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Old 02-11-2008, 04:27 PM   #1
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Default I can't make small beer.

Stupid good efficiency. I had been having problems, so I designed my latest recipe (A Belgian Specialty) around 65%. I ended up at 77%, and after two weeks in the primary (because was pitching Brett in half of it), checked the O.G. at 1.012 from 1.065. I had aimed for an O.G. at around 1.054-55. I was expecting decent attenuation from the starter as well as the use of candi-sugar. But I wanted it to be at least <6%.

Same happened with my Pale back in October. That one attenuated more than I had imagined (to 1.010) and clocks in >6%.

My next recipe is going to aim for 1.040 at 75% eff. Blargh.


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Old 02-11-2008, 04:36 PM   #2
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I have this problem too. This is why I take a gravity reading before the boil. If pre-boil gravity is too high there is no way you'll hit your target OG so ABV will be too high and the IBU/OG balance will be off. The last time this happened to me I used the Dilution tool in BeerSmith to figure out how much water to add to the boil. I ended up hitting my target OG right on. I bottled that batch this weekend so I'll know how it turned out in a few weeks.


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Old 02-11-2008, 08:03 PM   #3
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My efficiency is generally good, but it varies with the weather. I just water a small beer down before pitching & put the extra in 1.5L bottles when I keg it. Since I design towards the middle of a style, the IBUs will still be on. The bottles can be handy for test dry hopping.
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Old 02-11-2008, 09:01 PM   #4
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Don't forget to keep an eye on your hops additions too if you dilute. You'll have more beer, so you'll need to up the hops a little to compensate.
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Old 02-11-2008, 09:09 PM   #5
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Whats wrong with big beers?? Don't hate... appreciate!!
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:30 AM   #6
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I had the same thing happen yesterday. I designed a mild to be 1.038 but then I looked and saw it was at 75% eff. I changed it to the 87% I normally design at and it changed to 1.044 well good bye mild hello bitter. I ended up with 1.048 into the fermenter so it would be a special bitter but I didn't have enough finishing hops to make it one to a big bitter it is.


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