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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: Saccharomyces on February 07, 2021, 07:27:24 am

Title: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: Saccharomyces on February 07, 2021, 07:27:24 am
I know that new brewers tend to be all over the map with respect to original gravity (O.G,).  However, we tend to find our own niche O.G. range for our house styles over time.  For me, my Goldilocks O.G. is 1.060 and my Goldilocks O.G. range is 1.056 to 1.060.  A Pre-Pro Pils brewed to 1.060 with 35 IBUs of Cluster (kettle) combined with Czech Saaz or Tettnang Tettnanger (late) is a thing of beauty.  I tend to make this beer with 80/20 domestic 2-row/corn grits instead of the more typical 6-row/corn grits.  I sometimes use flaked maize if I am not feeling up to doing a double mash; however, the beer tastes different when corn grits are used.
Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: BrewBama on February 07, 2021, 08:23:26 am
I prefer all malt beers usually American or British inspired styles with the occasional Czech or German inspired style thrown in for good measure.

I usually use Pale or Pale Ale malt and possibly varying shades of Munich or maybe Vienna as a base.  I then branch off from there with Specialty malts, a little Crystal/Caramel/Cara- malt, and Roast malts. I rarely use adjuncts but have been known to use sugars. I try to use malts from the beer style’s home of origin.

I rarely brew a recipe exactly as written in a magazine, book, or website. I adjust it to my system’s efficiency which is dialed in to BeerSmith so I’m usually a percentage or three left or right of a recipe’s grist, SRM, IBU, etc. ...but usually pretty close.

I usually select beers to brew in the 1.052 -/+.004 OG range but there’s been known to be a Bock thrown in.


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Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: denny on February 07, 2021, 08:44:41 am
I seem to be mainly in the 1.060-66 range.  Down from 1.076-82 years back.
Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on February 07, 2021, 08:51:40 am
1.055. It's not a range, it's a hard number.
Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: Saccharomyces on February 07, 2021, 11:33:28 am
I prefer all malt beers usually American or British inspired styles with the occasional Czech or German inspired style thrown in for good measure.

You would be surprised to discover how many British beers are not all malt.  A large percent of British brewers use invert sugar and/or flaked maize. Newcastle uses corn and invert sugar.  I used to be in the all-malt is better club until I read two articles in Brewing Techniques that changed my outlook on adjuncts forever; namely, "The Bushwick Pilsners: A Look at Hoppier Days" by Ben Jankowski and "Explorations in Pre-Prohibition American Lagers" by George Fix.  I look at adjuncts as tools in a brewers tool bag.  Adjuncts used judiciously work like magic in bigger beers.  I consider big beers to be those with an O.G. of at least 1.060.  An apparent attenuation of 75% on a 1.060 results in a final gravity (F.G.) of 1.015.  That is too heavy for a lot of beer drinkers.  However, we replace 20% of the malt with corn grits or flaked maize, it produces a mash that will attenuate like a smaller all-malt beer  because the sugars extracted from corn tend to be more fermentable than the sugars extracted from malt.  That gives us a lower F.G. beer with the taste of a bigger beer.  That is the beauty of adjuncts.

By the way, I read the articles mentioned above when they were first published because I subscribed to Brewing Techniques for the entire time it was published, but MoreBeer has re-published many of the articles on this website.  These two articles are online.  While Zymurgy is a decent publication, Brewing Techniques was targeted at advanced amateur and small-scale professional brewers.  I would never join the AHA for access to Zymurgy. It is just too basic of a magazine. Zymurgy fills the same role amateur brewing community as the ARRL publication QST fills in the amateur radio world in that it is targeted mostly at beginning and intermediate hobbyists.  Sure, there are more technical articles every now and then, but I personally believe that it is time for the AHA to consider a supplemental publication, released on a quarterly or semi-annually basis, that is targeted at advanced amateur brewers.  It would require a separate subscription like the ARRL publication QEX.  QEX is to QST as Brewing Techniques was to Zymurgy.
Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 07, 2021, 01:35:51 pm
Mine has settled into the 12 to 18 Plato range for most lagers.

Ales are brewed from 9P to 25P+. I've been doing more Special Bitter at around 10P. Will do some Milds around 8 to 9 this spring.
Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: erockrph on February 07, 2021, 02:17:01 pm
Mine is about 1.048, with a range of 1.040 to 1.055. The older I get the smaller I like my beers to be. Plus, this way I can mill all my grains in one hopper-load.

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Title: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: tommymorris on February 07, 2021, 03:12:08 pm
I seem to always aim for 1050-1055. But, I am stuck in a rut is as good an explanation for that choice as any other. When I go above or below that range the beers are still great.
Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: BrewBama on February 07, 2021, 03:25:06 pm
I prefer all malt beers usually American or British inspired styles with the occasional Czech or German inspired style thrown in for good measure.

You would be surprised to discover how many British beers are not all malt.  A large percent of British brewers use invert sugar and/or flaked maize. ...

No, I wouldn’t. I’ve read quite a bit about British beers. ...which is why I say ‘inspired by’ vs ‘recreate’. I prefer all malt beers but have been known to use sugars.


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Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 07, 2021, 05:45:09 pm
Mine is about 1.048, with a range of 1.040 to 1.055. The older I get the smaller I like my beers to be. Plus, this way I can mill all my grains in one hopper-load.

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I brew more 12-13 P lagers than stronger ones. I can have a few.
Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: Descardeci on February 07, 2021, 05:52:07 pm
Ok I'm gonna be the wierd one, my OG nichee is 1.035-1.043 for most of my beers I do regularly, most low alchool british ale, some sessions american ale and a little low alchool german beers
Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: Saccharomyces on February 07, 2021, 07:03:54 pm
Mine has settled into the 12 to 18 Plato range for most lagers.

Ales are brewed from 9P to 25P+. I've been doing more Special Bitter at around 10P. Will do some Milds around 8 to 9 this spring.

Did you miss any common gravity with those ranges?  :)
Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: Saccharomyces on February 07, 2021, 07:06:56 pm
Ok I'm gonna be the wierd one, my OG nichee is 1.035-1.043 for most of my beers I do regularly, most low alchool british ale, some sessions american ale and a little low alchool german beers

I spent few years dabbling in that range with ordinary and best bitters.
Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 07, 2021, 08:59:58 pm
Mine has settled into the 12 to 18 Plato range for most lagers.

Ales are brewed from 9P to 25P+. I've been doing more Special Bitter at around 10P. Will do some Milds around 8 to 9 this spring.

Did you miss any common gravity with those ranges?  :)

For German beers it would be Schank beers at 8P, so Leicht Beer and Berliner Weiß. No strong Doppelbocks or Eisbier for me.

I do appreciate most English beer. I do see recipes for table beer, and a few others in the 3% or less range. The really strong ones are too much for me now, like Thomas Hardy's ale. I might do an English Barley wine soon, but more in the 8% range.

Most of my hoppy American style beers have dropped to 6% ABV or just above.

Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: dannyjed on February 07, 2021, 09:00:14 pm
One thing that has remained consistent in my brewing over the years is that my gravities are all over the place. I would have to say that over the last couple of years though, I have been making more beers in the 1.050 - 1.055 range.


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Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: erockrph on February 08, 2021, 05:13:58 am
Ok I'm gonna be the wierd one, my OG nichee is 1.035-1.043 for most of my beers I do regularly, most low alchool british ale, some sessions american ale and a little low alchool german beers
I'd be the same way, except I like hoppy beers and I feel that some hop flavor is missing when a beer is under 5.5% or so ABV. I'm assuming that the alcohol helps extraction, solubility, or acts as a carrier for hop oils.

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Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: ynotbrusum on February 08, 2021, 05:19:09 am
I’ve been chasing 1.034 to 1.040 beers for several months now and getting the hops right is elusive, indeed.  The best have been a Leichtbier Helles and a Czech Pale Lager, but I have 3 Leichtbier Pils on tap at present with slight hop tweaks between them.  My Ordinary bitters have leaned toward Timothy Taylor’s Landlord, but a bit smaller.
Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: dmtaylor on February 08, 2021, 05:53:00 am
Mine is about 1.048, with a range of 1.040 to 1.055. The older I get the smaller I like my beers to be. Plus, this way I can mill all my grains in one hopper-load.

This has been my path as well (in addition to smaller and smaller batch size, been down around 1 to 1.25 gallons for a while now).  Without even really thinking about it, after taking another look, all my beers except for one over the past 2 years have been from 1.045 to 1.055, with an overall average of 1.052.  And the next one I have planned is an American Light Lager at 1.042.  So I am definitely shrinking my OGs as I grow older.  These days I care much less about gimmicky stuff and much more about quality.

My pursuit now for a little while anyway will be trying to nail down standard strength German lagers.  I don't even want doppelbock for now, though I might try a maibock.  I'm going to brew multiple lighter lagers over the coming months.  If I can finally get the German lagers figured out, then I can move on to other things.  Unless I fail and just give up.  But my last batch gives me hope that I am finally on the path.  I expect average OG for all of these to be right around 1.050, maybe 1.055 tops.
Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 08, 2021, 06:06:59 am
Mine has settled into the 12 to 18 Plato range for most lagers.

Ales are brewed from 9P to 25P+. I've been doing more Special Bitter at around 10P. Will do some Milds around 8 to 9 this spring.

Did you miss any common gravity with those ranges?  :)

For German beers it would be Schank beers at 8P, so Leicht Beer and Berliner Weiß. No strong Doppelbocks or Eisbier for me.

I do appreciate most English beer. I do see recipes for table beer, and a few others in the 3% or less range. The really strong ones are too much for me now, like Thomas Hardy's ale. I might do an English Barley wine soon, but more in the 8% range.

Most of my hoppy American style beers have dropped to 6% ABV or just above.

To put it in engineer speak, I've been tightening the distribution of what I brew up to 9-14 P.  There are still some pesky long tails that remain.
Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: Fire Rooster on February 08, 2021, 06:18:13 am
All my brews are 4 to 5% ABV.
Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: fredthecat on February 08, 2021, 08:55:55 am
checking the last several brews ive made, the "standard strength" beer in my mind that ive made have been

1.043 - 2
1.044 - 1
1.045 - 3
1.046 - 1
1.047 - 1
1.049 - 1
1.054 - 1
1.056 - 1

over 1.06 would be strong intentioned and id try to go much over that ie. 1.07 or so, that way i dont session a whole bunch of 6.2+% abv beers as standard beers

im narrowing it down further to keep it closer to 1.043 - 1.048 in the future mostly. discourage flabby FGs and keep alcohol slightly down
Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: Descardeci on February 08, 2021, 10:26:19 am
Ok I'm gonna be the wierd one, my OG nichee is 1.035-1.043 for most of my beers I do regularly, most low alchool british ale, some sessions american ale and a little low alchool german beers
I'd be the same way, except I like hoppy beers and I feel that some hop flavor is missing when a beer is under 5.5% or so ABV. I'm assuming that the alcohol helps extraction, solubility, or acts as a carrier for hop oils.

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I didn't seeing to miss the hops, my english ales have the hops just right, but those beer are not a american IPA, my IPA I tend to go with session but my most pride IPA was 6.6% ABV, so I think you're absolut correct
Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: majorvices on February 08, 2021, 11:16:07 am
Around 1.050 usually. I drink beer primarily as a thirst quencher. OTOH I love doppelbock and English style barley wine and I go out of my way for a well brewed IIPA so don't hold me to that.
Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: Saccharomyces on February 09, 2021, 03:03:38 pm
I went back and checked the brews I made during my first pass through the hobby.  Surprisingly, very few were of greater than 1.056 gravity for most of that period.  Most of the batches were in the 1.052 to 1.056 range.  It finally dawned on me as to why they were in that range.  I was using mostly domestic 2-row as my base malt and domestic 2-row comes in 50lb bags.  Most the recipes were based on 10lbs of base malt and a pound of specialty malts, usually a half of a pound of torrified wheat and half of a pound of some kind of crystal/caramel malt.  That brew house usually yielded 29PPG +/-  1PPG.   I brewed 5.75-gallon batches, so that I could yield 5 gallons of clear beer to a keg.  With an average extraction rate of 29PPG, that meant 11 * 0.029 / 5.75 + 1 = 1.0555.  After I switched to using imported malt, I started using 11lbs of base malt per batch on average because imported malt comes in 55lb bags.  That is when my range changed to 1.056 to 1.060.  My desire to use a bag of base malt efficiently is what drove my O.G. range. 
Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: jeffy on February 09, 2021, 04:33:03 pm
My everyday beers are usually in the lower 1.050’s, but I will occasionally make an Imperial Stout, or a Belgian Strong.
Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: reverseapachemaster on February 09, 2021, 06:45:34 pm
Brewing big beers is a lot of fun but most of my brewing is around 1.040-1.050. Mostly looking at beers I can have a few on a weekend night and not be hungover or feel like I put down 5000 calories in beer.
Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: fredthecat on February 09, 2021, 09:35:11 pm
Brewing big beers is a lot of fun but most of my brewing is around 1.040-1.050. Mostly looking at beers I can have a few on a weekend night and not be hungover or feel like I put down 5000 calories in beer.

yup, i think homebrewed beers have a tendency to have higher FGs than  commercial craft beers, and certainly much higher FGs than bigger company made beers. those remaining gravity points are in a way money lost when they are trying to put out beer that is "X% ABV" as long as it isnt noticeable.

as i stated, i admittedly made some flabby beers lately and it feels like dessert plus a beer putting some of them down. definitely going harder on getting dryer beers now.
Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: Lazy Ant Brewing on February 10, 2021, 09:04:16 am
Any beer above 6.5 abv tastes medicinal to me.  5.0 abv is the target for nearly all my brews and I brew mostly milds, browns, porters, and stouts.
Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: JFMBearcat on February 10, 2021, 06:47:17 pm
My ideal numbers are 1.048-1.052 and 38-42 IBU.

Not surprising to hear my favorite beer styles are:

California Common
Altbier
German Pils
American Pale Ale
Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: wesbrew on February 14, 2021, 07:33:04 am
Most of the beers that I want to drink 5-10 gallons of fall in the 1.042-1.052 range.
Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: Andy Farke on February 14, 2021, 12:38:29 pm
I ran the stats on the last 10 years of brewing, and have a mean original gravity of 1.054, a median of 1.052, and a mode of 1.046. This reflects my "perfect" original gravity pretty well, I think. A beer that hits ~1.050 and finishes just a hair south of 5% abv makes me happiest!

The yearly mean starting gravity has declined slightly over the past five years (1.057 in 2016; 1.052 in 2020), because I've started to do session beers more frequently. I rarely brew high gravity beers; if I want something "big," a single bottle from the store is usually enough to satisfy my cravings.

Yep, I'm a data nerd.
Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: fredthecat on February 14, 2021, 07:45:22 pm
I ran the stats on the last 10 years of brewing, and have a mean original gravity of 1.054, a median of 1.052, and a mode of 1.046. This reflects my "perfect" original gravity pretty well, I think. A beer that hits ~1.050 and finishes just a hair south of 5% abv makes me happiest!

The yearly mean starting gravity has declined slightly over the past five years (1.057 in 2016; 1.052 in 2020), because I've started to do session beers more frequently. I rarely brew high gravity beers; if I want something "big," a single bottle from the store is usually enough to satisfy my cravings.

Yep, I'm a data nerd.


i dont know if its still popular but the styles of american pale ale and american amber ale with OGs of 1.055 to 1.062 or so were really popular for a long time in the earlier years of homebrewing. i see a lot less of them at the store now i believe.
Title: Re: Your Goldilocks Original Gravity Range
Post by: Andy Farke on February 14, 2021, 10:44:44 pm
i dont know if its still popular but the styles of american pale ale and american amber ale with OGs of 1.055 to 1.062 or so were really popular for a long time in the earlier years of homebrewing. i see a lot less of them at the store now i believe.

At least here in SoCal, American pale ales are still rather common at many breweries (and homebrew kits). But if I want an amber ale, I've gotta brew one! Hardly any of the smaller craft breweries make 'em now, whereas they were everywhere 15 or 20 years ago!