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Old 06-08-2013, 06:24 PM   #1
JeffD1
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Default Big beer help

I found a recipe that I really want to try, but I never tried to brew such a big beer: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f65/strong-scotch-ale-153797/

When I plugged everything into beersmith, it told me to fly sparge with .21 gal! I'm assuming this is because the mash needs so much water that if I sparged with enough water, it would put my preboil volume too high for my equipment. (My pot can hold aprox. 6.75gal).

What are my options? I was thinking I would have to scale down the recipe which I didn't really want to do (it looks like a great beer). Then I had what seems to be like a decent idea. What if I brewed 2.5 gal one day, but didn't pitch the yeast, then I brewed 2.5 gal then next day and combine it all in the fermentor? Other than the fact that this will be a lot of work is this doable? Do I have other options?

Also, how much sparge water do I need? Strangely, the recipe claims to have an SG of 1.074, but beersmith claims the sg will be around 1.092. If I use the "adj gravity" tool to bring it closer to 1.074, beersmith says I can sparge with 1.74 gal. Is this adequate?

Thanks a lot!



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Old 06-08-2013, 07:36 PM   #2
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I've brewed Permo's Wee Heavy, and it's great. One thing that I've tried, to bring down the amount of grain needed and therefore the volume of water needed, is to use some extract, a strategy that I learned from "Beer Captured."



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Old 06-08-2013, 07:53 PM   #3
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huh...interesting. Thanks for the advice i'll look into that.

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Old 06-08-2013, 09:22 PM   #4
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You can always sparge with more water to improve your efficiency, and just increase your boil time to concentrate the wort to the proper gravity. Longer boil times are practically a necessity with big beers. Take a gravity reading from the first few quarts of your lauter. Thats the max OG you're going to get. It only gets weaker or more dilute from there, so you need a longer boil (with a larger boil volume obviously) to boil off enough water to reach the proper OG for your recipe.

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Old 06-08-2013, 09:32 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I also wrote this question on the recipe forum and Permo answered me and suggested I adjust my water to grain ratio to 1.25. I didn't realize, but it was set to 2.00 by default. That solved the problem.

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Old 06-09-2013, 10:21 PM   #6
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Ha! That'll do it too!

Test out what works best or your system. I don't usually go that low myself, but for bigger beers.... I have a RIMS setup and tend to prefer things looser for everyday beers.

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Old 06-09-2013, 11:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffD1 View Post
I had what seems to be like a decent idea. What if I brewed 2.5 gal one day, but didn't pitch the yeast, then I brewed 2.5 gal then next day and combine it all in the fermentor? Other than the fact that this will be a lot of work is this doable? Do I have other options?
Why wait to pitch your yeast? If the gravity of the two batches is essentially the same, why not let the yeast start on the first batch, then just add the rest the next day? You'll want to be careful when you add the second batch to about any aeration, but other than that is there any real reason to wait?
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorMemory View Post
Why wait to pitch your yeast? If the gravity of the two batches is essentially the same, why not let the yeast start on the first batch, then just add the rest the next day? You'll want to be careful when you add the second batch to about any aeration, but other than that is there any real reason to wait?
That sounds logical. I took a complete guess that it would be better to wait to pitch, but from what you said that would be the better way to go if i did do it in two batches.
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Bottle Conditioning: Strong scotch ale
On Deck: ST. Bernadus ABT 12, OktoberFAST ale
Bottles: Hoegaarden clone, Lemongrass Ginger Wheat beer, Red Rocket Clone, Smuttynose Winterale clone

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Old 06-11-2013, 12:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorMemory View Post
Why wait to pitch your yeast? If the gravity of the two batches is essentially the same, why not let the yeast start on the first batch, then just add the rest the next day? You'll want to be careful when you add the second batch to about any aeration, but other than that is there any real reason to wait?
It may actually be beneficial to introduce more oxygen within the first 24 hrs on a big beer like this. I don't think I would worry about oxidation with this method. Just keep everything clean and dump 'er in there.


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