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Old 09-21-2007, 03:36 PM   #1
sgbender
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Dec 2006
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need help please!

i can not seem to hit suggested OG's on most of my brewing attempts

just did a belgain ale, suggested OG 1.062-1.067, measured 1.046

previous brew, a nut brown ale suggested 1.045-1.050 measured 1.038

belgain was brewed with store bought drinking water, nut brown with tap water

i have hit a couple of suggested OG's but only a couple out of 8 attempts

thanks for your time

steve

 
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Old 09-21-2007, 03:41 PM   #2
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we're going to need more detail than that buddy...

 
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Old 09-21-2007, 04:38 PM   #3
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its hard to miss OG on an extract kit unless you added way too much water. like its a 3gal recipe and you used 5gal.

but we'll assume you didn't do that repeated times.

What temperature are you taking readings at? 60F is what 95% of hydrometers are calibrated to, and if you're trying to take a reading at 160F...forget about it. it gets way too skewed by high temps.

another VERY likely possibility: are you doing full boils, or smaller boils and then topping off the water in the fermenter? I ask because its REALLY common for the fermenter to not be very well mixed, even if you stir the crap out of it...that thick wort just doesn't easily meld with pure water. the bottom of the bucket might be 1.080 cuz the wort has settled, while the top where your hydro reading gets taken is 1.040.
it stratefies in the fermenter...if you use a glass carboy you might even see how much lighter the top half is than the bottom.

I had low OG's in my extracts too, but tasting and drinking the final beer, you could tell it had the correct ABV and not a full 1.4% lower than my OG/FG calculations yielded. So I had to assume I did hit my OG, and did have the 4.4% alcohol since the beer tasted 'right' and had the appropriate buzz after a couple pints.

*edit*
forgot to mention that old LME cans can have sugar 'degradation' that can screw up OG and fermentable sugar levels.
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Old 09-21-2007, 05:04 PM   #4
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Its hard to be that far off with extract kits. I'd recommend you:

1) Calibrate you hydrometer - it should read 1.000 in water

2) Only measure your wort when it is cooled to below about 80 degrees F and then use the correction factor here: http://hbd.org/cgi-bin/recipator/rec...ydrometer.html.

 
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Old 09-21-2007, 07:07 PM   #5
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I'm gonna guess you are not mixing properly in the fermenter prior to taking a reading.
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Old 09-21-2007, 07:08 PM   #6
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You need to ensure that your wort and water are throughly mixed before taking a gravity test. Like others said, you really can't miss your OG when brewing extract kits. Especially 6 out of 8. Make sure you know the 5 gal mark on your primary so you don't add too much or too less water than what is required.

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Old 09-21-2007, 08:30 PM   #7
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I never hit my target gravities either when using extract kits. I just chalk it up to the fact that im doing partial boils and topping off and not getting a good mix. I drink most of the beers myself so its not too important for me to know the exact ABV. The beers tastes fine so I stopped worrying about it.

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Old 09-21-2007, 09:19 PM   #8
sgbender
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thanks for the input

i like the idea of the wort not being mix well enough, scince i have hit gravities on a couple of beers

i know i did not give great detail in what i was doing, just not good at that

thanks again
steve

 
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