Help with adjusting a recipe for a diff volume

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by GiraffePencils, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. GiraffePencils

    GiraffePencils New Member

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    Hey,

    So I've got a bit of a mix of equipment, but I'm trying to adjust things to fit and I'm not sure how to go about it.

    I usually do a BIAB and I have:

    7L Kettle
    11L Fermenter

    Now my Local brewstore sell grain kits with all the ingredients, and they're being annoyingly unhelpful saying they don't adjust their kits at all. So the closest kit they have is an 11L one.

    Now I don't want to fill my fermenter to the brim because head room etc.
    And also my Kettle is obviously annoyingly small for this too.

    What I'm wanting to know, is should I:
    A: put all the grain in the boil and add water to the fermenter to make up 9L(maybe 10?)
    B: Do 2 boils with half the grain each?

    I'm just not sure how each method will effect the brew.....
    Any and all help welcome :)
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Best idea I can come up with is get a bigger fermentor. The plastic 5-gal/19 l fermentors aren't all that expensive and if you're really on a budget, get a 5 gallon / 19 liter food-grade plastic bucket and lid. I'd use the "concentrated wort" idea you outline to make up for the kettle size but a 7-liter kettle will handle about a 5-liter boil! So I'm guessing you are going to have to do two boils to get the batch done.

    As far as scaling, those kits are packaged so scaling them to your system is not really an option. What you could do is find out what they put in them - the complete ingredient list - then scale that, buying individual ingredients rather than the kit. It's a simple proportion for just about everything except yeast and water - you really can't measure the yeast and the water simply takes the finished volume and adds the boil-off.
     
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  3. GiraffePencils

    GiraffePencils New Member

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    Thanks for the reply,

    They're pretty protective of their kits, won't tell me the recipe because it's cheaper to buy the components from them than the kit.
    The kit's for helping noobies (like myself)

    I have the size of fermenter I do because of space mostly, but also because I don't really drink and brewing large volumes would just sit about haha

    I think I'd be best just getting a recipe and scaling it instead of trying to butcher a kit into my setup.

    You say the 'concentrated wort' idea would be best, so assuming I do a 5L boil, would 2L of water (7L total in the fermenter) be too much water?
     
  4. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Maybe find a home brew shop that is more interested in your business than squeezing a few extra pennies out of you. I am fortunate, I have two shops within a short distance. Both are super nice folks, and very supportive of new brewers.
     
  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Not at all! I used to (as most of us have) do three gallon boils for five gallon batches.
     
  6. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    If they won't alter a kit, they should be willing to sell you specific amounts of individual ingredients. Post your preference for style and we could point to extact recipes that you could buy ingredients for. With a little help you can easily put together your own "kit" suited to your system.
    It's science, but it's not rocket science:)
     
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  7. GiraffePencils

    GiraffePencils New Member

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    Thanks for all you're encouraging replies :)

    Unfortunately it's my only brew show I have access to, TBH I think it just depends on which staff member's there, some are really chatty and helpful and others pretty quite.

    I was wanting to make a Scottish 'Wee heavy', one of the 90 shilling ales.
    Does anyone have a recipe they could recommend?
     
  8. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Go to the search button at the top of the page and choose "beer recipes" from the drop-down. Then choose BIAB or All-Grain from the "method" box and put "wee-heavy" in the title search and you'll find dozens of recipes.
    I put together something that might work for your system. You won't get to a high-gravity beer without using at least some extract.
    In general, your system is suited for extract beers but you can do all-grain beers if they're relatively low gravity.
    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/739255/wee-heavy-8-liter
     
  9. GiraffePencils

    GiraffePencils New Member

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    I'll take a look, Thanks!

    What is it about my setup which prevents high-gravity beers without extract?
     
  10. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    The size of your mash tun / kettle. You can only fit so much grain and water in there. So you have to either brew smaller, high gravity batches or use extract too
     
  11. GiraffePencils

    GiraffePencils New Member

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    Aaaah, alright,
    So is this for if I'm adding water to the wort to make up volume?
    Sorry for all the questions here, and thanks to everyone for their replies.

    Probably another stupid question, but @J A you have Edinburgh in your water profile,
    I'm assuming as I'm literally in Edinburgh, I'll just be using my tap water?
     
  12. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    You may want to see if there is a water report by your water utility. See how close they match, but for first time, yeah I wouldn't worry about it.

    As you mentioned in your initial post too, you could make multiple small batches and combine them, nothing wrong with that except you have to clean multiple times which I personally find annoying.

    No worries man, if you go through the history to my early posts I ask just as many questions that are obvious once you know them. It's why we have the beginner forum.
     
  13. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    This is copied from an existing recipe. Ignore the water profile part. Just use your tap water and filter it thoroughly and/or use Campden tablets to get rid of chlorine.

    I made a change to get rid of water additions. This is not a recipe that I have brewed. It's copied from a simple recipe and adjusted for smaller volume. It would work, though you should definitely consider doing simpler, lower-gravity beers until you figure out what you're doing. Extract/steeped grain is the way to go with your set up.
     
  14. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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  15. GiraffePencils

    GiraffePencils New Member

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    Cheers for the responses everyone,

    I've done 4/5 One gallon batches from kits before which where BIAB so I'll take a crack at your 'Wee Heavy 8 liter' recipe.
    I can't get Whirlflock but I've got some irish moss for an alternative.

    I'll try and take lots of notes :p
     
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  16. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    I buy my kits from Northern Brewer and they lists all the ingredients for all their kits. You could go on their website and download the brew instructions on a kit and scale to your batch size accordingly with the calculators in this site. Morebeer does the same thing, albeit I’ve never purchased any of their kits.
     
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  17. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    It's not one that I've brewed but I don't think there's anything about it that wouldn't make a good beer. If you're used to doing BIAB with your system, this should work. I'd squeeze the bag pretty hard because you're counting on first runnings for most of your gravity points. You might look into yeast options. There some good liquid yeasts for that style. I just plugged in a one that I've used to good effect.
     
  18. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Just remember the Irish Moss needs to be rehydrated - put it in a bit of water when you start your brew day, then add per recipe.
     

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