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Old 12-07-2012, 10:17 PM   #1
climateboy
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Hey, all.

So, I've made about 20 all grain batches so far, and I use Beersmith, but I can never get the finishing volume right.

I want to end up with 10 gallons of wort, using the following combination of equipment:

10 gallon cooler mash tun
10 gallon boiling kettle
5 gallon auxiliary kettle

I'll be making a schwarzbier, so the grain bill won't be too crazy.

My question is, is there a way to set up Beersmith to end up with 10 gallons? I'm thinking that I could get relatively high gravity runnings out of the tun, then dilute in the kettles so that after boil-off and loss to hops and trub, I end up with 10 gallons.

Any assistance appreciated.


Thanks,

CB
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:20 PM   #2
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Without a bigger pot your best solution is to just top off your 10 gallon batch after its boiled.

Or just top it off until you hit your target OG, which may be less than 10 gallons.

 
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:24 PM   #3
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Yep, this is going to be tough if not impossible without topping off post boil. I assume there's pilsner malt in your schwarzbier so you're doing a 90 min boil?

On my system on a 90 minute boil I get 10 gallons in kegs from a 14.5 gallon starting boil volume (2.5 gal boil off, .5 gallon cooling loss, 1.5 gal or so fermenter loss). My kettle is 20gal. 2 kettles = greater surface area to boil off and need twice the head space for boil over.

Looks like you can play with the top off numbers in Beersmith to get you where you want (would go in the fermenter top off section because it's post boil, not the kettle top off). Then you just need to figure the boil off for each kettle, add them and plug in that number.

 
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:26 PM   #4
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Are you saying that you want 10+trub gallons of wort to ferment? I don't think you could get the preboil wort to match in the 10 and 5 without doing two seperate mashings.

 
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:28 PM   #5
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If you can't boil more than 7-8 gallons in that pot, use the "add top off water" option in Beersmith.

 
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:28 PM   #6
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Ok. I used to top off when I did extract brewing, but...will it affect the flavor of the beer? And boil and cool the top-off water first?
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by climateboy View Post
Ok. I used to top off when I did extract brewing, but...will it affect the flavor of the beer? And boil and cool the top-off water first?
It may affect the flavor of the beer, if you're making something with a lot of IBUs. Otherwise, just plan on the top off water, as it will reduce your efficiency. You may have to add some DME to the wort, to bring up the OG to the correct level.

I never boiled my top off water, but I don't have chlorine in my water. Treat your top off water the way you treat the brewing water- if you normally use campden to treat for chloramines, for example, or boil, then do the same.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:58 PM   #8
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You could try to use your auxillary kettle as an initial stage of boil off of the initial pre-boil volumes. While you couldn't likely hit 10 gallons final on the nose, I bet you could get pretty close to 9.5 between the two. You'd do a boil (without adding hops) in both kettles to get your volume down, combine the two into your single 10G kettle and then start with the hops/adjuncts. You have to plan this out appropriately since you'll be boiling off more liquid and your SG will be slightly different than with a single kettle's boil off rate.

Another thing to consider would perhaps to try to achieve 7 or 8 gallons of wort and scale your recipes appropriately. You could use a 3 gallon carboy to handle the extra above the 5 gallons. This is an easy way to scale your recipes around your actual equipment, rather than dealing with topping off. This would also give you the ability to do experiments in a slightly smaller batch...like different yeasts, oaking, spices, etc. When approaching the limits of your boil kettle, it's a good idea to use foam control, like Fermcap.

 
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:00 AM   #9
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The simplest answer is, of course, to get a 20 gallon boil kettle. But that can be expensive.

I have a keg (15 gallons) for a boil kettle, and I can make a 10 gallon batch by starting with 12 gallons of wort and watching it carefully for boil overs.

It's not possible to make a 10 gallon batch in a 10 gallon boil kettle (since you start with 12 gallons, more or less) without topping up with water, or using an additional pot, and/or using DME.
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:20 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone. Yes, I should have bought a 15 gallon kettle when I had the chance--I may still!

Thanks for the suggestions so far. A smaller carboy would be a good thing to have around, and the smaller boil-off kettle is also intriguing. I had wondered about adding hops to something like that.

And, I've never used Fermcap, but often wanted it at hand!

Thanks,

CB
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