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So, as i mentioned in my previous post about the fermentor lid blowing off twice, I am brewing the Blood Orange Hefe from the Extreme Brewing Book.  I believe my friend and I followed the recipe as close as possible but we found our OG coming in at about 1.042.  We bottled this past Wed and found that the ABV will be somewhere at about 3.9%.  i believe it was supposed to be about 4.5-5%.  this was an all extract recipe .  We were just wondering what type of factors could lead to this happening, as we would not like to have the same mistake twice.

thanks
brent 

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A little hard to say without having the recipe and your "vitals". Could you post the ingredients, a description of your process, including the volumes of water/wort/beer that you got?
I'm not familiar with that recipe in particular, but there are several things that can cause O.G. to vary from what a recipe estimates.

I would think that the O.G. would be close to what the recipe estimates if you have a full volume boil with 10 - 15% volume reduction per hour due to boil-off. If you have a higher rate of boiloff, the O.G. may read higher than expected, and conversely if you don't get a rolling enough boil and less boil-off, the O.G. might read lower.

If you're doing a partial boil on the stovetop, the point at which you measure the O.G. could be another factor. If you measured right after the boil prior to transferring to the fermenter, you would need to correct the O.G. if you topped your fermentor off to 5 gallons.

You should also correct for temperature at time of measuring the gravity. And something I've heard of before, but the hydrometer could be off. Measure the gravity of water and correct for temperature, it should come out to 1.00. So, if there's something affecting your measuments, it's doing so consistently!

Hope the brew turns out well!

Cheers!

Matt
Oh, and by the way... did you take a sample taste in the interest of science at the time of bottling?? If so, how was it?
sure, i took a sample before bottling. Tasted like i would expect a hefe to taste. not sure if i picked up on the blood orange too much. The recipe called for 10 days in the bottle. This upcoming Sat would be 10 exactly. eager to try it then.


so here is a picture of the blood orange hefeweizen my friend and I brewed.
Looks like that foam will hold together all the way to the bottom. Nice! How's the carbonation?

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