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Old 04-10-2009, 01:43 PM   #1
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Default High Gravity Water Use

Quick question for all you pros. I am on my third AG batch today and going to be making a Belgian Tripel. Previously I have been using about 1.25 qts of water per pound of grain in the Mash and about 1/2 gallon per pound when sparging. Obviously there is a lot more grain in this brew, but it is still for a 5 gallon batch. Should I keep using the same ratios or should I be using less water for a High gravity beer like this?

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Old 04-10-2009, 02:29 PM   #2
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For high-gravity beers, you will benefit from a thinner mash and more sparging.

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Old 04-10-2009, 03:58 PM   #3
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Thanks David. Any idea as to when I should put in this pound of belgian candy sugar?

Right now I am thinking of dropping it into the boil kettle once I collect all my wort from the mash tun. Does this sound right?

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Old 04-10-2009, 04:38 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
For high-gravity beers, you will benefit from a thinner mash and more sparging.
Wait don't you mean a thicker mash? A thinner mash would just leave you with less sparge water. I guess you could do a thinner mash and a longer boil though.
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:54 PM   #5
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Wait don't you mean a thicker mash? A thinner mash would just leave you with less sparge water. I guess you could do a thinner mash and a longer boil though.
Hmm, I am now at about where I started, lol.
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Old 04-10-2009, 05:29 PM   #6
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Hmm, I am now at about where I started, lol.
Oops didn't mean to confuse you! I'm generally not very good at explaining my thoughts but I'll try to clarify.

Generally you're going to have a set pre-boil amount that you want to hit which is just your strike water + your sparge water. With a larger grain bill, you're going to need a lot more strike water to keep your desired water/grist ratio. Since you're starting with more water, you're going to naturally have less to sparge with.

Therefore, at least to the best of my knowledge: you'll either want to keep a thicker mash, use more grain and just accept the possible efficiency loss, or use a thinner mash and just collect more pre-boil. From there you can just boil down to your desired batch size.

Personally, I find re-filling propane all the time to be a royal pain in the ass, so I tend to avoid longer boils whenever possible.
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Old 04-10-2009, 06:23 PM   #7
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Thanks David. Any idea as to when I should put in this pound of belgian candy sugar?

Right now I am thinking of dropping it into the boil kettle once I collect all my wort from the mash tun. Does this sound right?
When I did my Barley Wine I added the candy sugar after fermentaion was slowing down, this allowed the yeast to have a slightly lower gravity wort (1.095 or something) to work on before I added the candy sugar (which bumped it up to a calculated OG of 1.119). I boiled the candy sugar in a cup of water first to sanitize it, then cooled and added to the fermenter.

Edit: also I got down to 1.020 from the calculated OG of 1.119
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Old 04-10-2009, 07:21 PM   #8
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I seem to remember reading on the dubbel I did, and am about to do again, to put it in the last 15 mins of boil, so its well dissolved and sanitized, and then chill and pitch... I don't know that it matters when you add the sugar, I've heard both sides... I guess more word on that topic would be nice?

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Old 04-10-2009, 07:23 PM   #9
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In my experience, it really doesn't matter when you add sugar.

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Old 04-11-2009, 04:44 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the input guys, but it was all in vain for this brew. I wound up in the ER after dumping about 2-3 gallons of wort down my leg. Doing ok now, some 1st degree burns and some deeper 2nd degree near my ankle. I am dealing with the burn people at UVA. I will store this info for the next attempt at this beer.

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