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Start out with high gravity to lower it later

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BryggAnton

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Hey folks, i have gathered tons of information for a couple of weeks now. All the necessary BIAB equipment is ordered and on it's way. And I'm really looking forward brewing my fist all grain beer!

But a topic i have stumbled upon a couple of times is about hitting the right gravity when done boiling...

People are adding nore water, sugar, dextrose and other stuff to hit their target gravity.

Couldn't i just aim for a ridiculously much higher gravity and when I'm done boiling i will just add cold water until i hit my target gravity? And also this would help get the temperature down and make chilling the wort go faster.

Mabye i will end up with with the wrong amount of wort but that's not the end of the world....
 

Abhishek Dewan

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wish you luck on this wonderful journey. Adding cold water to drop temperature and adjusting gravity is a common practice, I do it as do many of my friends. Use standard recipes, they provide steps as well along with water addition details
 

jrgtr42

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People may add extra extract and such if they have a super-high target to begin with - or dilute down.
If you have a decent recipe, and are used to your system, (and have a decent crush for your grain) You'll generally be in the ballpark.
Personally I don't worry too much if I'm off on my starting gravity - I brew for myself, and go by Charlie Papazian's philosophy of Relax, Don't Worry, Have a Homebrew.
If something is way off of what |I was expecting, I'll do some investigating as to why - usually it's an ID-10-T error, though the |HB shop I used had some creep on their user mill, so I was getting less extraction than I was used to. I just crabbed an extra pound of grain until I could get my own mill.
However, if I'm within a 5 points of my expected, I call it good and move on.
If you were intentionally brew at a much higher gravity, say, 3 gallons of 1.100 wort when targeting a SG of 1.060 of 5 gallons, intending to add cold water to bring temps and such down, there are other factors that would go into that.
IT works out well when brewing extract, the amount going in won't change, but if brewing all grain, there are factors of efficiency that change when going for high gravity, and boiloff rates for your kettle and such. Not to mention hop usage and efficiency. It can be done, but not the most efficient use.
 

madscientist451

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I've wanted to start doing all my beer fermenting in corny kegs for a while, but I haven't brewed much lately so still haven't gotten around to it. Was basically going to use ingredients for a 5 gallon batch but shoot for post boil volume of 4.25 gallons to leave headspace in the keg. When its done, I'll do a closed transfer and then make up the difference with water that has been boiled and cooled to remove oxygen. But I'm skeptical the additional hassle is going to be worth it to me, there's still a chance I'll introduce oxygen into the beer by doing this.
If you're a stovetop brewer and have limited capabilities for boiling, adding water is fine.
This article says if you're only adding 10-20% water, it won't be noticed:

.
 
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BryggAnton

BryggAnton

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I've wanted to start doing all my beer fermenting in corny kegs for a while, but I haven't brewed much lately so still haven't gotten around to it. Was basically going to use ingredients for a 5 gallon batch but shoot for post boil volume of 4.25 gallons to leave headspace in the keg. When its done, I'll do a closed transfer and then make up the difference with water that has been boiled and cooled to remove oxygen. But I'm skeptical the additional hassle is going to be worth it to me, there's still a chance I'll introduce oxygen into the beer by doing this.
If you're a stovetop brewer and have limited capabilities for boiling, adding water is fine.
This article says if you're only adding 10-20% water, it won't be noticed:

.
That's a really interesting and helpful article.
 

kh54s10

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I personally wouldn't purposely aim for a high gravity then dilute it. I aim to end up with the proper gravity in the first place. I had dialed in my old system so that I was usually within .005. I have gotten a new UniBrau and have not used it enough to know what to expect, yet.
 

McKnuckle

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I also don't aim to adjust worts post-boil as a general practice. It's not necessary, and doing so will cause you to avoid learning how to hit a target gravity, which is one of the basic skills of brewing.

The first thing to accept is that hitting a target gravity exactly is not necessary. As some have quoted here, within 5 points is reasonable. Often it is closer. Sometimes it's spot on. All of these outcomes help you to dial in your process, measurements, and expectations - which help you improve as a brewer.

So, while of course post-boil adjustment is a valid technique to fix mistakes, I would suggest not to use it as a crutch.
 
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