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Recipes, Software and OG

Hi All, new to the forum, only a few years under my belt brewing.

Multi part questions here.

I’ve been brewing for a few years and taking small leaps out from simple extract recipes to more complicated ingredients and picking up equipment as I get more comfortable. Despite trying new things each batch, I have had pretty good success thus far with only a few hiccups. I brew outside on a propane burner with a 7gal kettle and I ferment using combo of buckets and carboys. I almost always use a blowoff instead of the simple airlock just in case.

This last batch I upped my game and started paying more attention to water, adding filtration to my setup. I also started plugging a few recipes into Brewfather to keep better logs so I can duplicate or tweak recipes.

A few things I encountered with this batch I have encountered before and assumed it was just my inexperience reading measurements, but never to the extreme as I explain below. I would love some feedback from more experienced brewers.

  1. For my Porter currently in the chamber fermenting, the OG per NB recipe is 1.066, but calculated into Brewfather with same recipe values was 1.057. I found similar OG/FG differences with 2 other recipes I have plugged in. I really like the layout of the App and think it will bring my brewing to the next level, provided I can figure out a few differences.

  2. In addition to the recipe differences, MY readings were not even close, measured in at 1.082 on brew day. Either I have a bad hydrometer or maybe the sugars are layered in the vessel giving a higher value? I have never had a problem with under boiling, this is my 4th higher gravity beer, but this is the first batch I brewed in a much cooler environment (30F), but I wouldn’t think that has anything to do with it? I cooled the wort with my chiller down to 80F and by the time I was ready to transfer and pitch it was down to just over 60-62F ish.

I have checked for deviations in recipe calculations, but find none. No overboil, times were same only difference was a hop substitution from Nuggets (12%) to Warrior (15%) at 60 minutes because the box showed up without the Nugget for bittering. Because of my limited kettle size, I topped off the vessel after boil instead of starting at 6.5 gal of water to get me right to 5 in the carboy.

I almost always pitch a starter, this time according to the App, I nailed it on the head with US-05 > 1.060 Calculation, with 66 billion overbuild. I am hoping that is enough for what I am reading, but also hoping there isn’t a gross correction I needed and missed. This has been in the chamber 48 hours with good starting ferm and the wort is sweet enough to suck your face inside out. Anyone have any ideas?

Thanks in advance! Ya Beer!


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First off welcome to the forum do stay involved. As far as your #s you need to adjust the recipe to your system. Very important doing mash or partial mash

Welcome to the forum

OK restating your questions so I clearly understand
You have two problems

  1. your software predicted OG does not agree with your actual OG. That I can not comment on.
  2. your measured OG does not agree with the NB recipe sheet. Why?

I generally exceed the OG supplied by NB sheet. I brew all grain. Recent tripel 1.09 actual vs 1.076 NB sheet. Squished 1.08 vs 1.064 NB sheet. So your results could be correct. Your brewing system (equipment and procedures) may be different from NB as brewcat suggested You have to adjust by adding water if you want to hit the OG. I have not seen this difference when I am using full scale brewers recipes.

I also note that if you measured the 1.082 on 4 gallons then added in a gallon of water you would hit 1.066 (.082*4/5=.066). You seem pretty detailed so I doubt that is the case.

As a side note, if you are not sure of your hydrometer, check it by measuring the gravity of distilled water and correct it to 60F to see if you hit 1.000.

I found it was partly the equipment profile in Brewfather and my notes for the OG readings, it was pre-boil versus post before top-off. You both nailed it. I had my notes wrong on paper. After I corrected the equipment and looked at my gravity before pitching all the numbers jived… Thanks so much for pointing me in the right direction!.

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