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Old 01-08-2013, 04:50 PM   #1
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Default Stretching a Brewers Best Recipe to 6 gallons?

Have a 5 gal recipe and the equipment I could do 6..

Since with the Extract Kit you start with 2.5 gallons, and then add 2.5 to make 5 gallons.

Could you start with 3 gallons, and stretch it to 6 ? Maybe by adding some honey or other sugars to the batch to boost the fermentables to make up for the extra water..? Seems you could run the grains for a few extra minutes to get a little more out of them.

I also not a big fan of Hops so thinning the hops out across 3 gallons vs 2.5 would probably work for me, and soften the bite of the beer.

Not being cheap per se.. just wondering if anyone has tried it and had any luck. If so what did you do.

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Old 01-08-2013, 05:39 PM   #2
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You will definitely make beer, but the kit was designed with a recipe in mind. You may get things out of balance. If you are ok with that, go for it. Experimenting is half the fun of brewing (the other half is drinking).

Personally, I wouldn't. But I am sure I do things that others wouldn't do. To each his own. Good luck with the brew, whether you alter the recipe or not.

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Old 01-08-2013, 06:17 PM   #3
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Thanks.. I know I run the risk of

1) Too much tannins due to over soaking the grain (But heck I went all the way through the boil with my first batch, by accident.. and off flavors werent that bad.. )

2) It becomes to thin..

I'm going to look over the recipe and see what I might want to do .. probably stick the recipe this time. If its good I will play with it the second time.

May do the honey in the secondary just to bump the ABV.

Charles

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Old 01-08-2013, 07:33 PM   #4
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Like I said, its up to you. You can force body by adding maltodextrine. Just a thought. Again, I would leave the recipe as is this time.

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Old 01-09-2013, 03:00 AM   #5
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I couldn't help myself.. so I threw 2 lbs of honey in the boil...

Wow.. increased my OG a LOT ! Finally got it down to 1.062 at around 5.7 gal..

At 4.5 gal it was like 1.075 !

Since OG of the recipe was supposed to be 1.052.. I expect if FG is close to recipe to have a 7-8 ABV beer..

So can I expect for this to be a sweet high abv. Octoberfest..? Because thats what I was going for.

BTW hit all temps on the money.. Storage is at a perfect 54 degrees and will be lagering it.

Speaking of which can I lager in the primary or should I secondary as per the instructions..?

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Old 01-11-2013, 12:55 PM   #6
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I believe the honey is very fermentable, so I would expect high ABV, but dry, not malty. Also may be a bit thin.

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Old 01-11-2013, 01:04 PM   #7
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It is very fermentable

I am expecting a slight honey undertone to the octoberfest, and even though I ended up with 5.5 gallons, I also ended up with a bit over 3 gallons of wort.. as I had less boil off than expected, and being a new pot I over shot the water level a little.

That said the wort seems to have come out well, currently fermenting (started last night). The color of the beer is a nice deep amber.. I can't wait for it to be ready.. in 2 months.. UGH

So I don't have any worries about it being thin.. may have a lighter body though.

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Old 01-15-2013, 02:33 PM   #8
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Well, I had it currently fermenting away in my garage, in an insulated storage room.. where the temps TEND to stay a stable 55 degree..


Day 1 - nada (normal) (Temp 55)

Day 2 - "is that fermenting yet..?" bubbles (Temp 55)

Day 3 - Definitely started fermenting (Temp 55)

Day 4-5 - Developed a nice Krausen (Fermenter temp rised to the high 50s - Room temp was 55)

That was until the last few days when temps outside got into the 60s-70s.. now the fermenter beer has gone from stable 55-58 to 61-67

Day 6 - Krausen started to get dirty on top with dark specks on it.. Temps started to rise outside.. (Fermenter got up to 61 - Room 59)

Day 7 - Krausen got a build up of yeast on top of the foam.. and the yeast is going bananas. Temps outside in the mid 60s now (Fermenter got up to 67 and room to 62 )

Day 8 - Finally cooling down outside.. and was able to try to get the room cooler with a fan.. etc.. yeast is still going strong.. Looking trough the fermenter and you can see the bubbles and yeast are swirling around like someone is stirring the damn thing. It's crazy ! The air lock is going nuts.. popping off every second or just a bit less. (Fermenter down to 61 room down to 56). The yeast developing on top of the Krausen is getting thick and heavy and weighing down the Krausen.

Is this a problem ? or will I just get a bit more attenuation and now that its cooler outside and I got the room back down into the 50s.. I should be good ? I mean just how "stable" do I need to be.. and am I fine ?

Here is what Brewers Best said about temps for this recipe

1) Move the fermenter to a cool, lager-specific, temperature-stable area (approx. 53º - 59ºF).

2) Alternatively the recipe notes: Brewer’s Best® recommends lagering this recipe to achieve the true lager character of
this beer style. However, if you are not properly equipped to lager your beer, the included yeast will perform well when fermented as an ale. When fermenting as an ale (between 64º - 72ºF) try to keep the beer on the cooler end
of the temperature range and allow for some additional time for the lager yeast to ferment down to the FG.

So that said.. I'm guessing a Ale yeast and not a Lager yeast was in the kit..?

Will this little burst of energy cause the beer to develop any sour or off flavors? or am I to expect this will be more a ale now and less a lager ?

I know I should RDWHA*C*B (No home brew to drink yet)

I am not a fan of sour ales.. I am hoping the sour notes I have now emanating from the airlock are just off gases and the beer doesn't come out sour or give me off flavors.. ? Just wondering if the initial fermentation (or should say the second stage of fermentation) at higher ale temps will cause that.

Should I still lager it no matter what ? I am planning on doing that.

What would the result of leaving it as is in the 50-60 ranges then cold crashing for bottling Vs going to a secondary and slow lagering in the fridge..?

Now if I were to find it sour during the hydrometer test, would adding a lb of honey to it during secondary help with that..? Would I get more fermentation during the secondary lagering..?

Thanks for all the help and any insight.

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Old 01-16-2013, 12:03 PM   #9
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Got the temps back down to the high 50s. Its still going strong.. but decided to take a test.

SG is now at 1.030 a nice drop from 1.062, but got a good bit to go.. and its still going.

Its also clearing up really nice..

The hydro sampler was awesome.. ! A nice Marzen flavor, with a touch of a honey finish. Just what I was looking for.. can't wait for the final product.

Might deliberately raise its temp right before it goes into the secondary for lagering to get the yeast to annentuate some more since I know now the low 60s were nothing to freak out about.

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Old 01-21-2013, 01:01 AM   #10
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Went to secondary today (FG 1.013) - FG was right in spec.

So doing the math.. since I added the 2lbs of honey I boosted the ABV from 5.5% to 6.75%

Anyway. I think the short warm spell I mentioned did a bit of bad things to the beer. Now I know it was only a hydrometer sampler.. but the sour notes that I have noticed from the air lock have not gone away and they showed up in the final test. Not over powering, but noticeable. Also when I went to clean the fermenter, I noticed the leftovers in the fermenter was also quite sour smelling.

That said, overall flavor is good, and the sour is in the back and not up front in your face.

Question, will the sourness soften as I lager it..?

Will the hops come out as it lagers or mellow.. ? ( I ask as there was a definite hit of that piney/IPA in the flavors and I am not a big fan of IPA)

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