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Low original gravity West Coast Imperial IPA

I just brewed my West Coast IPA kit last night. I did a full boil with 6 gallons. I took a reading after cooling the wort and before transferring to the carboy. My Hydro shows .074 but the recipe says I should have .086. I followed the recipe and did not leave anything out. What’s going on? This seems like a fairly sizable discrepancy to me.

Extract or all grain? With a full boil either way that seems pretty far off. If you brewed extract, I would question your hydrometer

If you boiled off .75g more you would have the desired OG.

Sense you did a PM brew, what was the efficiency rating of the recipe?

This was an extract kit. Hydro reads 1.0 in RO water. I still have the sample. I can read with my backup hydro, but I think its ok. My new primary isn’t marked at the 5 gallon level. I think maybe I didn’t boil off the normal amount of water. I did full boil, started with 6 gallons, but kept the lid on most of the time. Normally I’m lid off. I’m thinking I must be diluted. Which really sucks. It’s about a1.6% ABV difference by my calculations, on an expensive kit. I guess I should just do the partial boil and top it off from now on. But I’ve never had an issue until now.

I’m pretty sure Nighthawk nailed it. I looked at a pic I took during the hop stand and the wort level was just below my 6 gallon mark in my kettle. Crap! Hopefully it still tastes decent. I’m sure I’ve drank worse.

It will taste fine. Heck itll probably tatste great. You just didnt boil off enough. It’ll taste like a nice hoppy beer. Just wont have the ABV you were hoping for.

You “could” add some sugar to the fermenter.

1lb adds ~1.009 to a 5 gallon batch. 1.25 = ~ 1.012

You notice that sugar doesn’t go bad. So you can add it with out boiling it if you like. Or you could siphon out a qt (or less) of beer and boil the sugar in that.

Or boil it in water and add it. Using the least amount of water you can.

A little sugar like this in an all extract batch would not be a bad thing. I could help it dry out a little.

this is the calculator I used in my 1st post. There are a number of other great calculators on the site.


So right now I have about 2-3 inch kreuzen, and the airlock is pumping away like the little engine that could. How would I go about this? And how much sugar? Are you saying just throw an ounce or so of corn sugar on top and see what happens? I’m not really worried about the ABV. The flavor is my primary concern. I don’t want to do anything to compromise that, but if it being diluted is going to hurt it, I would like to try to fix it. Thanks…

You would need 1.25 pounds of sugar to get the OG to where the recipe called for. The difference is about 1% ABV.

But, by increasing the gravity and the volume, the hops are not in proportion with the original recipe either.

I don’t think you will notice much of a difference in the beer from what you have and what it was to be.

Personally I would let it ride the way it is.

Letting it ride. I will let you know how it tastes in about 6 weeks. Thanks for all the help.

So I just wanted to update on my original post. I cracked one open tonight. Good carbonation, great aroma, good flavor. Not fantastic, just a good, solid, hoppy beer. Has a bitter finish as expected, very hoppy/piney/ grape fruity aroma and taste, quite decent, just not knock my socks off fantastic. I was hoping for a Stone Ruination or Green Flash West Coast moment, but what I really got was a little shy of Sierra Nevada Torpedo. Everything is all there, just not in the correct proportions maybe? Which may indicate It’s too early and just not melded all the way yet? At least that’s what I’m hopping (pun intended!). Will let you know in a few more weeks if it lasts that long…The burps are quite similar to Ruination, it just doesn’t have the finesse and smootheness. Not quite sure how to describe it. I am fairly new to brewing but not to tasting!

Good to hear.

Give it another month and see if it comes together a little better.

So I popped another one open tonight, and man o man am I pleased! What a difference a few weeks made. Much sweeter, much less bitter, tastes amazing. Flavors have melded nicely. I’m going to have one more tonight then wait another week for the next one. I simply can’t believe how much this improved.

Hey Scooter,

Did you happen to measure a FG before bottling? I may have missed it, but it would be interesting to see if the delta between OG(expected) and OG(measured) was maintained in the final gravity.

Just a thought…

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