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Yikes! Specific gravity way too low!

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Mystikty

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I am attempting to brew an "Oktoberfest" Ale with Dusseldorf Alt Yeast. After the boil and chilled the wort to just below 80 degrees F, I took the OG which was at 1.050 ( corrected for temp). The recipe called for 1.055-1.057 It was late at night and became impatient and decided to pitch at 78 degrees F. I did not have any temperature control devices so I used archaic methods of chilling my fermentor to 68 degrees F. I managed to maintain that temp ever since. Today was Night 5 and my specific gravity is less than 0.990! Is my yeast fermenting too fast due to the warmer pitch and fermentation temp? What should I do?
 

Pappers_

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The higher temps will certainly encourage the yeast, but I think other factors might be involved. Was this all-grain and was your mash temp low?
 

fmr_army

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Try taking a reading of some known densities: distilled water, and distilled water with a certain amount of sugar that will allow you to calculate the SG easily.

In addition, make sure that every single last bubble is out of your sample - I find that there are a lot of clingy little guys that can really skew a reading. Not sure they'd skew it as much as you seem to be experiencing, though.

Maybe you've discovered a new style!
 
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Mystikty

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Pappers_ said:
The higher temps will certainly encourage the yeast, but I think other factors might be involved. Was this all-grain and was your mash temp low?
This is a partial mash recipe. I steeped the following at 160 degrees for 10 min as the recipe states:
8 oz of each Caramel Malt 80 L milled, Carapils milled, Munich Malt milled, and 4 oz Chocolate Malt. After it was done steeping, i slightly squeezed the bag to get as much juices i can. I did not weigh out the grains, it was done for me. I was directed to turn off the heat once I reached 160 degrees. The ending temp was 156 degrees.
 

DocScott

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Something is wrong here. No way the gravity is that low on this beer, and definitely not with those crystal malts in there.

I'd check the calibration of your hydrometer first. Make sure it reads 1.000 in water. Next, make sure you are accounting for the temperature of your sample too. If it's still reading <1.000, I'd get another hydrometer or check to make sure you're reading it right.

If it's still the same, teach us how to get such good attenuation so we can do it too!!
 
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Are you calibrating the SG reading for tempurature?

Is your hydromter Accurate. I just replaced one that was off quite a bit. Pour distilled water and take a reading, adjust for temp and it should read 1.000.


It's almost impossible to go that low. Certain wines will. Beers hit with certain wild yeasts will as well.
 
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Mystikty

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DocScott said:
Something is wrong here. No way the gravity is that low on this beer, and definitely not with those crystal malts in there.

I'd check the calibration of your hydrometer first. Make sure it reads 1.000 in water. Next, make sure you are accounting for the temperature of your sample too. If it's still reading <1.000, I'd get another hydrometer or check to make sure you're reading it right.

If it's still the same, teach us how to get such good attenuation so we can do it too!!
You are right. My hydrometer is busted at the very top. I placed it in bottled water at 68 degrees F, the damn thing sunk to the same spot as it did when I read the SG on my brew. So annoying. At least they are pretty inexpensive. I thought that I may not have mixed my brew well enough. Anyway, my brew continues to ferment nicely at 68 degrees.
 

DocScott

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Mystikty said:
You are right. My hydrometer is busted at the very top. I placed it in bottled water at 68 degrees F, the damn thing sunk to the same spot as it did when I read the SG on my brew. So annoying. At least they are pretty inexpensive. I thought that I may not have mixed my brew well enough. Anyway, my brew continues to ferment nicely at 68 degrees.
Glad you figured it out! Add one to the broken hydrometer graveyard!

When you get your replacement, I'd get 2. You'll eventually break the next one and I always have extras around just in case.
 
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