From the HBD Archive
From: Gordon Hester <gh0t+@andrew.cmu.edu>
Subject: S.G. measurement problem
Date: 1989-05-30 14:52:11 GMT

I boiled up a batch of ginger beer last night. I'm hoping that it will
make good summer drinking when things get hot and sticky here in Pittsburgh
(which will happen all too soon.)

I screwed up, though, when I put the 2 gallons of boiled wort in the
primary fermenter with 3 gallons of cold water - I measured the S.G. of
the undiluted wort instead of the wort plus water. I was scratching my
head for awhile over the fact that I got a reading of 1.112! I knew I didn't
put that much malt and honey in there!

Well, I figured out what my error was, obviously, but now I'm wondering
what to do about it (OTHER THAN relax and have a homebrew, thanks). Is there
any way that I can estimate the S.G. of the diluted wort? Multiplying the
S.G. of the wort (112) by the approximate proportion of the wort to the
whole batch (0.4 or so) seems an obvious method, and yields a
not-unreasonable figure (about .045, which seems consistent with the 6
pounds of malt and honey in the batch). But I'm by no means sure that this
is a valid estimation method. Any ideas?

BTW, I'm reluctant to open up the fermenter and take out a sample - why
risk contamination for something that, after all, isn't going to affect
the resulting beer. But this is only my third batch, and I'm trying to keep
track of what I'm doing, including original and final S.G.'s of each
batch.

While I'm posting a message, I'd like to ask if anyone else has any
experience brewing ginger beer. (That's beer with ginger used as a
flavoring, BTW, not "ginger beer" as in the stuff made by Schwepps that
you can but in the grocery store.) My interest in making some was spurred
by an encounter in Trinidad with a beer called "Shandy" that is a
regular (lager, I assume) light beer made by the Carib beer company
(Trinidad's largest brewing company by far) that is supplemented with a
strong dose of ginger. It was very pleasant to drink in a tropical climate.

What I made last night was an attempt to reproduce that flavor, but in an
ale with considerably more malt character than Carib has. I used
Papazian's recipe for something like "Linda's Lovely Honey Ginger Beer"
as a rough guide, with a bit less honey (I didn't have 3 lbs on hand, and
the stores weren't open) and some crystal malt added for color and flavor.

gordon hester
gh0t+@andrew.cmu.edu

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