I'm making a brown ale with an original gravity of 1.052 to 1.054 and a final gravity of 1.011 - 1.013.

Right before I pitched the yield, I took an accurate reading with a hydrometer of 1.030. Obviously, that's lower than I hoped for. Here's my question. Thet recipe called for 1/2lb of US crystal malt and 4 oz of US chocolate malt to be steeped. I did this. However, it called for 2.75 lbs of light DME and 4 lb of light malt syrup. I only put 3.3lbs of the light malt syrup but I put in 3.3 lbs of the light DME. I didn't mean to do this on purpose really, it's just the amount of ingredients. I had at the time. Is that the recent for the low original gravity reading? Thanks.

  • Could you elaborate on your recipe? How many gallons of wort did you have going into the fermenter? Did you boil all of it or did you top it up with water at the end? If you topped it up and it wasn't well mixed, that could explain the low gravity reading. Also, if you have the PPG numbers for your extracts that would let you calculate what the gravity should be. – Simon Oct 8 at 16:14
  • I steeped in about 1/2 gal. Then added in another gal. Brought that to a boil. Then removed from heat ans added in 3.3 lb of light malt syrup and 3 lb of LME. Added in another gal for a total of 2.5 gal and brought it back to a boil for an hour. Added hops the last 15 min. – TJ6153 Oct 8 at 18:09
  • That sounds like a partial boil recipe. Did you then add another 2 or 3 gallons of water with your boiled wort into the fermenter? If you kept that at just 2.5 gallons, then your OG should be WAY higher. If you did add more water, then it's almost certain that the water and wort weren't completely mixed, as I alluded to in my first comment and @jsolarski addressed in an answer. – Simon Oct 8 at 18:54

I have run into this same exact issue when i was starting to brew.

LME has a bad habit of sitting on the bottom of your container specially if you add top off water. And when you take a reading it show lower then expected.

Why is my O.G. less then what I calculated?

Per Denny Conn

Did you do a partial boil and add more water afterward? If so, the problem is likely to be inadequate mixing. The wort is heavier than water so when you take a reading you get essentially "watered down" wort. It's nearly impossible to get them mixed thoroughly to get an accurate reading. But if you use all the ingredients and end up with the volume the recipe specifies, you WILL hit the predicted OG.

This answer assumes, partial boil, and not the full recipe.

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