I made a recipe that was supposed to have OG 1.062, FG 1.012 (ABV ~6.5%). I forgot to note the target volume in the recipe (just the pre-boil volume), and wound up with a wort with OG 1.077. I chose to not dilute it at the time, just to see what would happen, and primary fermentation is nearly complete with FG 1.020 (ABV ~7.5%). I got this from a single starter of WLP001 and about ten days of primary fermentation.

Ultimately I'm happy chalking this up as a lesson in note-taking, but I'd like the beer to be as similar as possible to what I've made before. Which options are the best, if any?

  • Dilute beer in secondary, to match OG; add enough water so that the OG would have been 1.062.

  • Dilute beer in secondary, to match FG; add enough water so that the FG will be 1.012. (due to the 40% reduction in gravity, this doesn't seem wise)

  • Dilute beer in secondary, to match ABV; add enough water so that the ABV will be ~6.5%.

  • Pitch another yeast starter.

1 Answer 1


"add enough water so that the OG would have been 1.062" and "add enough water so that the ABV will be ~6.5%" should be exactly the same amount of water. Check your calculation, if it's different then you have a problem, ie your yeast ate more or less sugar than you expected. Then, it's your call. You can either match OG and have beer you would have brew, or match ABV and have beer with strength you wanted. Both ways are OK and should be similar, if your recipe was right. Your call.

Matching FG makes no sense, here you are right. And pitching another starter? Why? 7.5% ABV would not kill most of yeast strains, so I wouldn't worry about unfinished fermentation much. And even if that's the case, you should first look at questions about stalled fermentation, second starter rarely is the answer.

If in doubt

  1. Use less water. You will always be able do add more.
  2. Taste. It will not have carbonation, but you should get a good idea what's happening. If it's OK, it's OK. If it's not, ask about particular problem.
  3. Try raising temperature a bit to restart fermentation.
  • I have to work out the exact ratios, but to cut ABV from ~7.5% to ~6.5% I need to dilute the volume by 15%. To cut OG from 1.077 to 1.062 I need to dilute the volume by 24%. You're right that the difference is how much sugar the yeast ate. I am curious here because some commercial beers list OG on the bottle, where best I can tell OG is unimportant for the finished product (FG, ABV, and SRM should about cover it).
    – kyle
    Feb 28, 2016 at 3:27
  • @kyle OG is a base for tax where I live. And AFAIK in commercial setup og and abv are things that gets measured. Fg only makes sense in homebrew when you can't measure abv more directly.
    – Mołot
    Feb 28, 2016 at 8:05
  • gotcha. So since I have to choose either OG or ABV (and the results will be different), any advice? I'm leaning towards ABV, since it involves less dilution.
    – kyle
    Feb 29, 2016 at 1:30
  • @kyle go with abv. Raise temperature. If yeast will restart, you can always dillute more. And taste. You might find your beer too sweet. Anyway, now you can add water and not extract it, so less is better you'll be able to add more if you'll change your mind :)
    – Mołot
    Feb 29, 2016 at 7:20

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