Final Gravity

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buschpilot

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I just finished brewing my second NB caribou Slobber... the first caribou I did, was my very first batch and forgot to take the gravity reading, at that time... My question is: The kit says that the OG was 1.052, but this one I just finished was reading at 1.032. am I missing something? I followed the recipes to a tee and I am now confused... still new and learning...
 

tdf

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Was it an extract kit? If you have the correct volume of wort and used all of the extract, you'll have the correct SG. It's likely that your wort was not completely mixed and so the sample you took was low. Nothing to worry about.
 
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buschpilot

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it was the extract kit. I added everything that came with the kit, it just kinda threw me off... I guess I will have to wait and see what comes out at the end...thanx
 

GoodTruble

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1 gallon or 5 gallon kit? My guess is the LME wasn't mixed thoughly (and you got a thinner sample), you added more water than intended, your forgot the 1 lbs of DME, or the hydrometer is just off.
 

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As others have said, heavy sugar wort and less dense water can stratify. Your sample may not have been thoroughly mixed.

If you added all the malt extract and your total volume was what the recipe called for, it’s safe to assume you’re +/- a couple point of the recipe.
 
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buschpilot

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it was the 5 gal extract kit..I did use the liquid malt as well as the DME.. this really wouldn't bother me, but that the reading was off from the specs...
 
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buschpilot

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This is what I saw, maybe I am not reading it right… but?
 

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RM-MN

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This is what I saw, maybe I am not reading it right… but?
If you want to see why your sample is lower in originial gravity than advertised, take a clear glass tumbler and fill it 3/4 full of water. Add a teaspoon of honey. The honey will simulate the LME. Notice that it goes right to to bottom? Try to stir it in with a toothpick. Note that it doesn't mix well. That's what you get with liquid malt extract. You have to really stir vigorously to get it properly mixed so your original gravity you measured matches the advertised.

It won't matter to your beer. The yeast will find the malt extract and their activity will stir it for you.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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@buschpilot : if you are comfortable with story problem math ...

... there appears to be a process that could be used to measure SG of the wort (before adding top-off water) and convert that SG measurement to a "post-top-off" water equivalent.

The process might be built into recipe software as well.


edit: see #11 (2nd reply down from here)
 
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buschpilot

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The only thing I may think of is that I might not have mixed the wort very well with the 2 gallons of water added, my next question is, would u open the vessel and take another sample and read that, or would it be best to just let it do it’s thing, and hope there was a mistake and judge the abv when it done by drinking it? When I moved the fermenter from upstairs to downstairs, it’s definitely been mixed….
 
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Upstate12866

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No need to take another reading with your extract kit. You can pretty much trust your directions for the OG.

I had lots of issues with weird readings from extracts, both due to my own stupidity as I was learning and the very real problem of mixing sugary liquids properly. It can be baffling when it doesn't mix. Now if I am using extract, I simply trust the math. There is almost no way that the contents of the can are off by very much, so if you know how much volume of water you add, you can use an equation.

I add up the total points in the can (liquid malt is about 36 points per pound per gallon, so a 3.3 lb extract can contains ~118.8 points per gallon).

I divide the total points by number of gallons water added (I like to put one can into 2.5 g
water, so 118.8/2.5 = 47.5 points, or an OG of 1.047-1.048. If you put it into 3 gallons of water, you will get an OG of 1.039-1.040. You can reliably add dry malt extract or sugar by weight to fine tune things from there, such as bringing up 3 gallons into the 1.045 range if you wanted to.)

In the front of my brewing notebook I copied the points per gallon of common ingredients so I can reference them easily. This helps me estimate any steeping grains, extracts, or other things I might add.

Try not to stress accuracy tooo much. Like exactly how much the steeping grains add. Feel free to think in intervals of 5 (5 points, 0.5% alcohol, etc.)

When accurate gravity reading really really matters is when you bottle. Make sure that the fermentation is complete and don't be satisfied with a reading that is relatively steady. 2 gravity points of unfermented sugars are enough to create bottle bombs. The good news is you can always just let beer sit for another week or two if unsure, and 90% of the time you get better beer for your patience anyway, so it's a win win.
 
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