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Old 10-28-2012, 10:16 PM   #1
brigbrew
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Default Consistsntly High OG

I've done three batches so far. All three have been kits with steeping grains using full boil. So far I have overshot my OG every time.

First batch: English Bitter, Target 1.033-37, Actual 1.09 (this has to be a noob mistake, right?)
Second Batch: Holiday Ale, Target 1.062-1.066, Actual 1.068
Third batch: Dunkelweisen, Target 1.062-1.066, Actual 1.076

What is causing my gravity to overshoot? I've read that kits should be spot on. Is it because I'm doing full boil? Or that I'm steeping for the full 30 min and getting more sugars into the wort? I haven't been low on my volume at all. In fact, the second batch, which was the closest, was almost 6 gallons of wort.

And, perhaps most importantly, what will this do to my final product?
Any help is appreciated.


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Old 10-28-2012, 10:25 PM   #2
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More than likely the wort was just not mixed well enough when you took the reading. It is pretty hard to mix the boiled wort with the top off water perfectly. Are you correcting for temp as well?


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Old 10-28-2012, 10:26 PM   #3
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What is your post-boil volume?

The kits are probably calibrated for 1.062 gravity at 5 Gallons. If you boil it down so there is only 4.5 gallons, the sugars would be more concentrated and would bump up the OG to 1.069.

That would be my guess.

In terms of what it will do to your final product, not much (ignoring the Bitter which HAS to be a noob mistake like mis-measuring or only having 2 gallons instead of 5 in the fermenter). Your ABV is likely to end up a bit higher than was intended, which would make the bitterness a little lower than expected. Not much else.

Also since you said you were doing full boil, I don't think it is a matter of just not mixing everything.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:27 PM   #4
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2 questions. 1. Are you correcting for the temp when you take your reading? 2. Have you checked the calibration on your hydrometer? If theses are off it would explain the readings.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:30 PM   #5
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Since my pitching temp tends to be in the mid 70's, wouldn't adjusting for temp make my OG higher instead if lower? Temp for the Dunkelweisen (two hours old) was 68. And my post-boil volume for all three batches has been 5 gallons or above.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brigbrew View Post
Since my pitching temp tends to be in the mid 70's, wouldn't adjusting for temp make my OG higher instead if lower? Temp for the Dunkelweisen (two hours old) was 68. And my volume for all three batches has been 5 gallons or above.
If your hydrometer is calibrated for 60 degrees and the wort is 75 degrees, the gravity needs to be adjusted up. I.E. the 75 degree beer that reads 1.060 on the hydrometer is actually 1.062

Certainly a good idea to check the calibration! 60 degree water should be 1.000 if that is the temp your hydrometer is calibrated for.
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:33 PM   #7
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Could be the temps with your hydrometer, but I'll tell you what caused my troubles early on. I was using my bucket's graduations to determine my final volume and was consistently overshooting my OG's. I checked everything, only to find out my bucket's markings were off by nearly a 1/2 gallon. (I didn't really notice in bottling...figured it was lost to trub.)

Not saying that's the case with you, just saying to check it since it will consistently give you inaccurate results.

I'm guessing your first measurement was a noob mistake as well. It happens.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:08 PM   #8
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I found a link around here to a guide on checking your hydrometer's readings, but I can't seem to find it now. It was from a wine forum or something and involved using salt, but same idea detailed below:

To check the hydrometer you really need to check with more than one control point (water being the most obvious). So you can make a solution of sugar with measured amounts of sugar and water and check that you're accurate. If you take 1/4lb sugar in 1/8 gallon water you should read 1.092 (potential is 1.046 per lb per gal). Then you can dilute that 1:1 with water, should measure 1.046.


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