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Missed original gravity

I brewed an LaPetite Orange extract kit today and its OG was suppose to be 1.051. I came up with a reading of 1.041. What did I do wrong? I did a boil volume of 3 gallons, and topped the primary off with 2 and half gallons of water.

You didn’t mix your wort well. And you had a bad reading. Your og with extract is going to be right unless you over fill your final volume.

Will the beer still be drinkable, just have a lower final gravity?

your beer will be fine. because you added water to reach 5 gallons, you got a diluted hydrometer sample because the wort you boiled, and the water you added, were not completely mixed. Fermentation will do the mixing for you, dont worry about it.

extract has a set amount of sugar, and sugar does NOT boil off. so if you used all the extract, and hit your target volume, your gravity is what the kit predicts. this is an extremely common topic from new extract brewers

You didn’t have a lower gravity. You didn’t mix the wort and water well enough and got a bad reading.

The gravity isn’t wrong. Just your measurement of it.

Fermentation will get everything mixed probably and there is nothing wrong with the beer. Just shake it more next time before you take a reading. This will give you a true reading.

This was a helpful thread. i brewed my first over the weekend and measured a lower than expected OG. i will agitate the wort more next time.

Go ahead and give it a try, but it’s really hard to get it mixed thoroughly enough for aaccurate reading. If you use all the ingredients in the kit and end up with the intended volume, you WILL hit the intended OG. It’s kinda pointless to even other measuring.

since the wheat i did is a lower gravity beer, is it normal to have a fairly quiet fermenation? If it stays quiet, how can i tell when fermentation is complete?

measure the gravity then measure three days later. If they are the same, fermentation is complete.

Yeah, lower gravity beers usually exhibit less fermentation activity. The only way to know it’s done is to take a gravity reading. Trying to judge fermentation by airlock activity is pretty inaccurate.

with a low OG of 1.043 am i risking cutting my fermentation short if i move to secondary after a week? This is my first solo batch and my concern is ruining the beer if i take the lid off to get a reading…

Let it sit for 2 weeks. More than just fermentation takes place in the fermenter.

Unless you have a pet jump in the fermenter, opening the fermenter isn’t much of a concern. Do take some precautions and turn off any fans that might be running in the room.

[quote=“Nighthawk”]Let it sit for 2 weeks. More than just fermentation takes place in the fermenter.

Unless you have a pet jump in the fermenter, opening the fermenter isn’t much of a concern. Do take some precautions and turn off any fans that might be running in the room.[/quote]

+1

in fact, i think transferring to a secondary creates more risks than taking a hydrometer sample. most of the time a secondary is an unnecessary step, and an extended primary will accomplish the same thing.

Thanks for the tips. This is my first batch and i have two more on deck, so needless to say I’m excited and a little bit like a nervous first time parent. i posted a question in another thread about backwashing the water from my airlock into the bucket if i were to crack the lid. Is this actually a concern?

It’s somehting people are concerned about, although I’ve never found it to be a problem. I’ve done 440 batches so far, so I think the odds are in my favor!

Did not see this above so I will say it. Have you tested your hydrometer to be sure it reads correctly? Put it in distilled water at 60 F and see if you get 1.000. If not, the amount off you have to adjust all your readings by that amount to know what the gravity really is.

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