Adding water after boil

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Norwaystout, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. Norwaystout

    Norwaystout Member

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    I do biab method brewing but my kettle is only so big I can only do partial volume boils. I cool my wort then put it in a bucket or carboy and fill it with bottled water till I hit my OG. I have been doing this for about 10 batches now and have not had a problem yet. What are the cons of doing this method? In the future I want to get a bigger kettle so I can do full volume boils, but for now my set up works.
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    you need a kettle twice as big as your batch size for BIB to work correctly so 5.5 gallon batch needs a 10 gallon pot, the difference is your not getting as good hop or malt bond with all your wort as you would with a full water boil, meaning less efficiency.
     
  3. Norwaystout

    Norwaystout Member

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    Ya a propane burner and 10 gallon pot are my next Items Im getting for my setup. I have no problem doing 2.5 or 3 gallon batches for now. Im a big fan of biab.
     
  4. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Cons of the method is you need more hops due to lower utilization of a thicker wort. You'll also get more browning of the wort, important if you're trying to make a very light beer. With that browning comes more kettle caramelization, either a plus or minus depending on the flavor you're trying to achieve. There's also a very low chance of infecting the beer but drinking water standards are so high in the US that here, you're very unlikely to infect a beer with tap water. Pros are you don't have as much weight in the kettle so lifting and cooling are easier. You don't need as large a pot or a separate burner because of the lower volumes. As with everything brewing, there are trade-offs no matter what route you choose.
     
  6. Norwaystout

    Norwaystout Member

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    I did just brew a spotted cow clone that is a cream ale. I would say its light and it did turn out sweeter than I would like. Is that what you mean by kettle caramelization? I do like this flavor in wheat beers though. Which turn out good using this method.
     
  7. nzbrew

    nzbrew Active Member

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    I'm a biab'er, when I first started I was doing full mash 5.5 - 6 gallon volumes (fermentor) in a 9.35 gallon boil pot. It did only just fit, but got me through.

    I now use a 13 gallon pot (still 6 gallon volume) and that gives me plenty of room. So I would agree with Ozarks - try to get a pot double size of the batch size from the start.
     
  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    @Skeevystoner: To answer your question, probably. Kettle "caramelization" isn't really caramelization, but Maillard reactions, amino groups bonding to sugars in the presence of water. The general results can either be "toasty" or "fruity" - think raisins or currants. True caramelization occurrs at temperatures far above the boiling point of water. So maybe it's what's giving your wheats a "sweet" edge. The color should be darker but if you mean "light" as in body, it wouldn't have anything to do with it. And it may account for the so-called "extract twang", a flavor much like yetis that have been often observed but never proven....
     
  9. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I just had a thought no one has covered, if you create a recipe you should pay attention to the beginning gravity meaning in the carboy before fermentation, one thing that can happen is you add more water and its too thin, so in that case you should take 2 readings one before the water and one after adding it then compare to the recipe. Reason I'm saying this is just did the same thing and recipe was suppose to be 62 and ended up after adding water 57, not a huge difference but different nun the less
     
  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Or, do the math! You can calculate how much water you need to add and it's a simple proportion: V1/V2=G1/G2.
    Another way to think of it is through use of points. You have 3 gallons of wort at 1.08. You want your beer to be 1.05. 3*80/50=4.8. Minus your original 3 gallons, you need to add 1.8 gallons to bring the wort to the density you want. Once you start doing your gravity/volume calculations using gravity points, it becomes easy to scale anything to any volume or density.
     
  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Or, do the math! You can calculate how much water you need to add and it's a simple proportion: V1/V2=G1/G2.
    Another way to think of it is through use of points. You have 3 gallons of wort at 1.08. You want your beer to be 1.05. 3*80/50=4.8. Minus your original 3 gallons, you need to add 1.8 gallons to bring the wort to the density you want. Once you start doing your gravity/volume calculations using gravity points, it becomes easy to scale anything to any volume or density.

    To check the math: 3*80 = 240. 4.8*50=240. Same number of points, the two worts have the same amount of sugar in them. QED. ;-)
     
  12. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    not all set ups use the same formula, a 20 gallon pot out doors on a hot day with a rapid boil, not the same as on the stove with a small pot in perfect conditions
     
  13. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    To clarify, not all setups use the same evaporation rate. The formulas for gravity and volume are independent of the setup. Gravity is strictly a function of the concentration of sugars, gravity times volume is a measure of the amount of sugar present, which doesn't change regardless of boil time or setup. The amount of sugar in 1 gallon at 1.050 is the same as in 5 gallons at 1.010, that makes prediction of either additional volume needed or additional gravity needed as simple as solving a simple proportion.
     
  14. Norwaystout

    Norwaystout Member

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    Yes I agree, whenever I do my biab method and add water, I add enough to get to my targeted O.G. The last American Wheat ale I brewed had an spot on O.G. at exactly 5 gallons. Which is the size batch I wanted.
     

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