Will Hops Affect Gravity Reading?

Question

I don’t use a bag for my hops when I boil and I don’t filter them when I dump into my primary. I just clear through secondary fermentation.

If my wort sample that I take my OG reading with has some hop chunks in it, will it give me a false (high) reading due to them being “solids”?

My last couple of batches have had a higher than targeted gravity readings. I was thinking that it may be additional sugars from my partial mashing too.

Answer

Since OG is a measurement of the density of the liquid, having particles in it shouldn’t alter your gravity as they’re not part of the liquid.

To validate this, I decided to try to check it myself and recommend you try this as well.. I filled a graduated cylinder with water and measured the OG (1.000 thankfully). Then I added some pepper to the water (simulate small floaties) and rechecked the OG. Still 1.000, maybe 1.001, but no higher than 1.002. I thought maybe I didn’t put in enough, so I poured in a about 2 tsp worth more (way more floaties than you should have), and checked it again. Still the same OG. Then to better simulate hop floaties I added some oregano and checked it again. By now I had a little too much stuff on the surface to read it properly, but definitely no significant change.