I am using an all-grain recipe for a Belgian ale. My OG came out to 1.052 rather than 1.081-5. What can I do to raise the OG before pitching the yeast? Will a pound or two of malt extract help?


You can use an extract gravity calculator like this one to help you figure out how much extract you'll need. http://brewerslair.com/index.php?p=brewhouse&d=calculators&id=cal22&u=eng

Since these calculators are normally for the total gravity of an extract brew, you need to cheat slightly. Gravity is essentially additive, so drop off the 1s (the 1 is the water, which you can disregard) and and subtract your measured gravity from your target gravity to get how many points you need to make up for. 0.083-0.052=0.031, so input 1.031 into the target gravity (remember to put the 1 from the water back on there). Then input your final volume, the type of extract, and you should have the exact amount of malt you need.

  • Thanks! It showed that I need 3.87 lbs. I picked up a 3 lb. bag. Do I need to dissolve it in water, or will it work for me to just pour it into the pail and let it dissolve in there, with some stirring? – The Vicar Jul 1 '16 at 15:23
  • The 3 lbs. of DME brought it up to 1.082. THANK YOU! – The Vicar Jul 1 '16 at 16:27
  • If you dissolve the DME in water you'll get lower gravity, but it's a smart idea to boil it. That said, DME is evaporated, pre-boiled wort, and the high sugar content is somewhat antimicrobial. You might get away with just dissolving it in there. – bernerbrau Jul 1 '16 at 16:58

Really quick answer, yes you can. Check exactly how much you need.


As others said yes you can boost the OG.

More importantly you need to address why the gravity was missed by a large margin. Here's a couple thoughts considering it sounds like a Belgian double or strong.

  1. Did you forget the Belgian candy sugar?

  2. Did your grain have the diastatic power for the mash? IE too much Crystal / roasted malts, very high water grist ratio.

  3. Was the grain even milled? If so was cracked fine enough.

  4. Was the grain the proper amount? Unit conversions can be tricky. :-)

  5. Did your mash even convert? Sounds like you may have only utilized the crystal malts. Similar to 2. Use an iodine test to check if the saccarification is done.

  6. How old was the grain? Was it stored in a cool place? If too hot it could have lost diastatic power. >149°F typical temp in a cargo container or car in the summer will denature beta-amylase.

  7. Was the boil long enough and an open boil to allow enough evaporation for the recipe? This can dilute an OG 20%, say if it was a 5g batch and had 0 evaporation.

Hope this helps.

  • 1
    Thank you for the helpful suggestion. I did use the Belgian candy sugar. I think that the grain was not properly milled. I used the grinder at a local brew supply shop, and it did not look to be as milled as it usually is. I noticed this partway through, and adjusted it. I probably should have double milled, just to be safe. . – The Vicar Jul 1 '16 at 19:01
  • That will do it. I've noticed the gap jump open when hit with the hard roasted grains. Always good to double check it. Cheers! – Evil Zymurgist Jul 2 '16 at 12:17
  • Thanks. The other thing I have noticed with high OG Belgians is that using one liquid Belgian Ale liquid yeast doesn't always do the trick. The packet recommends using more for OG's over 1.060. – The Vicar Jul 3 '16 at 14:39

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