I’m all amped up on my brewing right now. I got a ton of cool gear for my birthday in June and I finally have the time and space to brew again. I guess I got a little too excited and jumped in a little bit too much because I had a bit of a problem that I shouldn’t have.
My Citra Pale Ale had been fermenting along in my new fermentation chamber and I was excitedly tasting, adding dry hops and taking gravity readings along the way. It was my first time using The Yeast Bay’s Vermont Ale yeast, but I had grown up a huge starter and pitched healthy yeast into the beer. A week into fermentation I use my brand new refractometer and take a gravity reading. 1.034! Noooooooooo! I kept checking day after day and the gravity remained the same. Finally I just decided to dry hop and bottle the beer at 1.034 because it tasted fine. Right before I was going to, I decided to check my refractometer reading with my hydrometer. 1.010!? What the heck? I instantly start googling the difference and lo and behold everywhere on the internet is the answer. Refractometer readings get messed up by alcohol and you have to do corrections to get accurate readings. I was fretting for naught, bottled up my pale ale (7.5% ABV, whoops!) and learned a great lesson. I’m an idiot.