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Adding to your finished wort

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HughBrooks

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Just got done with a belgian wit and my OG was low, about 1.039. Target was about 1.047-1.049. I used a partial mash kit I got from my local shop. Is there anything I can do now to increase the gravity. The yeast has not been pitched yet in hopes of finding a good solution. Any input would be greatly appreciated!
 

RICLARK

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What was the recipe Maybe you didn't get very good efficiency on the mash. Was the grain crushed?
 

Piotr

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You can add DME, LME, or even table sugar (properly sanitized), but IMO you can leave it as is. 1.040 Witbier can be quite good.
 
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HughBrooks

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Thanks! I went ahead and pitched the yeast. The OG was 1.039. I hope it will be okay.
 

ArcaneXor

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You can always add fermentables later if it doesn't turn out good.
 
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HughBrooks

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How would I go about adding somthing later? And what types of stuff would be best suited for the belgian wit?
 

double_e5

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Was this a full or partial boil?

If it was a partial boil, I would leave it alone. You probably didn't get the wort mixed well enough with top off water which caused you reading to be low.
 

ArcaneXor

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How would I go about adding somthing later? And what types of stuff would be best suited for the belgian wit?
Taste the beer when you take your FG reading. If it doesn't taste right, you can add more fermentables, hops or spices to compensate, using the proper formulas or brewing software to guide your additions. For instance, if your beer tastes way too watery and you don't think carbonation alone will be sufficient to make it enjoyable, you'd do a short, very concentrated wort boil, chill it as usual, and add the new wort to the fermenter. I've salvaged a couple of subpar batches that way, and they turned out nicely.

Let common sense be your guide: If you need more bitterness, boil some hops in dilute wort. If you need more aroma, consider dry hopping. If you need more body, consider adding some amber or munich malt extract, etc.

For a witbier, your options are pretty much wheat extract, maybe some hops and spices, like orange zest, chamomile, juniper berries, etc.
 
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HughBrooks

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This was a partial mash by the way. Thanks for the advice that makes me feel a little better. This one will just be a little more of an experiment. If I know that I am going to need more body how soon could I add a new concentrate of wort? That will also be ferminted right? So it will add to the abv and the body?
 

RayInUT

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Also, if you want to increase the ABV but leave the body light (which I prefer in a wit) you can just add dextrose mixed with some pre-boiled water. Adding concentrated wort made with malt extract will increase your color too much IMO. You could also add some orange zest, coriander, and maybe some black pepper to a cup of cheap vodka to steep for a few days to add at bottling time if you don't have enough flavor. I would stick with using the dextrose and spice extract rather than malt extract though. By nature, wits should be very light in my opinon (which is exactly that, just my opinion...means nothing whatsoever!).
 
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HughBrooks

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could I use priming sugar for that? Just more than I would use to bottle. This is for a 5 gallon batch. Any suggestions on how much to add?
 

RayInUT

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could I use priming sugar for that? Just more than I would use to bottle. This is for a 5 gallon batch. Any suggestions on how much to add?
In a five gallon batch it will give you 9.2 gravity points per pound. Yes, you just use priming sugar for that. DON'T ADD IT AT BOTTLING TIME THOUGH!!! You will go through an additional fermentation with this and you need to make sure it is done beforee you bottle. I WAS REFERING TO THE SPICE EXTRACT TO ADD AT BOTTLING TIME. You will create a thermonuclear device if you add a pound or two of sugar at bottling time!
 

Dogslovebeer

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I brewed something similar a couple of weeks ago and it ended up a little low like yours. I left it alone, I don't like playing with things after the fact. Anyway it turned out great. Tasted amazing, great head retention, and great lacing. Maybe leave it alone with beer there is always a next time to try new things.
 

RayInUT

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In a five gallon batch it will give you 9.2 gravity points per pound. Yes, you just use priming sugar for that. DON'T ADD IT AT BOTTLING TIME THOUGH!!! You will go through an additional fermentation with this and you need to make sure it is done beforee you bottle. I WAS REFERING TO THE SPICE EXTRACT TO ADD AT BOTTLING TIME. You will create a thermonuclear device if you add a pound or two of sugar at bottling time!
Actually, after doing a little research, I would stay away from the dextrose and do a mini-mash instead and add that to the wort if you feel you need to add something. A mini-mash with some six row (for the enzymes) and wheat and oats mashed at 158 or 160 would increase your body and gravity without adding to the color much. You would keep more within the traditional style for a wit that way. Dextrose or other sugars would be more in line with a dubbel or trippel.
 
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HughBrooks

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About how much dextrose would you suggest adding to my beer? If the OG was 1.039 and I wanted 1.047-1.049. I piched my yeast about 16 hours ago. wold it be okay to wait until fermintationlooked complete then add it? Or should I try to add it sooner than later?
 
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