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Old 08-27-2013, 09:31 PM   #1
butterpants
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Quick thought I was pondering last night.... here's how it came about:

Currently I do full boil extract/partial mash batches. I live at 7000' and the altitude screws with my boiling temp and boil-off. When I'm experimenting sometimes I'll have 6 gallons of finished brew when the recipie was intended for 5....I can only assume that this is detrimental to my flavor intensity as there's an extra gallon of water for the same flavor components. Sounds logical. I've yet to make 2 identical batches and test my hypothesis varying only the boil volume though I'm sure someone has...

Looking for any feedback on varying recipie inital volume but with a standard amount of ingredients basically. While I'm not into watered down beer, the prospect of a flavor explosion sounds good. I can see there would be limitations due to OG and that you're not getting a more complex flavor per se, just more of the original. Thoughts?

 
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:44 PM   #2
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Ideally you need to zero in on your boil off rate so you can duplicate a batch. It's not the altitude because that doesn't change, it's your process. There are plenty of high altitude brewers out here that don't have this issue.

Take a pre-measured volume of water and boil it in the area you brew and regulate your flame to be consistent. Boil an hour and measure the finished volume. this is now your boil off rate over 60 minutes. I am aware that depending on ambient temperature and humidity there is a little variable but not gallons.

Since you are doing partial mash you also need to account for grain absorption as well which is typically .12 gallons per pound. Make a calibrated measuring stick that you can place in the kettle to be sure you are using whatever pre-boil volume you need to achieve your post boil volume based on your boil off rate.

Until you get your volumes under control there is no way to achieve a proper finished product or re-brew anything consistently.
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duboman View Post
Ideally you need to zero in on your boil off rate so you can duplicate a batch. It's not the altitude because that doesn't change, it's your process. There are plenty of high altitude brewers out here that don't have this issue.

Take a pre-measured volume of water and boil it in the area you brew and regulate your flame to be consistent. Boil an hour and measure the finished volume. this is now your boil off rate over 60 minutes. I am aware that depending on ambient temperature and humidity there is a little variable but not gallons.

Since you are doing partial mash you also need to account for grain absorption as well which is typically .12 gallons per pound. Make a calibrated measuring stick that you can place in the kettle to be sure you are using whatever pre-boil volume you need to achieve your post boil volume based on your boil off rate.

Until you get your volumes under control there is no way to achieve a proper finished product or re-brew anything consistently.
you are of course correct.... and I love the marked stick in kettle idea.... BUT, I was more looking for feedback on if people actually do this on purpose..... concentrate their wort when the recipie called for a larger volume

 
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butterpants

you are of course correct.... and I love the marked stick in kettle idea.... BUT, I was more looking for feedback on if people actually do this on purpose..... concentrate their wort when the recipie called for a larger volume
Sure, lots of people try lots of things but usually they try to learn how to be consistent in what they are doing beforehand, otherwise everything becomes a crapshoot
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:11 PM   #5
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copy that

 
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:37 PM   #6
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Your total gravity units will not change except due to system losses such as dead space. So yes you can add water to this set GU level to lower you OG or concentrate it to raise your OG. OG is just a function of gravity units and volume.

If you end up with 6 gallons of wort but recipe was built for 5, you can still hit your target OG by either boiling longer (concentrate down to target 5 gallons) or add gravity units, which post mash is most easily done by adding more LME or DME.

There are tons if free calculators out there on the web to help you determine how much DME or LME to add to hit your target OG.

 
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BPal75 View Post
Your total gravity units will not change except due to system losses such as dead space. So yes you can add water to this set GU level to lower you OG or concentrate it to raise your OG. OG is just a function of gravity units and volume.

If you end up with 6 gallons of wort but recipe was built for 5, you can still hit your target OG by either boiling longer (concentrate down to target 5 gallons) or add gravity units, which post mash is most easily done by adding more LME or DME.

There are tons if free calculators out there on the web to help you determine how much DME or LME to add to hit your target OG.
There's more to life than gravity units though..... If you just added sugar to get back units due to over dillution you'd be losing flavor.... all your malt/adjuncts/steeped grains would be off

 
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:38 PM   #8
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That's why I suggested DME or LME instead of sugar. Assuming your numbers are not way off, adding a little base malt shouldn't wreck your flavor. If its that bad steep a little more specialty grains and add that and the DME to your wort to keep your percentages the same. Or you could just let it be and deal with a lower OG. Or add some base malt and boil down to 5.5 gallons. Lots of options. Good luck.

 
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