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Partial Mash and Way Off Starting Gravity Reading

I just did a Belgian White Partial Mash kit:

-3# of grains
-4# of wheat DME

I did a partial boil and added top off water at the end in the carboy.

I mashed at 155 for an hour in 2 gallons of water. I sparged at 170 for 10 minutes in approx. 1 gallon of water.

After adding my top off water, the carboy shows darker coloring on the bottom and slightly lighter in the middle to the top.

I took a gravity reading off the top of the carboy after adding my top off water using a turkey baster and it came in ridiculiously low, 1.031 and the sample looked much lighter in color than the entire carboy. The kit says you should be around 1.048.

Did a search on another forum and found this thread on a similar experience: … ing-46868/

My question is, does the extract sink to the bottom then get mixed during fermentation? I am used to my old Coopers fermenter with a spigot at the bottom for taking OG readings.

Sounds like you probably didn’t get a good mix.

+1. You can get a more accurate reading if you take your sample before you top off and then adjust it for the dilution. Beersmith has a tool for this and I’m sure other software does too.

I had the same problem the first time I did a partial mash. I related this to the very nice woman at my local shop and she advised stirring the mash for a good 2 minutes after dough in. I’ve done that ever since and hit every one of my OGs right on. I’ve done four all grains now and every one has been at the exact gravity.

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