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Old 03-29-2008, 09:09 PM   #1
Blackhawkbrew
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Well, I just finished my first outdoor boil! It was a bit hectic. I did a Brewer's Best American Nut Brown Ale. I was only able to do a half boil because I don't have a chiller, yet. Things were going well, got everything outside and started the grain steep. Got the wort boiling and put in the LME and bittering hops. BUT I forgot to add the DME! I added it about 10 minutes after the bittering hops! I also became a true homebrewer - I had my first boilover!!

As the boil continued I racked my hard cider into my secondary and my hop addition times were a bit messed up! Trying to do too many things at one time I guess. Anyway, I got the wort chilled to about 70 degrees and was ready to pitch the yeast. I was going to rehydrate the yeast but the glass I was going to rehydrate in broke! So I just pitched it in dry (Nottingham). I took a gravity reading before I pitched and it read 1.090!! This is only my third brew, but after reading this thread I know that the reading is way high. The hydrometer stuck to the edge of the thief a bit and I was not able to spin it as well as I would have liked. I tasted the thieved sample and it tasted really sweet. I hope it comes out ok.

Live and learn I guess.

Any other reasons for the high gravity reading, and my other errors?


Thanks
Keith in Cleveland

 
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Old 03-29-2008, 09:12 PM   #2
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Post up the recipe, that would help with the gravity reading issue.

 
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Old 03-29-2008, 09:19 PM   #3
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It's really common with extract brewing to have a false high or low SG reading. It's very difficult to truly mix up the wort and the top off water, so your sample can be too "thick" or too thin. Also, if the hydrometer was a little stuck to the side, you can't trust your reading at all. It has to be free floating in the middle.

As Mr. Stimey said, if you post your recipe you can figure your OG within a couple of points. Extracts only have a certain amount of fermentables, and if you topped up to 5 gallons, you'll be right at the OG.
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Old 03-29-2008, 11:49 PM   #4
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The ingredients list included:

6.6 bls. Plain Amber Malt Extract
2 lbs. Plain Dry Malt Extract
4 oz. Crushed Crystal Malt 60L
4 oz Crushed Chocolate
1 oz Crushed Black Patent
1 oz Willamette Hops (Bittering)
1 oz Willamette Hops (Finishing)
1 oz Columbus (Aroma)
1 packet Nottingham yeast

 
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Old 03-29-2008, 11:57 PM   #5
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Yoop already covered it and she's right. I had an OG way off once and I posted the typical Help! MY OG was way off! post. My reading was taken out of the top of the carboy and I had not thouroughly mixed the wort with the water (it was a partal boil).

Those boil overs are fun, huh? I had read countless posts warning about boil overs, but I didn't actually realize how serious everybody was until I had my first one. I literally turned around to take a drink for 2 seconds and when I looked back wort was EVERYWHERE!

The outside boils are better IMHO. Spills are easier to clean up. SWMBO doesn't like the smell in the house, especiall my last one with juniper berries. It gets you out of the house for a while and into the garage, AKA man cave.....or woman cave for Yooper.

Trial and Error my friend. You just learn from your mistakes. My first brew was a bit hectic as well.

Keep with it man!
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Old 03-30-2008, 12:35 AM   #6
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Yeh, I was lucky I was outside when the boilsover occurred. My wife loved the coffee aromas coming off the boil when I pitched the grains, but onced I put in the malt she was glad I went outside.

Keith

 
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Old 03-30-2008, 04:12 AM   #7
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As long as you didn't scorch the wort you'll be alright! I had my 1st boilover 2 batches ago and it turned out fine (drinking it right now actually). The more you do it the easier it will be to multi-task.

Almost 9#'s of extract..your OG reading could be somewhat close?!?

Kug
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Old 03-30-2008, 09:29 PM   #9
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Thanks for everyone's responses! Yooper, instructions said OG should be between 1.059 and 1.063. Could it be so high because of my mix up in puting the DME in later?

 
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Old 03-30-2008, 09:44 PM   #10
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No, I'd be willing to bet that your wort (after you topped up) wasn't thoroughly mixed. That happens all the time.

Even if you added the DME at flame-out at the very end, the OG would be the same. There is a set amount of fermentables (sugars) that you get from the extract, and your extract batches just can't be off. Unless you only made 3 gallons out of the 5 gallon recipe, for example, or made 6 gallons instead of 5, your OG will be a set amount. It varies only slightly, due to the brand of extract. That's why your recipe gave you a range of 1.059 to 1.063. Your recipe is right in there. (My math isn't great- I'd believe your recipe, rather than my math!).
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