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Gravity question

To preface I am a complete beginner to this process and I got the Block Party Amber Ale. I followed the directions as best I could but when I went to take my original gravity I am pretty sure it was reading around 1068! Not sure if I did something wrong or what. Anyone else have a similar experience?

That could be right. What about. The orginal. Grav. Acourding. Your recipy. What did you use. Refractometer. Or hydrometer. If you think its to high the grav. You can. Add some water. To bring. Gravity down. Did you calibrate. Your. Refracto or hydro meter.

target was supposed to be 1043 I think. I don’t think I calibrated it. I didn’t see calibration on the instructions of the hydrometer. I will have to check that out

Welcome to the hobby and to the forum! Was it an extract kit? How did your volumes end up?

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Oeps that a bit of. Calibrate. Your. Meter with water. Should read. 1000. Than take a sample. Of your beer. See what it says. If still high. You can delute with some. Boiled. Cold water. Brewers friend. Got some. Formula. To adjust. Gravity. Or you can leave it. Redo the final gravity. Calculation. As well did you end up with the right. Target volume. For your wort. If volume to less. You end up with high og gravity. But any way. Its fun to brew beer. Welcome to the new. Brew beer adiction


Yes it was an extract kit. The instructions said to start with 2.5 gallons for the boil then once the boil is done cool the wort off then move it to the fermentor with some cool water and fill up with cool water up to 5 gallons. After I did that I took the sample of the wort and I was getting around 1068. So I went ahead and pitched the yeast and put it in my closet for fermentation.

I just took a sample with water and checked that it came to 1000. Maybe user error somewhere on my initial gravity reading.

An extract kit with top up water will be difficult to get a true gravity reading on because of the near impossiblity to get a completely uniform mix. Depending on where you were in the process can give you dramatically different gravity readings. Because it’s an extract kit, you can just run with the predicted gravity given by the kit, as long as your volumes are close to suggested values.



Yup what @radagast said. If you followed the directions and used all the ingredients in the kit your OG should be close to the predicted number in the kit. Your FG is more important to see if the beer has finished fermenting. That should be 1.010 to 1.020 normally. If not just ask here and we will be happy to help.


thanks for the info. You all are awesome! Cheers.

Related question here…as @radagast said above, extract brews are “difficult to get a true gravity reading on because of the near impossibility to get a completely uniform mix”.

I just brewed my first ‘scratch’ extract recipe - which means there are no instructions or recipe to tell me the expected original gravity. I usually take a hydrometer reading before pitching my yeast and only once in all of my 11 brews over the past 6 months have I even gotten even close to the expected gravity (i got within .002).

Last night’s brew gave me an OG of 1.038 and I’m confident that is low. Anyway to determine an expected OG from the ingredients.

Recipe/brew process

  • Pre-boil 3 gallons of water
  • Steeped 1lb of Weyermann Cara Amber Malt grains at 150* for 20 min
  • 6.6 lbs of Briess Pilsen Light LME
  • 2 oz of SAAZ pellet hops @ 60 min
  • 2 oz Mount Hood pellet hops @ 20 min
  • 1 oz Hallertau Mittelfruh pellet hops@ 5 min
  • Cooled the wort and topped the volume to 5.125 gallons @ about 75*
  • Took a sample and hydrometer read 1.038 (I would have expected something about .008 - .014 higher)
  • Pitched the us-05 yeast
  • Currently sitting in fermentation chamber @ 64*

I personally have not noticed a difference between extract and all grain brews when taking a gravity.
If you are topping off with water and do not stir/shake adequately you will get a low gravity reading.
This still happens to me occasionally after years of brewing.

I am topping off with water.

For the above brew we stirred the final volume for at least 5 min followed by a pretty aggressive 2-3 minute ‘shake’ to help oxygenate everything. This is more than I usually do since I normally have expected OG from the kit. This time I took special care to try and get a good mix since I knew I needed to measure OG myself. Maybe the reading I got was accurate…just seems low to me.

Maybe the real question should be…
"If I’m brewing an extract kit that I designed…can I do a full-boil to avoid false OG readings? Are there any other ‘consequences’ of doing my extract kit with 5+ gallons of water versus the 3 gal boil (then top-off w/water to make 5 gal) I’m doing now?

If you are doing full boil with extract, the only issue that you may run into is darkening of the wort from the Maillard reaction of boiling the extract. If color is important to you, you can add half the extract at the beginning of the boil and half the extract 10-15 mins before the end of the boil. When I started extract brewing, I preferred full boil once I got a big enough kettle to handle the volume.



You just need to get a really nice giant metal spoon for stirring your wort and get your stirring down.
But if you aren’t seeing a giant clump of sugar/syrup burnt to the bottom of your pot then it was dissolved and your short coming was a miscalculation.

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Thanks for the replies.

Any brew calculator should give you calculated SG. With extract it should be pretty straight forward w/o the variables of all grain. Based in what your ingredients were I don’t see 1.038 as being way low although I haven’t punched it into Beersmith. I did a quick calc and it looks like you’re maybe 8 points low. A little extra water maybe? 8 points isn’t terrible though.

BrewersFriend website has reciepe calculators, where they predict SGm FG and IBU etc… it is good for a guide but not exact.

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We recently did a saison, and the calculations with BeerSmith were off when we were planning it. Once we finished and measured the OG, it looks like it will be push 9% ABV instead of the 5% we were planning for.

Is there any downside to not letting the fermentation finish to reduce the ABV, or is there a better way to reduce the ABV?

Short of chemically/heat to kill yeast, it will still be there… Perhaps it will get consumed before the yeast can quietly convert the sugar in cold storage…
But now, drinking a brew not completely fermented… I’d have to think it’d be sweet… Then… churning in your stomach… yeast getting active, albeit briefly…
One last option… brew a small beer and mix the 2… Just a thought…

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