Higher OG then expected

What went wrong? Was this supposed to happen? Should I throw it out? What do I do now?

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Higher OG then expected

Postby Lloydarcher01 » Sun Jul 19, 2009 9:31 pm

I just started brewing my first batch today so I'm pretty new to this all. Before pitching the yeast I got a hydrometer reading of 1.072. Is this too high? A lot of other readings I have seen on forums have been between 1.05-.106 so I was just wondering.

Other information that may help:
5 gallon batch
Used dry malt extract with specialty grains (partial extract)
added .5lbs sugar (cause I thought the OG was gonna be low)

Any and all positive input is very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
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high OG

Postby slothrob » Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:46 pm

It's not too high if it's appropriate for the beer you want to make. 1.047-1.055 is probably the OG range for most beers, but some can be above 1.100. You might find that it takes a bit more aging to become smooth drinking than it would have. Perhaps 6 months instead of 2.

However, I don't think adding things randomly to a beer pays off very often, and I'm not one to think a beer is better just because it has higher alcohol. You might want to avoid making big changes until you understand the effects of those changes. At least until you have a couple good beers made.

Extract makes beers with a very predictable OG, so you shouldn't expect that the OG will be different than the recipe predicts.

Edit: The 0.5# sugar should only have added about 1.004 to your beer. I suspect it should be a pretty minor change.
Last edited by slothrob on Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Need a bit more info

Postby shaggyt » Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:46 pm

Lloyd,

Having some more info would definitely aid in determining if the 72 reading is way off. Several things to consider:

1. What temp was the wort @ reading?
2. What's your recipe? How much extract was used? What kind of extract, dry or liquid?
3. What was your boil size? (how big is your kettle?) Also, how long was the boil?
4. What was your cooling water volume? Basically how much was the boil diluted to bring the batch to 5 gallons?

If you're unfamiliar with John Palmer's How To Brew site, check out this link:

http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter3-4.html

This page shows you how to predict your OG. After that, peruse through Section 1 in it's entirety...this site was suggested to me when I first started and I still visit from time to time...can't say enough about this resource.

Now, that said, prepare for a strong beer if your yeast does it's work correctly!

Cheers.
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Postby Lloydarcher01 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:36 am

Shaggy my recipe was
3g of water in the stainless steel pot
1lb canadian 6-row brewed for 25 minutes at 160F
4lbs Dry malt extract added when wort came to a boil
.5oz northern brewer hops added and timer started for 1 hour
.5lbs dextrose at 30 minutes in
1 irish moss at 45 minutes in
.5oz northern brewer hops with 5 minutes left in brew

Since I'm a beginner I didn't have a wort chiller so i used 3 bags of ice in a tub of cold water and it cooled the wort down in about 10 minutes. I then poured the wort in my primary carboy and addon 3g of cold water to it. That brought the degrees down to 75F so I put my airlock on it and waited to go to 65-70 and took my hydrometer reading.

This isn't too big of a deal because i won't mind a heavy beer, but just curious on how to predict my OG a little better.

Thanks for all the help.
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Postby Suthrncomfrt1884 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:39 pm

You're brew is quite high. It should have been around 1.046. And I can't even begin to think of what could have caused that.
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That high of an O.G. is not possible

Postby billvelek » Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:44 am

Suthrncomfrt1884 wrote:You're brew is quite high. It should have been around 1.046. And I can't even begin to think of what could have caused that.

Agreed. I played with BTP and the only way I can get in the neighborhood of that high of an O.G. is to assume that it was 5 pounds of sugar rather than .5 pounds. Since there was ice added plus 3 gallons of water, if the final volume was actually 6 gallons and an efficiency of 71% to 80% on the 6-row, BTP will predict an O.G. of 1.072.

It is possible that the gravity wasn't read properly. First, calibrate your hydrometer; there should be instructions that came with it. Second, make sure you have the correct temp, and then "spin" your hydrometer to free any gas bubbles that will make it more bouyant. Then be sure that you are viewing the meniscus correctly; I use a refractometer so haven't used a hydrometer in a long time, but IIRC you need to be sure that you are reading at the bottom of the meniscus rather than the top. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong. However, bad calibration, wrong temp, air bubbles on the hydrometer, and reading at the top of the meniscus will still not give you that much of a difference. So my conclusion is that it was a typo and that you must have added 5 pounds of sugar, which was not a good idea.

Cheers.

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Postby Lloydarcher01 » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:12 pm

No I definitely added .5lbs of sugar and i spun the hydrometer when i used it. I just recently took a reading today and got 1.03 two days after pitching which gives me a 5.6% alcohol. Perhaps my hydrometer wasn't calibrated because that's the only thing that i could see being possible. I'm gonna read up on calibrating and see if that was the issue.

I'm not sure if you misread, but i didn't add the ice to my brew, it was just in a tub to cool the wort down. I boiled 3 gallons and lost .75-1 gallon and added 3 gallons before pitching.

P.S. I tasted the beer when i took my test and it tasted fine. Sweet aroma but with a bit of a dry taste. This is my first batch so i don't know if that dry taste subsides with priming or not.
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high OG

Postby slothrob » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:04 pm

These impossible OGs from an extract batch are typically caused by the difficulty of getting the wort and water completely mixed. The brewer then takes a sample that is skewed low or high depending on of they get more water or more wort. Believe me, it can seem like you mixed the two really well and you can still get an erroneous reading. It's happened to hundreds of brewers before you.

If your volumes are right and you added the correct amount of extract, it's nearly impossible to get the wrong gravity from an extract beer (I'm ignoring the effect of the partial mash which could give you +/- 0.005, but should only vary by a couple points brewer to brewer.)
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Postby Lloydarcher01 » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:10 pm

I was kind if leaning towards that result as well sloth. I guess i just have to be patient. I'll be able to tell by taste in a few weeks whether it is over 6% or not.

Thanks everyone for your responses, you have helped me a out a lot in becoming a better brewer.
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