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Old 06-18-2008, 04:47 PM   #1
nyer
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I've searched and searched and read tons of old posts and still can't find an answer to my questions.

I have always checked the OG after I cooled and poured into the primary. I'm thinking it might be better to take a hot sample from the boil and cool it to check OG so that I could fix it if it's too high or too low. I don't know how to fix it though.

What do you do if your gravity reading after the boil is too high or too low? Is there a way to fix either problem?

 
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Old 06-18-2008, 05:20 PM   #2
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I tend not to worry too much about hitting my OG dead. You are taking the reading at the appropriate time by waiting until you cool the wort and have it in primary, and you are right, there is not much you can do to fix it.

If you are using extract (which I suspect you are), it is pretty difficult to miss your OG by a significant amount unless you are doing something wrong in your process or not measuring your extract well. If you are consistently getting low or high readings you may not be mixing your top-off water thoroughly before taking a reading. The heavier gravity wort tends to sink to the bottom, so readings from the top come out low and those from the bottom come out high.

Also, a slight variation between what the recipe says the OG should be and what it actually is is not uncommon (ie. recipe calls for 1.014 and you get 1.012). This is because the recipe is not taking into account all the variables that occur in your kitchen.
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Old 06-18-2008, 05:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyer View Post
What do you do if your gravity reading after the boil is too high or too low? Is there a way to fix either problem?
You can dilute it with water if it's to high or you could add some dme if it's to low, I wouldn't sweat it a couple of points either way.

 
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Old 06-18-2008, 05:55 PM   #4
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I was wondering what to do if it somehow is off by quite a bit. Thanks for the answers.

 
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:59 PM   #5
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How much is quite a bit? As stated earlier, if you are off by a lot and using extract something is going wrong somewhere in your process.
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Old 06-19-2008, 01:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJadedDog View Post
How much is quite a bit? As stated earlier, if you are off by a lot and using extract something is going wrong somewhere in your process.
or just not mixing the partial boil into the top off water.

back on topic, if you really wanna do this the easy way, invest in a refractometer. its more accurate/easier to adjust for higher temperatures, but like Jaded said, you really only need to worry about missing OG on an all grain, or partial mash recipe.

all extract should always be close to the recipes target OG...as extract is 'standardized' for the most part, while all grain has a range of how many gravity points your brewery will extract from a pound of grain.

and, once you learn your brewery, you'll know your effiency, and can simply adjust the grainbill up or down accordingly.
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Old 06-19-2008, 02:35 PM   #7
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I haven't had the problem while doing extract. I'm in the process of gathering the equipment and knowledge to switch to AG, it's just something I didn't know how to deal with if it happens.

 
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Old 06-19-2008, 10:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyer View Post
I haven't had the problem while doing extract. I'm in the process of gathering the equipment and knowledge to switch to AG, it's just something I didn't know how to deal with if it happens.
my advice: your first few AG recipes, assume you'll get 70% efficiency and plan the grainbill around that.

but know that you may only hit 60-65% and be low on the gravity.

I'm more of a fan of learning what the brewhouse can do, and then try to improve the brewhouse as much as possible, rather than just band-aiding low gravity with DME.
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore View Post
my advice: your first few AG recipes, assume you'll get 70% efficiency and plan the grainbill around that.

but know that you may only hit 60-65% and be low on the gravity.

I'm more of a fan of learning what the brewhouse can do, and then try to improve the brewhouse as much as possible, rather than just band-aiding low gravity with DME.
This is basically what my brewing mentor has told me. Over time you learn the efficiency of your set-up, then you can plan your grainbill around that. Just know that it's going to take several brews before you get things dialed in.
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