Author Topic: High original gravity reading  (Read 703 times)

Offline Virwill

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
High original gravity reading
« on: February 11, 2018, 09:30:19 PM »
Made my third extract batch today and everything seemed to go smoothly - until I took a sample from the wort before pitching my yeast and did an original gravity reading. I'd forgotten to do it on the first two batches - they turned out nicely but I wanted to learn more about my final product. According to my recipe, for an American Pale Ale, my OG should have been around 1.053. It is 1.100. Barley wine territory. Adjusting for 74 degrees up in the kitchen, that's 1.1017. Here's my recipe:
OG   1.053
FG   1.010
IBU   48.47
ABV   5.66 %
SRM   4.86
Specifics
Boil Volume   3 gallons
Batch Size   5 gallons
Boil time: 40 minutes

Fermentables
% Weight   Weight (lbs)   Grain         Gravity Points   
42.9 %      3.0   Light Dry Malt Extract      25.2      
57.1 %      4.0   Light Malt Extract Syrup   28   (ADDED AT THE 30-min MARK)   
         7.0                        53.2   
Hops
% Wt   Weight (oz)   Hop   Form      AA%   AAU   Boil Time   Utilization   IBU
33.3 %   1.5   Columbus   Whole      15   22.5   25      0.104      38.18
16.7 %   0.50   Columbus   Whole      15   7.5   10      0.049      7.5
16.7 %   0.50   Columbus   Whole      15   7.5   5      0.049      7.5
33.3 %   1.5   Chinook   Whole      7      Dry hop   0.0              0.0

Boiled: 2.11.18
Basement floor temp: 61 degrees

I have to say that hydrometers have never struck me as what you'd call precision instruments. But this is probably user error. What did I do wrong? Is this repairable by, say, adding some boiled/cooled water to dilute the wort at this early stage, whether or not the yeast has been pitched? Suggestions, please! And thanks.

Offline BrewnWKopperKat

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 174
    • View Profile
Re: High original gravity reading
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2018, 09:48:23 PM »
The recipe called for a three gallon partial boil, and with water (around 2 gallons) being added at the end of the boil to get to five gallons.  Based on the OG reading, it appears that all the extract is there. 

Did you take the OG reading before adding water to get to five gallons?

3 lb DME * 42 PPG => 126 gravity points
4 lb LME * 36 PPG => 140 gravity points

266 gravity points / 5 gallons => ~ 53 OG

266 gravity points / 100 OG => ~ 2 2/3 gallons water

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8565
    • View Profile
Re: High original gravity reading
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2018, 09:50:20 PM »
Sounds stupid, but I've done it before. Was your sample deep enough? Are you sure it wasn't just sitting on the bottom?

Another wild guess, not enough water, or about twice as much extract as you thought.

Offline ethinson

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 472
  • Why is the beer always gone?
    • View Profile
    • River Pirate Brewing Co.
Re: High original gravity reading
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2018, 12:56:53 PM »
I do three gallon extract batches and 7 lbs of extract looks about right for 1.100 (Belgian Dark Strong neighborhood for me).

Did you intend for the batch to be 3 gallons or 5? It looks to me that Beersmith gave you measurements for 5 gallons when you intended on it being a smaller batch size.  These are easy mistakes to make.  Also check the setting for Extract vs Partial Mash vs All Grain.. and also the preset systems vs "My System"... those will all change the numbers that Beersmith gives you.

You can dilute.  I do it all the time.  You may have to adjust your hop load though after diluting (do a dry hop addition that wasn't planned etc).
SE Portland - AKA Beervana
Captain and Chief Deck Swabber - River Pirate Brewing Co.
Certified BJCP Beer Judge
2015 Oregon Brew Crew Member of the Year

Offline Virwill

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
Re: High original gravity reading
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2018, 01:12:55 PM »
Kat: (Palm to forehead). That's exactly what I did. I was using the Palmer method of pitching the (rehydrated/proofed) yeast into the cooled 2 gallons of water. I was so determined to remember to take the OG reading before any fermentation had begun that, without thinking, I did so in the concentrated wort. I may also have gotten confused as Palmer says in a separate entry, "Check the gravity when you are ready to pitch the yeast." I did (from just under the surface, re Jim's question) - but it was highly concentrated. D'oh! But thanks.

Offline Virwill

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
Re: High original gravity reading
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2018, 01:22:15 PM »
Ethison: Nope, was making 5 gallons but as noted in previous reply, I took my reading in the concentrated 3-gal. wort. (I thought that sample smelled strong  :-[) I did check those Beersmith settings when setting my recipe so I'm probably ok with this recipe. I was aiming get a typical pale ale strength but to lighten the color somewhat from my previous two brews, and took a suggestion to start the boil with DME and add the LME a bit later, 10 minutes into the boil. In any event, won't be taking another hydrometer on this batch as fermentation has begun. Besides, I knocked it off the kitchen counter last night. Those little steel balls are hard to vacuum up.

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8565
    • View Profile
Re: High original gravity reading
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2018, 01:35:46 PM »
Awesome!!!

Offline mainebrewer

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 421
  • Palermo, Maine
    • View Profile
Re: High original gravity reading
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2018, 05:14:14 PM »
When you are doing extract batches it is easier to determine the OG using math.
If you know you have X pounds of LME/DME and Y gallons in the fermenter, just add up the points per gallon from the extract and divide by the total gallons in the fermenter.
It is difficult to get wort and water to completely mix and when you take a sample for a hydro test, you get a sample that is more water than wort or visa versa.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 10:49:54 AM by mainebrewer »
BJCP Certified

Offline Virwill

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
Re: High original gravity reading
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2018, 12:53:41 PM »
Mainebrewer: Thanks. I found a formula online that does exactly that, but uses a different multiplier re points per pound for DME vs LME. http://www.picobrewery.com/askarchive/gravity.html. Using my recipe, it worked out like this:
4 lbs. LME x 38=152
3 lbs. DME x 42=126
152+126=278/5=1.0556
I was shooting for 1.053, so not too far off? And do you or anyone else have any thoughts on the different values the link author uses?

Offline mainebrewer

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 421
  • Palermo, Maine
    • View Profile
Re: High original gravity reading
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2018, 04:06:40 PM »
LME usually runs around 35-36 points per gallon and DME usually runs 45-46 points per gallon.
So the author is a little high on LME and low on DME, it averages out in your case since you used close to equal parts of each.
BJCP Certified

Offline ethinson

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 472
  • Why is the beer always gone?
    • View Profile
    • River Pirate Brewing Co.
Re: High original gravity reading
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2018, 12:51:49 PM »
Ethison: Nope, was making 5 gallons but as noted in previous reply, I took my reading in the concentrated 3-gal. wort. (I thought that sample smelled strong  :-[) I did check those Beersmith settings when setting my recipe so I'm probably ok with this recipe. I was aiming get a typical pale ale strength but to lighten the color somewhat from my previous two brews, and took a suggestion to start the boil with DME and add the LME a bit later, 10 minutes into the boil. In any event, won't be taking another hydrometer on this batch as fermentation has begun. Besides, I knocked it off the kitchen counter last night. Those little steel balls are hard to vacuum up.

Ah good.  Well at least you got it figured out.  As mainebrewer said, you should be pretty damn close to your estimated OG, so you can just kinda wing it.  I've had to do that before.  I feel your pain with the broken hydrometer.. I've broken three. 

Although I'm curious.. I can't say that I read Palmer word for word, but I don't remember anything about pitching yeast into dilution water... did he have a reason for that? I don't understand why you would want to do that.

Cheers!
SE Portland - AKA Beervana
Captain and Chief Deck Swabber - River Pirate Brewing Co.
Certified BJCP Beer Judge
2015 Oregon Brew Crew Member of the Year

Offline Virwill

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
Re: High original gravity reading
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2018, 07:01:06 PM »
Ethison: Nope, was making 5 gallons but as noted in previous reply, I took my reading in the concentrated 3-gal. wort. (I thought that sample smelled strong  :-[) I did check those Beersmith settings when setting my recipe so I'm probably ok with this recipe. I was aiming get a typical pale ale strength but to lighten the color somewhat from my previous two brews, and took a suggestion to start the boil with DME and add the LME a bit later, 10 minutes into the boil. In any event, won't be taking another hydrometer on this batch as fermentation has begun. Besides, I knocked it off the kitchen counter last night. Those little steel balls are hard to vacuum up.

Ah good.  Well at least you got it figured out.  As mainebrewer said, you should be pretty damn close to your estimated OG, so you can just kinda wing it.  I've had to do that before.  I feel your pain with the broken hydrometer.. I've broken three. 

Although I'm curious.. I can't say that I read Palmer word for word, but I don't remember anything about pitching yeast into dilution water... did he have a reason for that? I don't understand why you would want to do that.

Cheers!
Thks for the feedback and sorry for the delayed response. I went back to re-read Palmer and I believe I misunderstood him - he says to pitch into the cooled wort. I poured the wort into the dilution water immediately after that and after taking a peek while dry-hopping six days later, it appears everything worked out. But what in your view would be the difference? It seemed to me - geez, maybe I read this somewhere else - that with the (rehydrated) yeast already in the dilution water, I'd help get it working on top of agitating the bucket for a couple of minutes once sealed.

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4476
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • View Profile
    • SeanTerrill.com
Re: High original gravity reading
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2018, 04:14:08 PM »
DME usually runs 45-46 points per gallon.

You're probably thinking of pure sugars, sucrose being the reference standard at 46.21 point-gal/lb. 42 is about right for DMEs.
Sent from my Microsoft Bob

Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
Refractometer Calculator | Batch Sparging Calculator | Two Mile Brewing Co.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19619
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: High original gravity reading
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2018, 05:14:54 PM »
DME usually runs 45-46 points per gallon.

You're probably thinking of pure sugars, sucrose being the reference standard at 46.21 point-gal/lb. 42 is about right for DMEs.

I use 45 and it's pretty damn close.
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