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Old 08-13-2013, 12:50 PM   #1
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Default OG readings and ABV

I'm onto my second batch of this brew (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f69/all-amarillo-ipa-28517/) and I'm struggling with my OG readings.

Batch one: 1.037@23degrees when put into the FV, came out at 1.010@23degrees. Turns out at 3.5%, but it does seem to have a bit of a kick.

Batch two: 1.020@23degrees when put into the FV, a week later and its at 1.010@23degrees. That makes it currently 1.1%, whilst its not finished, the initial reading is very low.

I can't help but think I'm doing something wrong, as I'm sure the first batch is a higher ABV. And I don't want thr second batch to end up as 2%!

Not much to the process, take a sample, put the hydrometer in it and spin it (remove bubbles) then take a reading.

The first batch tastes fantastic, so I don't think I done anything wrong. Second batch we used less hops, as batch#1 is very hoppy. Batch#2 is tasting very good too.

Any ideas?


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Old 08-13-2013, 01:02 PM   #2
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My initial guess is that you aren't thoroughly mixing you're top off water. As a result, there is more water than wort being measured by your hydrometer, thus the lower OG. With extract recipes, if you follow the directions and get your LME/DME in the correct amounts, it's almost impossible not to hit the correct OG (since the fermentables are measured and known) unless you put in too much top off water (say bring the final volume to 6 gallons instead of 5). JMO.


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Old 08-13-2013, 01:04 PM   #3
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Ah, I see. Well we didn't mix it up once we topped it up. But imagined putting in water from a tap would do that.

The second batch we up-scaled to 6 gallons, to get the most out of the FV. But we also increased the malt measure.
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Old 08-13-2013, 01:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samg View Post
Ah, I see. Well we didn't mix it up once we topped it up. But imagined putting in water from a tap would do that.

The second batch we up-scaled to 6 gallons, to get the most out of the FV. But we also increased the malt measure.
Yeah, you'll want to mix thoroughly, not only will this help you get a good reading, it will also aerate the wort making it better for your yeast.

Just give your FV a good shake (rock it back and forth sloshing it around) for about 5 minutes or so to mix and aerate.


Think of it like adding lemonade mix to a pitcher then pouring water onto it. You still have to stir to mix it properly.

Your readings are inaccurate and you actually have higher alcohol than what you've calculated. We can do the math if you tell us how much malt extract you added and how much water you used.
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Old 08-13-2013, 01:34 PM   #5
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C-66, very kind of you.

Batch 1: We followed this to a T: www.homebrewtalk.com/f69/all-amarillo-ipa-28517/, so 7lbs in 23litres total brew (measured in the FV).

Batch 2: 27.3 litres total. Using 8.44lbs of DME.

We'll stir the next batch.
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Old 08-13-2013, 01:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samg View Post
C-66, very kind of you.

Batch 1: We followed this to a T: www.homebrewtalk.com/f69/all-amarillo-ipa-28517/, so 7lbs in 23litres total brew (measured in the FV).

Batch 2: 27.3 litres total. Using 8.44lbs of DME.

We'll stir the next batch.
In the original recipe 7 pounds of DME was for a 19 liter, 5 gallon, batch. Your first batch was 6 gallons and your second batch was 7 gallons. Your SGs' will be a little lower. It will a pretty good session beer. Unfortunately not what you were expecting.
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Old 08-13-2013, 01:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samg View Post
C-66, very kind of you.

Batch 1: We followed this to a T: www.homebrewtalk.com/f69/all-amarillo-ipa-28517/, so 7lbs in 23litres total brew (measured in the FV).

Batch 2: 27.3 litres total. Using 8.44lbs of DME.

We'll stir the next batch.
23 liters is equal to 6.08 us gallons, the recipe you used calls for 7lbs of DME for 5 us gallons. Your batch 1 gravity was indeed 1.040 which is low because you used the same amount of sugars but added almost a whole gallon of water.

With your adjustments for batch 2 you are also at 1.040. That is 27.3litres =7.2 US gallons

Remember that most recipes on here unless otherwise stated are designed for 5 US gallons. You can scale accordingly but be careful with your conversions
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Old 08-13-2013, 02:39 PM   #8
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You know, I did contemplate the whole US/UK gallons. I assumed it was UK gallons, as that equals 23 litres, which is standard here for the kit brew. I need to learn not to assume!

Does the final reading need to be adjusted as well?

Thanks for the clarity chaps.
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Old 08-13-2013, 02:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samg
Ah, I see. Well we didn't mix it up once we topped it up. But imagined putting in water from a tap would do that.
Just in case people don't believe it, see the attached picture. Water ad wort will NOT readily mix, at least not immediately.
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samg View Post
(http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f69/all-amarillo-ipa-28517/) and I'm struggling with my OG readings.
An extract with o.g. of 1.67
Quote:
Batch one: 1.037@23degrees

Batch two: 1.020@23degrees
That's a difference of 30 (44% off!) and 47 (70% off!!!!) points! If these were true readings they'd indicate that you either only used half and then 1/3 the extract or that you you added enough water for 10 and then 15 gallon batches rather than 5. Since we assume you used all the extract and enough water for 5 gallons (well, 7 gallons....), we have to assume the readings are off.

You didn't mix your wort thouroughly.


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