Author Topic: Water Quantity  (Read 2807 times)

Offline JohnnyMac

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Water Quantity
« on: October 29, 2014, 04:23:48 PM »
I would like to brew some high gravity beer. For a 5 gallon batch I will need 25 lbs of grist. The mashtun for the 5 gallon set up is to small but the mashtun for the 10 gallon set up will be fine. I use an electric system that requires a minimum of 11 gallons of water more than required for a 5 gallon batch. My question is, can I increase the boil time to evaporate off the excess water I don't need or desire ? Reason tells me I should be able to hit the volume and SG.

Offline brewfun

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Re: Water Quantity
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2014, 01:23:37 PM »
I can't tell what kind of system you have from that.

You *can* boil down in the larger system, as long as the element doesn't get much closer than an inch (30 cm) from the surface. You risk over heating and burning out the element.

Depending on how high the gravity you want is, the boil may take longer than you think. The more concentrated the sugar content, the more energy it takes to keep it boiling. And high sugar concentrations are prone to scorching if exposed to heat for too long.

Can you do a smaller mash and make up the difference with DME? It's easier and more controlled than what you're describing. Plus you can dial in the gravity better.
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline haerbob3

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Re: Water Quantity
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2014, 03:24:25 PM »
Would you be so kind as to post your recipe?  What gravity are you planing on?  Your yeast is going to be a very important decision.  Are you adding sugars?  If so I would do sugar feedings.  When I brew with that large amount of grain I do a second sparge.  I have even added enzymes, a couple of pounds of grain and done a second mash to get another beer. 

Offline JohnnyMac

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Re: Water Quantity
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2014, 04:12:00 PM »
The recipe is:

Batch Size: 5 gal all-grain, single infusion mash, 120 min boil
Target Original Gravity: 1.096 (23 Plato)
Mash Efficiency: 65%
Mash Ingredients:
22.0 lb American 2-Row malt
2.0 lb 45L Crystal malt
0.13 lb Roasted Barley
Mash Temp: steep at 152F for 60 minutes
Kettle Ingredients:
2.25 oz Chinook (13.0%) pellet hops, 120 minutes
1.5 oz Centennial (8.8%) pellet hops, 30 minutes
0.2 oz Irish Moss, 15 minutes
1.5 oz Cascade (5.8%) leaf hops, 10 minutes
Ferment at 68F with American Ale (1056) yeast until final gravity settles to 1.024 (6.0 plato)
0.5 oz Centennial, 0.5 oz Cascade, and 0.5 oz Chinook Dry Hops in secondary fermentor
Carbonate to 2.5 – 3 volumes of CO2 (medium-high) and enjoy!

I have 4 heat elements totaling 18 KW of ULD elements. By running these elements at 1/4 t0 1/3 capacity plenty of heat is developed to boil. I too am concerned with scorching and having proper coverage to prevent damaging the heat elements. Not a problem. At a medium boil I evaporate about 1 gallon of liquid/hour and usually maintain the boil until either the proper volume or SG is reached. In the case of the high gravity beer and the larger initial boil can I use the same proceedure ? I realize the boil time may be 3, 4 or even 5 hours. I think I'm OK but not sure. Better to ask a dumb question than make a dumb mistake.