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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Boil size vs. hop efficiency
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:53 PM   #21
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I don't have the exact thread (threads?) bookmarked, however, I have seen Yooper suggest about 1.25G per pound of grains. If you use too much water, it throws off the pH and ultimately the flavor. I'm sure Yooper or someone more experienced can explain this more thoroughly, but that is my understanding.
Typical water/grist ratio would be 1.25-1.5 qt/lb of grain. Too thick a mash can result in low efficiency, and too thin a mash can have too high a pH, which can cause issues with tannin extraction and efficiency. I shoot for 1.25 qt/lb most of the time, but have gone a lot thinner than 1.5qt/lb for bigger (higher OG) batches or batches with a large percentage of darker malts.
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:03 PM   #22
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John Palmer said he "got it wrong" when he stated in his book that gravity has any effect at all on IBUs.
The experts apparently are not in agreement on this point. Glenn Tinseth’s website still has the formulas that include a “bigness factor” (factor for wort boil gravity). Since there is some disagreement, I e-mailed Mr. Tinseth and asked about the gravity factor. His answer was “There is really no question about whether alpha acid utilization is related to wort gravity.” I personally feel that I can taste the additional bitterness when using late extract addition.
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:07 PM   #23
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Typical water/grist ratio would be 1.25-1.5 qt/lb of grain. [...] I shoot for 1.25 qt/lb most of the time, but have gone a lot thinner than 1.5qt/lb for bigger (higher OG) batches or batches
Was that a typo? Quart, or gallon?
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:11 PM   #24
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The gravity of your boil GREATLY effects your hop utilization.
No, this was dis-proven years ago. Hop utilization is only dependent on the amount of alpha acids in the solution. Doubling the boil volume cuts the alpha acid concentration in half and promotes higher utilization, but boil water, boil wort, only the AA concentration matters.

[Pardon the science to all of the opinionated folks out there]

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Old 08-10-2012, 07:19 PM   #25
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The experts apparently are not in agreement on this point. Glenn Tinseth’s website still has the formulas that include a “bigness factor” (factor for wort boil gravity). Since there is some disagreement, I e-mailed Mr. Tinseth and asked about the gravity factor. His answer was “There is really no question about whether alpha acid utilization is related to wort gravity.” I personally feel that I can taste the additional bitterness when using late extract addition.
Weird, because he told me that "it could be related to break material" instead of wort gravity. Palmer told me the same thing.

The interesting thing is, I still use Tinseth's IBU calculators because it is the best that is available. It works quite well in full boil AG batches, and I'm happy with it.

The thing that I've found is that in lower IBU beers, a difference of even a few IBUs is noticeable (say, in a 12 IBU beer for example). But in a beer with IBUs of 40+, it's almost impossible to tell even a 10 IBU difference.
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:23 PM   #26
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Was that a typo? Quart, or gallon?
1.25-1.5 QT/LB of grain
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:57 PM   #27
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"[Pardon the science to all of the opinionated folks out there]"

That graph certainly doesn't show anything about utilization being independent of gravity. All that shows is a saturation effect. ie the more hops you add, the less of an impact the next addition will have.

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Old 08-10-2012, 09:47 PM   #28
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The interesting thing is, I still use Tinseth's IBU calculators because it is the best that is available. It works quite well in full boil AG batches, and I'm happy with it.
I think in the same podcast, they talk about the validity of the Tinseth & Rager formula's. They said that both formulas don't calculate the bitterness of your beer correctly. However, they've been used for quite some time to reliably make good beer.

Because they are both estimates, they can't take into account how much of the alpha acids have isomerized. There are a lot of factors that can contribute to the actual values, including the amount of solids in the wort, the vegetative matter, the wort volume, the vigor of the boil, and so on.

The bitterness also depends on the malt character of the beer, as stouts and porters can high high IBU, but be very balanced.

What Jamil recommended was to pick a formula and stick with it. If you have a process that doesn't change much, two beers with similar IBU's and malt profiles should be similarly bitter. If you and a friend brew the same beer on different systems, don't expect them to be exactly the same.
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Old 08-11-2012, 01:03 AM   #29
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1.25-1.5 QT/LB of grain
I am a little confused (OK a lot confused). My recipe only has 2# of grains, the rest is all extract. Does that mean I should only steep the grains in 3 Qt of water?

Would I then add the extra water when I start the boil?

The instructions that I have say to steep in 1.5 gallons, add the LME and then bring to a boil.
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Old 08-11-2012, 01:16 AM   #30
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I am a little confused (OK a lot confused). My recipe only has 2# of grains, the rest is all extract. Does that mean I should only steep the grains in 3 Qt of water?

Would I then add the extra water when I start the boil?

The instructions that I have say to steep in 1.5 gallons, add the LME and then bring to a boil.
With only 2 # of steeping grains, you can steep in a larger volume if you really want to. But I always recommend using no more than 2 quarts per pound, since you can use that amount for EVERY batch. For AG batches, partial mashes, steeping grains, etc, you can use 1.25-2 quarts of water per pound of grain and be correct. It was just easier for me to always do the same procedure and not have to wonder if I had grains that should be mashed or only crystal malts that could be steeped.

After you're done steeping your grains, you can lift them up out of the liquid and pour 170 degree water over them, up to your boil volume.

If it makes your life easier to steep 2 pounds of grains in 1.5 gallons, instead of 1 gallon, that's fine, though.
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