Water amounts for extract brewing...

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Hetuck

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I recently brewed up a Belgian Wit. The recipe I used called for 6 gallons of water from the beginning of the boil. Boil it down to 5 gallons then rack to the fermenter.
I've read other recipes that call for 4 to 4 1/2 gallons during the 1 hour boil, rack to the fermenter then top up with cool water to the 5 gallon mark.
My question to the wise members of this forum is quite simple......what is the difference? I'm trying to create a new recipe for a Chistmas Brew and I'm not sure how much water to start with. I could always wing it....try both...but I figured I'd ask in here first.

Discuss :mug:
 

SporkD2

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The only difference your going to see is hop utilization. The recipe is going to give you so many points of sugar no matter how much water is in there. This is just made for the average person without a huge pot.

Best advice is to do a full boil with 6-6.5 (depending on how much you boil off in an hour) and maybe scale back your hops just a little. The best thing to do is put your recipe into a brewing program to figure out your exact IBU's.
 
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Hetuck

Hetuck

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Hmmmmmm.....brewing program you say? Where might I find such a modern marvel? Thanks for the education :mug:
 

malkore

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www.beertools.com has a free online version (can only keep 1 recipe saved at a time) or a paid version

www.promash.com is one I use the free trial of too, because I like their mash/sparge volume and strike temp calculators

also there's beersmith, and a half dozen other free/shareware and pay-for apps out there.

(don't even get me started on iPhone apps...)
 

FxdGrMind

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As others have indicated, I'd go with the 6.+ Gal in the Boil for better hop utilization. That's the way I have done it for all my beers (not many, 7 now with the latest this w/e, but I can't complain) and they have all come out drinkable. That is saying something coming from me, as I will not drink beer I don't like.

To be rightfully honest I think the boil 4gal... then cool with enought to bring back up to 5 gal is a Huge compromise in your beer. Not truely a good process to follow unless you just don't have a way to boil 6.+ gal. Then well it's your only alternative.:eek:

Cheers and ejnoy your home brew!
 
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Hetuck

Hetuck

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Thanks for the guidance, Folks. I'll go with 6 boilded down to 5. Next question........does Vienna malt have enough diastatic power to convert itself when used as a base malt with Chrystal malts? Or should I include some Pale malt to ensure good conversion?
 

majesus

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FYI,

You can also hand calculate it using John Palmer's method. It is explained in his book, How To Brew and it is really easy to do.

(don't even get me started on iPhone apps...)
LOL...
 

Yooper

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Thanks for the guidance, Folks. I'll go with 6 boilded down to 5. Next question........does Vienna malt have enough diastatic power to convert itself when used as a base malt with Chrystal malts? Or should I include some Pale malt to ensure good conversion?
Vienna can convert itself, along with other malts. The diastatic power is around in the 50s for the German version, and in the 120s for the US version, according to Beersmith. Make sure you give it enough time in the mash.
 
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