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An Unexpected Drop in Gravity

TroubleShooting

Mark Mathews — Lapeer, Michigan asks,
Q

I’ve been brewing for 7 years and have noticed a strange trend that no one has been able to explain to me. I always see a pretty significant drop in gravity between ending my boil and transferring the cooled beer into the primary. For instance in the last beer I made, I checked the gravity using a refractometer (sample cooled to approximately 70 °F/21 °C) about 5 minutes before flame out and it was 1.104 (making a big Belgian Strong). I cooled with a copper coil and when I sampled the beer going into the fermenter my gravity had dropped to 1.088! This happens to me every time. I typically use fining agents.Do I have sugars dropping out during cold break?

A
I want to begin with a true confession about how I write this column. Using no special system, I select questions for discussion from those that are sent into BYO. The best
Response by Ashton Lewis.