Quantcast

Very high gravity AG brew

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Donasay

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2007
Messages
1,563
Reaction score
11
Location
Boston
So here is the plan for my very first high gravity AG brew:

I am going to add an extra 4lbs of 2 row to the next 5 beers I brew, and take the first gallon of runnings from each batch and put it in my freezer till I have 5 gallons of very high gravity wort to use in making a high gravity brew.

Thus far the next few beers I have planned are all 10 gallon batches, they should be:

Chocolate Raspberry stout (Austin Homebrew Special)
Irish Red (Og before 2 row 1.55)
Light American Ale (Og before 2 row 1.40)
Weiss beer (Og before 2 row 1.45)
Bitter (Og before 2 row 1.50)

I was thinking of trying to make something dark amber in color, and was wondering if I should skip saving the wort from the chocolate raspberry stout and save the first gallon from one of my subsequent batches. I am also having a similar issue with the Weiss beer in that the recipe calls for some wheat and other grains that may impart unwanted flavors, should I skip this one as well and take a gallon from some of my other future batches.

In the end I don’t know how high I can get the gravity on this without stealing the first gallon of some exceptionally high gravity beers, but seeing as how you get 2/3 of your gravity in the first 1/2 of your runnings I think this might be able to approach the 15% abv range.

What is the highest gravity you have personally gotten brewing all grain? What do you think is the highest possible someone can do without having something the color of mud?
 

Moonpile

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2007
Messages
667
Reaction score
2
Location
Pasadena, MD
I've just gotten into AG myself, and have been wondering what the highest possible gravity can be for a first runnings, pre-boil.

However, why not just max out your mash tun with base malt and then take only the first runnings, which you would then boil down to whatever volume you wanted. The more you boil the darker it's going to get, of course.

Then you can use the second runnings for a more moderate beer.
 
OP
Donasay

Donasay

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2007
Messages
1,563
Reaction score
11
Location
Boston
Moonpile said:
However, why not just max out your mash tun with base malt and then take only the first runnings, which you would then boil down to whatever volume you wanted. The more you boil the darker it's going to get, of course.

Then you can use the second runnings for a more moderate beer.
That is essentially the plan, but in a more concentrated drawn out way. Partygyle brewing can only get the first wort runnings up to a certain high, so a beer with a 5 gallon predicted og of 1.90 could be broken out into two 2.5 gallon batches one with an og of 1.6 and one with an og of 1.3. The greatest amount of gravity comes out in the beginning, so by taking 1 gallon from each batch I am getting it to be super super concentrated.
 

CBBaron

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2007
Messages
2,780
Reaction score
21
Location
Cleveland
Donasay said:
That is essentially the plan, but in a more concentrated drawn out way. Partygyle brewing can only get the first wort runnings up to a certain high, so a beer with a 5 gallon predicted og of 1.90 could be broken out into two 2.5 gallon batches one with an og of 1.6 and one with an og of 1.3. The greatest amount of gravity comes out in the beginning, so by taking 1 gallon from each batch I am getting it to be super super concentrated.
Your greatest gravity comes out with draining the mash water. Draining only half the mash water does not increase the gravity in any way as the wort within the mash tun before you start draining is very consistent.
If I was to try to create a max OG AG without excessive boiling, I would mash the maximum amount of grain I could in my 5gal cooler with about 1qt/# strike water. I would drain that wort for the big beer, then do 2 sparges for a second (and maybe third) moderate to small beer. Repeat this process 2 or 3 times to get enough wort.

This will require boiling 2 or more beers at the same time but I think it will result in a great beer. I may borrow my parents turkey fryer to do a Barleywine/Bitter or WeeHeavy/Scottish in the near future. I will not be attempting something incredibly heavy so I will probably use a little less grain and a higher water to grain ratio to get 2 beers of equal volume.

Your other option is reiterative mashing which was written about in BYO recently and discussed in this forum.

Craig
 

Moonpile

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2007
Messages
667
Reaction score
2
Location
Pasadena, MD
I'm not sure I follow (and it could be because of inexperience, or because of the stubborn head cold I'm fighting), but the first runnings are going to have about the same gravity throughout. You just need to run a mash that gives you a volume of first runnings that will be your pre-boil wort.

None of your other beers are going to provide first runnings that are any higher in gravity than the first runnings of a partigyle. Some of them might even be less.

Or are you bumping up against the size of your mash tun?
 

kaj030201

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2007
Messages
176
Reaction score
0
right now i have an AG doppelbock bottle conditioning that had an OG of ~1.082. not sure if you consider that "very high", but it took an a$$load of time to finish fermenting. i had it in the secondary for over a month! i started with 8.5 gallons of wort and boiled it down to 3 gallons.
 

cheezydemon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
1,917
Reaction score
15
Location
The "Ville"
Donasay said:
That is essentially the plan, but in a more concentrated drawn out way. Partygyle brewing can only get the first wort runnings up to a certain high, so a beer with a 5 gallon predicted og of 1.90 could be broken out into two 2.5 gallon batches one with an og of 1.6 and one with an og of 1.3. The greatest amount of gravity comes out in the beginning, so by taking 1 gallon from each batch I am getting it to be super super concentrated.
If you add 2.5 gallons of 1.6 OG to 2.5 gallons of 1.3 you do NOT get 5 gallons of 1.9.......

You would get 5 gallons of 1.45.

Am I missing something here?
 

PseudoChef

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2007
Messages
3,401
Reaction score
117
Location
West Chicago 'Burbs
I'm with cheezy...the total volume of the first runnings (all 5 gallons or so for that 10 gal batch (estimate) will have the same gravity.

Partigyle is done by taking all of the first runnings for one beer and then sparging out the "second runnings" for the next beer.
 

cheezydemon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
1,917
Reaction score
15
Location
The "Ville"
I have done the partigyle thing, but fortified the 2nd runnings with a little DME. It was a huge success.

Most Barleywine recipes I have seen recommend some DME. There is no shame as far as I am concerned.

You other option to do it AG would be to take grain and wort for 2 batches and then boil it all down to one.
 

Bobby_M

Vendor and Brewer
HBT Sponsor
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
24,829
Reaction score
3,504
Location
Whitehouse Station
Yup, combining various small volumes of wort does not cause gravity points to add, they AVERAGE. I'd also lend confirmation that the first gallon of first runnings is not any sweeter than the second gallon. The entire mash is the same. The suggestion of going thick at 1qt/lb is really the only way to get that first running as packed as possible. Starting with this gravity, the only way to go up from there is to boil or add DME or sugar (unless you use that reiterative mash thing but that's a whole new batch of grain). I don't know that I'd save unboiled wort for any length of time. I know it's being boiled but I have doubts about the stability.
 

CBBaron

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2007
Messages
2,780
Reaction score
21
Location
Cleveland
For all of my big beers I start with about 12# of grain (all that fits in my 5gal cooler) and use DME to increase the gravity to the desired level. My RISes have used 4# or more of DME. You get many of the advantages of an AG beer but you don't have to deal with the complications of a generating a huge OG. The cost is very reasonable also.

Craig
 

Moonpile

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2007
Messages
667
Reaction score
2
Location
Pasadena, MD
All of this is not to say that that Donasay's original concept wouldn't be fun or useful. Why not slightly bump up the volume of the first runnings from say 6 or 7 batches and freeze the wort so that you can later combine them, boil and make a "freebie" beer?

As long as you have the freezer space there's no reason not to do this if it's what you want to do.

It would also be cool if you had several brewers doing a group brew to each through in some fraction of wort for a franken-brew.
 

ohiobrewtus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
7,762
Reaction score
72
Location
Ohio
Donasay said:
What is the highest gravity you have personally gotten brewing all grain? What do you think is the highest possible someone can do without having something the color of mud?
The highest I've tried was 1.095. I may try my hand at a 1.100 barleywine this year but normally I don't make beers *that* big.

It's certainly possible to achieve very high gravity worts lighter than 10 SRM using reiterated mashing. Getting a super concentrated wort is not the issue - it's getting wort at 1.150+ to ferment properly and completely.
 

landhoney

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
1,346
Reaction score
9
Location
West Palm, FL
ohiobrewtus said:
It's certainly possible to achieve very high gravity worts lighter than 10 SRM using reiterated mashing. Getting a super concentrated wort is not the issue - it's getting wort at 1.150+ to ferment properly and completely.
I agree.

The other option to increase the gravity of the all-grain wort you have without boiling, especially if its frozen already, is to freeze concentrate the wort. I have not tried this with wort, but have used the principle to make apple wine. By freezing the juice, and then thawing slowly at slightly above freezing(38F in my case) and collecting those runnings you increase the gravity. The sugars melt first, and you just collect the runnings until they're where you want.

With regard to what Ohio said, you can employ the above method in conjunction with the daily feeding Whitelabs suggest using with their High Gravity Ale yeast wlp099. Make a base beer of ~1.080, then feed the beer the freeze concentrated wort daily to achieve the super high-gravity. I am gong to try this soon, for a 18-19% ABV beer.
 
Top