Author Topic: high gravity brewing & kettle top-off  (Read 838 times)

Offline torcdotbeer

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high gravity brewing & kettle top-off
« on: January 17, 2020, 03:49:42 PM »
We recently got fermenters 50% larger than our mashtun and kettle can brew for, undiluted. So, we are brewing a high grav wort and and adding water to the kettle at the end to get the wort to target gravity.

I have figured out a way to do this with beersmith2 but it's a little clunky and wonder how others are doing it.

I design the recipe for 550 gallons, and then drop recipe size to 350.  I can add 200 gallons in the kettle top-off area, but that does not affect estimated gravity and tells me to sparge with a negative number of gallons. Is there a better way?   

Does beersmith3 provide better options than this?

Offline Oginme

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Re: high gravity brewing & kettle top-off
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2020, 05:33:30 PM »
Yes.  You are going about designing the recipe from the wrong end.  Start by adjusting your equipment profile for 200 gallons of top off under the 'post boil losses and top off' section.  Because you are taking 200 gallons away from the sugar extraction process, your brew house efficiency will be decreased by the amount of water you diverted to the end of the boil.  So take the brew house efficiency you were getting and multiply this number by 350/550 = 63.6% to get you somewhere in the ballpark of the extraction from the mash tun you were getting previously.

NOW design your recipe using this profile. 

Next step will be to adjust your mash profile, since you now only have 350 gallons to work with you may need to adjust the water volume you use for the mash so that there is some for sparging.  This demand for infusion water is why you were getting a negative sparge volume when you just switched 200 gallons from the beginning of the process to the end of the process.
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Offline torcdotbeer

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Re: high gravity brewing & kettle top-off
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2020, 11:54:16 AM »
Thank you so much. Looks like cloning and updating my equipment profile for kettle top-off on these big batches is the piece I was missing. Will test tomorrow with a 550 gallon batch of Cosmic Blonde.

Offline torcdotbeer

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Re: high gravity brewing & kettle top-off
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2020, 12:26:24 PM »
Question for your @Oginme -- the update to my equipment profile is working fine and recipes print out with sane OG and est ABV numbers. What I am missing now is an estimate of pre-boil gravity that makes sense, because the program is offering up a pre-boil gravity that includes the 200 gallons of dilution water.  ???

Offline Oginme

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Re: high gravity brewing & kettle top-off
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2020, 01:04:33 PM »
The best way to get an estimate of pre-boil gravity is to take your recipe and make a copy of it to play around with.

In your copy, reduce the target batch size by 200 gallons then remove the 200 gallons of top off water to the kettle.   Now note the mash efficiency versus the original recipe.  Take the difference, and subtract that from your brew house efficiency in the copy where you backed out the 200 gallons.  This will give you your pre-boil gravity target (or pretty close). 

It is a mess of playing around with it, but it will get you what you need.
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