Quantcast

O.G. was higher than expected, even after adding water...

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

hexmonkey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
359
Reaction score
15
Location
Hunterdon County, NJ
SWMBO bought me a brewing kit from the LHBS for Xmas so after reading up and getting the leftover necessary supplies and ingredients, I made my first ever batch last Saturday.

I used a Kolsch recipe from the LHBS (extract + specialty grain). The recipe itself doesn't specify an expected O.G., but it seems like it should be in the 1.040-1.050 range, from the sources I turned up with Google...

I hadn't prepared properly by finding the true 5-gallon mark on my brew pot, I just used the (what I now know are wildly inaccurate) stamped-in markings on the pot itself.

I estimate I was about a gallon short by the time I got it into the fermenter. I boiled up an extra gallon or so, cooled it and added it to what was in the fermenter to try to bring it up closer to what it should have been. I still don't think I made it all the way to 5 gallons.

My batch had an O.G. of 1.063, even after the extra water was added. It had taken way longer than I'd expected to cool the wort and I didn't want to waste any more time, so I just pitched the yeast and brought the fermenter into the basement to get going. After reading some info on the internet and elsewhere, it dawned on me that 1.063 seems really high. :eek:

Is this going to cause any issues? If so, is there anything I can do now?
 

Brakeman_Brewing

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2007
Messages
948
Reaction score
8
The temperature could be a big factor in the gravity reading, depending on the temp at the time of the reading the gravity will need to be adjusted accordingly.
 
OP
hexmonkey

hexmonkey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
359
Reaction score
15
Location
Hunterdon County, NJ
mr_stimey said:
The temperature could be a big factor in the gravity reading, depending on the temp at the time of the reading the gravity will need to be adjusted accordingly.
I followed the directions that came with the hydrometer, and the 1.063 reading is after adjusting for temperature. :(
 
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
4,471
Reaction score
33
How thoroughly did you mix your top-off water into the wort, and how was the sample drawn? You have to stir VERY thoroughly when combining two liquids with different specific gravities...think of a freshly poured black & tan, with the two beers layered.
 
OP
hexmonkey

hexmonkey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
359
Reaction score
15
Location
Hunterdon County, NJ
BlindLemonLars said:
How thoroughly did you mix your top-off water into the wort, and how was the sample drawn?
I didn't stir very much at all, actually...I kinda assumed the top-off water would mix itself in pretty well by dumping it in all at once.

I waited a bit to let it settle, and took another temperature reading. When I was sure it had cooled as much as it was going to cool, I took a sample with a sanitized ladle. This was from the top of the wort in the fermenter, as I was paranoid about putting too much of the ladle in contact with the wort for fear of contamination.

The sample had a lot of 'stuff' floating around in it, which I can only assume was just trub stirred up from the bottom of the fermenter, which had been sitting for almost 40 minutes by that point.
 

malkore

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2007
Messages
6,924
Reaction score
50
Location
Nebraska
I vote for 'unmixed wort' as well.

water's gravity is 1.000 the wort was probably close to 1.060 when you added the water...so its gonna take several minutes of mixing to get an even mixture.

if you post the exact recipe, we can estimate the OG for 5 gallons. most kits put you in the 40-50 range, which'd be fine for Kolsch
 

Tommish

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Messages
97
Reaction score
1
Location
Tulsa, OK
If the OG really turns out to be higher than expected, I suspect it will still be a tasty brew as long as your sanitation was adequate. Since it's your 1st batch ever, my guess is that it won't taste quite like you expected even if the OG was what was predicted, but it may taste better!

If it is above 1.060, you might need to ferment/condition a little longer than you expected.

Congratulations on your first batch! :mug:
 

Blender

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2006
Messages
3,106
Reaction score
8
Location
Santa Cruz, CA.
Extract is pretty difficult to miss the OG if the proper amount of water for the recipe is added. There is only one way to make it stronger and that is not enough water has been added. It probably wasn't well mixed.
 
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
4,471
Reaction score
33
That's gotta be it. As Blender pointed out, with extract brewing it's rather hard to miss your OG.

The good news is that it shouldn't impact your beer, just your OG measurement. Once fermentation is under way, you beer will mix itself! :ban:

Above all, don't worry...everything is cool. Nothing will ruin your beer faster than worrying, so just trust that your yeast will sort things out on their own. They know what to do, they've been at it for centuries! If you tell us the ingredients, we can calculate the actual OG closely enough for practical purposes.
 

Steiner

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2007
Messages
191
Reaction score
0
Location
Davis (outside Sacramento)
Ya I think you should be fine. It probably wasn't mixed up that well. I've had my fair share of mistakes and I think the only time I missed an OG with extract was when I had a boil over and still it wasn't that far off. You should be fine. Congrats on the brew and welcome to the new hobby.
 
OP
hexmonkey

hexmonkey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
359
Reaction score
15
Location
Hunterdon County, NJ
Thanks for all the positive replies!

malkore said:
I vote for 'unmixed wort' as well.

if you post the exact recipe, we can estimate the OG for 5 gallons. most kits put you in the 40-50 range, which'd be fine for Kolsch
I'm not home, so I'll have to post the recipe later on... How do you estimate OG, anyway? Is there a formula, or is it just easier to use one of the brewing programs to do it for you?

My main concern is that I won't have a full fermentation and run the risk of bottle bombs...is this at all likely? Is there any reason that I should pitch more yeast? It's currently still bubbling in the fermenter, though much more slowly now than it was the first few days. I'll probably take a hydrometer reading later today to see where it's at, and to start comparing.

I guess I can try not to be impatient and just leave it in primary for an extra week or so, but is this really necessary if I'm going to secondary it for a couple of weeks anyway?
 

Joker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2007
Messages
1,951
Reaction score
36
Location
Orygun
Hydrometer readings over multiple days is the best way to ensure fermentation is complete. Thus no bottle bombs.

I always leave my brew in primary till the krausen drops, take hydrometer readings, and then transfer to secondary.
 
OP
hexmonkey

hexmonkey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
359
Reaction score
15
Location
Hunterdon County, NJ
5 Is Not Enough said:
Man, this should be a FAQ sticky...
Hehe. not fair - my original question was not a FAQ... :D

As for my recipe, here it is:

Grains:
Pale Malt - 6 oz
Wheat Malt - 3 oz

Extracts:
Pale Malt: 2 qt
Wheat Malt: 1/2 qt

Hops:

Bittering:
Chinook: 1/2 oz
Pacific Gem: 1/2 oz

Finishing:
Cascade: 1/2 oz
Fuggles: 1/2 oz
 
OP
hexmonkey

hexmonkey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
359
Reaction score
15
Location
Hunterdon County, NJ
So I'll be taking hydrometer readings...Monday at the earliest. As I was rearranging some equipment to get to my carboy, I dropped the hydrometer and shattered it.

:eek:


Better that than the carboy, I guess. I'll have to get a new one on Monday.

In the meantime, anybody feeling helpful and wanna calculate my expected OG from the recipe in my last post?
 
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
4,471
Reaction score
33
hexmonkey said:
In the meantime, anybody feeling helpful and wanna calculate my expected OG from the recipe in my last post?
It's a little tricky to say, since LME is normally measured by weight and not volume. Assuming five gallons of wort, and following the old "a pint is a pound, the world round" rule of thumb (which holds true for water, not so sure about LME!!) I calculate your OG at about 1.040, and your FG at around 1.010.

Everybody breaks a hydrometer eventually, sort of a rite of passage! No need to rush to buy a replacement, your beer is safe and additional time will only do it good. Brewing is one of the few pastimes where procrastination is actually beneficial!
 

Orfy

For the love of beer!
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 27, 2005
Messages
11,732
Reaction score
115
Location
Cheshire, England
BlindLemonLars said:
It's a little tricky to say, since LME is normally measured by weight and not volume. Assuming five gallons of wort, and following the old "a pint is a pound, the world round" rule of thumb (which holds true for water, not so sure about LME!!) I calculate your OG at about 1.040, and your FG at around 1.010.

Everybody breaks a hydrometer eventually, sort of a rite of passage! No need to rush to buy a replacement, your beer is safe and additional time will only do it good. Brewing is one of the few pastimes where procrastination is actually beneficial!
LME weighs more then water hence the higher gravity. It depends on the LME used and how much you dilute it.
 
OP
hexmonkey

hexmonkey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
359
Reaction score
15
Location
Hunterdon County, NJ
BlindLemonLars said:
It's a little tricky to say, since LME is normally measured by weight and not volume.
I talked to my LHBS and they told me that the LME I got from them weighs 3 lbs per quart. That means my recipe called for 7.5 lbs of LME. If the recipe was for 5 gallons, what's my expected OG?
 
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
4,471
Reaction score
33
hexmonkey said:
I talked to my LHBS and they told me that the LME I got from them weighs 3 lbs per quart. That means my recipe called for 7.5 lbs of LME. If the recipe was for 5 gallons, what's my expected OG?
I get 1.054 for OG, and an FG of 1.014. A little high for a Kölsch, but I'm a little suspicious about the LME weight. (My all-grain Kölsch only uses 9lbs of grain!)

Check out Beersmith, it's great for planning and analyzing recipes. It really shines when you start partial mashing or all grain, but even for extract it's helpful. A bargain @ $19.95, and you even get a free trial for 21 days.
 
Top