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Need some advice for my brew day

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Blackdirt_cowboy

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inam brewing a Hefeweizen today. Normally, I mash in a cooler, but today I’m playing around with BIAB. My efficiency is through the roof. I was aiming for 7 gallon of 1.038 wort preboil. I actually got 7.9 gallons of 1.044 wort. If I boil the typical 60 minutes, I’ll have 6.5 gallons of wort. My fermentor is exactly 6.5 gallons, so not sure how that will work out. I don’t need a mess on my hands. I can boil longer until I hit my 5.5 gallon target, but my ABV will be 6.6 instead of 5.6. Also, I don’t know how to adjust the hops for the difference. What would you do if you were in my situation?
 

Redpappy

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since you are hitting high numbers, I would remove .9 to 1 gal if wort anD brew like normal. If time permits, and you have extra hops, and some yeast floating around I would do a small batch and just throw some things together. And see how it turns out
 

Double_D

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I'd second this.
since you are hitting high numbers, I would remove .9 to 1 gal if wort anD brew like normal. If time permits, and you have extra hops, and some yeast floating around I would do a small batch and just throw some things together. And see how it turns out
 

Lefou

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since you are hitting high numbers, I would remove .9 to 1 gal if wort anD brew like normal. If time permits, and you have extra hops, and some yeast floating around I would do a small batch and just throw some things together. And see how it turns out
+1 to this!
When I have a good day and efficiency is high, some of the wort gets donated to the wife. She likes barley malt tea.

BIAB typically gives better efficiencies than cooler tuns for a couple reasons. Better crush allows more thorough conversions and applied direct heat can stabilize mash temps much better when using a metal mash tun.
I suggest using a reliably accurate brewing calculator and getting familiar with it. Second, you'll have to adjust it for your typical equipment setup and expected efficiencies for proper calculations to be entered. That means multiple brewings of the same beer in a similar style to get your expected numbers.
I always measure the pre-boil/post-boil gravity, set it for the primary fermentor, and adjust by dilution while keeping my hops in a range for the style. Not every brew hits my expected numbers dead-on, but knowing how to adjust comes in very handy.

I'd take one gallon of wort out and boil the rest.
1.044-1.045 is still within the style gravity range, so all you would need to do is watch your boil temps and dilute/add some hops, if necessary.
 

kh54s10

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I would just boil it as is for the normal amount of time. Then fill your fermenter as high as you dare. If you have anything else you can use as a fermenter you can put the left over in there. You could also experiment, if you have different yeast, different dry hops, or add fruit or spices.
 
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Blackdirt_cowboy

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Well, now I’m not sure what happened. Today is the first day I’ve used a refractometer as well. At the end of the mash, it showed to be 1.044. I went ahead and added 30 minutes to my boil time, an d checked gravity after cooling the wort. It showed to be 1.053, when the target was 1.052. I verified that reading with my hydrometer, so I don’t know why happened. I took 4 readings after the mash with the refractoneter and each showed 1.044. It doesn’t make sense that after a 90 minute boil that the gravity was only up to 1.053. My volume decreases from 7.9 gallons to 5.5 gallons.
 

Lefou

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I'd trust a properly calibrated refractometer moreso than a triple scale hydrometer. Both of them have to be verified and checked for the proper offset at specific temperatures, then all you have to do is adjust.
You seem to have gained about 8-9 points, so what you need to do is decant about 1 gallon of wort and dilute with RO or soft water until you get the desired gravity.

Gravity divided by volume = pts per gallon
53/5.5 = 9.63
It's about 9.63 points of gravity per gallon, so it would put you right in the ballpark by draining one gallon of wort and simply adding soft or treated water.
 
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eric19312

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Well, now I’m not sure what happened. Today is the first day I’ve used a refractometer as well. At the end of the mash, it showed to be 1.044. I went ahead and added 30 minutes to my boil time, an d checked gravity after cooling the wort. It showed to be 1.053, when the target was 1.052. I verified that reading with my hydrometer, so I don’t know why happened. I took 4 readings after the mash with the refractoneter and each showed 1.044. It doesn’t make sense that after a 90 minute boil that the gravity was only up to 1.053. My volume decreases from 7.9 gallons to 5.5 gallons.
What temperature were your refractometer samples at? I used to take near boiling wort and drop it on the lens take the reading but I now cool the sample to at least luke warm before taking the reading. I know the refractometers are mainly auto temp correcting but I think the thin film of hot wort may undergo rapid evaporation even before you can get that door closed giving you too high of a reading.

Also what temperature was your hydrometer sample taken at? You might need to correct that reading based on sample temp vs hydro calibration temp.

I tend to think when your refractometer and hydro are in agreement (your pre fermentor reading) you are looking at something close to the real value. By evaporation alone 7.9 gallons of 1.044 wort should of gone to 1.063.. Wort does expand and contract with temperature so it is possible your 7.9 gallons at end of mash...if this was near boiling temp...would shrink to about 7.6 gallons at room temperature...but even 7.6 gallons of 1.044 wort boiled down to 5.5 gallons would put your OG at 1.061. And don't forget your hydro and refractometer readings both agreed quite close with your expected gravity.

The other explanation I can think of is that your volume measurements were wrong. Any chance your 7.9 gallons was really 6.9 gallons? If it was 6.9 gallons and it shrinks 4% from boiling to room temp that is 6.62 gal ...6.62 gal of 1.044 wort boiled to 5.5 gal would give you SG of 1.053...
 
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Blackdirt_cowboy

Blackdirt_cowboy

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I think my pre boil refractometer reading was off. I put 153° wort on the lens and took the reading. My refractometer only measures in Brix and I used a calculator to convert that to 1.044. The 7.9 gallons was correct. As far as post boil, I took both the hydrometer and refractometer reading after cooling the wort to 62°, and those readings agreed with each other.

I did add half an hour to the boil to account for the extra volume, and ended up with my targeted 5.5 gallons at 1.053. So obviously my preboil gravity should have been lower than what the refractometer showed. So in summary, everything turned out as planned. I just have to figure out why my refractometer read the pre boil gravity wrong.

ETA: When I took the pre-boil gravity reading, the grains where still in the bag. I then removed the grains and boiled. I did a full volume, no sparge BIAB. Will this have affected the reading?
 
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