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Old 02-27-2008, 02:16 PM   #1
Donasay
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Default Very high gravity AG brew

So here is the plan for my very first high gravity AG brew:

I am going to add an extra 4lbs of 2 row to the next 5 beers I brew, and take the first gallon of runnings from each batch and put it in my freezer till I have 5 gallons of very high gravity wort to use in making a high gravity brew.

Thus far the next few beers I have planned are all 10 gallon batches, they should be:

Chocolate Raspberry stout (Austin Homebrew Special)
Irish Red (Og before 2 row 1.55)
Light American Ale (Og before 2 row 1.40)
Weiss beer (Og before 2 row 1.45)
Bitter (Og before 2 row 1.50)

I was thinking of trying to make something dark amber in color, and was wondering if I should skip saving the wort from the chocolate raspberry stout and save the first gallon from one of my subsequent batches. I am also having a similar issue with the Weiss beer in that the recipe calls for some wheat and other grains that may impart unwanted flavors, should I skip this one as well and take a gallon from some of my other future batches.

In the end I don’t know how high I can get the gravity on this without stealing the first gallon of some exceptionally high gravity beers, but seeing as how you get 2/3 of your gravity in the first 1/2 of your runnings I think this might be able to approach the 15% abv range.

What is the highest gravity you have personally gotten brewing all grain? What do you think is the highest possible someone can do without having something the color of mud?

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Old 02-27-2008, 03:08 PM   #2
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I've just gotten into AG myself, and have been wondering what the highest possible gravity can be for a first runnings, pre-boil.

However, why not just max out your mash tun with base malt and then take only the first runnings, which you would then boil down to whatever volume you wanted. The more you boil the darker it's going to get, of course.

Then you can use the second runnings for a more moderate beer.

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Old 02-27-2008, 04:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonpile
However, why not just max out your mash tun with base malt and then take only the first runnings, which you would then boil down to whatever volume you wanted. The more you boil the darker it's going to get, of course.

Then you can use the second runnings for a more moderate beer.
That is essentially the plan, but in a more concentrated drawn out way. Partygyle brewing can only get the first wort runnings up to a certain high, so a beer with a 5 gallon predicted og of 1.90 could be broken out into two 2.5 gallon batches one with an og of 1.6 and one with an og of 1.3. The greatest amount of gravity comes out in the beginning, so by taking 1 gallon from each batch I am getting it to be super super concentrated.
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Old 02-27-2008, 05:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donasay
That is essentially the plan, but in a more concentrated drawn out way. Partygyle brewing can only get the first wort runnings up to a certain high, so a beer with a 5 gallon predicted og of 1.90 could be broken out into two 2.5 gallon batches one with an og of 1.6 and one with an og of 1.3. The greatest amount of gravity comes out in the beginning, so by taking 1 gallon from each batch I am getting it to be super super concentrated.
Your greatest gravity comes out with draining the mash water. Draining only half the mash water does not increase the gravity in any way as the wort within the mash tun before you start draining is very consistent.
If I was to try to create a max OG AG without excessive boiling, I would mash the maximum amount of grain I could in my 5gal cooler with about 1qt/# strike water. I would drain that wort for the big beer, then do 2 sparges for a second (and maybe third) moderate to small beer. Repeat this process 2 or 3 times to get enough wort.

This will require boiling 2 or more beers at the same time but I think it will result in a great beer. I may borrow my parents turkey fryer to do a Barleywine/Bitter or WeeHeavy/Scottish in the near future. I will not be attempting something incredibly heavy so I will probably use a little less grain and a higher water to grain ratio to get 2 beers of equal volume.

Your other option is reiterative mashing which was written about in BYO recently and discussed in this forum.

Craig
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Old 02-27-2008, 05:19 PM   #5
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I'm not sure I follow (and it could be because of inexperience, or because of the stubborn head cold I'm fighting), but the first runnings are going to have about the same gravity throughout. You just need to run a mash that gives you a volume of first runnings that will be your pre-boil wort.

None of your other beers are going to provide first runnings that are any higher in gravity than the first runnings of a partigyle. Some of them might even be less.

Or are you bumping up against the size of your mash tun?

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Old 02-28-2008, 03:15 PM   #6
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right now i have an AG doppelbock bottle conditioning that had an OG of ~1.082. not sure if you consider that "very high", but it took an a$$load of time to finish fermenting. i had it in the secondary for over a month! i started with 8.5 gallons of wort and boiled it down to 3 gallons.

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Old 02-28-2008, 03:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donasay
That is essentially the plan, but in a more concentrated drawn out way. Partygyle brewing can only get the first wort runnings up to a certain high, so a beer with a 5 gallon predicted og of 1.90 could be broken out into two 2.5 gallon batches one with an og of 1.6 and one with an og of 1.3. The greatest amount of gravity comes out in the beginning, so by taking 1 gallon from each batch I am getting it to be super super concentrated.
If you add 2.5 gallons of 1.6 OG to 2.5 gallons of 1.3 you do NOT get 5 gallons of 1.9.......

You would get 5 gallons of 1.45.

Am I missing something here?
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Old 02-28-2008, 03:50 PM   #8
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I'm with cheezy...the total volume of the first runnings (all 5 gallons or so for that 10 gal batch (estimate) will have the same gravity.

Partigyle is done by taking all of the first runnings for one beer and then sparging out the "second runnings" for the next beer.

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Old 02-28-2008, 03:57 PM   #9
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I have done the partigyle thing, but fortified the 2nd runnings with a little DME. It was a huge success.

Most Barleywine recipes I have seen recommend some DME. There is no shame as far as I am concerned.

You other option to do it AG would be to take grain and wort for 2 batches and then boil it all down to one.

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Old 02-28-2008, 05:26 PM   #10
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Yup, combining various small volumes of wort does not cause gravity points to add, they AVERAGE. I'd also lend confirmation that the first gallon of first runnings is not any sweeter than the second gallon. The entire mash is the same. The suggestion of going thick at 1qt/lb is really the only way to get that first running as packed as possible. Starting with this gravity, the only way to go up from there is to boil or add DME or sugar (unless you use that reiterative mash thing but that's a whole new batch of grain). I don't know that I'd save unboiled wort for any length of time. I know it's being boiled but I have doubts about the stability.

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