In the process of doing my first batch (Winter Warmer kit) and I have a few questions.
- I’m pretty sure everything went according to plan on brew day, but my O.G. was 1.09. After two weeks I just transferred to the secondary and the reading was 1.018.
Aren’t both of those readings too high? I used two packs of wyeast instead of using a starter, which the guy at NB said would be fine to do.
- When I finished transferring to the secondary there was about 3 inches of room in the carboy before the neck even starts. I was under the impression there shouldn’t be that much space in the carboy, but I clearly didn’t have 5 gallons in the primary when I went to transfer. Is that a problem?
Thanks for any help. I feel like I’m second guessing everything I do this first time. Still fun though!
Yeah, it was the Winter Warmer extract kit from NB.
If you truly started with an OG of 1090, a FG of 1018 wouldn’t be out of the question. Typically, with extract kits, you’ll hit the OG listed on the instruction sheet from NB. In fact, I quit taking OG readings until I switched to all grain.
My only guess is that if you didn’t have a full five gallons of water, the extract may have been a little more concentrated, which might affect your OG readings. If they are right, you’ll have big ol’ beer on your hands. Either way, it’ll be beer.
Cheers! Congrats on your first brew, by the way. Welcome to the obssession.
Ha, I was thinking, if this is actually right a few of these will knock me on my butt.
I’m pretty sure when I topped it off it was right up to the 5 gallon marker on the fermenting bucket. Do you usually add water to above that line?
[quote=“5th Ave Brew”]Ha, I was thinking, if this is actually right a few of these will knock me on my butt.
I’m pretty sure when I topped it off it was right up to the 5 gallon marker on the fermenting bucket. Do you usually add water to above that line?[/quote]
I usually stayed right at 5 gallons, maybe a little more to account for trub and racking losses. It could be that the wort hadn’t mixed thoroughly enough with the top off water. That can lead to mixed gravity readings.
I wouldn’t put much faith in the gallon marks on buckets. Before you do your next batch, put 5 gallons of water in your bucket with something fairly accurate, like a milk jug and mark it.
That’s gonna be a keeper if those numbers are right. I personally really like this kit and think it ages well anyways. That said, I would make sure the five gallons listed is correct. I would also top off a little higher (maybe 5.25) to account for the trub (yeast, coldbreak, hops, whatever) that will collect at the bottom.
A little bit of head space isn’t ideal but it won’t kill you. Just don’t move it around a bunch.
that kit should be at 1.069.
have you checked the calibration of your hydrometer? I had one that the paper scale inside would slide if it was bumped.
Thanks for the responses.
I’m guessing I didn’t aerate the wort enough after I topped it off. I wasn’t quite sure how much to actually move it around so I probably didn’t do it enough.
I did check the hydrometer when I got it and it looked accurate.
If the O.G. was just off because of measurement error, is the final of 1.018 fine or too high? How do you know what the ideal final reading is?
so was mine. it wasn’t until a few batches in that I realized what was happening. I tossed that one and check my new one frequently.
Pretty common to have a hard time getting the wort and the top-off water mixed, so it makes it really hard to get a reliable OG reading. You’re either sampling the top-off water (really low reading) or the undiluted wort. If you’re using extract it is hard to mess up the OG as long as the volume is right.
And don’t worry about the full volume not being perfectly mixed up, the yeast will do a good job of turning it over during fermentation.