brewing smaller batches but higher alcohol for dilution?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Brewer #58128, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. Yakidy Yak Ales

    Yakidy Yak Ales New Member

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    hi guys and girls, this is my 1st post here, My question is can i BIAB or AG to a higher percentage of alcohol to store in the 15ltr food grade bottles? the reason i ask is because i am rapidly acquiring all the gear to do AG for the 1st time ever.. im still very new to brewing and would like to go straight to AG. the smaller but stronger batches is because i today got a 30l urn for BIAB and after much research i find that it will not be sufficient to give me a 19l final volume (for my kegs) can i get away with a 15l batch and dilute before ferment as you do when buying AG in 15l tubs at HB shops? if so, how do i achieve this? thank you
     
  2. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Welcome! Glad to see some new blood here.

    It sounds like you're in a similar situation as I am.
    I've been doing BIAB for about a year and a half, but I still only have my 5 gallon kettle(19 liters). So I'm physically limited to how much grain I can use in one mash. However, I think there's a few options we have.

    1. Dilute the wort as you said. This is what I typically do. You'll have to adjust the boil volume, grain amounts, and such to still hit your OG and IBUs. This seems to work fine for me, I may be off a point here or there, but it doesn't bother me.

    2. You can always add some extract or sugar to the boil if you think you'll dilute it too much. If you use extract, it's technically called a partial mash not AG, but again, who cares?

    3.since you keg, this might not be a good option, but try brewing smaller batches, say 1 or 2 gallons (4-8 liters?). It may require some smaller fermentors, so it might not be a good option if you're buying other equipment too. That being said, I do a lot more small test batches now, either to isolate a Specific ingredient or to try out a really crazy recipe that I'm not sure I want a full batch of.

    I'm sure some other folks here have some good ideas too. Good luck!
     
  3. ldh909

    ldh909 New Member

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    If I understand your question fully, the answer is YES. How to achieve? Look at the recipe builder on this site. Set your Batch Size to the final volume of 19l and the target to Fermentor. Then set your Boil Size to 15l. The recipe builder will do the rest. As you set the amounts of grains, sugars, hops, etc. you'll see the estimates change at the top. Notes. If you want to end up with 19l, you might want to ferment 19.5 or 20, as you'll have to leave some trub behind. And everyone will tell you, the closer you can come to boiling the full volume of your ferment, the better. But alas, we all either compromise or waste volumes of money trying not to! Diluting 20% is not going to ruin your beer.
    One tip. I'm a small batch guy myself. If I can't mash quite enough grain for my final volume, I'll bump up the OG with some DME. I keep light DME and amber DME on hand for just that, depending on the primary base malt.
    Hope this helps, and good luck!
     

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