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Help a ginger beer beginner out please - really low SG

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NoNoNotorious

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Hi guys,

First time posting here, and first time trying a ginger beer. Followed a recipe I found online which had decent reviews (outlined below). Long story short, my SG was only 1.020. Bit confused because expected it to be a lot higher (was going for a fairly high ABV ginger beer). Any ideas? I strained the wort into my FV, and made a point of squishing all the solid matter to extract all the liquid (basically as much as was possible).So the only thing i can think of was that a lot of the sugars were still contained in the solid matter, and for some reason didn't properly strain through with the liquid?

Taste-wise, it was excellent.

~650g fresh ginger root - processed in food processor
25g powdered ginger
300g honey
1kg dark brown sugar
Yeast nutrient
Morgan's Ginger Beer kit
(adjuncts incl. chilli, cloves, kaffir lime leaves, nutmeg, cinnamon

Boiled 3L water, then added honey & chilli's for ~45mins.
Then the fresh and powdered ginger for 30mins
Then the remaining adjuncts for 15 mins (yeast nutrient last 10 mins)
Then added kit at flameout

Strained into pre-chilled FV full of water. ~23L total.

Any ideas why OG so low?

Thanks
 

mr_wibble

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Entering 23 litres of water, 300g of Honey, and 1kg sugar into Beersmith gives an estimated OG of 1.020
I'm not familiar with "Morgan's Ginger Beer Kit", but I'll guess it's 1kg of malt & spices.
Substituting 1kg of Coopers LME, gives a theoretical OG of 1.034 (again in 23 litres).

Some things to check:
  • Did you mix the goo in properly? Sometimes it jellyfishes to the bottom
  • Are you confident in your measurement?
    • Calibrated hydrometer?
    • Temperature near calibration point, or accounted for?
  • Did you mess-up a measurement of honey or sugar?
Can you post the full recipe, I'm interested in making it.
What OG were you expecting?
 

NoNoNotorious

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Thanks for the reply. Spot on - the kit is 1kg malt/ginger. In hindsight, I probably should've done max 20L to achieve the higher abv I wanted. After doing a bit more reading, I think OG is where it should be. No issues with the hydrometer calibration - all accounted for. And all my measurements were spot on (digi scales). Assume FG should be around 0.995, so should end up around 3.1% ABV before bottling? Not too shabby... and most importantly, the taste is there. And yes, definitely all mixed in properly (after making that mistake with an early beer I brewed... have never made that mistake again).

Just found the recipe on a forum. Attached screenshot for you.
 

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peterlonz

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My recommendation:
Stop bothering with OG & FG it will just introduce uncertainty. Hide away your hydrometer.
Just from general brewing & beer recipe knowledge you need over 3 Kg of fermentable material to get 3.5 ABV.
Study other recipes (beer recipes are more reliable), then if you really want 5 ABV, add Dextrose, LDME &/or raw sugar to a total of about 4.5Kg.
BTW "taste is excellent" good for you!
Now add a shot of Vodka to each glass & you're in brewers heaven
 

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