Author Topic: How do I increase the OG??  (Read 16561 times)

Offline noodle

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How do I increase the OG??
« on: April 29, 2010, 01:24:14 PM »
Hi,

I'm brewing a recipe with a target of 1.045 - 1.060 and am getting 1.047. To increase the alcohol content, an increased OG closer to the 1.060 will do. How do I get there?

The beer is coming out with great taste and body but the alcohol content is low.

Thanks,

Eric

Offline BobBrews

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Re: How do I increase the OG??
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2010, 03:14:12 PM »
If you hit your numbers correctly (temps) and your efficiency is reasonable than you can juice it up a little with additions. How about a half pound of corn sugar near flameout? It works and doesn't affect the overall taste. As long as you don't over do it! You could add more of your base grain to the mash? Belgian candi sugar or syrup? A little honey works too. Good luck! remember to just tweak it.
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Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: How do I increase the OG??
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2010, 07:34:39 PM »
Think about what you're doing.  You've got grain that is full of starch, you're converting the starch to sugar, then you're washing the sugar off the grain.
Sugar is sticky.  Try washing sugar off with cold water.  Doesn't work well.

I had a dramatic increase in efficiency when my local supplier asked if I mash out.  My answer was no.

He said I should bring the temp of the mash up to the temp of the sparge water before trying to wash the sugar off the grain. 
This makes everything less sticky, and the less sticky the sugars are the more ends up in the brewpot (and the beer).

The method I use is decoction.  I take a portion of the mash and bring it to a full boil before mixing it back in. 
It doesn't matter how you do it, just think about how temperature affects cleaning sugar off stuff as you drain sugary liquid off your grain.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline noodle

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Re: How do I increase the OG??
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2010, 09:59:29 AM »
Yes, I thought you were not supposed to put heat to the grain again as it could bake to the screen.

Can you explain more about the decoction method?

Thanks,

Eric

Offline stadelman

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Re: How do I increase the OG??
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2010, 11:15:57 AM »
Brau Kaiser did an experiment on the affect of cold water sparging-
http://braukaiser.com/lifetype2/index.php?op=ViewArticle&articleId=129&blogId=1

He found that sparging with cool water did not have a significant impact on efficiency.  Very interesting and flies in the face of common thought on this. 

I'm not advocating a cool sparge, it just seems that this may have less of an effect then once thought.  I sparge on the warm side (185-190) and skip the mash out.

You can pull astringency from the grains by boiling them, but, it's my understanding that this is a function of both pH and temperature.  So astringency shouldn't be an issue when doing a decoction.

Offline Pirate Point Brewer

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Re: How do I increase the OG??
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2010, 05:10:09 AM »
This thread has taken an interesting turn!!  Maltlicker uses an interesting approach to Mash Out. He does not boil a decoction from the mash. He boils his First Running, then runs the hot liquid back through the mash to stop the enzymatic reactions and collect residual sugar. Pretty neat and should avoid tannin concern.  Just yesterday, I was reading a book that was discussing the development of Vienna Lager. The brew master that began this was Anton Dreher in 1856 if I remember right. He was the first one to document a process like Maltlicker’s. He said he boiled the first running until it precipitated white flakes, then he ran it back thru the grains to filter.  THATS NEAT!  What I think he did, was boil the first running until he achieved Hot Break, then he accomplished Mash Out and filtered out 90% of the hot break mess with the grain bed!! 

I also decoct for Mash Out, Boy Am I Going T Try This!

Preston 
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In Spring & Summer, we're on the water or walking the beach!
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Offline Pirate Point Brewer

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Re: How do I increase the OG??
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2010, 05:15:49 AM »
I gave credit to Maltlicker and it was Wildrover that did the first running boil.

Sorry I messed this up!

Preston
In Fall and Winter, we burn wood in the fireplace and brew beer.
In Spring & Summer, we're on the water or walking the beach!
 Then back at the dock we create a reason to brew!

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: How do I increase the OG??
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2010, 03:58:59 PM »
Quote
Can you explain more about the decoction method?

Decoction is the process of removing a portion of the mash, bringing it to a boil, and adding it back.
For some lagers the brewer will do this several times as they take the mash through various rests, I only do it once.
My method for a 5-6 gallon batch using 9-10 pounds of grain is to remove 1.5 - 1.75 gallons of mash once it passes an iodine test, bring it to a full boil, then add it back.  This takes a mash of 145-150 and raises it to the neighborhood of 170.  While this is going on I heat the sparge water and set up the equipment.  Then I carry on as I did before.

This step adds a half hour or more to the process, and it had a dramatic increase in my efficiency. 
The first time I did this I didn't take any pre-boil gravity readings and used my normal amounts of hops.  The result was not at all what I intended. 

If you do try this my word to the wise would be to use your pre-boil gravity (don't forget to adjust for temperature) and volume to calculate the gravity of what you will be fermenting, and adjust the hops accordingly.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2010, 04:08:58 PM by Maine Homebrewer »
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

 

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