Cream Ale OG too Low

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Airvan

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Hello everyone,

Yesterday I brewed my first batch of Cream Ale and took the original gravity which was 1.021/1.022, which seems considerably low. The issue is, I used all the DME in the kit and that's what it called for, so I could not balance it out, and the beer is currently fermenting. Is there any chance that this beer will turn out? I appreciate all responses.
 

grampamark

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Was this a full volume batch or did you boil a smaller volume and then top off the batch with water to get the desired volume into the fermenter? If you topped off with water before pulling the OG sample, and didn't stir the wort quite thoroughly, you probably got a diluted sample

You will have beer, you'll just have to wait until fermentation is complete to find out what the final result is.
 

hotbeer

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First batch of any beer?

Where did you sample for your OG? Before the boil began or after it was cooled? Though that might not have too big an impact depending on what the actual OG is the recipe said it should have.

Regardless there is a good chance you'll have something. As long as you don't get a infection of something wild, then it might well be drinkable. Even some infected beers are drinkable.

At this point, I'd just suggest you wait it out and see.
 
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Airvan

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Was this a full volume batch or did you boil a smaller volume and then top off the batch with water to get the desired volume into the fermenter? If you topped off with water before pulling the OG sample, and didn't stir the wort quite thoroughly, you probably got a diluted sample

You will have beer, you'll just have to wait until fermentation is complete to find out what the final result is.
First batch of any beer?

Where did you sample for your OG? Before the boil began or after it was cooled? Though that might not have too big an impact depending on what the actual OG is the recipe said it should have.

Regardless there is a good chance you'll have something. As long as you don't get a infection of something wild, then it might well be drinkable. Even some infected beers are drinkable.

At this point, I'd just suggest you wait it out and see.
So when going through some notes I made I think I may have found the culprit:

I let the wort cool to around 75 degrees which I had totally forgot to correct for, meaning that the wort was probably .02 to .03 higher than the reading. I also topped the carboy off with 2 gallons of clean water and did not mix much before taking a sample, which I feel like made the most difference. I think I need to wait it out and see. Everything is fermenting well and seems to be on track. This is my first ever beer to homebrew, just bought all the equipment several days ago. Everything went well, just the gravity thing was throwing me off. I appreciate the responses. I was trying to do everything at once, and next time I need to take more time to get the gravity portion right. Thanks again!
 

hotbeer

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I had totally forgot to correct for, meaning that the wort was probably .02 to .03 higher than the reading
With a hydrometer, a 20°F difference in temp will only account for 0.002 or 2 points difference in your SG reading. Not the 20 to 30 points (0.02 - 0.03) you are stating.

If you are using a refractometer, I've no idea what that correction might be. Though they seemed nifty when I was new to brewing, after learning more I just considered them to be an instrument to make me have to do more work to figure the correct values. So I've never gotten one. Other members like them and I have no issue with that other than just make sure you use the correct corrections.

Your actual OG should be the SG that reflects the wort's SG when you pitched the yeast in the FV (ferment vessel). So any water additions to make up volume should already have been done before measuring OG. And make sure it's all well mixed. Sugary liquids can easily stratify with layers of differing SG's. So if you added water and didn't stir well, then you may not have gotten a true reading.
 

bracconiere

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if you have a hydrometer pick up a refractometer also...when it's done compare the two, punch into a calc like this..


refracs are only like $12-15...
 

TheMadKing

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So when going through some notes I made I think I may have found the culprit:

I let the wort cool to around 75 degrees which I had totally forgot to correct for, meaning that the wort was probably .02 to .03 higher than the reading. I also topped the carboy off with 2 gallons of clean water and did not mix much before taking a sample, which I feel like made the most difference. I think I need to wait it out and see. Everything is fermenting well and seems to be on track. This is my first ever beer to homebrew, just bought all the equipment several days ago. Everything went well, just the gravity thing was throwing me off. I appreciate the responses. I was trying to do everything at once, and next time I need to take more time to get the gravity portion right. Thanks again!

One thing to double check, did you buy a 5 gallon kit or a 2.5 gallon kit?

My very first batch of beer I did exactly that, used a 2.5 gallon kit in 5 gallons and made water lol
 

hotbeer

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I did not stir well, and yes you are correct, I meant 0.002 and 0.003, not what I stated. I feel like the directions were a bit off in that aspect of when to measure.
Then if we can assume you didn't add any more water than was needed to bring it back to the volume the recipe shows as going into the FV you are probably good. It'll mix somewhat on its own with the yeast churning things in the FV.

So don't futch with it. Just put the FV somewhere dark and keep it out of your mind for at least two weeks since pitching yeast. If you do have a way to conveniently take a sample to measure SG, you can do that if you care too. But you just loose beer and risk infection.

IMO, You can just take a SG reading 3 - 2 days before 2 weeks is up and another on the 2 week mark. Then bottle anytime after you get the same SG reading twice 2 - 3 days apart. That is your actual FG.

Yeast doesn't fall out of suspension immediately when they are finished fermenting. In fact it can take weeks longer even though FG might have been reached in just 2 days.

Longer you leave in in the FV, the more you give all the suspended yeast time to drop out and have a clearer beer that isn't all murky. There are ways to make it happen faster if you are in a big big hurry. I don't do them, so others can tell you about them.
 
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Airvan

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Then if we can assume you didn't add any more water than was needed to bring it back to the volume the recipe shows as going into the FV you are probably good. It'll mix somewhat on its own with the yeast churning things in the FV.

So don't futch with it. Just put the FV somewhere dark and keep it out of your mind for at least two weeks since pitching yeast. If you do have a way to conveniently take a sample to measure SG, you can do that if you care too. But you just loose beer and risk infection.

IMO, You can just take a SG reading 3 - 2 days before 2 weeks is up and another on the 2 week mark. Then bottle anytime after you get the same SG reading twice 2 - 3 days apart. That is your actual FG.

Yeast doesn't fall out of suspension immediately when they are finished fermenting. In fact it can take weeks longer even though FG might have been reached in just 2 days.

Longer you leave in in the FV, the more you give all the suspended yeast time to drop out and have a clearer beer that isn't all murky. There are ways to make it happen faster if you are in a big big hurry. I don't do them, so others can tell you about them.
I appreciate the responses and I'm going to just let it be. It is fermenting well for now and the temperature in the room I put the carboy is perfect so I believe we are on track. Thanks again to all! And drink up!
 

Kickass

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I also topped the carboy off with 2 gallons of clean water and did not mix much before taking a sample, which I feel like made the most difference.
I’d bet a pay check, this is accounts for the discrepancy. Dense, sugar saturated wort and top off water don’t readily mix. You likely had a stratification of the two.

If you added everything from the kit and you finished with the appropriate volume, you’re likely within a couple points of what the recipe predicts.

No big deal.
 

Gusso

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Drink 8-10 pints. If you're drunk, it's fine. If you're still sober, you screwed up!
 
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