Brew efficiency and water volume

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by pfist, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. pfist

    pfist New Member

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    I'm a little new to using Brewer's Friend and this is my first post, although I have been brewing for about 4 years. My likes are high ABV ales and stouts. Unitl Brewer's Friend, I had no idea that my efficiency was areound 50%. All I knew was that I wasn't hitting my target OGs at pitch time or getting the wort volume I was expecting. This past brew I calculated too much water and as a result my pre-boil gravity was too low according to the calculator but that was guessing at the total wort volume while still mashing. After sparging and getting ready to boil I found I had missed my 12-1/2G target by an additional 5-1/2G. Yea, that much. No too funny when it took 6 hours to mash and sparge just to get the gravity where I was satisfied. I then proceeded to boil it down to my 12-3/4G before adding my hops and other ingredients. After the final hour of boiling I was at 11-1/2G. After cooling I was pleasantly surprised that my OG of 1.104 was only a few points off my target at 75% efficiency. I contribute the added water and added mash/sparge to my OG. Here's the question, what effect does 4 hours of a slow rolling boil do to the wort? Will my flavors be off?
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    this is a controversial topic all over the web but from my experience the longer boil will darken the beer some and add a slight caramel flavor if boiled rapid enough which i like actually, as far as a slow mild boil may be a slight difference
     
  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    And carried too far, you can get significant darkening and a "ball point pen" inky flavor from the melanoidins. Temperature wise there's not much difference between a rapid boil and a slow boil - both are at the boiling point and can't get any hotter. The chemical reactions producing the melanoidins should proceed at about the same rate. But there are beers out there that use long boils. So the answer is.... It depends. For a while I was doing 120 minute boils on my pale lagers, I'm back down to 60 after quite a bit of reading and some flavors of Bic Pen.
     
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  4. pfist

    pfist New Member

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    Thanks for the info. Darker is ok. I did notic quite a bit of darkening. Caramel notes is nice too, but if it comes out even better than I hoped, I'll have to repeat this process again. Not looking forward to that. Lol
     
  5. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    That's what that flavor reminds me of!!! Even a small amount of Melanoidin malt gives that flavor note and I have avoided it. I just couldn't make an association with that taste other than it was just undesirable. ;)
     
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  6. pfist

    pfist New Member

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    Thanks for the warning. Not too sure if I or anyone is going to like the ink taste. Hopefully the pumpkin and spices will drown it out, although I never go heavy on the spice. I'll do a little tasting when I tranfer to the carboys.
     
  7. pfist

    pfist New Member

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    Are there specific malts that give off more melanoidin than others?
     
  8. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Yeah...Weyerman Melanoidin Malt is made to concentrate melanoidin flavor and intended to mimic the depth of malty flavor that's achieved by decoction mashing. They describe honey and biscuit flavors, but I just get a cloying "fake" flavor from it. Breiss Aromatic Malt is similar, but I find it much more palatable and have used it in a number of recipes. Gambrius Honey Malt is another good malt for concentrated malt flavor that I find pleasant, but it can too sweet in a hurry. Vienna and Munich are base malts that are rich in melanoidin.
     
  9. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    Interesting discussion.
    Thanks for the info. :)
     
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  10. pfist

    pfist New Member

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    Oh, great. There's plenty of Vienna and some Munich. Now I'm real curious how this will turn out.
     

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