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Gravity WAAAAY off for Russian Imperial Stout

I just brewed an Russian Imperial Stout that I had converted to partial mash from an all grain recipe using Beersmith2. The style is kinda big, and I kept tweaking it until Beersmith estimated my OG to be 1.087. I was very surprised after I got it in the carboy and topped off the water to 5 gallons, to get an OG of 1.119! And indeed, the wort was syrupy in consistency. Why was Beersmith so off on this one? I’m not really sure my yeast can keep going on a beer this big. I am considering splitting it into two carboys and adding more water, but I don’t want to mess with it after fermentation has started. Should I just let it ferment through? Is this beer going to be disgusting?

If anyone wants to check the recipe and tell me what I did wrong, I shared it here: … l-mash-alt

When I see bazaar gravity, and top-off water in the same post, the immediate go to assumption is stratification. Basically the top-off didn’t mix completely, so within the fermenter there was still high-gravity wort, and watery wort. Sort of like a Black and Tan. You just measured a higher-gravity region.The beer will not be impacted, but your ABV calculations will be worthless. Either way, it’ll be potent.

Thanks for the reply. Actually I shook it quite well to oxygenate the wort. But I did find the error. In Beersmith I had erroneously listed the recipe type as ‘extract’ instead of ‘partial mash’ which counted my grains as steeping grains instead of mash grains. Once I changed that my gravity jumped to 1.114.

So what to do with this beer? Should I just let it finish or is this thing going to be gross? I’d rather not brew a beer the consistency of cough syrup. Is it going to screw things up to split up the already fermenting wort into two carboys and add more water?

Did you pitch enough yeast for a almost 1.120 beer? If you didn’t go to the store, get some and do it now! Then wait a month or so, rack it to a secondary vessel (at least I would) and hide it in the corner of your basement for a year, checking only to make sure the airlock is still full. After that, bottle with some fresh yeast and enjoy giant awesome beer!

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