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OG not what I was hoping for...

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supgraffix

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So I brewed a batch of Northern Brewer's Winter Warmer (extract kit) today which is supposed to have an OG or 1.069. After cooling and adding to water, I took a sample, put it in a graduated cylinder type deal, and used my hydrometer and got a reading of 1.060. Is there a reason why the beer is off so much? Did I do something wrong in the brewing process? I followed the directions as closely as possible.

P.S. - This is only my second batch, didn't do gravity readings on my first.
 

Whisler85

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for your second batch, falling within 0.009 of your target gravity isnt just good, its impressive

also, there are temperature conversion factors for what the temperature of the sample is when you take the gravity and how that temperature changes the gravity reading

the hotter a wort sample is, the more you need to add to the reading to correct it (and also the more inaccurate it becomes)

ALWAYS take the temperature of you wort when taking gravity- i stick the probe from a probe thermometer into the graduated cylind along with the hydrometer so i always know- it may not stay the same temp as the brew in the kettle for long

all-in-all, i'd say that you did a damned fine job for your second brew- not pro-league accuracy, but if 0.009 off of OG is your biggest problem brewing right now, you are destined for great things!
 

cdburg

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Did you make sure that any water you added was thoroughly stirred in before taking a sample? For an extract batch, there usually isn't too much of a variation. If it wasn't mixed, you may have gotten a more diluted sample than the "rest" of the batch.
 
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supgraffix

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As far as the question about whether or not it was stirred all of the way, I added about 2 1/2 gallons of water, poured in the wort, and then added about another 1/2 gallon of water to get up to 5 gal. I then swirled it around some with the lid on, mainly to try to aerate it. I didn't stir it with a spoon or anything because I had never read anything to this extent being needed to mix the beer. I also know this is the time when the wort runs the highest risk of being contaminated so I try to mess with it the least amount possible. Unfortunately I don't really have a good thermometer to get the exact temperature...I need to get one.
 

Cpt_Kirks

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I mix the crap out of my mixed wort with a whisk. I want those yeasties to get plenty of oxygen to start out with.

If you didn't know the temp, how did you know it was cool enough to pitch?

I have heard the difference between good beer and really great beer can often come down to temperature.
 
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