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Low OG on Extract Batches

Hello All!
I’ve recently noticed on my 5 gallon extract batches that my OG is quite a bit a lower than what is suggested. This has happened on my last few batches. I think that the problem may stem from the cold water that I add after my wort is cooled. I typically have to add more than the 2 gallons that the recipe calls for in order to get my overall volume to 5 gallons. I think that I may be losing quite a bit more liquid during my boil by using a stove instead of a propane burner?
Does anyone else have problems hitting their OG with extract kits? Would the added water affect it?


I doubt very much that the electric stove will out boil the propane burner… but then the propane burner is larger than a plumbers torch?
Adding more water than the prescribed amount in the directions WILL lower your gravity…
I suggest you gather all your water, in a container, that is required, pull out however much that needs to be in the kettle… I don’t believe a long, hard boil is necessary for extract…
Add the hops to the kettle volume, and keep heating, and adding as you go according to the time… In the last 10 minutes or so, then add your extract… If its liquid, pull out say half a gallon before you MT the container… Take the reserved hot/warm liquid and dump into the extract container… then dump into the kettle… you are doing your best to get every last drop of extract INTO your kettle…
Start with this and see if your gravity improves and report back… there are some other ideas that can be applied…


When you test your OG the wort is most likely stratified and you are getting a overly diluted sample.
Shake the hell out of your fermenter and likely it will be where it should be. Cold should artificial increase OG(more viscosity) and heat should reduce OG(less viscosity) from my understanding. Or your measurement for volume on your fermenter are off.
How off is off.

Yes, try using a known measuring container to fill you fermenter. Especially if it is a graduated bucket to check the volume. An empty gallon jug works. I would double check the jug with a kitchen measuring cup/bowl to see the actual 1 gal level. Then you can mark the fermenter with the correct levels. I have had to do that with buckets that were not marked.

Most likely it is stratification. If you follow the directions and use the amounts called for the OG should be very close to what is on the recipe so don’t worry too much about it.

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If your volumes are accurate and you use all the ingredients of an extract batch (from a reputable company) your OG should be pretty close to spot on. I agree you’re likely getting a stratified diluted sample that’s not a true reflection of your OG. Are you hitting FG? Are the beers “watery” or seem low ABV? I’d guess not…

Sounds like stratification. Mix the hot and cold water well and you might not have an issue next time.

Also here is some standard guidance for both novices and anyone else too for that matter. Cheers.

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