malt
1lb crystal malt 80l
1lb flaked barley
1 1/2 oz N. Brewer loose hops
1 1/2 oz Willamette loose hops
I placed all the grain in to two separate grain bags and steeped for a half hour at 150F. After this was done, I boiled a couple cups of water and poured over the bags after I removed them. I then brought it up just shy of a boil, killed the heat, and added the malt extract. Afterwards I did a one hour boil adding the northern brewer hops first, and the the Willamette hops at the 40 minute mark.
I let all this cool, and added the wort to the two gallons of water I had added to the primary. I the topped off with about another couple gallons of water to get to the 5 gallon mark. After this I took my hydrometer sample, then added the yeast starter and let things go from there.