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BearsWickedBrew 09-04-2008 07:46 PM

Double the Recipe Double the Fun
I recently made my 2nd batch (Brewers Best Pale Ale Kit). The OG was supposed to be between 1.04 & 1.05. Here's my problem with OG readings- they're taken at nearly the very end of the brewing process and by then, I'm too many beers deep to worry about the little lines on a floating glass tube. I dont even know if I'm using it right. My kitchen was very hot, and if I remember correctly it was in the mid to high 1.03s ....so I hope after adjusting for temp...I broke 1.04. But...back to the title of the post. I want to make a big beer....would I be making something repulsive if I simply doubled the Brewers Best (or any kit for that matter) recipe? I want a nice fat & juicy OG.

devaspawn 09-04-2008 08:12 PM

Nothing wrong with the doubling the recipe as long as you double the water and the final volume. :) Actually, it would probably be just fine. It will be a maltier beer most likely and the ABV would be twice as high or close to it. It won't be the same beer, that's for sure.

I don't take my OG reading right until I am just about to pitch my yeast. By that time there's not much in the way of temp correction. Hydrometer readings are really only important if you want to measure how you did on hitting expectations. They're not necessary if you just want to make beer.


Jymbo 09-04-2008 08:18 PM

If you want to increase the strength (and flavour) of a kit you can do so by simply adding less water. I'm not sure how well it would work if you cut the volume in half as there are other considerations such as the yeast. If the OG is much higher than the target OG the amount of alcohol produced may be too much for the yeast to handle and this would result in a stuck fermentation. But you should be OK if you decrease the water by 25-35%. A 30% reduction in the amount of water used should raise a 1040 gravity to 1057.

Hope this helps.

BearsWickedBrew 09-04-2008 08:19 PM

...I thought you also had to correct for ambient temperature- not just temperature of the liquid. For example, if I'm taking the OG of 60 water...while its 80 in my kitchen...I would expect the OG to be less than 1.

devaspawn 09-04-2008 08:24 PM

Not that I am aware of. If you have a therm that says the water is 60 degrees then the water is 60 degrees. If your hydro is calibrated for 60 degrees then your hydro reading doesn't need to be adjusted.

I don't think I am wrong but if I am I am sure someone will pop in to say otherwise. Even if I am I can't imagine that a 20 degree difference in ambient temp is significant enough to add even one point for adjustment.


BearsWickedBrew 09-04-2008 08:27 PM

Well even if your right...I guess I can still bump up the OG on my pale ale because the wort was probably closer to 70- 75 when I pitched.

devaspawn 09-05-2008 04:53 AM

Don't get me wrong. I have pitched at that temp, too. I was just saying that I don't believe you have to take ambient temp into consideration for calibration adjustment.


Orfy 09-05-2008 06:14 AM

Ambient temperature doesn't matter, just the sample temperature.

Kauai_Kahuna 09-05-2008 09:13 AM

BearsWickedBrew - Orfy has spoken.
Hydrometers are calibrated a certain temp, ambient temp / altitude is perhaps a difference of .002 at the most, if your vision and attention to detail is that great, you need to become a commercial brewmaster.

As to your original question.
If you want to up the OG - ABV, you can always just add more DME / LME / Honey / Sugar to the boil.
Each of these ingredients will change your final product unless you adjust, IE DME / LME will need some additional hops to offset the sweetness, honey will make the beer lighter and smoother and extend the brewtime if you use more than two pounds or so.
Sugar, I just do not like adding it to a brew, exceptions for me is making a Chimay or something that requires cracked sugar, etc.
May I recommend some online recipe calculators, they are great to play with, pick your style, build your brew, then all you need is to think about the final taste:
TastyBrew.com | Recipe Calculation
The Beer Recipator 2.2

If these don't meet your needs, then you may want to look at beersmith, Promash, etc.
Hope this helps.

BearsWickedBrew 09-05-2008 03:57 PM

Kauai Kahuna-

Thanks for the links....I've got some exploring to do.

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