Quantcast

Brew trouble today, Gravity not high enough

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

JohnnyWash1

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
17
Reaction score
0
Ok, so today I decided to break in my new burner with a fresh brew. I took a basic recipe from "Homebrewing for Dummies" for an IPA and spiced it up a bit. Here it is:

7lbs Light Malt Extract (liquid)
1 lb Crystal 30-37L
1 lb Victory 25L
2oz Chinook Hops (added at beginning of boil)
2oz Cascade Hops (split addition, 1oz at 20min and rest at 5min)
Irish Moss


I did a partial boil with approx. 3.5 gallons (ended at about 2.5 gallons after boil). I boiled over a bit at the very beginning of the boil (had to get used to all the power of the new burner!) and lost some yield there. I don't know how much was lost, but probably a pint or so. I took the OG when the sample was about 80* or so and go 1.037. I added the correction due to temperature and came out with about 1.040 OG. This seems VERY low for the amount of malt. Could this be because of the spill only, or is there something else at play here?

My second question is, I put a sticky thermometer (cutely called a "fermometer") on the side of my carboy. I put it on when the wort was still warm-hot. It still shows no reading (the highest is 78*). Did I break it? I know the wort is cool now and I've pitched the yeast. Help please!



Jon
 

malkore

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2007
Messages
6,924
Reaction score
51
Location
Nebraska
well with those malts, I show an estimated OG of 1.058 using beertools (I don't think it's overdoing it with the grains, but it might be considering a partial mash extraction).
anyhow even with a pint boilover, I don't think you missed it by 18 points.

I suspect your hydrometer sample wasn't a uniform sample...partial boils of thick wort are a pain to get mixed into pure 1.000 water. you basically had a bad mix and thus a diluted wort on top, and a thicker wort in the bottom, giving a low OG reading.

question #2...those fermometers are pretty accurate actually, and unless you soak it in water, you can't break it. honestly, if its not showing anything in the temp range, I suspect you're still over 78F. It takes hours upon hours for wort to cool down. if you put it in there at say 90F, it might take 24 hours to cool 10 degrees unless you do a swamp cooler.
ambient room temps don't adjust 5 gallons of warm wort quickly at all.
 
OP
J

JohnnyWash1

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
17
Reaction score
0
Thanks for the reply. I did notice more particulate around the bottom of the sample when taking my reading. I swirled the sample vial to try and make a homogenous mixture, but it didn't seem to help. I think you're saying that I should have maybe mixed up the carboy better before taking the sample. Perhaps that is part of the problem. I was really hoping for high 1050s, so this is disappointing. I measured the temp. of the sample at 85* a little before testing it; I assume the wort in the carboy was a similar temp. A few minutes later I pitched the yeast. Will it survive? Is mid-80s too warm?

I will be keeping an eye on my fermometer to make sure it survived!
 

BrewDey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2007
Messages
456
Reaction score
1
Location
Cincinnati
This issue of not really being able to mix the concentrated wort with the extra water is the reason I (shudder) don't even take OG readings anymore. I always know that it's going to be low because the heavier stuff sinks to the bottom.

In terms of the temp, it always takes longer than you think if you don't have a wort chiller. I don't, so I put foil over the brewpot and let it sit in a utility tub full of frozen water bottles. I try to get the concentrated wort <80 degrees (at least), then top it off with cold water. That seems to get it down closer to desirable temp.
 

david_42

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2005
Messages
25,582
Reaction score
180
Location
Oak Grove
With extract, all of the sugar is in the fermenter. Poor mixing in the fermenter will give wrong readings. The yeast will find it, regardless.
 
OP
J

JohnnyWash1

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
17
Reaction score
0
Thanks for the info, guys. I didn't have trouble with OG readings last batch, so I wasn't expecting them this time. If I get a wort chiller and start doing full boils will that help?
 
Top