Riwaka pale ale

ipsilonipsilon Member Posts: 8
Hi all,

So I have brewed a Riwaka pale ale from the kit sold by the NZ brewery. Just cracked the first bottle this week after four weeks conditioning.

It is fairly well brewed with a nice crispy look, and good carbonation. Flavour perhaps slightly too bland but good result overall.

However, the kit and even online info said the initial gravity should be around 1,044. Mine was at around 1.036 or 1,037. Final gravity was supposed to show about 1.012 or 1.013.

Mine, after 10 days showed 1.008. And it continued to drop down to 1.004 2 or 3 more days after. I was a bit surprised by this difference and wanted to know if any of you had any idea or understanding why that might be the case?



  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    edited June 2017
    Welcome, they do make some good beers and you may well find that after a few more weeks in the bottles the flavour will have continued to develop. There are a couple of reasons the hydro readings may be out - if yours was on the low side when it started and also when it finished then it may be that it is reading incorrectly, if this happens again on your next brew then it may be worth replacing the hydrometer or if possible comparing with another one - although if it is the Stevenson Reeves version then issues are practically unheard of as they are very reliable. Because it was low on both the starting and final readings this might suggest a hydrometer issue though, but see what it reads on your next brew.

    Sometimes a starting gravity reading can be low because all the ingredients have not yet completely dissolved, they will though and will then ferment out too, but if it has not fully dissolved when the reading is taken then it can be low.
  • ipsilonipsilon Member Posts: 8
    Thanks for your helpful comment. I thought it might be the case there is an issue with the hydrometer - although it worked fine for my previous two brews. Will check again (and also te what version it is). Totally agree with the incomplete dissolution causing a lower gravity. It could be that as well, although I felt I really gave a good stir to the wort for several minutes.

    Another thing: the guys gave me a different yeast for the brew as the one with kit had expired to they preferred to be on the safe side. It was a more premium one (and I think also a few more grams than in the initial kit). But would that affect the initial gravity?
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    If the hydrometer worked fine for the 2 previous brews then it may be that the hydrometer is fine, just see what the read on your next brew. Even if the hydrometer is reading out, you can still use it to make sure it has completely finished fermenting - you would still be looking for a low and constant reading but it may not be the same as the brew instructions recommend to aim for. It could just be a one off so see what it reads on the next brew.

    Using a new yeast is often a good idea if it well past its best before, this is because the malt extract wont really go off and is fine to use a while after the date, although after a long period of time it can get darker. It is the yeast that has a more limited lifespan, and will become less effective with time. As long as it is capable of fermenting out all the sugars though it shouldn't affect the hydrometer readings, some yeast will die off if the alcohol level gets too high, but with most beers and lagers standard yeast will ferment up to the common alcohol levels of at least 4 or 5 percent.
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