Raising the alcohol content of my beer

Hey so Ive been repeating an IPA recipe from the Charlie Papazian book and I can’t seem to get the specific gravity to increase to where it should be. Expected OG is 1.052-1.056 and Ive been getting results around 1.030. Any ideas as to why its not working out?

All Grain or Extract? If extract, are you doing full boil or partial boil and topping off? When are taking your gravity reading to get OG?


Would need to see the recipe and hear more about your process. Taking gravity with a hydrometer?

Yes taking hydrometer readings just prior to pitching the dry yeast into the 5 gallon glass carboy. It is a malt extract/grain recipe and its a partial boil with topping off.

How well do you shake the carboy after topping off? Do you take the sample before or after shaking and or stirring? Typically with topped off extract recipes, there will be stratification of your wort which makes it difficult to get an accurate reading. I assume that since you’ve been repeating the recipe, you have been happy with the result or do you feel something is lacking? It’s very nearly a given that if you are following the recipe for an extract beer that you would actually be at the specified OG given proper water volumes even if your hydrometer is reading lower.


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Post the recipe. It is possible the recipe has a misprint. You may be doing everything right, but the recipe is wrong since the measured OG is nearly the same.

I’ll sometimes use both of these tools to check a book recipe.

A couple possibilities:

Stratification: has already been mentioned, I think you’d get much more inconsistency, and even some high readings.

Bad gallon markings on your bucket: will cause you to consistently add too much/little top-off water. You should add measured volumes of water to your bucket to confirm. But in the meantime, how may bottles did you get from previous batches? More than 52?

Leaving extract in the bottles: fill 1/4 with hot water, shake, pour, repeat until the bottles are clean.

Bad hydrometer: but 20 points seems REALLY unlikely.

Misprinted recipe: @flars has a thought here that never would have occurred to me, but it certainly seems like a good possibility.