Originally Posted by HalloweenGod
Hi, I just have a quick question. I started homebrewing again after a 2 year break and guess I would still call myself a beginner. I have begun looking into all grain brewing and starting to make my own recipes. So here are my two questions.
1) What is the point of the intended specific gravity? And what does it mean?
That question may seem a little vague so maybe the second one will clean up what I am confused about a little more.
2) In the books I am reading when they talk about making your own recipe they always talk about a target gravity. How do you choose a target gravity? I know you just dont pick a gravity and try and hit it. But in all the books they dont explain why and how to choose your target gravity. If this could be explained to me it would make me stop banging my head.
Target Gravity is, typically, the final gravity post fermentation which indicates alcohol content. So, you base your target gravity around your intended alcoholic content. That is the gist of it.
To get there you have to either mash properly or know the fermentability of the extract. You also have to know the eating habits of the yeast. AA% (Apparent Attenuation) is an indicator of that. Strong fermentation temperature control help to facilitate a yeast strains appetite.
There are few references on Extract fermentability but if you look long enough you'll find something.
As for mashing, good thermometers and either well insulated tuns or controlled heating are the ways to hit that right.