Low OG with Brewers Best American Cream Ale

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TsunamiMike

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Finished my batch last night and the OG showed 1.046 and the minimum OG on the instructions was 1.049.

Two things I did differently from the last batch to this one:

1. used 3.5 gallons in my pot to boil vs 2.5 gallons

2. knowing I had to add water after cooling down the wort I added some water when the temp of the wort was still not at the recommended 70 to help cool it down

Would either of those scenarios make an impact on the OG?
 

Immocles

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Nope.

Extract OGs are predictable. If you use a pound of DME in a gallon of water, its a gravity of 1.044. The only way around that is with higher or lower volume.

That being said, when you top off a partial boil, it doesn't mix perfectly throughout, so your sample was more than likely not completely mixed. Nothing to worry about, but if you used all the extract given in the kit, and topped off to the correct volume, you're OG listed on the kit is correct.
 
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TsunamiMike

TsunamiMike

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If you use a pound of DME in a gallon of water, its a gravity of 1.044. The only way around that is with higher or lower volume.
Higher or lower volume meaning additional DME or LME? Just making sure I understand it since this is my second time brewing...
 

myndflyte

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Higher or lower volume meaning additional DME or LME? Just making sure I understand it since this is my second time brewing...
I think what is meant is that 1 lb of DME in 1 gallon of water is 1.044. Use more water and the gravity is less. Use less water and the gravity will be higher.

If you use more DME in a gallon of water, then your gravity will be higher.
 

myndflyte

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Well the same theory holds true. What probably happened is that either you had a little bit more water at the end than the instructions said or when you topped off, it's hard to thoroughly mix the new water in with the wort and a lot of times you'll get a lower OG than expected. Bottom line though, is that you were 3 points off so you'll be fine.
 

davidabcd

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In the future use a 7.9 gallon fermenter for a five gallon batch and you won't have any problem with beer coming up through the airlock.
I know it's too late as of this writing but if you have tubing that matches the pipe coming from the airlock, connect it and put the other end in a container filled with diluted starsan or vodka. Ensure that the end in the solution is covered. It's called a blow-off tube.
 

myndflyte

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If you're still having issues, a blow off tube is what you'd want. As long as hops don't start clogging it, you should be fine. My IPA I just brewed got hops clogged in the airlock and when I took the airlock off, I was greeted with a face full of hops. So pressure can really build in there if it's got no where to go.
 
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TsunamiMike

TsunamiMike

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So with this kit there was zero instructions about a temperature to ferment at, my last batch was between 68-72 which was on the instructions. I assumed the same space would yield the same temp but it has been warmer here recently and we have not been running out HVAC and have had the windows open.

With that being said the above happened where the fermentation seemed to be on turbo mode, I made the blow off and took a look at the temperature which read 75-76 degrees. I panicked and ran it down to the basement and didnt think much of it until today, it is now about 24 hours and I notice the fermentation <bubbling> has stopped and the temperature is at 64 degrees. I am wondering if since since I originally started the fermentation on Monday at 10pm that now the "bubbling" should've subsided anyway and had nothing to do with the drop in temp or did the drop in the temp kill it?

Sounds a bit irrational, "i know" but I like to follow instructions to the "t" and this kit was a bit vague. Again this is batch 2 and Sunday is my first taste of the Watermelon Wheat after the two weeks of bottle conditioning!
 

Immocles

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The temp drop didn't kill it. Ales will ferment really quickly and really aggressively, especially at higher temps. The fermentation process itself also creates heat, so the temp of the beer itself was most likely a bit higher than the air temperature.

In the future, look at the yeast package for temperature ranges and try to figure out a way to stay in that range. Most ale yeasts are optimal in the mid 60s. If I was guessing, I would say that the dry yeast that came with the kit is Nottingham, and I believe that it has a pretty wide range of forgiveness.
 
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TsunamiMike

TsunamiMike

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Fantastic, looking at these directions versus my last there weren't many steps and I am thinking I may have breezed through the process versus how intense the last one was.

I didn't even think to look on the yeast packet...
 

RM-MN

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I'll often chill my wort to the upper 50's and pitch the yeast. Then I put it in a 62 degree room and it will warm to 64 with the yeast activity. It has always made beer. After about a week I bring the beer into a 72 degree room for the final 2 weeks just to make sure the yeast finish the last of the sugar, clean up byproducts of fermentation, and settle out before I bottle.
 
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