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Old 08-17-2010, 12:25 PM   #11
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win- I personally wouldn't top off with 1/2 gallon of water after your boil even if you missed your intended wort level. This will only diminish your OG and give less flavor to your beer. When I have missed my intended wort amount after boil I just leave it as is. Its never below 4.5 gal for a 5 gal batch either way. That's about 5-7 beers extra anyway and I wouldn't jeopardise my finished product for such little return. Anyway just my two cents. Welcome to double batch (and sometimes triple batch) sparging.
I always top off if I miss my OG. If I hit 1.070 and I'm trying for 1.065, I aways top off to hit my desired OG. Your recipe is designed for a certain OG/IBU ratio, so you want to keep that. If your OG is fine, your beer is fine. A slightly higher OG usually doesn't matter, but I usually fix it if I'm way over.
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:01 PM   #12
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I single. The extra efficiency isn't worth the 40-45 more minutes for a double.

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Old 08-17-2010, 01:03 PM   #13
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I agreep with Yoop....I used to think stronger was better but then I realized it's going to take longer to age, and the beer will probably be unbalanced for the style. It's kinda like making a pale ale, only to have it turn out as strong as an IPA and way underhopped.

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Old 08-17-2010, 01:03 PM   #14
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I always top off if I miss my OG. If I hit 1.070 and I'm trying for 1.065, I aways top off to hit my desired OG. Your recipe is designed for a certain OG/IBU ratio, so you want to keep that. If your OG is fine, your beer is fine. A slightly higher OG usually doesn't matter, but I usually fix it if I'm way over.
I do the same.
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Old 08-17-2010, 04:19 PM   #15
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So is this what it feels like to be hijacked?

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Old 08-17-2010, 05:00 PM   #16
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I don't know if you were looking for a specific answer to a question, but considering this turned into a "type of sparging" and "top-off water" conversation, it's going a lot better than I would have expected. We can discuss whether to decoct or not, then the legalities of sanke keg use, next, if you'd like...

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Old 08-17-2010, 05:22 PM   #17
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I always top off if I miss my OG. If I hit 1.070 and I'm trying for 1.065, I aways top off to hit my desired OG. Your recipe is designed for a certain OG/IBU ratio, so you want to keep that. If your OG is fine, your beer is fine. A slightly higher OG usually doesn't matter, but I usually fix it if I'm way over.
How does topping off affect the bitterness though? I know you're lowering the gravity some, but aren't you also affecting the bitterness in some way by increasing the volume or changing the gravity?

If I had 1g of 1.060 wort that is say 40 IBU and I dump in enough water to lower the gravity to 1.040 do I still have 40 IBU at the increased volume?
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Old 08-17-2010, 05:54 PM   #18
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So is this what it feels like to be hijacked?
Some of my longest threads are hijacked ones. It can be interesting to watch a thread that gets hijacked early and no one ever answers the OP's question.
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Old 08-17-2010, 06:17 PM   #19
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I single. The extra efficiency isn't worth the 40-45 more minutes for a double.
petep, strictly out of curiosity, why does a double batch take you 40-45 more minutes? i can usually get my two batch sparges done within 10 minutes of each other.
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Old 08-17-2010, 06:56 PM   #20
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How does topping off affect the bitterness though? I know you're lowering the gravity some, but aren't you also affecting the bitterness in some way by increasing the volume or changing the gravity?

If I had 1g of 1.060 wort that is say 40 IBU and I dump in enough water to lower the gravity to 1.040 do I still have 40 IBU at the increased volume?
The recipe should determine the BTU amount, right? I mean, if you were boiling at a MUCH thinner wort, then I can see there maybe being a difference. But to plan on putting 2 ounces of hops in at 60 minutes, then you have 2 ounces at 60 minutes. A slight difference in gravity will not alter the isomerization process enough to be able to measure IMO.

Therefore, even if you boiloff a bit more, or miss you OG during the mash, you are still pretty much dead on at the end. Topping off is basically only correcting what would have been a too hoppy (according to the recipe) beer.

I agree with Yoop, I'd top off if necessary (although I'm so good it's never been necessary

And I double batch sparge. IF you have a good manifold design, and care to rig up the stuff to do fly sparge, it can be easier once you get the hang of it. Batch sparging, with included vorlaufs, can take as much time, and is more hands on. I'm not sure it's less efficient though. I have gotten 80%+ in the few times I've bothered to measure.
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