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Old 09-11-2012, 11:07 PM   #1
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Default 1st ever batch. My OG is not even close. Any ideas??

Hey all. Just finished brewing my first ever batch today. It was many things. A fun time of course, along with a great learning experience and a bit of work but all in all a success ( I think). So heres my problem. I got a kit from MoreBeer for a Citra Pale Ale. Its a Citra Hop based Pale Ale. I followed the directions perfectly, didnt miss any steps, and all went well. The kit recipe states the OG should be 1.045-1.055. Well, after cooling down the wort to a nice 60 deg F, it was giving me an OG reading of 1.068-1.070. That seems way off to me.

So, I went to tastybrew.com and used their calculator. Using my ingredients, it looks like I am right where it should be. So, heres the thing. Do you think they just used a basic Pale Ale OG reading and plugged it into the recipe? Or do you think I messed it up somehow? Im thinking all should be fine, just a higher ABV. Is it okay???


Heres the recipe:

I started the boil with 6 gal. and ended up with just under 5 gal. in my carboy. Ended with probably 4.9 gal.

Extract:
8lb LME
4oz Maltodextrin ( I did use this, but now thinking I didnt need it)

Steeping:
8oz White Wheat
8oz Carapils
12oz Crystal 15L

Hops:
0.5oz Magnum @ 60 min
1 oz Citra @ 20 min (recipe said 15min, I did 20)
1oz Citra @ 5 min

Whirlfloc tablet @ 5 min (used 1/2 tablet)

Yeast: Came with Safale, but I used a liquid White Labs California Ale WLP001


I steeped the grain for about 30 minutes. Removed. Brought to boil. Shut off heat, added LME, Dextrin, 1st hop. Boiled, Second hop @ 20, then Third hop @ 5 and Whirlfloc. Removed from heat, ice bath to cool.


So, do you think this recipe should be fine? Any concerns with the OG being that high?? It seems rather high for a Pale. I prefer IPA's and Pales, so maybe it will be fine. Just hope its not too malty/ sweet. Any ideas??

Oh and one other question. After cooling the wort, I transfered to a sanitized bucket. I then did back and forth "dumps" from kettle to bucket to aerate. This was a suggested method from the book "How to Brew". This created a LOT of foam. More than I was expecting. Which tells me aeration is happening, but it made the transfer from bucket to carboy interesting as foam was flowing out the top to make room for the liquid. Is this normal? Any other suggested aeration techniques that wont create so much foam??

Thanks in advance! Patience seems to be key to this whole process. Hard not to want instant results with your first brew haha.


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Old 09-11-2012, 11:18 PM   #2
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You may want to invest in an oxygen aeration set up or just putting your cooled wort in the carboy and then shaking/rocking the hell out of it. If its a glass carboy just be careful you don't break it. As far as your OG goes I wouldn't worry about it. You came in over not under so that's a little victory in my book. Our last 2 beers came in .010-.020 under but we still made beer. Don't stress over it, just plan your next beer. Hope this helps.


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Old 09-11-2012, 11:22 PM   #3
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what was your volume vs what you expected? a smaller volume can lead to a higher OG. Other than that i wouldnt worry about it, but i would be suprised if more beer had the wrong OG on one of their kits.


It doesnt really matter that your OG is higher but that is pretty weird. Especially for an extract batch.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:23 PM   #4
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I just brewed a pale ale Sunday, it had 6 lbs DME, substituted for 6.6 lbs LME, recommended OG was 1.051 to 1.055, i hit just low at about 1.048.
so with the higher amount of extract i would expect your readings to be higher than my kits recommended readings.
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:17 AM   #5
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I thought steeping grains and 8 lbs of LME was a lot. I started the boil with 6 gal of water, and ended with just under the 5 gal mark on my carboy. I would say I ended up with about 4.8-4.9 gallons. Heres a question, should I have topped it off up to the 5 gallon mark? Or should I have just left it. I didnt want to introduce anything into the wort that didn't have to be there. I will be kegging so Im not too worried about the loss of volume. Im thinking if I added a little water, the OG may have dropped but probably nothing noticable.
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:36 AM   #6
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I'm still pretty new to this, but my napkin math says that adding .2 gal water (4% original volume) would drop your OG by 4%*(OG-1) ...about .003... so you'd still be high. Like I said, I'm new and I'm hoping a vet will chime in here and let me know if that's right.

But I have learned that if you're going to add water after the boil, buy some distilled water from your grocery store, or boil the water for 20 mins first.

**Edit: Actually I think a better/more versatile way to give that formula would be New Gravity = ((Wort Gravity*Wort Volume)+(Water Gravity*Water Volume))/Final Volume

Water Gravity can probably be assumed to be one in cases like this since the amount of water is so small that the temperature/gravity difference is negligible.
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Old 09-12-2012, 03:17 AM   #7
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Thanks for the reply Matt.

Thats pretty much what I was thinking. If I added the little bit of water to bring it up to the 5 gal mark, it wouldnt really make a difference. And seeing as I didn't have sterile water or distilled water on hand, I didnt want to risk infection for the little amount there was.

I keep peeking at the airlock and no activity yet. I work the next few days ( 72 hours straight at a fire department) so I wont be able to watch it. Just hope it stays contained in the carboy and not all over the closet haha. Its abut 72 deg F right now in the closet. Not too happy about that, but I hope it gets to work soon.
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Old 09-12-2012, 03:36 AM   #8
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If your OG is off with extract brewing, it's likely an issue with accurate water volumes. That said, you're not off on volumes, if you plug your recipe into brewing software, you should end up around 1.067, which you did. The packaging is incorrect if it states you should end up with a lower OG than that.

The other thing I'd like to mention is that for a big beer like you've made, a single vial of WLP001 is a rather hefty underpitch, you likely would have done a lot better using the Safale that came with the kit (if it was US-05 it's essentially identical to WLP001 anyway). You might also consider putting it into a big tub of water, 72F now, is going to end up in the high 70s when active fermentation starts, and that's going to make for some off-flavours, and most likely at those temps, a messy explosion if you aren't using a blowoff tube/.
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Old 09-12-2012, 03:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRob View Post
If your OG is off with extract brewing, it's likely an issue with accurate water volumes. That said, you're not off on volumes, if you plug your recipe into brewing software, you should end up around 1.067, which you did. The packaging is incorrect if it states you should end up with a lower OG than that.

The other thing I'd like to mention is that for a big beer like you've made, a single vial of WLP001 is a rather hefty underpitch, you likely would have done a lot better using the Safale that came with the kit (if it was US-05 it's essentially identical to WLP001 anyway).
BigRob, it was the US-05 that came with the kit. Do you think I need to add more yeast/ I can grab another WLP001 and add maybe 1/4 or 1/2 the amount. I know its going to take a lot of cells to eat all that sugar. If I dont is it just going to take a lot longer??? Sorry, Im very new at this haha
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Old 09-12-2012, 03:54 AM   #10
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The yeast will stop replicating when the dissolved oxygen is depleted, and begin fermentation. I make the assumption there wasn't a whole lot of aeration, coupled with a less than optimal pitch rate, and the OG of 1.07, the yeast may well not have enough cells to accomplish the task properly. Which could result in your beer "sticking" above the intended FG (stuck fermentation).

Me personally, I'd rehydrate the US-05 by boiling about a half cup of water, and cooling it to 95F, then sprinkling the yeast over the water. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes and dump it into your fermenter. That will give you a lot more cells, and the general consensus around here is that WLP001 and US-05 are pretty much identical.


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