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Old 01-14-2009, 05:30 PM   #1
Kazakaz
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Default First brew last night, low OG

I brewed my first batch of beer last night. It was a Nut Brown Ale kit from True Brew. I followed the directions and did a partial boil that mixed with 3 gallons of cold water when finished. I took an gravity reading, and if I read it right, the OG was 1.02. I'm worried because the directions list the OG around 1.14.

Would a low OG just mean a low ABV when it's finished? If I added more sugar will it boost it up? If so, when should I add it?

Thanks


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Old 01-14-2009, 05:37 PM   #2
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Woah, something is definitely amiss here.

First of all, I should think that the OG should be around 1.050. 1.14 would be crazy, unless they are telling you to measure it before you topped off the water or something?

In any case, 1.020 is way too low. Are you sure you read the hydrometer correctly, etc? You added just enough water to give you 5 gallons of cooled wort? Does it appear to have the general color and consistency of beer?


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Old 01-14-2009, 05:42 PM   #3
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Usually this is a case of not fully stirring the wort before taking a gravity reading. The denser sugar rich wort settles at the bottom.
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Old 01-14-2009, 05:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazakaz View Post
I brewed my first batch of beer last night. It was a Nut Brown Ale kit from True Brew. I followed the directions and did a partial boil that mixed with 3 gallons of cold water when finished. I took an gravity reading, and if I read it right, the OG was 1.02. I'm worried because the directions list the OG around 1.14.

Would a low OG just mean a low ABV when it's finished? If I added more sugar will it boost it up? If so, when should I add it?

Thanks
I think you misreading your hydrometer, But to answer your questions...
Low OG means lower ABV.
Adding more malt extract will increase your ABV, but I wouldn't do it until you are sure you actually have a problem. I cannot imagine a kit will be that far off. We need more info if possible.
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Old 01-14-2009, 05:45 PM   #5
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Usually this is a case of not fully stirring the wort before taking a gravity reading. The denser sugar rich wort settles at the bottom.
Yup, I didn't think about that. This is probably your issue right here.
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Old 01-14-2009, 05:54 PM   #6
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Thanks for the responses guys. I probably didn't stir the wort enough, just poured it in then took the reading. I probably should have taken another reading after giving it a good stir before putting the yeast in. I checked on it this morning and the airlock is bubbling away. I just got a little paranoid this being my first brew.
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Old 01-14-2009, 05:57 PM   #7
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Thanks for the responses guys. I probably didn't stir the wort enough, just poured it in then took the reading. I probably should have taken another reading after giving it a good stir before putting the yeast in. I checked on it this morning and the airlock is bubbling away. I just got a little paranoid this being my first brew.

At this point, just go by the estimated numbers from the recipe. Make sure it sits at a bare minimum 10 days in that fermenter and that all airlock activity has stopped before proceeding to the next phase. (10 days is a good rule of thumb. This can be shortened but until you are really in tune with the process play it safe)

Ooh wait. I just re-read. You have a very high gravity Ale there. Do you have a secondary? That thing is going to chug along for some time and if you can it would be nice to transfer to a secondary to finish out the fermentation and allow some bulk aging and settling of the yeast. If not it isn't critical, but what is critical is that you hit at least close to what your yeast strain should be giving you in terms of attenuation. What strain yeast was it? Begin looking up threads on "stuck fermentation" so that in case you run into this problem you know how to proceed.

Now I am really confused. A Nut-Brown at 1.14 is like an Imperial Nut-Brown (not that I have ever heard of such an animal). Are you sure of the numbers? Is this measurement to be taken prior to adding in the water (like alpo mentions)?
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:11 PM   #8
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I believe an earlier poster was right saying is should be around 1.04 OG. Was writing this from memory at work, and wasn't 100% sure of the listed OG was. Doing a quick Google search found that it actually lists 1.040-1.052 OG with a 1.008-1.013 FG.


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