Back to Shopping at

Hard time figuring abv


Started brewing white house honey ale. This is only my second brew but the first to try with a brix to record gravity. By 8/1/16 after 72 hrs of no visible fermentation and gravity still reading the same. I repitched with dry yeast this time. I did not rehydrate but following the next morning was full blown fermentation and nice looking krausen.

The O.G. was 1.058 but the recipe called for 1.062 figured it was close only being .004 off.

Monday 8/7/16

Check gravity after everything falls and air lock stops. Gravity 1.032

Wednesday-Thursday 8/10-11
Gravity 1.032

Here’s the problem its only calculating to 3.5% using them online abv calculator

I forgot to mention the temperature during this time was 70-72°f. Im located in Louisiana.

Now my question is this accurate as i remember seeing the abv should’ve been 8% what did i f up? It is supposed to be moved to secondary this weekend.

Any advice or tips is welcome thank you.

Also to mention it smells really delicious and i can smell the alcohol so I’m it has to be stronger than what im figuring out based on smell.

Are you using a hydrometer or refractometer for measuring specific gravity? A refractometer will not read accurately in the presence of alcohol. Here is a conversion calculator for your refractometer reading, if you used a refractometer.

Used refractometer. I thought it did basically the same the job. Apparently I didnt do my research good enough.

I tried out that calc original brix-current brix to current gravity comes to a gravity of 1.005 im still confused where i go with it from here.

There are calcs online to sort of get an accurate fg with a refractometer…those dont work well in the presence of alcohol. Spend a couple bucks to get a hydrometer for your fg measurements.

Yeah…what flars said :slight_smile:

I believe i finially figured it out. I was putting brix as sg and finally came out to 9% thanks for the help

You may be at final gravity. Take another specific gravity reading in a few days to confirm the SG is not dropping. I would leave the beer in the primary for at least two weeks after final gravity has been confirmed. The extra time in the primary will allow most of the CO2 to off gas and the excess yeast and other particles, suspended by the CO2, to drop into the trub layer. A five gallon brew may take up to three weeks to have clear beer ready for the bottle. I primary for three weeks most often with a five gallon brew.

It is my personal preference not to use a secondary any more. Other brewers do use a secondary to clear the beer.

I never quite understood the secondary. Ive seen were many people say they only use primary. When you pump into the bottling bucket do you strain it during the tranfer?

My first batch i used secondary and still had particles in the bottom of the bottles.

I love my refractometer, but know to use a conversion taking SG after fermentation starts. I don’t miss hydrometers one bit. A couple of other tips:

  1. If you don’t need to be too exact, figure the last two digits of your OG as an approximate ABV estimate. 1.058 OG? About 5.8%. Not exact, but close enough to give you an idea.

  2. Transferring to bottling bucket- you’re not “straining” it (with like a pasta strainer or something). That sounds like oxidation city. You are “racking” with a racking cane. Gently siphon the beer, stopping before you get to the trub at the bottom. This leaves a lot of crud behind.

  3. That stuff at the bottom of the bottle? Totally normal. When you bottle with sugar, you’re kicking off a mini-fermentation to create CO2. So you get a mini-trub layer of spent yeast at the bottom. Just be careful when pouring to leave the last bit behind, and you should get great clarity in the glass.

  4. Secondary- I personally do it, but totally recommend not doing it for new brewers. Once you get your process down, try it and see if you like the results. Then, decide for yourself.

1 Like

I start my auto siphon high in the carboy. I use the clip to hold it in place. When about three-quarters of the beer is siphoned I hand hold the siphon to keep it just above the trub layer. I have the carboy tilted forward with a piece of 2 × 4 so I can see the tip of the siphon in the less than dark beers. I tilt the carboy the day before racking in case the trub layer is disturbed.

I do use a small bag at the bottling bucket end of the siphon tube for a dry hopped beer. The bag does collect a few hop particles that make it through the siphon.

1 Like

Me like to use second fermentor. Just transfer and do take hydrometer reading. Do use refractometer only once done brewing. Must say do like the device but for the rest untill kegging time do use the hydrometer

.058 OG and .005 FG will give you 6.9% how do you come up with 9%

Brew_cat i used the calculator that flars posted above. I was entering the og into the brix format and was getting wrong readings. Then figured out from the info above my stupid self was enter the wrong info as brix. So got out my brix seen that 1.058og is approx 14 something and 1.032 was 7 something (i believe) i entered that in the brix calculator and got the gravity and then used another calc and said 9%. I ordered a hydrometer so will use that next brew. The brix was free so can’t agrue just hard to see the fine lines and be accurate.

Thank you flars and uberculture and the others that helped.

brix to specific gravity, multiply brix X 4, that’ll git you close for correlation… Sneezles61

1 Like

Still confused 14 Brix come out to .057 right? still can’t see getting 9% abv

I had overlooked welcoming you to the NB forum and brewing. Welcome! It will not take too long to get comfortable with brewing. I learned a few things soon after getting into solo brewing.

The first was patience. If you feel like checking the specific gravity of your beer soon after fermentation has started, stop. Read about brewing instead. Once fermentation has started the yeast will do the work on their own. Repeatedly checking specific gravity won’t change the fermentation. It only increases the risk of introducing an infection.

Read about yeast pitching rates for the estimated Original Gravity of your beer. Liquid yeasts will often benefit from making a starter to increase the number of healthy cells to pitch especially if the yeast is 4 to 6 months old. A single 11 gram package of dry yeast may be sufficient for a wort up to 1.072. This is sort of an arbitrary number. The 11 grams of yeast may ferment out a higher OG wort with an increased lag time to active fermentation. Extra esters may be produced by underpitching dry or liquid yeasts though. I like to use a pitch rate calculator like the one offered by Brew United or Yeastcalc to be more comfortable and less worry about how much yeast to pitch.

More time in the primary than what is in the instructions will not harm the beer. It will only have less suspended sediment. I will usually go for three to four weeks with a moderate OG beer.

A good sanitizer is important. I started with bleach. I wonder how we never had an infection after rinsing the bleach with tap water in the spider infested, dirt floor basement of a house built in 1906. I use Star San exclusively now.

When brewing with LME and DME there is no need to measure OG. If your volume in the fermentor is accurate, the OG will be as stated in the recipe. This is especially true with NB kits. Some other kits give a range for OG. I would suspect the quality of the fermentables if I would see this. SG is a measurement of sugar in solution. It is hard to evenly mix the wort when doing a partial boil and topping off in the fermentor. Even very vigorous aeration may not result in a perfect mix. The SG sample could be from part of the wort heavier or lighter in sugars. The working yeast will mix

Volume accuracy in the fermentor is important. Mark the 5 gallon line if you are brewing 5 gallon batches. Buckets may be premarked. Check the accuracy of the markings.

Just a few things I learned when starting. Ask any question. We are here to give you the best answer we can.


I think what he’s saying is that the program he was using said 9% ABV by the numbers he was entering.

Clearly that kit won’t produce a 9% but more likely 7-8%

1 Like

Yes, somewhere there was a mistake to git 9% from 57… some of us did the same mistake, no harm. We are here to help you along on yer journey. Sneezles61

1 Like

Thank you flars. I bought a book charles somebody. The phrase dont worry have a home brew guy. Ive had it for a few weeks ive learned some and scratch my head on other topics. Im sure it will all come in time once i get further along.

There had to clearly be a mistake somewhere. Ill eventually get it right. Lol

1 Like
Back to Shopping at