I got the basic home brew kit for Christmas and just did my first batch. The brew I am doing is the Irish Red Ale. The OG on the recipe said 1.044 but when I took my measurement mine came out to 1.059. Is this bad? Followed exactly the recipe.
Thanks for any advice.
Did you get 5 gallons of finished wort? Welcome to the forum. Lots of good help here.
Yes. I put the two gallons of water, then the wort, then topped off to five gallons. Thanks for the welcome.
Your OG is what the recipe says it is as long as your volume is correct. Any difference in your OG readings is due to incomplete mixing of the water and wort.
For an extract kit, there’s no reason to take an OG reading.
Terrific, thanks! Everything else seemed to go according to the recipe.
[quote=“a10t2”]Your OG is what the recipe says it is as long as your volume is correct. Any difference in your OG readings is due to incomplete mixing of the water and wort.
For an extract kit, there’s no reason to take an OG reading.[/quote]
there’s always a reason to take readings, extract or not. it’s a teaching tool if nothing else. that is also what I see as a blanket statement assuming that extract brewers are “cookie cutter” or “Betty Crocker” brewers. it’s always necessary, IMO, to take readings.
How are you measuring the 5 gallon mark? Just going by the bucket marks? Did you give it a good stir prior to taking the gravity measurement?
“For an extract kit, there’s no reason to take an OG reading.”
In theory, the reason not to take a gravity reading would be the fact that extract gives you 100% efficiency. So, if you have exactly 5 gallons of water, and exactly the amount of extract you were supposed to use, your gravity should be exactly what it was suppose to be 100% of the time.
If it is off, it should be because you used a different amt. of extract, a different amt. of water, or it was not stirred and mixed thoroughly, so your sample was higher or lower than it should be.
[quote=“mainemike68”]“For an extract kit, there’s no reason to take an OG reading.”
If you know the amount of extract, and the final volume, you can calculate the gravity with more precision than a typical hydrometer will be able to measure it.
My guess is your final 5 gallons was not totally mixed as thoroughly as necessary if your extract and water was correct. As an example - (all grain, but the same thing) - I was brewing yesterday and got distracted. I accidentally collected about an extra gallon of wort from my sparge. Ended up with 8 gallons. Gave it a quick stir, and took a gravity reading to see how long I would need to boil it off. Gravity was 1.045. Boiled for 30+ minutes and took another reading - still 1.045. Now, either I had a bunch of sugar “evaporate” off with the 3/4 gallon of water or my initial reading was off because I did not stir it up well before I tested. Since the first option is impossible, it was likely that I should have stirred it up better.
Thanks for all the replies. I mixed by rocking the bucket back and forth. Question now is if I didn’t mix well enough what is the damage? Beer is in the fermentor now.
None. Fermentation will mix it more thoroughly than you ever could.
Don’t worry about it for now. With a low gravity beer you’re always better winding up on the high side of a gravity reading than the low side. Just keep notes on all your batches from here on out and make sure everything is consistently measured correctly. That is the best way to detect trends in your brewing process. This isn’t a huge problem if your not worried about slightly higher ABV.