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Low OG..... Bad hydrometer technique?

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FPM

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Hi all,

I finished my partial mash pale ale, and my hydrometer OG reading came in low. It is supposed to be around 1.040, but I am getting it around 1.025. I have followed the directions to the T, everything went very smoothly, it looks and smells great, but why would my OG be low? I used a mini-mash technique instead of simply steeping the grains in the water, could this affect the hydrometer reading? I am also wondering if I am simply not reading the hydrometer right. I use the plastic tube that it came in, using a turkey-baster to fill it up and try to get a reading. Is this not a good technique?

The same thing happened to my amber ale last time. I am brand new to home brewing so I don't know exactly whats going on. The amber ale came out great, so Im thinking it just may be my hydrometer reading skills. Any ideas/suggestions?


Thanks!

Frank
 

Revvy

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The biggest thing that happens with new brewers and hydrometer readings is that they don't THOROUGHLY mix the boiled wort concentrate with the mix water in the fermenter...Mix the heck out of it..you have to aerate anyway, so stir it up for several minutes THEN take a reading and pitch the yeast.

I bought one of those long handled slotted paddles from my lhbs just for that reason...to thoroughly mix and aerate at the same time...I set my timer for 5 minutes and keep mixing.
 

Gammon N Beer

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I would add a confidence building activity into your system as well. Check the calibration of your hydrometer.

Using distilled water at 60F your hydrometer should read 1.000. If it does you know it is correct. But remember, as noted above, the temperature of your wort has an impact on the reading and you need to adjust for that.
 

Revvy

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rtp-brew said:
The temperature of the wort will affect the hydrometer reading as well. Although to be that far of you would have had to have been reading the wort at 150??°F or so.

Here is a chart for rough temperature correction: http://www.ebrew.com/primarynews/ct_hydrometer_temp_correction.htm
Your hydro should come with a sheet that shows you the temp correction for your hydro (some are calibrated for 60f and some for 65f evidently) If you no longer have your sheet, there are some quick temp online...

Or I think someone last week posted them on someone's thread...
 
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FPM

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I think I may just not be stirring it enough. How do you calibrate a hydrometer? The hydrometer itself says it is calibrated to 60F, but is there anyway of checking it?

Frank
 
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