Author Topic: Making a big beer bigger  (Read 7528 times)

Offline Davehenry

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Making a big beer bigger
« on: October 02, 2013, 04:40:07 PM »
Hi folks, I have a question. I've found a recipe that I enjoy and have brewed its Copley ofttimes now. Its an imperial red with an OG of 1.095 and 9.5% ABV. I'd like I make a higher gravity version of this same beer and am wondering if it's as simple as upping the gravity in the beer smith editor and brewing whatever it spits out. Am I missing something?

Offline brundage

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Re: Making a big beer bigger
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2013, 07:19:35 PM »
You should probably also increase the bitterness to match.  BS2 shows you the bitterness ratio so try to keep it the same.  It's the IBU divided by the OG (well, the significant part).
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Offline grathan

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Re: Making a big beer bigger
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2013, 08:02:32 PM »
Never tried it before, but if you slide the gravity in the Style Comparison Guide it seems to adjust the hops accordingly.

Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: Making a big beer bigger
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2013, 08:37:35 PM »
Thanks Grathan!  You just taught me something..cool!
Kegs:
 Red IPA
 ESB
 Saison Solera
 Dubel (Aged in Malbec Wine Barrel
Aging:
 80 Shilling (In bourbon barrel)
Bottled
 Peppermint Patty Stout
 Wee Heavy

Scott Ickes
https://creativebrewing.wordpress.com

Offline SharpsRifle

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Re: Making a big beer bigger
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2013, 04:05:11 AM »
Wow.  That's cool.  Automatic hop adjustment is very cool.

You would probably want to adjust it a bit more beyond what the slider gives you with a beer like he's talking though ( I would think ), simply because a bigger version of the same recipe often ends up with a sweeter malt flavor due to all the unfermented sugars that remain behind.
Most real big beers that I've had, barley wines or black butte XXV for example, have a way sweeter taste than the lower alcohol versions of them.
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Offline Davehenry

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Re: Making a big beer bigger
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2013, 08:24:52 AM »
Thanks guys. I think I'm just going to go ahead and brew a 2.5 gallon batch and see what happens. I also asked a friend who has plenty more experience than me and he mentioned that the sweetness would go up as well. That might be okay for what I'm trying to accomplish, especially since beer smith raised the ibus for me.

 I've even considers trying a parti gyle of the recipe but I'm still reading up on how to make that work. I've figured out how to calculate the OG of both runnings but still not sure how much water to use for each mash.

Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: Making a big beer bigger
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2013, 12:33:10 AM »
Thanks guys. I think I'm just going to go ahead and brew a 2.5 gallon batch and see what happens. I also asked a friend who has plenty more experience than me and he mentioned that the sweetness would go up as well. That might be okay for what I'm trying to accomplish, especially since beer smith raised the ibus for me.

 I've even considers trying a parti gyle of the recipe but I'm still reading up on how to make that work. I've figured out how to calculate the OG of both runnings but still not sure how much water to use for each mash.

When you parti-gyle, the first runnings  is your normal water calculations. 

For the second runnings, you just add water at the appropriate temperature to be at about 168F in your Mash Tun.  If you want, for example, 7 gallons in your boil in the boil pot, you need to run 7 gallons through it.  No mashing is usually necessary for your second runnings, since the starch should all have already been converted to sugars in your first runnings.  You're basically rinsing out the sugars.  When I parti-gyle, I do my first runnings like a regular beer.  Then I just stir in half of my second runnings, stir well and let it sit for about 10 minutes so that it disolves any sugars that may have started to set back up and crystallize on the grains.  I lauter and drain.  Then I put in the other half and repeat.

The only time you'd need to go through a mash again, is if you wanted to add more grain, either of the same grains as the original to up your gravity of your second runnings or to add different grains to hit a particular style you're after.  You can save time though on this step too!  When I decide to add grains for the second running, I do a mini-mash of those grains at the same time that I'm mashing my first runnings.  After I've collected my first runnings and got them started boiling, I then pour my mini-mash onto my spent grains from my first runnings.  You can then add about 3 gallons of water at about 170F, lauter and drain and see how much you've collected.  Let's say that you now have 4 gallons collected.  You then run 3 more gallons of 170F water through those grains and you now have your 7 gallons from your second runnings.

The most common issue that arises is undershooting your gravity on your second runnings.  To fix this, just stir in the appropriate amount of DME of your choice to bring it up to what you want.  It's usually not a very large addition of DME, so doesn't have a big affect on the final profile of your beer.

I've done straight second runnings with no grain or DME additions.  I've done it with a mini-mash as described above.  I've also added DME after measuring my preboil gravity and realized I'd be a little low.  They all turned out good.

I did a huge Barley Wine once and made an English IPA with the second runnings.  The English IPA won a blue ribbon at a brewing competition.  I did a minimash of the same grains to up the gravity a bit on that one.

It's all fun though.

So, in a nutshell, I answered the water question.  The other part is, don't be surprised if you come in low on your second runnings.  Just have a plan ready, in case you do come in just a little low.
Kegs:
 Red IPA
 ESB
 Saison Solera
 Dubel (Aged in Malbec Wine Barrel
Aging:
 80 Shilling (In bourbon barrel)
Bottled
 Peppermint Patty Stout
 Wee Heavy

Scott Ickes
https://creativebrewing.wordpress.com

Offline Davehenry

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Re: Making a big beer bigger
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2013, 12:42:09 AM »
Thanks Scott. So to get this straight, if I want to do 2.5 gallons of the big beer and 2.5 of the small one should I start with 5 gallon grain bill in beer smith and mash with enough water for the entire grain bill? Drain off the first runnings and boil for the big beer and then add the sparge water to the tun and drain for the second beer? Sounds pretty simple especially since I'm willing to accept way ever I get for the second runnings. I'll just check the OG and alter the beer in beer smith while the first one boils and wing it.

Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: Making a big beer bigger
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2013, 09:08:42 AM »
Here's a chart to estimate what your gravities would be.  Since you're doing a half/half split, you'd use chart II.

http://morebeer.com/brewingtechniques/library/backissues/issue2.2/moshertable.html#2

When I parti-gyle, I make ten gallons from a 5 gallon grain bill.  My first 5 gallons is my high gravity and my second 5 gallons is my lower gravity. 

The following is how I would do it, if I were doing this for two different 2.5 gallon worts from one 5 gallon grain bill.

What you can do is put your 5 gallon grain bill together for your high gravity beer.  Do your normal mash. 
Once you've converted your starches to sugars, you can do a single decoction mash out. 

To do your single decoction mash out, just lauter until your pulling clear wort and then drain a 1/3 of your available wort into your boil pot.  Heat it up, so that when you put it back into your mash tun, it will raise your mash temperature to 168F.  You can then add just enough sparge water at 168F to get your first 2.5 gallons + enough for boil off.  Stir it and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes.  This will denature your enzymes and help pull more sugar during your first runnings, without having to add sparge water.  At this point you won't have any wort in your boil pot.  But, you'll have your first runnings at 168F in your mash tun, ready to lauter and drain.

So, after your 10-15 minute wait, lauter and drain your 2.5 gallons +extra for boil off into your boil pot.  Immediately add 2.5 gallons of sparge + enough extra for boil off into your mash tun.  Stir it and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.  Then lauter and drain into a seperate boil pot for your lower gravity beer.

The chart in the link will help you estimate your gravities, but since you're not too worried about it, RDWHAHB!

Kegs:
 Red IPA
 ESB
 Saison Solera
 Dubel (Aged in Malbec Wine Barrel
Aging:
 80 Shilling (In bourbon barrel)
Bottled
 Peppermint Patty Stout
 Wee Heavy

Scott Ickes
https://creativebrewing.wordpress.com

Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: Making a big beer bigger
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2013, 09:11:45 AM »
Some other links about Parti-Gyle that you might find useful.

http://www.brewboard.com/index.php?showtopic=62046

http://morebeer.com/brewingtechniques/library/backissues/issue2.2/mosher.html

I hope you're as lucky as I have been with parti-gyle breweing!  I did a partigyle once making an RIS with the first runnings and an English IPA with the second runnings.  Both beers scored at 40 or higher in a brewing competition!
Kegs:
 Red IPA
 ESB
 Saison Solera
 Dubel (Aged in Malbec Wine Barrel
Aging:
 80 Shilling (In bourbon barrel)
Bottled
 Peppermint Patty Stout
 Wee Heavy

Scott Ickes
https://creativebrewing.wordpress.com

Offline Davehenry

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Re: Making a big beer bigger
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2013, 07:57:20 PM »
Thanks Scott. Great info and it will help me a ton.

Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: Making a big beer bigger
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2013, 12:21:56 AM »
I'm happy that we could be of assistance to you.  Let us know how your parti-gyles work out.
Kegs:
 Red IPA
 ESB
 Saison Solera
 Dubel (Aged in Malbec Wine Barrel
Aging:
 80 Shilling (In bourbon barrel)
Bottled
 Peppermint Patty Stout
 Wee Heavy

Scott Ickes
https://creativebrewing.wordpress.com

Offline BILLY BREW

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Re: Making a big beer bigger
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2013, 07:52:19 AM »
If I may suggest. I did a barley wine and initially it came out pretty sweet ( but oh so good)
I am now cracking a bottle after a year and a half and the sweetness has toned down considerably! This is probably the first brew that I am keeping all to myself!
In short, age may help tone down the sweetness, and rasie the hell out of the alcohol content!
Make a double batch and stash one...
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