Boil off volume and SG change not making sense

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

str1p3s

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2016
Messages
221
Reaction score
148
I was wondering if anyone else has dealt with this or has any ideas what happened.

My friend brewed yesterday, collected 8 gallons of wort with a pre boil gravity of 1.050, taken with a refractometer. He boiled for an hour down to roughly 6 gallons. His expected OG was 1.067 but it was 1.054 measured with a hydrometer. Temperature was close to 60F. Every calculator I found has said that concentrating 1.050 wort from 8 gallons to 6 should result in 1.067.

We checked his refractometer and hydrometer with distilled water to make sure they were accurate. We also hooked the chiller back up to the hose to make sure it wasn't leaking into the wort.

We're pretty baffled. Concentrating wort shouldn't be effected by some sort of process error, right? It's a simple formula. We had to have measured wrong either pre boil or post but I can't figure out how. Any ideas?
 

day_trippr

Structural Duct Tape Sales Engineer
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
38,871
Reaction score
22,090
Location
Stow, MA
Ayup. That's the typical root cause. There was another thread clearly sporting the same syndrome here last week...

Cheers!
 
OP
OP
str1p3s

str1p3s

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2016
Messages
221
Reaction score
148
He said he gave it a good stir first, but I think that is where I'm leaning as the cause also.
 

seilenos

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2016
Messages
207
Reaction score
136
Were the "8" and "6" gallons from a scale on the boil kettle or were they estimated from starting water volume and fermenter volume or somewhere else?
 

bracconiere

Jolly Alcoholic
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
25,094
Reaction score
14,915
Location
S.AZ
Stratification. Was the full wort mixed up before pulling a sample?


if it was a PRE-boil gravity of 1.050, then boiling should have pretty thoroughly mixed it? i know i beat this trick over the head as of late, but double check when it's done fermenting. Compare a refrac reading & hydro reading....or just a refrac, assuming a FG of ~1.010, a refrac would read around 8 BRIX if it was 1.067 OG, and 6.5 if actually 1.054...

and you can get 'closer' if you drop a hydro in it too...(i love that trick! only reason i have a refractometer! ;) :mug:)
 

DBhomebrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
2,415
Reaction score
4,650
Location
St Louis, MO
if it was a PRE-boil gravity of 1.050, then boiling should have pretty thoroughly mixed it?

True. Perhaps the pre-boil wort wasn't thoroughly mixed. Perhaps the post-boil was taken after the wort was left to chill and settle.

+1 on questioning volumetric accuracy
 
OP
OP
str1p3s

str1p3s

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2016
Messages
221
Reaction score
148
The volumes were based on markings on the boil kettle and on the fermenter. I was referring to the pre boil gravity that was stirred first. I assume the post boil is accurate because it was thoroughly mixed by the boil and we whirlpool the wort with a pump during chilling, mixing it further.
 

odie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2016
Messages
2,061
Reaction score
1,169
Location
CC, TX
use only one instrument. hydrometer OR refractometer. NOT BOTH. You have a significant "variable" using 2 different methods interchangeably.

You are introducing significant human error. Nothing will make sense or be remotely usable.
 
Top