Lower OG then expected

I have done my 3rd kit now from Northern brewer. They have all been extract kits 2 with specialty grains. The problem I have is I follow the instruction to the “T” but all 3 kits have come out with a lower Original Starting Gravity then the instructions for the kit state I should have. I make sure I adjust for temp, and I know how to read a Hydrometer.

Latest example is I brewed the Irish Red Ale kit on Tuesday night. Instructions said I should have a OG of 1.044 my reading was 1.038.

First batch I did was the American Wheat and my OG was 1.028 it was supposed to be 1.043

What would effect the wort to end up with a lower OG then expected?

You aren’t shaking up your wort and top up water enough and getting a bad reading.

It is damn hard not to hit OG with extract unless you under or over fill with top off water post boil.

A second possibility is you have more than 5 gallons of wort in the primary fermentor. Have you measured 5 gallons of water into your fermentor to find that 5 gallon line? The buckets with marked volumes are notorious for being incorrect. I have two glass carboys from two different manufacturers. They look the same, but are almost 0.5 gallons different measuring to the same mold mark near the shoulder.

Yup. This is one of the most common newby questions. If you are brewing with extract, and your volumes are correct, than your OG is also correct. You might not get a correct reading if you didn’t stir your top up water thoroughly. When I do extract brewing, I don’t even bother with an OG measure usually. I just assume it is as designed.

Or you hydrometer is off

+1 to checking your hydrometer. I was pissed about over-attenuating a beer that I wanted to turn out a bit sweet, then I checked my hydrometer in 60F water and saw that it was reading low.