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Old 11-13-2012, 06:36 PM   #1
GreenDragon
 
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So I wanted to do an AG version of the White House Honey Ale. In my infinite wisdom I walked blindly into my local homebrew store and asked them if they could convert it to AG for me.

This should have been my warning: The employees original estimate came to a 14lbs grain bill. I informed him this is only supposed to be a 5.3%abv beer and that sounded kind of high. He said I must have a better efficiency than most of his customers and then cut it down to a little over 12lbs.

Well I brewed last Saturday. Everything went really well, I nailed my mash temp on the button.. 153F. I did a 70min mash, then a 60 minute boil, and kept to the hop schedule on the official recipe. I swapped local Kansas honey in place of the White House Honey, and added it for the last 5 minutes of the boil.

I chilled it down, hit it with O2, and took a OG reading... 1.070!!! Yeah, this could be some "interesting" beer. Too late to worry about it now. Figured if it ends up crazy harsh after the primary I can always dry hop it.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:44 PM   #2
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Well at least now you have a ballpark on your AG efficiency - no one at the brew shop is going to be able to tell you that...best to use some brew software now to hit your targets, I like BrewersFriend.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:46 PM   #3
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Did the homebrew guy take the honey into account? When I add any kind of sugars (maple syrup, honey, belgian sugars, etc.) it will boost your gravity. Probably not up to 1.070, but it's something.

12 pounds of 2-row at 75% efficiency comes to about 1.048 but 80% is 1.065. With some honey added I could see how it could be boosted to near 1.070. Tune that efficiency percentage based on your setup so you know how much grain to use with each batch. Without that info I could see how a LHBS guy's estimates could vary.

 
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:34 PM   #4
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Ah, good to know. I've never calculated my efficiency before. It's kinda cool to see my little handmade setup doing so well. I'll have to keep all this in mind next time.

Thanks for the info!
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kblankenship11
Did the homebrew guy take the honey into account? When I add any kind of sugars (maple syrup, honey, belgian sugars, etc.) it will boost your gravity. Probably not up to 1.070, but it's something.

12 pounds of 2-row at 75% efficiency comes to about 1.048 but 80% is 1.065. With some honey added I could see how it could be boosted to near 1.070. Tune that efficiency percentage based on your setup so you know how much grain to use with each batch. Without that info I could see how a LHBS guy's estimates could vary.
12 lbs of 2 row at 75% eff is about 1.065. 36 points per pound times 12 pounds times .75 divided by 5 (assuming a 5 gallon batch).
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:14 AM   #6
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Can I suggest putting a blow off tube on that beer, if you haven't done so all ready? Sounds like it'll be tasty, though.

If you know your efficiency (to the kettle and to the fermenter), you can better predict your grain bills for a given beer and adjust as necessary. It's good info to know, especially when you start to dive into big beers, since you could quite easily kill off your yeast with too high an alcohol content.

 
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:14 PM   #7
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Update: I cold crashed the carboy and bottled last weekend. As per the laws of homebrewing I drank the gravity sample. I was surprised on how well the honey flavor came through! I figured since honey is pure sugar it would ferment out completely. I actually hope the honey flavor mellows out some, at 60F and flat, the honey was pretty strong. I'm sure that will change once it's conditioned, cold, and carbed though. I purposely didn't keg this batch thinking it wasn't going to turn out too well and I didn't want it taking up space in the keggarator, I may have been wrong.

Ended up around 7.06% ABV.
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:51 PM   #8
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Final update: I popped a few in the fridge and tried them this weekend. They turned out very good, probably in the top 5 beers I've ever made type good. Even the wife likes then, perhaps a little too much It's a very malty/honey beer. You can taste the hops slightly but they aren't the main focus at all. The honey does an excellent job of masking the high alcohol content.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:02 PM   #9
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I've added water to beers that ended up too high. No problem. You can add the water at any time, before or after fermentation.

Many beers (i.e., pale ales), if the OG is too high and you don't make similar changes to the hop schedule, they will finish too sweet.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:09 PM   #10
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Recipe Please, that sounds like a brew I would love.

Cheers
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