hydrometer readings

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Byrdbrewer

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Hi guys, I have a question for you all - I have been extract brewing for about 2 years, and have not been extremely diligent about taking hydrometer readings, primarily because I just haven't been too concerned about it. However, as my beers have become more and more delicious, I have decided to record my ingredients and procedures a bit more diligently. My last batch had an OG reading that was unusually high 1.102. I could be wrong, but the ingredients used do not seem like they would result in such a high reading :

1 Lb munich malt (grain steep 45 min @ 155 F)
.5 Lb special roast malt (grain steep 45 min @ 155 f)
9 Lb Amber LME
1 Lb Light DME
1 oz Columbus Hops 60 min
.5 oz Chinook Hops 45 min
.5 oz Chinook Hops 35 min
.5 oz Cascade Hops 25
.5 oz Cascade Hops 15 min
1 oz Chinook Hops 5 min

I extracted about 1 cup of wort from the boil pot and let cool, the hops had settled to the bottom and the wort was at room temp, so I poured into my hydro test tube, and to my surprise saw a reading worthy of dessert wine, 1.102 - Can anyone tell me if this sounds correct, or what some other variable factors may contribute to a false reading, if this is the case. Thanks you in advance for your help.
 

Revvy

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It's a pretty common issue for ANYONE topping off with water in the fermenter (and that includes partial mashes, extract or all grain revcipes) to have an error in reading the OG...In fact, it is actually nearly impossible to mix the wort and the top off water in a way to get an accurate OG reading...

Brewers get a low reading if they get more of the top off water than the wort, conversely they get a higher number if they grabbed more of the extract than the top off water in their sample.

When I am doing an extract with grain recipe I make sure to stir for a minimum of 5 minutes (whipping up a froth to aerate as well) before I draw a grav sample and pitch my yeast....It really is an effort to integrate the wort with the top off water...This is a fairly common new brewer issue we get on here...unless you under or over topped off or the final volume for the kit was 5 gallons and you topped off to 5.5, then the issue, sorry to say, is "operator error"

So you took it directly from the brew pot before you dilluted, down to your correct volume, right? that would account for it.
 

knelson

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I'm assuming you did a partial boil on this batch? If your wort isnt mixed well enough with the top off water, you will have a high OG. With extract its not necessarily needed to take a hydrometer reading to get your OG if the recipe lists one. Its nearly impossible to miss your OG with extract.

If you are doing a full boil you can do a OG reading as your wort has been fully mixed.
 

JJL

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My guess is that it's a combination of things. 1)If you pull it from the pot it is probably too concentrated. I'm guessing that you will need to add additional water to top off to 5 gallons. 2) You will have to adjust for temp. Hydros are usually calibrated to 60F. You will likely need to convert because your temp is likely higher than that.

Of course your hydro might not be calibrated correctly to start with. You should test it in plain water at 60F.

These things may be enough to overestimate your reading. Although, given the amount of fermentables you have, 1.102 probably isn't that far off.
 
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Byrdbrewer

Byrdbrewer

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It's a pretty common issue for ANYONE topping off with water in the fermenter (and that includes partial mashes, extract or all grain revcipes) to have an error in reading the OG...In fact, it is actually nearly impossible to mix the wort and the top off water in a way to get an accurate OG reading...

Brewers get a low reading if they get more of the top off water than the wort, conversely they get a higher number if they grabbed more of the extract than the top off water in their sample.

When I am doing an extract with grain recipe I make sure to stir for a minimum of 5 minutes (whipping up a froth to aerate as well) before I draw a grav sample and pitch my yeast....It really is an effort to integrate the wort with the top off water...This is a fairly common new brewer issue we get on here...unless you under or over topped off or the final volume for the kit was 5 gallons and you topped off to 5.5, then the issue, sorry to say, is "operator error"

So you took it directly from the brew pot before you dilluted, down to your correct volume, right? that would account for it.
Ahh ya thats exactly what happened, I took the wort directly from the brew pot so there was 1 gal of top off water missing - I cant believe I didn't realize this. Still, the reading seems high - this was a recipe I put together my self, so I didn't have any manufacturers metrics to compare to. Thanks.
 
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Byrdbrewer

Byrdbrewer

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I'm assuming you did a partial boil on this batch? If your wort isnt mixed well enough with the top off water, you will have a high OG. With extract its not necessarily needed to take a hydrometer reading to get your OG if the recipe lists one. Its nearly impossible to miss your OG with extract.

If you are doing a full boil you can do a OG reading as your wort has been fully mixed.
Ya thats exactly what happened, I forgot about the 1 gal of top off water that was missing - This was a recipe I put together so I didn't have any "kit metrics" to compare to --- yet another byproduct of not having a wort chiller.... pitching at 2 AM LOL....
 
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Byrdbrewer

Byrdbrewer

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JJL

Great info, thanks - this is a recipe I threw together, so I was trying to think it out to see if the fermentable I added were off, but it all seems pretty in line with a lot of kits I have brewed in the past. - its amazing that you can brew a recipe similar to a kit, yet it comes out so much better when you put the kit together yourself, must be a testament to the fresh ingredients of my local HBS.
 

JJL

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JJL

Great info, thanks - this is a recipe I threw together, so I was trying to think it out to see if the fermentable I added were off, but it all seems pretty in line with a lot of kits I have brewed in the past. - its amazing that you can brew a recipe similar to a kit, yet it comes out so much better when you put the kit together yourself, must be a testament to the fresh ingredients of my local HBS.
Just like cooking. Quality ingredients yield a quality product.
 

mrgreen4242

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1.102 sounds right on for those ingredients and 4 gallons of water. Using 36 gravity points per pound per gallon for LME, 45 for DME, and 22 for crystal malts gives 1.1005 for 4 gallons and 1.073 for 5.
 
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