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Old 10-16-2012, 08:32 PM   #1
evrk
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I made a FLying Dog - Raging Bitch clone but ended up with a little over 5 gallons rather than the 6 i was shooting for. I didn't realize so much would boil off - I lost probably over two gallons but it's a pretty wide pot so that could be why.

OG reads at 1.1 (yipes) so I'm wondering if I should water down the fermenter so they yeast can manage the sugar load without going over the alcohol limit of Belgian Ardennes (Wyeast Labs #3522) which I think is around 12%.
I'd still like to bottle condition, so this is pretty important.

Should I water it down? I've got some weak (unboiled) wort that I could boil and toss in as well.

Anyone have ideas?

 
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:37 PM   #2
TheZymurgist
 
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I'd add water to reach whatever OG you were supposed to hit. Unless you have a really big starter, are able to add pure O2, and you don't mind having less beer.

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Old 10-16-2012, 08:37 PM   #3
JordanThomas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheZymurgist View Post
I'd add water to reach whatever OG you were supposed to hit. Unless you have a really big starter, are able to add pure O2, and you don't mind having less beer.
I second all of this.

 
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:33 PM   #4
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I too agree that you should add some top off but in addition, was this an extract recipe and partial boil with top off or a full boil? It is important to get a really good mix of wort and water to get a good reading
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:29 AM   #5
evrk
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This was a full boil recipe. I had about 7 gallons and was expecting to lose 1 to bring me down to six during the boil. Now I'm just above 5 with the crazy OG.
Should I shoot for the Raging Bitch levels (probably needs at least a gallon) or just add up to 6 and have a strong one? I'm assuming the yeast will be ok with 1.09 or so but I don't know how much it would affect the flavor to end up with a higher alc content.

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I too agree that you should add some top off but in addition, was this an extract recipe and partial boil with top off or a full boil? It is important to get a really good mix of wort and water to get a good reading

 
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:47 PM   #6
TheZymurgist
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evrk View Post
This was a full boil recipe. I had about 7 gallons and was expecting to lose 1 to bring me down to six during the boil. Now I'm just above 5 with the crazy OG.
Should I shoot for the Raging Bitch levels (probably needs at least a gallon) or just add up to 6 and have a strong one? I'm assuming the yeast will be ok with 1.09 or so but I don't know how much it would affect the flavor to end up with a higher alc content.
It really depends. Do you have the capacity to ferment more than six gallons? How much more water would you have to add to reach the correct gravity?

There's nothing wrong with making the beer stronger than the original, as long as you pitch enough healthy yeast and hit it with a lot of oxygen.

The more important question is, why is your OG so much higher than it should be? If it is only due to excessive boil off, that's not an issue. But you make it sound like there is something else at play here. Is this an all grain or extract batch?

 
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:41 PM   #7
evrk
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Not sure how much water is needed - I'll have to do some calcs later. I can only ferment 6 since it's in a 6.5 tub.
I don't have a way to introduce pure oxygen - I could do a bubbler or something but I would imagine that would introduce some nasty stuff to the fermenter.

Not sure why the OG is so high. It's an all-grain batch.
I think most of it is the boil off (/ not starting with enough during the boil).
I did a continuous sparge method that I think is pretty effective, so that probably contributed as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheZymurgist View Post
It really depends. Do you have the capacity to ferment more than six gallons? How much more water would you have to add to reach the correct gravity?

There's nothing wrong with making the beer stronger than the original, as long as you pitch enough healthy yeast and hit it with a lot of oxygen.

The more important question is, why is your OG so much higher than it should be? If it is only due to excessive boil off, that's not an issue. But you make it sound like there is something else at play here. Is this an all grain or extract batch?

 
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:15 PM   #8
TheZymurgist
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evrk View Post
Not sure how much water is needed - I'll have to do some calcs later. I can only ferment 6 since it's in a 6.5 tub.
I don't have a way to introduce pure oxygen - I could do a bubbler or something but I would imagine that would introduce some nasty stuff to the fermenter.

Not sure why the OG is so high. It's an all-grain batch.
I think most of it is the boil off (/ not starting with enough during the boil).
I did a continuous sparge method that I think is pretty effective, so that probably contributed as well.
Gotcha. I think some of your other posts made it sound like the gravity would still be high after topping off to 6 gallons. I'd say top it off, then take a gravity reading. Chances are you'll be right in line.

 
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:12 AM   #9
JordanThomas
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I always end up with higher than expected OG, which is part of learning your brewing system. Adjust your recipes for less grain. You get to brew the same beers at a cheaper price. It's a good thing.

I'd still say to top it off. You could use some simple math to figure out how much water you need to add. Just add a little less than you calculated, take a sample, add a little more if necessary.

 
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:54 AM   #10
evrk
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Thanks folks

 
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