Compensate lost OG with Light DME

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Dodge, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. Dodge

    Dodge New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi
    I have only done 3 batches so far. So I’m pretty new at this.
    I use these complete beerkits, were all the grain and hops are prepared and measured. But I can’t hit the desired OG.(written on the kit)
    I miss by about 5-10 points.
    I heard that I can add light DME to the boil to compensate for that, but my question is, would it affect the taste? Considering I may have to use almost 1kg of light DME in worst case.
     
  2. UgliestLemming

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Saint Paul
    What type of brewing are you doing? All grain, partial mash, or extract?
     
  3. Dodge

    Dodge New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It's all grain.
     
  4. UgliestLemming

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Saint Paul
    You can add DME to bump the OG.
    If you still want to look into the reason why you are missing the OG.... (if not for any other reason, it bumps up the cost of the brew.)
    When and what temperature do you take hydrometer readings? Or are you using a refractometer?
    If using a hydrometer, check calibration. http://www.brewersfriend.com/2010/12/19 ... esomeness/
    There should also be a temperature posted on the hydrometer, mine is calibrated for 60 deg F but it depends on the hydrometer, if you aren't taking the readings at that temp then utilize the temp adjustment tool here to get your OG based off of the temp you took the reading at and the temp your hydrometer is calibrated for. http://www.brewersfriend.com/hydrometer-temp/
    If it's not that then looking at grain crush and digging into your mash and sparge process would be next on the list to boost efficiency to match what efficiency the kit is expecting.
     
  5. Dodge

    Dodge New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm using a hydrometer and i did a calibration check in water. I also took OG reading at 68F which my hydrometer is calibrated for. Everything seems fine.
    But I did some digging and asking around about those kits, and I suspect that the grain crush is not fine enough for my brewing system. It,s called beerbrew30.
    Others using the same system are saying they hit OG all the time with grain they crush themselves.
    For now I just want to take the easy way out and add light dme, but I'm a bit concerned if using that much dme would throw of the taste.
     
  6. UgliestLemming

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Saint Paul
    1 lb (less than 1/2 kg) of DME in 5 gallons would add 9 gravity points to the OG, so if you're in that range I would say it wouldn't affect the beer in the long run. Fermentability is the only thing I would think of when adding DME - depending on your kit they may be looking for more or less fermentable sugars, and you wouldn't be able to control fermentability of the sugars in the DME. So you may have a slightly "drier" beer or less "dry"; maybe, but maybe not, either way I doubt it would really be noticeable.
     
  7. Dodge

    Dodge New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thank you for your reply.
    Just what I wanted to hear. :D
     
  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,548
    Likes Received:
    6,881
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    The math is pretty simple if you use gravity points. Gravity points are the last two digits of a gravity reading multiplied by 1000 multiplied by the volume: A gallon of a 1.052 wort has 52 gravity points. If you have 5 gallons of the wort you have 260 GP of sugar. If you add water to bring the volume up to 5.5 gallons, you now have 260/5.5, or a 1.048 wort - as long as you don't add sugar, the gravity points remain constant. Now you have the same original five gallons of wort, 260 gravity points, and you want to bring it up to 1.058, or add six points. Multiply the six points you need by the volume to get 30 additional gravity points. Then look up the sugar you are adding. I'm not looking it up so I may be mistaken, but I believe a pound of DME contributes 42 point pounds per gallon. So divide 30 by 42 and you get 0.714 pounds of DME required, or 11.42 ounces. Round up to 11.5 ounces, add that to your wort. You now have 290 points, divide that by 5 gallons and you get 58, exactly what you wanted!

    Once you learn to think in points, scaling volume or gravity becomes pretty simple. Cheers!
     
  9. Dodge

    Dodge New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks. This is really helpful.
    But just to be sure, doesn't 1 pound of DME contribute 45 point pounds per gallon?
     
  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,548
    Likes Received:
    6,881
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    I didn't look it up. The difference between 42 and 45 isn't enough to worry about it and the assumption that the product is completely consistent is probably not founded. So either are a close enough estimate.
     
  11. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    528
    Likes Received:
    264
    Trophy Points:
    63
    might it depend on which company produced the extract? I would think there'd be differences in ingredients and processes used which could have an effect.
     
  12. UgliestLemming

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Saint Paul
    Indeed the predicted gravity points is 45 ppg for DME, but like it was stated - most likely between companies and potentially between batches the actual ppg probably varies. I've never looked when using DME to verify the variance between predicted and actual ppg; as long as I get the OG that I wanted I'm happy! :lol:
     
  13. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,548
    Likes Received:
    6,881
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    Anything within a couple of points is good enough for me.
     
  14. GernBlanston

    GernBlanston New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2014
    Messages:
    317
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Nosybear is right on all that math stuff he was blathering on about, I would only add that your gravity reading is accurate to a volume. If you are not measuring your finished volume exactly to what the kit recommends (for example you ended up with 5.5 gal instead of 5) the reading will be off. Sparge method can effect the reading. if fly sparging too fast for example. All that being said if you are within a few points, then make beer and be happy. If after many brews you still are getting numbers consistently low, then that may be your process, and compensate by adding more grain. Consistency is more important than hitting any specific individual number.
    Nothing wrong with adding DME. Many brewers use extract only and make fine beer. Adding some to bring up the gravity makes it taste like beer. Bonus.
     
  15. Dodge

    Dodge New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thank you for your input GernBlanston. I think I actually may be fly sparging too fast, and I will try to stir a little next time. I do however constantly circulate the wort using a pump. Not sure if I should do that?
    And when I have some more time on my hands I will buy my own mill so I can crush my own grains.
     
  16. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    7,471
    Likes Received:
    3,625
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Managment
    Location:
    The Ozark Mountains of Missouri
    there is a downside to running your pump too fast, stuck sparge or slow to recover and husk degradation leading to an off flavor. for best results just let the wort hover an inch or so above the grain bed and your fine

    oh and having your own crusher is crucial to a good brew ;)
     

Share This Page

arrow_white