Fixing low OG after boil

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by HelloMyNameIsHuman, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. HelloMyNameIsHuman

    HelloMyNameIsHuman Initiate (34) Mar 6, 2017 New Hampshire

    Please forgive me if this question has been answered or asked before...

    So I planned a 5 gallon NEIPA using the brew in a bag method with a close to 13lb grain bill. My kettle is only 8 gallon so after adding the water I did not have the room to add all the grain. Probably used about 90%. Everything went good with the brew but I only did 1 gravity measurement and it was in the fermenter right before I pitched the yeast. It was 1.038 which seems very low for an IPA. Ive read about adding sugar to primary. Anyone have any advice on an amount or method , I’ve got a decent amount of corn sugar on hand
  2. InVinoVeritas

    InVinoVeritas Devotee (415) Apr 16, 2012 Wisconsin

    I did a barleywine earlier this year, which ended up about 20 points low. Base was Maris Otter. I got a 3.15 lbs LME jug and did a very concentrated boil, maybe adding 0.25 gallon of water, and chilled as normal. I waited for high krausen, as I wanted good yeast activity, especially being such a big beer (1,122 with LME). You could do the same thing with your brew and it would be better than sugar, which won't add flavor, only bump ABV.

    You could still add some sugar, in addition to the LME. My rule is no more than 20% of total fermentables.

    Here's how things could look, making some assumptions.

    Say you have 5 gal @ 1.038. Add 3.15 lbs of something light LME (wheat, pilsner, of gold) with 0.25 gallons of water. Then add a 1.5 lbs sugar. Here's what your math would look like.

    [ [ (0.038 * 5) + (0.036 * 3.15) + (0.042 * 1.5) ] / 5.5 ] + 1 = 1.067

    That's what your new OG would be.
    PapaGoose03 likes this.
  3. Granitebeard

    Granitebeard Initiate (97) Aug 24, 2016 Maine

    I realize you are trying to get a ABV that you expected, but I am taking this as a learning moment. Do you use any kind of software that tells you how much water you will need? Brewcipher is what I use and free from Vikeman on this site. If you use this you can see where you water should be and adjust to fit your system. It sounds like you should have reduced the water and topped up later, but then you might have needed some DME/LME to make up some SG points.

    Additionally, I am with InVinoVeritas here. Get some LME or DME, do a quick boil and get it in the fermentor.
    PapaGoose03 and InVinoVeritas like this.
  4. HelloMyNameIsHuman

    HelloMyNameIsHuman Initiate (34) Mar 6, 2017 New Hampshire

    I have a 1.5lb bottle of Pilsen malt extract , not sure if this would help
  5. InVinoVeritas

    InVinoVeritas Devotee (415) Apr 16, 2012 Wisconsin

    That will add about 9 points, raising OG to about 1.047. You'd be in the range of a lower APA, but not IPA. Nothing wrong with that just be prepared.
  6. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,475) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Why 0.042 for the sugar (assuming you mean table sugar)? Sucrose is 46 PPG.
  7. HelloMyNameIsHuman

    HelloMyNameIsHuman Initiate (34) Mar 6, 2017 New Hampshire

    I’m picking up a 3lb bag of golden light DME, that should bring me to around 1.064, I’m just what if any flavors it will add ?
  8. InVinoVeritas

    InVinoVeritas Devotee (415) Apr 16, 2012 Wisconsin

    Close enough. 46 vs. 42 at 1.5 lbs is only adding a point to full volume. His 1.038 reading could easily be off more.
  9. JohnnyChicago

    JohnnyChicago Crusader (795) Sep 3, 2010 Illinois

    There are a couple ways to increase gravity on a low-yield mash. They have pros and cons. I’d recommend taking gravity at start of boil in the future, so you have the option of the first technique:
    1. Extended boil. Hold off on any bittering hops and boil for longer. Pros: costs nothing. Makes it still an ‘all grain’ beer. Cons: lower yield. Can increase wort darkening and enchanted malty flavors. I like this method best for dark and/or malty styles. In fact, I do extended boils for these beers regardless of efficiency.

    2. Add dextrose or some other simple sugar. Just add it to the boil. Pros: relatively cheap and simple. Cons: thins out beer. I like this for west coast IPAs, Belgians, and other styles that benefit from dryness.

    3. Same as 2, but add malt extract. Pros: probably the gentlest way to increase gravity without affecting flavor, body, or yield. Cons: expensive: and your malt flavor is now only as good as the quality/freshness of your extract. I like this for any style that doesn’t benefit from excessive maltiness or dryness.