Author Topic: DME or LME for adjusting my Low OG?  (Read 1432 times)

Offline Clmac

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DME or LME for adjusting my Low OG?
« on: March 27, 2017, 03:10:26 PM »
Hey guys!
New to the Forum so pls have some patience. :) I used to brew back in the 90's and decided to pick it back up. WOW things have changed.
I did my first batch last week (Caribou Slobber Extract) and had a very low OG of 1.025. I proceeded forward knowing it was lower than it should be but I knew I would be counting on you guys for guidance In the future to adjust or hopefully keep this from happening Again.
Should I use DME or LME to compensate the numbers in the future if this happens again? Also can I just add the extract to the wort and continue to boil. I pulled a small amount from the wort before chilling (just enough for the hydrometer), cooled it in a ice bath to 75° and took my reading. I did not have extra DME or LME at the time. I will be stocking it in the future for situations like this. THANKS for any help!!

Offline tracebusta

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Re: DME or LME for adjusting my Low OG?
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2017, 03:20:19 PM »
If it was an extract batch and you followed the directions correctly, then my guess is that your OG was what it was supposed to be. The most likely scenario is that you didn't fully mix the boiled extract and top-off water giving you the low gravity reading. I've had that problem before and learned that I really had to give it a good mixing in order to get an accurate reading.

If you ever need to adjust in the future, I personally think that DME is the easiest way to go. Compared to a syrup, it's going to be easier to store, handle, weigh, and dissolve into water/wort.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk


Offline Clmac

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Re: DME or LME for adjusting my Low OG?
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2017, 03:33:26 PM »
If it was an extract batch and you followed the directions correctly, then my guess is that your OG was what it was supposed to be. The most likely scenario is that you didn't fully mix the boiled extract and top-off water giving you the low gravity reading. I've had that problem before and learned that I really had to give it a good mixing in order to get an accurate reading.

If you ever need to adjust in the future, I personally think that DME is the easiest way to go. Compared to a syrup, it's going to be easier to store, handle, weigh, and dissolve into water/wort.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk

Thanks Trace!
Should I stir the wort good before transferring it to the fermenter? It seems leaving the "sludge" on the bottom of the boil pot would give me a clearer product. You also brought up something that I was curious about.... shouldn't I take the OG before topping off with water? I appreciate the guidance. I'll get the swing of things. Love brewing beer. I've missed it for 20 + yrs!!

Offline tracebusta

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Re: DME or LME for adjusting my Low OG?
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2017, 03:45:28 PM »
If it was an extract batch and you followed the directions correctly, then my guess is that your OG was what it was supposed to be. The most likely scenario is that you didn't fully mix the boiled extract and top-off water giving you the low gravity reading. I've had that problem before and learned that I really had to give it a good mixing in order to get an accurate reading.

If you ever need to adjust in the future, I personally think that DME is the easiest way to go. Compared to a syrup, it's going to be easier to store, handle, weigh, and dissolve into water/wort.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk

Thanks Trace!
Should I stir the wort good before transferring it to the fermenter? It seems leaving the "sludge" on the bottom of the boil pot would give me a clearer product. You also brought up something that I was curious about.... shouldn't I take the OG before topping off with water? I appreciate the guidance. I'll get the swing of things. Love brewing beer. I've missed it for 20 + yrs!!

As for measuring the OG: Let's say it's a 5 gallon recipe and it says you should end up with an OG of 1.050, and you're doing a partial boil. That means that when you're finished boiling the 2.5 gallons of wort, you'll have an OG of around 1.080. When you add your top-off water, that will bring your amount up to 5 gallons, diluting it down to the specified 1.050. You'll ideally want to measure when you have everything mixed up and you're ready to pitch your yeast. (Those numbers are in no way the actual math, I just picked them to get the idea across.)

The sludge on the bottom is called trub, and at the homebrew scale it's completely up to you whether you want to transfer it to the fermenter or not. Check out www.brulosophy.com and do a search for trub to see some of their experiments they did on that. My take on it is that it's actually beneficial to the yeast to transfer some of it over; but how much is up to you.

My mind is a bit disjointed today, hope this makes sense.

Offline Clmac

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Re: DME or LME for adjusting my Low OG?
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2017, 04:07:40 PM »
If it was an extract batch and you followed the directions correctly, then my guess is that your OG was what it was supposed to be. The most likely scenario is that you didn't fully mix the boiled extract and top-off water giving you the low gravity reading. I've had that problem before and learned that I really had to give it a good mixing in order to get an accurate reading.

If you ever need to adjust in the future, I personally think that DME is the easiest way to go. Compared to a syrup, it's going to be easier to store, handle, weigh, and dissolve into water/wort.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk

Thanks Trace!
Should I stir the wort good before transferring it to the fermenter? It seems leaving the "sludge" on the bottom of the boil pot would give me a clearer product. You also brought up something that I was curious about.... shouldn't I take the OG before topping off with water? I appreciate the guidance. I'll get the swing of things. Love brewing beer. I've missed it for 20 + yrs!!

As for measuring the OG: Let's say it's a 5 gallon recipe and it says you should end up with an OG of 1.050, and you're doing a partial boil. That means that when you're finished boiling the 2.5 gallons of wort, you'll have an OG of around 1.080. When you add your top-off water, that will bring your amount up to 5 gallons, diluting it down to the specified 1.050. You'll ideally want to measure when you have everything mixed up and you're ready to pitch your yeast. (Those numbers are in no way the actual math, I just picked them to get the idea across.)

The sludge on the bottom is called trub, and at the homebrew scale it's completely up to you whether you want to transfer it to the fermenter or not. Check out www.brulosophy.com and do a search for trub to see some of their experiments they did on that. My take on it is that it's actually beneficial to the yeast to transfer some of it over; but how much is up to you.

My mind is a bit disjointed today, hope this makes sense.

Makes PERFECT sense! This concerns me even more seeing to how I took the OG reading at 2.5 gallons. I'll check the accuracy of my hydrometer. To be honest I could have misread it when I took the reading. I had excellent yeast activity and nice Kraüsen as well. I was concerned about the finale ABV but A guy told me a long time ago "When brewing don't chase the ABV, chase the taste and you'll always be satisfied".....

I remember there is a huge learning curve in the beginning so I'm positive in my thoughts and future brewing.   I'll check out the website.
Again Thanks!! And Cheers!

Offline flars

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Re: DME or LME for adjusting my Low OG?
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2017, 04:19:23 PM »
The hydrometer reading will also be affected by the temperature of the SG sample.  Here is a link to Palmer's previous edition with a conversion chart.  Sample temperatures above the calibration temperature of your hydrometer will read a lower SG than the actual SG.
http://howtobrew.com/book/appendices/appendix-a/using-hydrometers

The temperature of your SG sample was only a minor part of your SG discrepancy though.

Offline Clmac

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Re: DME or LME for adjusting my Low OG?
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2017, 05:46:04 PM »
The hydrometer reading will also be affected by the temperature of the SG sample.  Here is a link to Palmer's previous edition with a conversion chart.  Sample temperatures above the calibration temperature of your hydrometer will read a lower SG than the actual SG.
http://howtobrew.com/book/appendices/appendix-a/using-hydrometers

The temperature of your SG sample was only a minor part of your SG discrepancy though.

Thanks! This will definitely come in handy. Cheers!

Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: DME or LME for adjusting my Low OG?
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2017, 06:00:36 PM »
Hey guys!
New to the Forum so pls have some patience. :) I used to brew back in the 90's and decided to pick it back up. WOW things have changed.
I did my first batch last week (Caribou Slobber Extract) and had a very low OG of 1.025. I proceeded forward knowing it was lower than it should be but I knew I would be counting on you guys for guidance In the future to adjust or hopefully keep this from happening Again.
Should I use DME or LME to compensate the numbers in the future if this happens again? Also can I just add the extract to the wort and continue to boil. I pulled a small amount from the wort before chilling (just enough for the hydrometer), cooled it in a ice bath to 75° and took my reading. I did not have extra DME or LME at the time. I will be stocking it in the future for situations like this. THANKS for any help!!

How much extract did the kit provide and how much water did you put it into??
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Offline denny

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Re: DME or LME for adjusting my Low OG?
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2017, 06:17:41 PM »
If you use all the extract and end up with the volume the kit was designed for, you WILL have the correct OG.  I don't even bother measuring for an extract batch because if you hit those conditions it's impossible to be off.  And no matter how mucg you stir, you likely won't get it stirred well enough to get an accurate measurement.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline cdawson

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Re: DME or LME for adjusting my Low OG?
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2017, 06:27:58 PM »
If you took your OG before adding top off water and misread your hydrometer, maybe you actually had something more like 1.125??? Then by the time you top off with an additional 2.5 gallons of water it would dilute that down to 1.055-1.060 which is slightly over the listed OG for an extract Slobber kit.

Offline Clmac

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Re: DME or LME for adjusting my Low OG?
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2017, 08:09:34 PM »
Hey guys!
New to the Forum so pls have some patience. :) I used to brew back in the 90's and decided to pick it back up. WOW things have changed.
I did my first batch last week (Caribou Slobber Extract) and had a very low OG of 1.025. I proceeded forward knowing it was lower than it should be but I knew I would be counting on you guys for guidance In the future to adjust or hopefully keep this from happening Again.
Should I use DME or LME to compensate the numbers in the future if this happens again? Also can I just add the extract to the wort and continue to boil. I pulled a small amount from the wort before chilling (just enough for the hydrometer), cooled it in a ice bath to 75° and took my reading. I did not have extra DME or LME at the time. I will be stocking it in the future for situations like this. THANKS for any help!!

How much extract did the kit provide and how much water did you put it into??


It consisted of 1 lb of dry extract and 6 lbs of malt syrup..... 2.5 gallons at boil and top off to 5 gallons.


Offline Clmac

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Re: DME or LME for adjusting my Low OG?
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2017, 08:13:38 PM »
If you use all the extract and end up with the volume the kit was designed for, you WILL have the correct OG.  I don't even bother measuring for an extract batch because if you hit those conditions it's impossible to be off.  And no matter how mucg you stir, you likely won't get it stirred well enough to get an accurate measurement.

This very helpful to know. Thanks!! This lessens my concerns of a bad outcome. I had forgotten how mentally consuming brewing beer was. But I know that it becomes less as time (more batches you brew) goes on.
Thanks again!

Offline denny

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Re: DME or LME for adjusting my Low OG?
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2017, 08:15:38 PM »
Hey guys!
New to the Forum so pls have some patience. :) I used to brew back in the 90's and decided to pick it back up. WOW things have changed.
I did my first batch last week (Caribou Slobber Extract) and had a very low OG of 1.025. I proceeded forward knowing it was lower than it should be but I knew I would be counting on you guys for guidance In the future to adjust or hopefully keep this from happening Again.
Should I use DME or LME to compensate the numbers in the future if this happens again? Also can I just add the extract to the wort and continue to boil. I pulled a small amount from the wort before chilling (just enough for the hydrometer), cooled it in a ice bath to 75° and took my reading. I did not have extra DME or LME at the time. I will be stocking it in the future for situations like this. THANKS for any help!!

How much extract did the kit provide and how much water did you put it into??


It consisted of 1 lb of dry extract and 6 lbs of malt syrup..... 2.5 gallons at boil and top off to 5 gallons.

That amount of extract in 5 gal. would give you an OG right around 1.052.  Here's how you calculate it....liquid extract has about 36 gravity points per lb. per gal. of water.  That means that one lb. of LME in one gal. of water yields an OG of 1.036.  Likewise, 5 lb. in 5 gal. would also yield 1.036.  DME is around 45 ppg.  So you had 6 lb. of LME for 6*36=216 points plus another 45 from the DME for a total of 261 gravity points.  That went into 5 gal. so you divide 261/5 to get 52-ish.  That means that if you used all the extract and ended up with 5 gal., your OG would be 1.052.  Make sense?  That has to be true no matter what you measure.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline denny

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Re: DME or LME for adjusting my Low OG?
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2017, 08:16:40 PM »
If you use all the extract and end up with the volume the kit was designed for, you WILL have the correct OG.  I don't even bother measuring for an extract batch because if you hit those conditions it's impossible to be off.  And no matter how mucg you stir, you likely won't get it stirred well enough to get an accurate measurement.

This very helpful to know. Thanks!! This lessens my concerns of a bad outcome. I had forgotten how mentally consuming brewing beer was. But I know that it becomes less as time (more batches you brew) goes on.
Thanks again!

I've brewed 512 batches...hoping for 513 tomorrow.  Sometimes when I get done I don't even remember if I did everything!  Of course, that could be age, too!  :)
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline Clmac

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Re: DME or LME for adjusting my Low OG?
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2017, 08:57:03 PM »
Hey guys!
New to the Forum so pls have some patience. :) I used to brew back in the 90's and decided to pick it back up. WOW things have changed.
I did my first batch last week (Caribou Slobber Extract) and had a very low OG of 1.025. I proceeded forward knowing it was lower than it should be but I knew I would be counting on you guys for guidance In the future to adjust or hopefully keep this from happening Again.
Should I use DME or LME to compensate the numbers in the future if this happens again? Also can I just add the extract to the wort and continue to boil. I pulled a small amount from the wort before chilling (just enough for the hydrometer), cooled it in a ice bath to 75° and took my reading. I did not have extra DME or LME at the time. I will be stocking it in the future for situations like this. THANKS for any help!!

How much extract did the kit provide and how much water did you put it into??


It consisted of 1 lb of dry extract and 6 lbs of malt syrup..... 2.5 gallons at boil and top off to 5 gallons.

That amount of extract in 5 gal. would give you an OG right around 1.052.  Here's how you calculate it....liquid extract has about 36 gravity points per lb. per gal. of water.  That means that one lb. of LME in one gal. of water yields an OG of 1.036.  Likewise, 5 lb. in 5 gal. would also yield 1.036.  DME is around 45 ppg.  So you had 6 lb. of LME for 6*36=216 points plus another 45 from the DME for a total of 261 gravity points.  That went into 5 gal. so you divide 261/5 to get 52-ish.  That means that if you used all the extract and ended up with 5 gal., your OG would be 1.052.  Make sense?  That has to be true no matter what you measure.

I understand clearly now how the OG is determined. I appreciate you breaking it down..... question is in your opinion (and I realize there is many factors) I feel I did exactly what I was supposed to do via the instructions  https://www.northernbrewer.com/documentation/beerkits/CaribouSlobber.pdf What is more likely to have happen? I have brewed many kits of beers (granted it was 20 yrs ago) but I understand the principals and cleanliness required in the process of brewing. I'm clueless on the OG being low. Thank you in advance for the knowledge!!