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Missed O.G. (First batch ever)

I guys, I am the newest of newbs. I only brewed my first batch 3 days ago after purchasing a kit from NB. I got the Caribou Slobber extract kit and totally missed the expected O.G. of 1.052, mine was 1.043. I just took a gravity reading almost exactly 3 days since pitching, it read 1.020. Am I destined for a very low ABV session beer or is there anything that can or even needs to be done? I could just be prematurely freaking out about this. Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated! (I know it’s my first post and I am already begging for help, but figured it could not hurt to asked.) Thanks!!

Did you correct the hydrometer for temperature? Most hydrometers are calibrated for 60 degrees. That might add a point or two to the actual OG. The other thing is the total volume. If you started with too much water or didn’t boil off enough that would lead to a low OG. The benefit of that would be having more beer (although lower ABV). When you brewed the beer, did you boil the extract with two or three gallons of water then mix with a couple more gallons of water before pitching the yeast? If so, if you didn’t mix well, the hydrometer reading might be off. I wouldn’t worry about the gravity at three days, the yeast still has plenty of time to keep working. There is no real need to test the gravity of the beer until the yeast is done fermenting.

Assuming you did a partial boil and added top off water, it’s likely you didn’t get the wort and water mixed thoroughly. Wort is heavier than water and will sink to the bottom of the fermenter so when you take a reading you get the watered down top layer. If you used all the ingredients in the kit and had the total volume that the kit is designed for, there’s pretty much no way you won’t have the OG the kit is designed for.

Try and let your beers sit for at least a week or 2 before you start taking readings. After only 3 days is WAY too early. There’s really no need. I don’t take any readings except after the primary is full and aerated and again as I transfer to keg or bottle. And the best way to stay patient is to brew another beer :cheers:

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