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Struggling to match OG of supplier

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eidling

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Hey everyone, I have been buying nearly all my extract kits from NB and have noticed a common theme, I rarely get the same OG as what they advertise on their site. Still being relatively new to this, I am wondering what might be contributing to that since I am basically doing it by the recipe.

I brew in a 5 gallon pot and do about 3 gallons and then add cold water. I follow the recipes to a T and brew over a darkstar burner. For instance, I just did a saison last night that they say should be a 1.041 and I got a 1.035. Are there some variables that play into this that I am not aware of/may be missing? Thanks for the help.
 

Yooper

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Are you measuring your final volume? I think their recipes make exactly five gallons, so if you have, say, 5.25 gallons in the fermenter, the OG will be lower of course.
 

typebrad

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I've been having similar issues, even with clones. I usually add an extra 1/4 gal water for the space sediment occupies and gravity samples. Pretty sure that does it. Add about 20% more DME than recommended in recipe to up the gravity.
 

petrolSpice

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If your volumes of water and weight of extract are correct, you should be getting the advertised OG, it's just math at this point.

You would be surprised to find how hard it is to completely mix the top off water with the dense wort. It is liekly that you are not mixing it thoroughly and when you take a sample off the top it is more water than wort, leading to a low OG reading. When I do extract brews I never check OG. Just make sure your water volumes are correct.
 

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I really think that unless some carefully measures their actual volume in the fermenter, that the volume is incorrect. Most buckets don't have accurate volume markings (try adding a gallon of water, measured, at a time and see) and of course carboys have no markings at all. My 6 gallon carboy holds 6.5 gallons, so it's just a guess on where to fill it if I didn't put any markings on it.
 

fuelish

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I don't worry about it....my OG is my OG, and that's that...if it's higher than anticipated, that's OK, if lower, that's OK, it is what it is...it'll still be beer ... or mead :cool:
 

petrolSpice

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IMO, the most accurate way to determine water volume is to weigh it. 1 gallon of water weighs ~8.34 lb (varies slightly with temp). To mark my carboy I added 4.17 lb of water (1/2 gal) at a time and marked the carboy with glass etching cream.
 

hunter_le five

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One thing I always stress to new brewers is that when you are adding top-up water after your boil, add water until you reach your desired specific gravity, NOT your desired volume. Otherwise it's way too easy to accidentally add too much water and wind up with thin-tasting beer.
 
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eidling

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If your volumes of water and weight of extract are correct, you should be getting the advertised OG, it's just math at this point.

You would be surprised to find how hard it is to completely mix the top off water with the dense wort. It is liekly that you are not mixing it thoroughly and when you take a sample off the top it is more water than wort, leading to a low OG reading. When I do extract brews I never check OG. Just make sure your water volumes are correct.
You know what, as idiotic as it sounds, I hadn't even considered this. I'm positive this is having an impact. How much of an impact, I'm not sure, but definitely an impact. I guess, after reading through some of these responses, that it really isn't a huge issue. I do fill for volume not OG when topping off and typically add a little extra to account for the space consumed by the sediment.

It all still tastes great so I guess nothing to worry about. Thank you all!
 

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