Watered Down Brew..?

Brewing processes and methods. How to brew using extract, partial or all-grain. Tips and tricks.

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Watered Down Brew..?

Postby ggibson » Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:23 pm

OK, so I did my first homebrew, an Irish Stout that came with the kit my son bought me. When I racked the wort to the glass carboy, because of the size of the boil pot, some boil-off, etc, I added additional clean, fresh water to get up to 5 gallons. However, didn't think about until after-the fact that my glass carboy is a 6.5 gallon carboy. So, it's likely that I added more water than needed (in excess of 5 gallons).

The IG/OG hydrometer readings gave me an ABV reading of 7.75%. The beer actually tastes pretty darn good. However, it does have a bit of a "watered-down" look to it, not quite the consistency of, in comparison, a Guiness Stout.

My newbie question is, can the beer be a bit watered down without affecting the OG reading and still be fairly drinkable?

By the way, in order to avoid this problem in the future, I filled the carboy with water a gallon at a time and made incremental markings on the outside of the carboy. Next time, it WILL be at 5 gallons! Thanks for your input!
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watered down beer

Postby slothrob » Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:43 am

I wouldn't trust the OG reading, it is very difficult to mix the beer evenly after adding water. That frequently leads to odd gravity readings. The best way to calculate the OG in your case, since it is an extract kit, it to look at the predicted OG of the kit, multiply it times 5, then divide by what you suspect the volume actually was.

Since you diluted both the malt and the hops, the beer should still be balanced, just a little weaker than intended. I've had really great beers with lower gravity, so I don't think it will ruin the beer, it just won't be quite the same beer it was intended to be.

I think the beer will be fine, once it is carbonated. It will just be a little more refreshing than you expected. The best thing is that you figured out a solution that will help make your next beer better.

Good Luck, and let us know how it comes out.
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+1

Postby brewmeisterintng » Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:32 pm

Couldn't have said it better slothrob. I know that new brewers tend to get overly excited about what they did or didn't do. It will still be beer... but there is always a lesson learned. :D
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Re: +1

Postby slothrob » Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:05 pm

brewmeisterintng wrote:It will still be beer... but there is always a lesson learned. :D
Right! That's what I always try to do: Enjoy the beer I've made and try to learn something to make the next one even better.
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Postby ggibson » Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:27 pm

Thanks for the quick replies, guys! And I may not have made myself perfectly clear on where the brew is now. It's been bottled, gone through its 2-week carbonation process, etc. I am drinking it, and it tastes fine, albeit a little weaker, as we've discussed, due to the extra water.

I've shared it with friends and co-workers, and they all enjoyed it (so they said!). Told them all it's a basic Irish Stout and nothing fancy. My slogan for this batch was "It won't wow ya, but it won't kill ya, either!" Will definitely taste better the next time with the proper amount of water, but, hey... live and learn!

Again, guys, appreciate your wisdom and feedback. Look forward to making more contributions to this forum. Thanks!
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