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Super Low OG

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TMannion87

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Hi all,

I brewed a PM Zombie Dust Clone last night. The recipe can be found here:

http://tinyurl.com/bg8eef5

I started with a roughly 7 gallon boil and topped off with less than 1 gallon of water when all was said and done for a 5 gallon batch. I mixed the wort for a solid 5 minutes. Target OG was 1.066, my gravity reading was 1.050.

To make up for my low reading, per the instructions in this post (http://tinyurl.com/byn42km) I boiled 6 oz of Light DME in 1 cup of water, cooled, pitched into wort and shook it for awhile. My new reading was 1.052.

My hydrometer us calibrated and I accounted for the temperature of the wort in my reading. I've been brewing for years and while I've had some low OGs, it's never been off this much. Any ideas what is causing this problem? Any ideas of how to raise my OG after fermentation has died down? Any ideas and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
 

jweez

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I recently brewed an all grain Obsidian Stout Clone and also would of ran into a low og but I referenced the book "Designing Great Beers" and there is a great chapter about hitting your target og during your boil by adding some fermentables (dme), or by boiling off. I ended up hitting 1.068, my target was 1.067. I definitely recommend that book.

For raising the og after fermentation I'm not sure what you want to do there.
 

GotPushrods

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I started with a roughly 7 gallon boil and topped off with less than 1 gallon of water when all was said and done for a 5 gallon batch.
So you started the boil with 7 gallons... and ended with 4.x gallons? That's a huge 60-minute boil-off, assuming you followed the recipe to a T.

I boiled 6 oz of Light DME in 1 cup of water, cooled, pitched into wort and shook it for awhile. My new reading was 1.052.
This sounds right. DME will give you about 44 points per pound per gallon. You used 37.5% of a pound, so you'll get 16.5 points. But that's spread over 5 gallons (we think), so you'll get a total increase of 3.3 points. If your volume was higher, you might see less (in the range of 2.x points) which would also explain the low OG.

How do you measure your volumes?
 
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T

TMannion87

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I filled the brew kettle to a bit above the 6 gallon mark and when I added my DME the kettle was totally full. I have the 5 gallon marker marked on my 6 gallon better bottle and used a pitcher with qt. markers to top off with water.

There was a decent amount of hop matter left over in the kettle, so that might have been an issue. Is there anything I can do post fermentation to boost up the ABV? Right now I'm looking at a 4.4% brew...
 

Stocktonbrew

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You can add a pound of honey to your primary fermenter if you are just looking to boost ABV. 2 cups water to a pound of honey, bring up to 160 degrees, cool to fermentation temp and pour it into primary.
 
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TMannion87

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Would I add the honey after fermentation is complete or during? How much would that boost the ABV? Is using dextrose also an option? Your help is greatly appreciated!
 

Stocktonbrew

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I wait Until primary fermentation calms down (about 3-4 days). 1.5 lbs in a 5 gal batch should be about 10 points.
 
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