BeerSmith™ Home Brewing Forum

Brewing Topics => Brewing Discussion => Topic started by: AaronM on May 26, 2015, 11:01:03 AM

Title: Low OG reading
Post by: AaronM on May 26, 2015, 11:01:03 AM
Hello all. I am a newbie. I just brewed my first batch. after my boil and before I pitched my yeast I took my hydrometer reading. According to the recipe I had it showed that the OG should have been around 4.9. Mine was 3.0
I followed the process as they had outlined. Seep the specialty grains at 170 for 30 mins in 1.5 gallons. Then take off the heat and stir in the LME. Hopped according to their schedule. Boiled the wort for an hour.
I had to add water to the carboy to come up to 5 gallons.
Then I took the reading.
That leads me to the questions I have.
What could I have done wrong?
What can I do at that point to bring the OG up?
Will it affect the overall quality of my beer?
Title: Re: Low OG reading
Post by: twhitaker on May 27, 2015, 01:01:05 PM
 Welcome to Homebrewing! Dont worry everyone's first brew is a learning experience. Your beer will just be a bit more diluted than the recipe calls for. It will still be great beer and you will enjoy it.
Try taking the SG reading before adding any top up water next time.  Usually it is very close to spec at that time. I believe you are referring to the readings 1.049 called for but you got 1.030  You could add some DME or corn sugar to raise it, it is a good idea to check a cooled sample of your wort for SG before cooling so you know it's within range, and if it's not, bumping up  is easy when the wort is still  hot. You could boil more vigorously to drive off more water creating a higher gravity brew, but adding top up water afterwards negates that.

 Adding extra extract (say 1/4 pound LME ) to each brew for variable losses also ensures good gravity readings.  CHEERS!

 
Title: Re: Low OG reading
Post by: durrettd on May 27, 2015, 06:37:02 PM
1. You did nothing wrong. It's very difficult to get top-up water stirred into the wort. If this is a kit, diluting the extract provided to the volume specified will give you the specified gravity. Once the yeast starts fermenting the beer will mix thoroughly. Had you been able to get the wort and top-up water mixed completely - very nearly impossible - you would almost certainly have gotten the desired specific gravity.
2. Your gravity will (almost certainly) be correct if you ignore it. I agree with tw's advice about taking a gravity reading before diluting. That will reassure you on future batches. BeerSmith has a dilution tool to help you confirm your dilution to five gallons.
3. Your beer will be unaffected.

Now, the important information: Relax. Don't worry. Have a homebrew.
Since this is your first batch, it is permissable to have a decent craft beer until your own beer is ready.
Title: Re: Low OG reading
Post by: Mofo on May 27, 2015, 11:01:08 PM
Since this is your first batch, it is permissable to have a decent craft beer until your own beer is ready.

Thank you for saying this! My pet peeve is people making YouTube videos who start off by saying "First, grab a homebrew!"

Dummy, if I had home-brewed beer in the fridge I wouldn't be watching your how-to-brew-an-extract video!
Title: Re: Low OG reading
Post by: AaronM on May 28, 2015, 08:23:58 AM
Thank you for your advice and teaching. My brew is in the fermenter now and it is going crazy. Most instructions call for an air lock from the outset. If I had not put a blow off tube on this baby there would have been beer foam all over the place I think. Is it supposed to lose that much into my blow off bucket? I mean like 2 cups worth of liquid and yeast gunk (technical term I know :-)

I do not have a homebrew to drink yet. I will in a couple of weeks. However I live in Eugene, OR so the options for a great micro beer are limitless.

I plan on doing five gallon batches every time I bottle so I have multiple options.
Title: Re: Low OG reading
Post by: Scott Ickes on May 28, 2015, 03:49:24 PM
I used to use a blow off tube.  I went to large fermenters with plenty of room, so that I didn't lose anything through my airlocks and that eliminated the need for a blow off tube.

However, I recently started using Ferm Cap S in my boil, to eliminate the possibility of boil overs.  A side benefit of using Ferm Cap S in the boil, is that it also keeps the krausen down quite a bit in the fermenter!  You can even use Ferm Cap S in the fermenter only to keep it from going out through your airlock.

It's a great product and from everything I've learned thus far, it doesn't have an adverse effect on flavor, aroma, fermentation, etc.  It just makes things better.  I see no downside to this product.
Title: Re: Low OG reading
Post by: AaronM on May 28, 2015, 04:09:53 PM
I did have some of that firm cap stuff. It looks like a milky product. I put two drops for each gallon, 10 drops in. At first my other batch, made at the same time, started and my five gallon did not so I thought it was working. In the morning when I looked at both carboys the five gallon one was going bonkers and over flowed my bucket I had the tube going to. I could not believe how well it was working. :-)
Very healthy yeast so I must have done something right because it really got things going. :-)

I noticed that a whole lot of people are going with fermenting buckets rather than the glass carboys. My local shop advised against it. Something to consider I guess.
Title: Re: Low OG reading
Post by: Roadrocket on May 31, 2015, 10:44:08 AM

Thank you for saying this! My pet peeve is people making YouTube videos who start off by saying "First, grab a homebrew!"

Dummy, if I had home-brewed beer in the fridge I wouldn't be watching your how-to-brew-an-extract video!

I'm glad you said you're glad he said that. That really annoys me as well. I also hate the ones where the bloke keeps on saying "oh and I ........errr ...... decided to .........errrr..........make this.........um...........errrrrrrrrrr...........video to like .........errrrrrrr.............show people ...........how to .................ummmmmm..........mix this .......errrrr .........kit .............with some ..........errrrrrr ............hot water and ...............errrrrr..........add like a kilo of ............errrrrrr.........um...........errrrr.......sugar.