Hydrometer question

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Crayfish

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Hello

I made a ginger beer that fermented with vigorous airlock activity for three days. Unfortunately, I did not take a reading in the beginning. Tonight (3 weeks later) it reads at 2%. This seems way low. The recipe is below:


I made a batch this past spring. I didn't use a kit/tin but wat I made is pretty refreshing. Here is the recipe:

2.5lbs of honey
3 lbs Muntons light DME
1 lbs cane sugar
2 lemons
2.5 lbs fresh ginger root
1 oz Willamette pellet hops
Wyeast 1056 American ale/Chico
Total boil 60 min
Add 3/4 of grated ginger,lemon juice and rinds (minus zest), and 3/4 of the honey at 30 minutes.
Add rest of ginger and honey at 50 minutes
Hops at 58 minutes

I stole this from someone on here and made some spice modifications. I will def. post when its done and give you your props along with the results.

Very spicy so far..


Also, I had this problem last time, with an ESB. It def. has at least 5%. Maybe I am reading it wrong. Is the % alc for post fermentation, or is that potential alcohol for before?

D
 

surfbrewer

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Are looking at the estimated alcohol scale on the hydrometer? I've never used that scale because it has never seemed to have any bearing on what I was actually getting.

You really need to take a starting and ending gravity. What is your ending gravity? You could calculate out your potential starting gravity and then figure out what you have. Without knowing your efficiency it won't be very accurate but it will be in the ballpark.
Hope this helps.

Cheers
 

surfbrewer

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I entered your ingredients into beersmith and came out with a potential alcohol of 5.2%.
Again, without knowing your efficiency its hard to say what exactly you have but it should be somewhere around there. Start taking hydrometer readings and you will be better able to dial in your brewing process.

On a side note, in your recipe you have 2.5 LBS of ginger root, I'm guessing that you really only put in 2.5 ounces, right? Otherwise that is going to be one hell of a ginger beer.:D
 

TexLaw

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The alcohol scale on the hydrometer does not read the same way as the gravity readings. You have to take a reading before fermentation, then another after fermentation, then subtract the second reading from the first. So, you only have half the data.

So, it is more along the lines of the potential alcohol if you fermented everything out.


TL
 
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Crayfish

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Thanks everyone. I need to stop being lazy and start taking OG and FG readings.

I did a quick search and couldn't find who I got the recipe from, but it did call for 2.5 pounds of ginger. I wanted something like D&G Jamaican ginger beer but alcoholic. It burns your nostrils-its awesome. I can't wait until its carbonated. I added a lot of lemon, some orange peel, and a little coriander too it as well.

D
 

Revvy

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Thanks everyone. I need to stop being lazy and start taking OG and FG readings.

I did a quick search and couldn't find who I got the recipe from, but it did call for 2.5 pounds of ginger. I wanted something like D&G Jamaican ginger beer but alcoholic. It burns your nostrils-its awesome. I can't wait until its carbonated. I added a lot of lemon, some orange peel, and a little coriander too it as well.

D
2.5 pounds of ginger?!? OMG! I use about 3 ounces in my Ginger Orange Dortmunder recipe and that's pretty spicy...WOW!
 

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