Scaling a recipe and color change

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Boobajoob

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I'm new to the hobby and only a dozen all grain brews in. All with the recipes I use, while designed for 5gal batches, don't yield me an actual full corny. I tend to be about 4/4.5gal in the corny unless I allow a lot of grainy dissolved hops into the fermenter or trub into the keg. I'm mashing in an Anvil Foundry and fermenting in a Fermonster.

My solution was to scale up the recipe by 10%. So I multiplied all my grain bill, hops, water vol by 1.1 and used those values. This worked, but my Irish red this time is darker, both times I did this. The gravities worked out the same or very close, but both times red was just a little darker.

Am I doing something wrong here? Wouldn't scaling everything by 10% not just make 10% more beer? It tastes like the original red but it's just darker for some reason.

What do you guys use for scaling recipes?
 
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cmac62

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My understanding on this stuff is when scaling you generally can scale only the base malt. Especially when scaling only 10%. All of the color malts will increase the color more that what you think. If I got this wrong someone chime in and edumicate me too. :mug:
 

TheBluePhantom

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Why scale at all? If the recipe was designed for a 5 gallon batch but you only get 4, just add more water. I would guess you are losing more to the boil than expected by the recipe. But you only lose water this way. The rest of the recipe should be fine. Lower your boil, or add more water at the beginning. This is the challenge of 'tuning in' your system.

Unless you found you like the modified recipe better. You are probably having higher OG, and ABV, as well as concentrating flavor. But it is only 10%
 

Golddiggie

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I've been using BeerSmith to compose my recipes since early on. You can see what the color will do as you change grains. You can also see what changes to the hop amounts, or addition times, will do for that aspect. I wouldn't just try to "add 10%" to a recipe and expect it to come out correctly.

It also sounds like you need to factor in your loss rates from chilling the wort as well as what gets lost to the yeast. I typically figure on leaving about 3 quarts behind in either 6 or 9 gallon batches. A little more for 12 gallon batches. Has worked well to this point. To the point that I usually have some beer left below that line, or I have more than will fit into the serving/carbonating kegs.

I'm sure other quality brewing software applications will do the same things as BeerSmith. It's just what I've always used and know very well. Plus all my recipes are within it, so it's easy to pull up one of the previous batches and either repeat it, or tweak it.

I'll have to see what my new [conical] fermenters will do for the loss amount due to yeast. Plus what is below the pickup from the racking arm. I'm also looking forward to carbonating IN fermenter, pulling a portion into serving keg, and canning the rest.
 
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Boobajoob

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Why scale at all? If the recipe was designed for a 5 gallon batch but you only get 4, just add more water. I would guess you are losing more to the boil than expected by the recipe. But you only lose water this way. The rest of the recipe should be fine. Lower your boil, or add more water at the beginning. This is the challenge of 'tuning in' your system.

Unless you found you like the modified recipe better. You are probably having higher OG, and ABV, as well as concentrating flavor. But it is only 10%
The recipes yield 6 gal post boil, but when I'm careful to not allow the dissolved hop mess at the bottom of the kettle into the fermentor and leave the trub out of the keg (I use a floating dip tube and pressure transfer from the fermentor to the corny). That's how I end up with less. More water would just water down my beer in the end would it not?
 
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Boobajoob

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My understanding on this stuff is when scaling you generally can scale only the base malt. Especially when scaling only 10%. All of the color malts will increase the color more that what you think. If I got this wrong someone chime in and edumicate me too. :mug:
Interesting.. That makes sense given the color I'm seeing. Maybe I'll make another with the 10% and not scale the color malts to see.
 
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Boobajoob

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I've been using BeerSmith to compose my recipes since early on. You can see what the color will do as you change grains. You can also see what changes to the hop amounts, or addition times, will do for that aspect. I wouldn't just try to "add 10%" to a recipe and expect it to come out correctly.

It also sounds like you need to factor in your loss rates from chilling the wort as well as what gets lost to the yeast. I typically figure on leaving about 3 quarts behind in either 6 or 9 gallon batches. A little more for 12 gallon batches. Has worked well to this point. To the point that I usually have some beer left below that line, or I have more than will fit into the serving/carbonating kegs.

I'm sure other quality brewing software applications will do the same things as BeerSmith. It's just what I've always used and know very well. Plus all my recipes are within it, so it's easy to pull up one of the previous batches and either repeat it, or tweak it.

I'll have to see what my new [conical] fermenters will do for the loss amount due to yeast. Plus what is below the pickup from the racking arm. I'm also looking forward to carbonating IN fermenter, pulling a portion into serving keg, and canning the rest.
Thanks for this. Looks like I'll be spending some of my weekend fooling around with BeerSmith.

And carb'ing in a fermentor is great. I modded the lids on my fermonsters with a floating dip tube and gas post and keep it to 5psi(ish) when cold crashing. Once I transfer to a keg and let it pressure over night it's almost to serving carb by the following morning. Drinkable for sure!
 

Golddiggie

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Thanks for this. Looks like I'll be spending some of my weekend fooling around with BeerSmith.

And carb'ing in a fermentor is great. I modded the lids on my fermonsters with a floating dip tube and gas post and keep it to 5psi(ish) when cold crashing. Once I transfer to a keg and let it pressure over night it's almost to serving carb by the following morning. Drinkable for sure!
I've been using sanke kegs to ferment in. Most modified with a gas port in the top then using a TC cap with liquid [out] port and thermowell. I refer to those, now, as my Gen1 caps. I made the first Gen2 cap that has all three items on the same 2" TC cap. I have parts to make some more, so I'm going to. If my nephew does want to ferment things (he's talking about mead) when he moves out to Chitcago in a few months, I'll send him with a couple of 1/6 bbl fermenters and the caps to work with those (and needed dip tubes). I have two tall 1/4 bbl kegs that I could use with the Gen2 caps.

I haven't cold crashed batches to date mostly because I didn't want to try to push the fermentation chamber that much. I have been fermenting under pressure (14-15psi) so the batches are at least partially carbonated by transfer time. With the conicals and glycol chiller setup it will be easy to get to a low enough temperature to completely carbonate the batches. Plus the carbonating item that's coming (stone and such) means it won't take long.

I like fermenting in stainless steel far better than anything else. Zero chance of light penetration/skunking is just one of them. I've never felt the need to see what's going on inside the fermenter while the yeast is working. I get all my clues from either the spunding valve, or temperature sensor/display that's giving me the inside temperature. IME, it's easier to get where things are going with the temperature readings.
 

TheBluePhantom

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The recipes yield 6 gal post boil, but when I'm careful to not allow the dissolved hop mess at the bottom of the kettle into the fermentor and leave the trub out of the keg (I use a floating dip tube and pressure transfer from the fermentor to the corny). That's how I end up with less. More water would just water down my beer in the end would it not?
Best way to tell, what is your post boil gravity compared to the recipe target? Many recipes figure in leaving the trub in the kettle, and the yeast in the fermenter to get 5 gallons. There is always a certain waste level.
 
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