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High Gravity Brewing

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Darren

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Howdy,
As of late I have had little or no time (read children) to brew and I am finding that I am nearly running out of beer all the time. It occured to me that maybe I could brew some high-gravity (1.100) beers and keg them. Then I could simply use chilled carbonated water from another keg to dilute the beer to 4.5%. Has anyone else tried this? Is there a way to mix the two in the line?
any suggestions would be great.
cheers
Darren
 

GMK

BrewInn Barossa:~ Home to GMKenterprises ~
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why not dilute prior to kegging.
I know of a brewer that entered a beer in teh Low Alcohol category - he watered the beer down from 6% to 3.3% and entered it - it won.

Hope this helps.
 

dicko

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Hi Darren,

What I have done is brew a beer that is double strength what I would normally brew then add it to a 60 litre fermenter and top it up with water to double the original wort quantity, pitch yeast and the result is a double quantity brew.
The only problem I encountered, although a small one, is that the hop utilisation is not accurate doing it that way and I dont know of any formula to correct this.

Cheers
 

Dunkel_Boy

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It would be very difficult with the carbonated water trick I think... the dilution trick is probably the best way, and just have it coming out of two kegs.
I was going to suggest just upgrading your brewing setup... but that's probably not feasible. :)
I think it's a much better idea to dilute it prior to fermentation, as although you've got the same amount of sugar for the yeast to eat, the 'load' on the yeast is reduced, thanks to the halving in gravity.
 

warrenlw63

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Hey Darren.

Sort of sounds like the original purpose of a post-mix cylinder (HB keg). Coke syrup is pushed from the keg and mixed with water through a dispenser.

Often wondered if somebody would come up with a similar idea for draught beer.

Back to reality though :D I've boiled high gravity and diluted with cooled, boiled water just before pitching the yeast. Not a bad way to make milds. ie, stretching a 40 litre batch to 60 litres.

I've also topped up post ferment. Have to make sure your water is oxygen-free when adding it to the keg.

They all work OK and save some degree of time. Eiether that or you could try drinking less. :p

Warren -
 

Backlane Brewery

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This may not be exactly on point, but anyway, GMK's post reminded me that one of our old brewing books, "Brewing Beer At Home" by Keith Linden, has a recipe for a thing called simply The Brew (p. 50) which is a concentrated beer. He says- "When bottling, dilute brew in the proportion of 8 ounces beer to 18 ounces of water in each 26 ounce bottle".
I guess as here the unfermented wort is being diluted it would have a different effect than adding water to a fermented brew, which is what you are considering.

FWIW, the ingredients include a teaspoon of salt & also one of plaster of Paris- assume the plaster is there as gypsum or similar?
 

MCWB

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Backlane Brewery said:
FWIW, the ingredients include a teaspoon of salt & also one of plaster of Paris- assume the plaster is there as gypsum or similar?
Spot on, Plaster of Paris = CaSO4.(1/2)H2O, gypsum = CaSO4.2H2O :)
 

Dunkel_Boy

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So we've got calcium sulhate dihydride, plaster of paris is calcium sulphate half-hydride?
:(
This is essentially rhetorical, don't get bothered by it...
 

joecast

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what is all this???!

BLASPHEMY!!!!!!!!!!!!

watering down a beer? even worse, watering down homebrew???

well, how about this. if you have the capacity to brew a 1.100 brew do it. brew up a barleywine, an IRS, a strong ale, dopple bock, anything... and drink it ssslllooowwwlllyyy. ehhh? enjoy the fruits of your labor (the beer i mean). a few bottles of that would last you a good while. and if you keg it, put it away for a few months and give yourself a treat come christmas. good luck
joe
 

Darren

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Thanks for you comments. I already do big batches (65 litres) but I still have trouble maintaining stocks. This is especially so over the summer. I try do do most of my brewing over the winter and have 12 or so kegs ready for the summer months. Unfortunatley that is not enough to get me through. Another advantage of doing high-gravity brews is that I will be able to store more (potential) beer if I can get 40 litres of beer out of a keg.
Now I know the big commercial breweries brew high-gravity beers and then dilute them.
Does anyone know at what time in the process they are diluted? Is it just prior to bottling or some stage earlier on?
What is it that they do that would make it impossible or difficult for a home brewer to do this too?

thoughts?

Darren
 

Darren

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Thanks Warren,
Just exactly what I was looking for
cheers
Darren
 

Plastic Man

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I think even Malt Shovel do high gravity brews with teh final kettle volume at about 80% of what goes into the fermenter to save energy and increase utilisation - and their brews taste pretty good. I think one of the only issues is that hop utilisation is not as good as gravity increases so probably just need to up the hop quantity a bit. The ammount is probably a trial and error thing.
 

Gulf Brewery

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Plastic Man said:
I think even Malt Shovel do high gravity brews with teh final kettle volume at about 80% of what goes into the fermenter
[post="50476"][/post]​
Does anyone do this at the homebrew level? I am thinking of doing a 40 litre batch and diluting it to 60 litres.

Cheers
Pedro
 

warrenlw63

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Have done Pedro,

Rough idea is this, I've got 2 glass carboys and 1 plastic fermenter.

Day before brewing I boil 20 litres of water, transfer it to the (sanitized) plastic fermenter and refrigerate.

I transfer roughly 6 1/2 litres to the glass carboys after cooling my wort brewday, then just transfer the wort to each fermenter.

Tip if you can refrigerate the fermenter full of water for a while it gets your wort even cooler prior to pitching. I usually figure about 20% more into my hop utilisation to compensate for dilution.

Can't say for sure if this figure is exactly right, it's more empirical but the beers taste good.

Mainly use this method of Milds and low grav Bitters. Also made a really fantastic Helles this way. Good thing about refrigerating the water as stated earlier it makes good pitching temps. for Lagers.

Hope this helps - :)
Warren -
 

Darren

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Anyone know at what stage in the process mega breweries dilute their beer? Is it immediately prior to bottling?
 

Plastic Man

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Darren

Yeah - I think you are right. The beer is diluted at bottling or kegging.
 

hupnupnee

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Reviving old thread.

Charge to 200J

Clear

Perform CPR.

I'm interested in the beer dilution thing as well.

I only have the capacity to boil about 25l of wort.

I know I could dilute to 40l or so and use more hops to account for the reduced utilisation.

However could I boil say 10l at the correct gravity with all the hops going in there and just boil up the rest at a very high gravity and get correct hops utilisation?

AND/OR does any one know of a formula that I could use to calculate hops utilisation at various SGs.

Cheers

Tim
 

Stuster

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Hupnupnee

I've read of a few different ways you could skin this cat. :ph34r:

First, you could simply do two lots of 20litres, adding them to the same fermenter. As long as you do both within about 24 hours there shouldn't be a problem. Add yeast to the first batch.

Perhaps better, is a late extract addition. Formulate the recipe for a 40 litre batch. For the 25 litre boil, keep the gravity at the level you are aiming for by adding less extract. Calculate hop use for a 40litre batch. Then add the rest of the extract 15 minutes before flame out. Put into fermenter, then dilute. From what I've read, doing a concentrated boil has its one problems, with wort caramelisation being one problem, leading to the extract twang. There shouldn't be any problems with doing it this way, and hop utilisation should be more or less the same.

This page should give a better explanation. :lol:

For hop utilisation, using some software will be the most accurate and easiest way.

Cheers
 

sah

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Regarding this talk of having to calculate a different hop utilisation factor...

The good brewing software available will do this for us. Please don't tell me I'm wrong?

I'm looking at the Beersmith Equipment dialogue box now. The box labeled boiler lets me tick a box that says "Calculate Boil Volume Automatically".

It lets me specify evapouration rate.

It let me specify my loss to trub.

It lets me specify final volume. I want to fill 2 cornelius kegs, allowing for racking etc I want 44L final volume.

It lets me specify top up water. This is after the boil top up water from what I can work out. So, lets assume I've got two ex-St Peter's 15L fresh wort cubes, 30L in total. I'll need to top up (dilute) with 14L.

The software uses these variables when calculating hop utilisation.

Scott
 
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