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Seat of the pants extract, OG lower than expected

Hi. The beer I brewed tonight has a lower than expected OG. I’ve brewed about 75 extract batches, all kits so far. Until now, I have followed the extract recipe directions, and I’ve almost always hit the OG pretty darn close, and all of my beers have turned out pretty well, if I (and my friends) must say so myself. This latest batch was different. It was my first attempt to try something that was a kit. I didn’t use BeerSmith or anything, just plunged in. I also used whole leaf hops that I have grown myself. Below are the ingredients and timing of my brew.

60min boil

  • 1lb Crystal 60L steeped at 160 for 20min
  • 6lb Briess Golden Light extract at beginning of boil
  • 1oz Centenial hops (pellet) at 45min
  • 2.75 oz Cascade (whole leaf) at 15min
  • Another 6lb Briess Golden Light extract at 15min
  • 1.5oz Cascade hops (whole leaf) at 5 min
  • 1oz Cascade hops (whole leaf) at flame out

The flavor of the wort was good (indicator for me that the brew is going to be decent), but the OG came in at only 1.047. I know I didn’t use BeerSmith, so I had no idea what the OG would come in at, but given the brews I’ve brewed before, I expected this to come in higher than that. I used a newly calibrated refractometer to measure the OG, so I know it’s pretty accurate. Why would it have come in at this level? Thanks.

Partial boil or full boil? If you used top off water I’m betting it wasn’t completely mixed and you got a diluted sample. Wort stratification happens fairly easy and is a common problem. With extract, as long as you hit your water volumes based on recipe, you will hit your OG. When boiling you are boiling off water, not sugar.

Hi, and thanks. It was a partial boil (3gal with 2 gal top off). I thought I had mixed it pretty well, but maybe I didn’t. As I said, though, this was a seat of the pants brew, so I didn’t have a targeted OG to shoot for. With the 12 lbs of LME, though, I would have figured it to be higher than 1.047.

Beersmith says 1.051 at 5 gals

Interesting. So I may not have been that far off. Maybe just didn’t mix well enough. As I said, the wort tasted pretty good. Time will be the judge. Thanks for the input!

Twelve pounds of LME, in 5 gallons, would have been an OG of 1.089.

Flars is right. I only saw the first 6 lbs. Didn’t read past your hops additions.

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