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Old 07-05-2012, 05:56 PM   #1
zimmerj81
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Default Barleywine/high gravity brewing question

Hey guys, I'm brewing an all grain barleywine on Sat & wanted to get some feedback. The target OG should be 1.120 and last time I tried it, I missed the target OG significantly. I think part of the issue was that I did a batch sparge. This time, I'm thinking no sparge is the way to go.

My question is this: Is it ok to increase my water to grain ratio to about 1.75 in order to get the total volume of water needed all into the mash? It's already going to be about 23lbs worth of grain for a 5 gallon batch. And yes, my mash tun is plenty big enough (75 qt cooler).

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Old 07-05-2012, 05:58 PM   #2
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Yes, increase it as much as you want, up to about 2.0qts/lb. I try to end up running off as much in first runnings as I do with the sparge. I think you want to sparge, but mash thin and stir like crazy on dough-in, before running off, and before sparge run-off. Lower your efficiency some, say 5-10%, too.

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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:04 PM   #3
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So you think I should still sparge? The reason I came up with a ratio of about 1.75 is because I took the total volume that BeerSmith calculated for the mash & for the sparge.

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Old 07-05-2012, 06:08 PM   #4
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I'd sparge. No sparge isn't to increase efficiency, it's to save time. Mashing thinner has helped some get better numbers, myself included. I just made an IIPA that came out 1.074, mashed thin in my 70qt. cooler w/hose-braid and hit my numbers, about 72% efficiency.

I'd try to match your first run-off with your sparge addition, ie. if you mash with 7.89g, end up with 3.5g, sparge with 3.24g. That's about 1.35qts/lb. Thinner than most and the reason most people lose efficiency on big beers is having to mash thicker.

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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:30 PM   #5
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My first all grain Barleywine was Denny's Old Stoner and I think that is designed to be a first runnings, no sparge beer if I remember correctly. Either way, my efficiency was terrible, somewhere around 60%, maybe less. Honestly, from here on out I'm thinking I might start cheating on the big beers and use probably 1-3lbs of dry malt extract just to make things easier. If you really , really want to hit your target gravity it probably wouldn't hurt to have some DME lying around just in case.

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Old 07-05-2012, 06:39 PM   #6
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I've been playing around with invert sugar lately, too. Boil sugar/water with citric acid (squirt of lime juice for me) for an hour or two to end up with 0.5g of liquid and add to boil with ~20m left. Mash higher to counteract the dryness.

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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tre9er View Post
I've been playing around with invert sugar lately, too. Boil sugar/water with citric acid (squirt of lime juice for me) for an hour or two to end up with 0.5g of liquid and add to boil with ~20m left. Mash higher to counteract the dryness.
What is the benefit of adding sugar like this as opposed to just dumping in a bag of corn sugar? Seems like a lot of work and I've never heard of it before.
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
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What is the benefit of adding sugar like this as opposed to just dumping in a bag of corn sugar? Seems like a lot of work and I've never heard of it before.
http://northernbrewer.blogspot.com/2...ert-sugar.html

I feel as though it adds some character rather than just all fermenting out and overdrying the beer. You could just add corn sugar if you want.
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Originally Posted by davekippen View Post
Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:29 PM   #9
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Ahh, got it. So it's kind of like the candi sugar you can buy at the brewshop except cheaper and homemade. Thanks for the link.

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Old 07-05-2012, 10:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmybeer
Ahh, got it. So it's kind of like the candi sugar you can buy at the brewshop except cheaper and homemade. Thanks for the link.
Precisely
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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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