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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: captnjohnny1618 on March 20, 2010, 02:31:21 AM

Title: Higher SG than OG?
Post by: captnjohnny1618 on March 20, 2010, 02:31:21 AM
Ok,

So I'm not THAT new to home brewing (definitely new to the forum though) to know that this is messed up.  I thought that I had originally messed up my brown ale when I got an OG reading of ~1.025 from what should have been 1.046-1.050.  I went ahead an pitched the yeast though just figuring I'd have a slightly watered down tasting beer.  But what's even weirder is that I'm now, a week later, getting a specific gravity reading of 1.030.  I'm using a slightly modified "Elbro Nerkte" Recipe from The Complete Joy of Homebrewing. 

I know the initial screw up with the OG was from topping off improperly, but what could the strange SG reading be due to?  Also, the beer seems to still be fermenting when the recipe claims it should have finished in about 4-7 days? There's still a ton of yeast in suspension!

Thanks for any help,
John
Title: Re: Higher SG than OG?
Post by: jwatkins56550 on March 20, 2010, 02:42:59 AM
Let me get this straight.  You measured your starting gravity at around 1.025 after topping up your beer with water.  And a week later, you measured your beer at 1.030 correct?  It sounds to me that after you topped up for fermenter, the sample you took for your starting gravity had a lot of water from your topping up in it.
Title: Re: Higher SG than OG?
Post by: captnjohnny1618 on March 20, 2010, 02:51:07 AM
That's exactly what seems to be going on.  I shook it around, made sure it was aerated though which I feel like should have taken care of the mixing issue... but still I suppose that could be what happened.  Why then would it still seem to be fermenting after a week or so (w/ ale yeast) and still be way above the suggested final gravity?
Title: Re: Higher SG than OG?
Post by: dbeechum on March 20, 2010, 05:26:09 AM
Well, you probably are having a funky ferment which did successfully finish the stirring process. Give it more time and come back to it.
Title: Re: Higher SG than OG?
Post by: euge on March 20, 2010, 06:26:21 AM
When I read the OP poorly mixed wort came to mind. This can happen when there are temperature differences that are compounded by the specific gravity of wort when diluted. Like mixing a syrup into cold water. A paint-stirrer and a cordless drill can mix up some wort purty good. Try it... :)
Title: Re: Higher SG than OG?
Post by: a10t2 on March 20, 2010, 02:02:35 PM
I guess we're all assuming you're using extract - if so your OG was fine, just thrown off by the water.

A 1.030 FG is a more serious issue. What yeast did you use, how much, and what are the temperatures like?

If it seems to be fermenting still, you may want to warm it into the high 60s or low 70s and swirl it occasionally, to make sure the yeast stay active.
Title: Re: Higher SG than OG?
Post by: denny on March 20, 2010, 03:29:56 PM
I wouldn't worry about the gravity for another week or so...
Title: Re: Higher SG than OG?
Post by: captnjohnny1618 on March 20, 2010, 06:42:04 PM
I used a White Labs Pacific Ale Yeast.  The temperature has been a constant 72 degrees where the fermenter sits.  I won't have time to bottle until next weekend so letting it sit more is a non-issue.  Just seems like this whole batch it weird.  I'm definitely not going to bottle if it seems like it's still fermenting and has a FG of 1.030
Title: Re: Higher SG than OG?
Post by: euge on March 20, 2010, 06:48:39 PM
Give it a few more days. Seems a little warm at 72F for that type of yeast. Maybe the upper end?

I'd suggest getting it a little cooler too but then why not just let it play out and not mess with it? Could do more harm at this point.
Title: Re: Higher SG than OG?
Post by: Dbbrewing on March 20, 2010, 07:04:31 PM
Yes just give it more time and remember RDWHAHB (relax don't worry have a homebrew).
Title: Re: Higher SG than OG?
Post by: BrewArk on March 23, 2010, 05:00:18 AM
How hot was the wort when you first measured it?  Hot liquids are thinner than cool ones.
Title: Re: Higher SG than OG?
Post by: euge on March 23, 2010, 05:21:00 AM
How hot was the wort when you first measured it?  Hot liquids are thinner than cool ones.

Oh yes +1 !!

That can certainly throw things off. Buy a refractometer cheap and easy off ebay.
Title: Re: Higher SG than OG?
Post by: captnjohnny1618 on March 23, 2010, 01:24:21 PM
Wort was about at 80 degrees.  The correction for my hydrometer should only be about +.003 give or take one.  So that would ony account for a maximum possible gravity of 1.028 or 1.029.  Things seems to be slowing down a bit in the carboy though so maybe by friday it'll have finished and give a better gravity reading than previously. 

I tasted it last friday when I took the 1.030 reading and it definitely did taste like slightly watery beer, but definitely still drinkable (no worse than what half the people here at college drink on a regular basis).  I'm definitely planning to bottle it.  Would there be anything weird that could happen in the bottles? Over/under carbonation etc?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Higher SG than OG?
Post by: tygo on March 23, 2010, 01:28:45 PM
I'm definitely planning to bottle it.  Would there be anything weird that could happen in the bottles? Over/under carbonation etc?

Thanks!

Just make sure it's completely done fermenting before you bottle it.  Wait until the airlock activity has mostly tapered off and the beer has cleared and then take a hydrometer reading a couple/few days in a row.  If the reading is unchanged then its done and you're good to bottle.  If you jump the gun you could end up with bottle bombs.

I wouldn't think 1.030 beer would taste too watery.
Title: Re: Higher SG than OG?
Post by: nicneufeld on March 23, 2010, 02:16:29 PM
I wouldn't think 1.030 beer would taste too watery.

Certainly right there.  If the ferment still looks active let it do its thing, keep it from getting too cold, etc.  I'd have to bet the original reading was a fluke somehow, 1.025 would be an extremely small beer.  Might be tasty, albeit, yes, quite light.
Title: Re: Higher SG than OG?
Post by: captnjohnny1618 on March 23, 2010, 06:03:01 PM

I wouldn't think 1.030 beer would taste too watery.
[/quote]

Yeah, I have no idea what happened.  I'm guessing the mixing was pretty bad.  We'll see. I'll keep you guys posted.  (Won't jump the gun on bottling though...)
Title: Re: Higher SG than OG?
Post by: euge on March 23, 2010, 06:04:18 PM
Nothing wrong with a 1.030 beer. On the weak side and watery? Depends on perspective. Sure. Got ya a lawnmower beer. Drink one too many of these 2.6 -3.0 ABV babies and you might just find yourself drunk.

I'll be brewing several of these this Spring and Summer. ;)
Title: Re: Higher SG than OG?
Post by: nicneufeld on March 24, 2010, 01:54:48 PM
Depends...a 1.030 OG beer is going to taste pretty light.  A 1.030 FG beer is going to taste much, much, much less watery!

It sounds like, to me, that the OG is not really known for sure here.  The F/SG is the only thing that can be measured sans a refractometer now, so hopefully that will drop significantly still.  I had a few beers finish around 1.030 but they were barleywines and very, very sweet.
Title: Re: Higher SG than OG?
Post by: captnjohnny1618 on March 24, 2010, 02:54:13 PM
This is supposed to be a brown ale and I definitely don't think that it's finishing at 1.030.  It doesn't taste that sweet.  I think my SG readings were just way off. Both times.  Oh well.

Worse comes to worse, it's like Euge said: A lawnmower beer.  Seeing as I don't have a lawnmower though and for that matter a lawn (I live in a dorm) it'll have to serve as a homework beer! Better two of these than 2 of the porters I brewed: I can't get anything done after those!
Title: Re: Higher SG than OG?
Post by: euge on March 24, 2010, 04:58:00 PM
When it is done, you'll be able to calculate your OG from your FG.

Haha dorm room brewery. You'll be a popular cap'n if everyone finds out!
Title: Re: Higher SG than OG?
Post by: nicneufeld on March 24, 2010, 08:30:37 PM
When it is done, you'll be able to calculate your OG from your FG.

If the OG isn't known, and he doesn't have a refractometer, how exactly is this possible?  I do this from time to time but the refractometer was (to my understanding) an essential part of the equation, in addition to a hydrometer.
Title: Re: Higher SG than OG?
Post by: captnjohnny1618 on March 25, 2010, 12:30:02 AM
When it is done, you'll be able to calculate your OG from your FG.

Haha dorm room brewery. You'll be a popular cap'n if everyone finds out!

I can tell ABV by taste... not!  Haha.  I'm actually not that concerned with the finer points of this batch at this point. If it's drinkable and the bottles don't explode, I'll be happy with it.  I've had good luck with everything up to this point, and this isn't really that bad.  So no worries!

Here's a picture of my dorm room closet. It's a tight fit, but I've gotta make sure I have my priorities straight:

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4059/4461386972_5f2c64c53d.jpg)