- Boil Volume & Gravity Adjustment Calculator
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- Ask the Experts: Brewing a High-gravity All-grain Beer
- OG too high, how much water do I add?
- Make More Beer in Less Space with High Gravity Brewing!
Boil Volume & Gravity Adjustment CalculatorI must confess, this is one homebrewing practice I have never come across. What you are describing is, however, practiced by almost every large commercial brewery in the world and is called high-gravity brewing HGB. Suppose Wizard Pale has an original gravity of 1. If I simply increase my original gravity to 1. There is more to this method than meets the eye. For starters, adding water after fermentation is tricky because you have to do some calculations to know how much to add. Too much and the beer is weaker than the target; too little and you have a stronger beer. At home if you are supposed to have five gallons of 1. The other thing about adding water to beer is that water contains oxygen. If you simply add tap or bottled water to fermented beer, you will immediately add plenty of oxygen to start beer oxidation. This is fairly easy to do at home if you have a keg. Simply boil the water and cool, keg, and carbonate it. All of this work is meant to expand your fermentation capacity. If you want to brew five gallons and have a five-gallon fermenter, this whole process is a waste of time. That is a sound practice that truly makes sense at home. I know some brewers are going to read this and get all sorts of clever ideas. So to complete the list of HGB pitfalls I must mention wort original gravity. A diluted barleywine most likely will taste just plain funky. They start with worts as high as 1. Like I said, I have never heard of homebrewers using this technique. My advice to a starting homebrewer is to ferment a full batch of wort and not add any water to your batch once fermentation begins. This will allow you to check your wort specific gravity before starting fermentation, and you are not left wondering if the beer should have tasted different because of adding too much or too little blend water.
Brewing beer with a high ABV can be intimidating. This article aims to offer up some easy-to-follow guidlines and procedures that can be utilized while brewing high gravity beer to reduce some of the intimidation. Browse our selection of extract and all-grain beer brewing kits! The principle of high-gravity brewing and dilution is no secret to professional brewers, but for home brewers attempting this method a few key points need to be kept in mind before starting. The dilution point: Extract brewers are familiar with dilution; virtually every extract brewer boils a concentrated wort and transfers that wort to a fermentor containing several liters of water to accelerate the cooling of the wort. More water is added later to make up the volume to the final batch size. In this article, however, I propose adding water to the finished beer, after fermentation. Only with this method of dilution can you push production capacity beyond the nominal capacity of your fermentor. Style limitations: High-gravity brewing is only practical when you are producing average- to medium-strength beers. Strong beers such as barleywines and Dopplebocks depend on all the gravity the brewer can get from the malt, and diluting these beers would be counterproductive. You can also only put so much grain in your mash tun, so you would have to produce a smaller batch with primarily the first runnings from lautering. You were probably pleasantly surprised at the flavor and character. Make no doubt about it — professional brewers can make good beer! They just seem to get carried away with their water additions. Beer can be diluted only so much before it begins to taste watered down. If we consider this range the practical limit and an extreme that most of us would wish to avoidit is easy to imagine that adding less water will have very little effect on the final product. That means that you can produce as much beer in five batches as in your last six. The water used for diluting your beer must be sterile and free from other unwanted elements, including chlorine, oxygen, and possibly minerals. You can prepare your own water at home by boiling and cooling it in advance. Any oxygen in the water will oxidize compounds in the finished beer, shortening shelf life and leading to off-flavors.
Ask the Experts: Brewing a High-gravity All-grain Beer
Follow RSS Email. Brewing high gravity beers like barley wines, tripels, and imperial stouts present some challenges unique to high gravity brewing. This week I provide a few tips and considerations that come into play when brewing high gravity beers. High gravity beers which start at around 1. You need to consider the fact that you may get much lower mash and brewhouse efficiency, may overflow your mash tun with the grains needed, and also need to take several factors into effect when selecting yeast. First, you need to understand that you will almost certainly get lower mash and brewhouse efficiency for a high gravity beer than you would get from your system for an average beer. The reason for this is quite simple. You will be using a lot less water per unit of grain when mashing and sparging. Consider a typical 5 gallon 19 l batch where you may have 10 lbs 4 kg of grain. To make this beer you are running about gal l of water through the grain bed between the mash and sparge or a bit over 1 gal of water per lb of grain. A high gravity beer may have 15 lbs 6 kg of grain for the same 5 gal 19 l batch which means only about 0. As a result fewer sugars will be extracted per pound of grain, and you will get lower brewhouse and mash efficiency. A second item to consider is how much grain and water you can fit into your mash tun. A 5 gal 19 l Gott style cooler, for instance, will only hold about 13 lbs 5. I highly recommend you calculate the space needed for grain and water BeerSmith does this on the mash tab so you know if your mash tun is large enough. If its not you may need to either split your mash into two vessels or add malt extract during the boil to raise the gravity up to your target. I made a series of very high gravity meads this year, some starting as high as 1. High gravity worts can put significant stresses on your yeast. When selecting a yeast, for example, you need to consider the alcohol tolerance level of the yeast strain. Make sure you select a yeast strain that can tolerate the alcohol level you are targeting, and use wine or champagne yeast if brewing a very high gravity beer. Another consideration for very high gravity beers is called osmotic shock. This is primarily an issue for dry yeast, though most of the high alcohol wine and champagne yeasts used in high gravity beers come in a dry form. The basic problem is that dry yeast cells are not able to properly regulate their cell wall until they have been hydrated. Also high gravity yeasts have a very high sugar concentration. So if you add dry yeast directly to a high gravity wort or must, the osmotic pressure from the sugar can breach the cell wall membrane before the yeast cell wall is in a state to regulate its flow, resulting in a high fatality rate. While its unlikely to kill all your yeast in a beer, it can result in a less than optimal pitch rate. To avoid osmotic shock with dry yeast it is important that you properly hydrate the yeast before adding it to your wort. The method I recommend is to add lukewarm water at about F to some GoFerm first. When the GoFerm is mixed in then add your yeast and allow the mixture to sit. Slowly add small amounts of wort until the mixture is down to within 10 degrees 5 C of your wort temperature. The combination of hydrating the yeast and slowly adding some wort will minimize the effects of osmotic shock and give you a healthy fermentation going forward. Not surprisingly, big beers take longer to ferment out and age.
OG too high, how much water do I add?
High Gravity Brewing or Blending is a technique that allows you to brew a larger end-batch volume without buying larger fermentation equipment. A higher specific gravity beer strong beer is first fermented and then blended with water to create a lower alcohol beer with less IBUSRM and final gravity than the originally fermented beverage. High-gravity brewing or blending is used by some of the big US brewers. Stereotypically this technique is used for beers like American Pilsners. Of course, virtual gravity means the beer measured Then, you brew the beer at the smaller volume with all the extra gravity from the increased ingredients. Calculating how much to expand the recipe is easy. Simply divide the larger volume of target beer you wish to end up with by the smaller volume of strong beer you are actually boiling and fermenting. There is a drawback to this simple formulation, in that hop utilization slightly decreases at higher wort gravities. Esters and higher alcohols, byproducts of fermentation, are produced at non-linearly higher rates in more dense worts than in less dense ones. Taking into effect the higher specific gravity and lower hop utilization, you are going to want to brew your base beer as you would brew any beer and ferment it to completion. You have to have a good base beer to produce a good final blended beer. At higher dilution rates, you may also need to tinker with your recipe a bit to get the beer to taste as you want it. Above this gravity and the resulting blended lager is too estery. Under most normal circumstances, water has some oxygen dissolved in it. This amount decreases at higher temperatures. Oxygen will cause the beer to go stale faster than it normally would, resulting in cardboard-like aromas or sherry-like flavors. So, you need to remove the oxygen from your dilution water. My technique is very simple. I will use my latest Mild batch as a example to explain the rest. Mashed over a 2 hour time frame waiting on the sparge water to heat in my E-HLT with 8. I slowly opened my bottom-center drain valve and sparged into my lauter grant. The valve is opened more and more as the vorlauf is started. The wort is then recirculated until running clear out of the mash tun. I then drained the tun to my kettle completely and turned on the valve to fill the mash tun again with my remaining sparge water. I started my boil as always and everything else went to the usual routine. I ended up with 12 gallons once I was finished boiling. I didn't take gravity at this point because it wouldn't have mattered anyway during this experimental batch. I had pre-boiled some filtered water on the stove, inside the house earlier. I left it covered to drop to room temperature before adding it to the boil kettle right before cooling. I try to get down to pitching temperature as fast as I can, and do so in about 20 minutes running very litle cooling water through the Therminator plate chiller. Aeration came from a Venturi Device placed in-line during the chilling recirculation back to the kettle. I do this for energy reasons, but the pint is it gets chilled. Now, comes the part that differs from most people.