Higher than expected OG

Hey all:

Brewed a a cream ale last Thursday based on NBs recipe (8 lbs pale malt, .75 honey malt, and.25 pounds of biscuit. I went to my local brewery to pick up the unmilled grain and came home and crushed it on brew day. The young lady who was weighing the grains at the brewery was quite in experienced, so I helped her out. I brewed with little complications (target temp of 150 for 1 hr,and then a mashout aimed at a temp of 170. I added 1 addition of hops,per the recipe (1 oz cluster at 60 min). Boil went well and took an og reading after cooling before transferring the wort to my fermenter. To my surprise, the og came out at 1.062. The recipe called for an og of 1.040 - 1.045. Because there is no way that my efficiency was that good, I’ve been trying to work backwards to figure out how many lbs of grain I actually mashed with. I was thinking 10 lbs of pale instead of the called for 8. My question — because of the increased grain bill, will the beer be unbalanced due to the hop schedule staying the same for the original recipe? Fermentation has been doing well thus far.



Hi David:

I put your grain bill in Beersmith and it gave an OG of 1.048 at 72% efficiency. 1.060 represents 91% efficiency. So either props for your incredibly efficient brewhouse, or reconsider whether the grains were weighed correctly. You would have to have used over 10 lbs of pale malt at 72% efficiency to hit 1.060.

Sounds like you might have had a couple of extra pounds of malt in the grain bill. No worries, you now have a higher gravity beer, although your bittering might be too low now because you probably hopped based on the target OG.

Yeah, that’s what I was thinking with the bitterness. I’ll taste in a few weeks and perhaps dry hop with an ounce of centennial or cascade in the keg. Only time will tell.

I forgot to mention that I did top off the fermenter with a half gallon of distilled water to hit the 5.5 - 6 gallon mark. I thoroughly mixed, but did not take another reading. This should reduce the og just a tad.

Volume is crucial when determining efficiency. How many gallons was the recipe supposed to be for, and how many gallons did you have when you measured the gravity? If you don’t know exactly what the volume was when you measured gravity, then there is no way to know what your efficiency really was. But if your boiloff rate was high and you were supposed to have 6 gallons at the end but only had 5 gallons, then of course the gravity would be way high until you diluted it down to the appropriate volume.

I understand. Total collected wort volume and the number used to measure my efficiency was 5.5 gallons. After measuring of I added a half gallon of water.