Two Batches in, two low OGs

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New Member
May 19, 2008
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So far my roommate and I have made two batches (one is conditioning in bottles, one in primary). Both of our Original Gravity Readings have come in at 1.040-1.041.

The first recipe was a kit - Brewer's Best American Micro-style Pale Ale, recipe below. Our OG was 1.040.

Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.058 SG

Amount Item Type % or IBU
6.60 lb Light Dry Extract (8.0 SRM) Dry Extract 89.80 %
0.75 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 10.20 %
1.50 oz Cascade [4.80 %] (60 min) Hops 17.3 IBU
1.50 oz Williamette [4.00 %] (5 min) Hops 2.9 IBU
5.00 gal Boston, MA Water
1 Pkgs Unknown Ale Yeast (Brewer's Best Kit) Yeast-Ale

2nd batch was for a Sam Adams Summer Clone with a hint of Apricot, recipe below. OG was 1.041. The whole bag of Irish moss was added by mistake, rather than the 1/2 tsp we were planning on adding. I don't think that's our problem though.

Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 3.25 gal
Estimated OG: 1.049 SG

Amount Item Type % or IBU
3.30 lb Pilsner Liquid Extract (3.5 SRM) Extract 40.74 %
3.30 lb Wheat Liquid Extract (8.0 SRM) Extract 40.74 %
1.00 lb Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM) Grain 12.35 %
0.50 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 6.17 %
2.50 oz Cascade [4.10 %] (55 min) Hops 27.5 IBU
1.25 oz Saaz [3.80 %] (5 min) Hops 2.6 IBU
1.00 oz Lemon Zest (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
2.00 oz Apricot Extract (Bottling 5.0 min) Misc
4.00 gm Seeds of Paradise (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
10.00 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
5.00 gal Boston, MA Water
1 Pkgs Bavarian Wheat (Wyeast Labs #3638) Yeast-Wheat

I've done some research and can't figure out what we could be doing wrong. I think the wort and added water were mixed pretty darn well before we took the reading. There were bubbles on the surface, but we tried to take the reading where we had skimmed them off. I don't think that we added too much water either - filled the primary fermenter up to the 5 gal line (we have the standard 6.5 gal bucket). I will be checking to make sure the line is accurate once the summer beer is out of there.

Anyone have any other ideas? When we've tasted our first brew, flavors were pretty good, but it did seem watery.


Active Member
May 13, 2008
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Chesapeake, Virginia
Interesting, My brewers best cream ale seemed a little on the low side to me too and during the sampling it tasted a little watery. I am curious to see what the experts around here suggest because I am in the same boat as you and I know mine was mixed very well before I took my hydrometer reading



Well-Known Member
Jun 15, 2007
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Its normal. your OG reading is wrong..the recipe is right.

Unless you forcably stir the bejesus outta the primary for 10 minutes after you add the top off water, you are NOT getting a homogenous mixture. The wort sinks, the water rises. Thus your wort sample is diluted.

The only way to miss OG on an extract recipe that came out of a box is because you didn't add all the extract, you added too much water, or you had a huge boilover (and thus lost extract).