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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: travjohn92 on November 29, 2012, 01:24:46 AM

Title: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: travjohn92 on November 29, 2012, 01:24:46 AM
I have a home brewing buddy who did a double boil and a double fermentation and achieved (what he said) 11.4%ABV.  I was unfamiliar with this technique and was trying to figure out his math behind it to see if it made sense.

Here is what he said.  He had an OG of 1.083 and finished off at .0995.

That part makes sense, but the metjod to how he got to it is where I got lost.

He let it ferment then reboiled it with 3lbs of dark LME and 7 lbs of cane sugar.  He repitched it the same yeast.  IT was for a 10 gallon batch.

It was a Double IPA and had a lot of hop additions, but that is irrelevant to the information I am inquiring about.

I have struggled with achieving high ABV (above 9%) and is this metjod a common practice to achieve higher ABV?  Is there advantages / disadvantages to this method?  Does the math add up?
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: gsandel on November 29, 2012, 01:34:44 AM
I guess that I would want to know how it tasted....I am no expert, but if my understanding is correct, the boil after fermentation would have driven off the alcohol content of the beer (think how distilling works).  Unless he captured (distilled) the alcohol and added it back, any contribution of alcohol from the original steps were lost.
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: travjohn92 on November 29, 2012, 01:37:34 AM
He said it tasted smooth and cleared up nicely.  That is about all I got from him.
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: skrag6713 on November 29, 2012, 01:40:39 AM
i haven't been homebrewing long, but i do know that alcohol boils at a much lower temp than water.  if your friend re-boiled his wort (beer, actually) he lost a ton of alcohol in the process.  i'm not sure what the LME and cane sugar would produce for alcohol, but you can't really take the previous alcohol content into account.  something smells fishy about the math.
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: a10t2 on November 29, 2012, 01:41:52 AM
If he truly boiled the finished beer a second time, then I've never heard of that technique. In addition to boiling off alcohol, I'd worry about off-flavors from yeast lysing.

Adding simple sugars near the end of fermentation is a common technique for fermenting a high-gravity beer. It lets the yeast do their thing without having to fight the osmotic pressure of a very high-gravity wort from the beginning.

What kind of "struggles" are you having? As long as you pitch a sufficient amount of yeast, fermenting a 9% beer should be relatively routine. It's when you get to about 14% or so that things get tricky.
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: travjohn92 on November 29, 2012, 01:52:21 AM
What kind of "struggles" are you having? As long as you pitch a sufficient amount of yeast, fermenting a 9% beer should be relatively routine. It's when you get to about 14% or so that things get tricky.

I have just struggled getting my beers to finish where "I" think they should be.  I have calibrated my equipment (hydrometer and thermometers) to make sure they are correct.  I typically mash in between 150 and 156, mash out at 168 and then fly sparge with 170-175 water for 45-60 minutes.

I always try to use a high attenuating yeast, but I seem to have a problem with not hitting my OG (always a little on the low end) and missing my target FG too.  I don't miss it by being low, I miss it by finishing out where it should have finished using my target OG or even a little higher than that.

I typically shoot for around a 1.070-1.075 range and usually don't make a starter (sometimes I do though), but if I don't I always double pitch.
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: a10t2 on November 29, 2012, 02:39:39 AM
I typically shoot for around a 1.070-1.075 range

If you're trying to get to 9% ABV, that's your problem right there. You need about 70 "points" of apparent attenuation for 9% ABV. So the OG would need to be at least 1.080, more likely 1.090.
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: tschmidlin on November 29, 2012, 04:57:55 AM
I would hope your friend means he boils the sugar addition and then adds it to the beer - that would be a pretty normal thing to do, boiling the beer is not.  I still don't see that getting down to 0.995 though.  Based on what you've told us, I don't trust his numbers.

a10t2 is right, if your OG starts that low you'll have a hard time hitting 9% ABV.

Depending on the yeast, even 2 packs may be underpitching.  What size starters do you make, when you make them?
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: dimik on November 29, 2012, 05:30:26 AM
Sounds shady to me... I agree with Tom on hoping it was the sugar that he boiled and not the beer.
Getting that low FG in a not so high abv hints at an infection to me.
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: travjohn92 on November 29, 2012, 01:30:28 PM
Depending on the yeast, even 2 packs may be underpitching.  What size starters do you make, when you make them?

Typically when I do make a starter I make a 1 to 1.5 liter starter.
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: travjohn92 on November 29, 2012, 01:44:28 PM
I typically shoot for around a 1.070-1.075 range

If you're trying to get to 9% ABV, that's your problem right there. You need about 70 "points" of apparent attenuation for 9% ABV. So the OG would need to be at least 1.080, more likely 1.090.

My wheelhouse is generally the 1.070-1.075 range, but I sometimes try to go higher.  I think I have some efficiency issues, that I haven't been able to overcome.  For example, I attempted to make and Old Rasputin RIS clone and it didn't hit anywhere near the OG numbers I thought I should hit.

Recipe:
15lbs 4oz Rahr PAle Ale
1 lbs American Crystal 40
1 lbs American Crystal  120
8 oz brown malt
8 oz choc malt
4 oz black barley

Correct me if I'm wrong, but for a 5 gal batch I should have been around 1.092-1.094.  I had an OG of 1.084.  I mashed in at 153, mashed out at 167, fly sparged for 55 minutes using 172 degree water.

I made a 1.5 liter starter using Wyeast 1028 (London Ale) and then added a Safale 05.  It finished out at 1.026 and I was expecting that if I hit my target OG.  My thought is if I was 6-10 points off my target OG I should have finished out at 3-5 points below my estimated FG which was 1.022-1.025.

It began fermenting at 67 and then raised up to 72 due to lack of temp control.

Don't get me wrong, it tastes good (broke into it two days ago), but I feel it could have been better if my numbers hit closer.

Back to the original thread:  I will have to ask if he boiled the sugar separately the second time then added it to the original beer or if he boiled the beer after first fermentation with the new added sugars.
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: reverseapachemaster on November 29, 2012, 02:53:15 PM
Higher ABV beers usually have lower efficiency so you need to adjust your recipe for how your efficiency goes down as the OG goes up.
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: dimik on November 29, 2012, 03:14:20 PM
I find that collecting first runnings followed by putting in more water into the mash, mixing well, letting sit for another 30 or so minutes and collecting second runnings (mixing first and second, obviously) extracts way more out of the grain than fly sparging.
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: morticaixavier on November 29, 2012, 03:52:01 PM
I typically shoot for around a 1.070-1.075 range

If you're trying to get to 9% ABV, that's your problem right there. You need about 70 "points" of apparent attenuation for 9% ABV. So the OG would need to be at least 1.080, more likely 1.090.

My wheelhouse is generally the 1.070-1.075 range, but I sometimes try to go higher.  I think I have some efficiency issues, that I haven't been able to overcome.  For example, I attempted to make and Old Rasputin RIS clone and it didn't hit anywhere near the OG numbers I thought I should hit.

Recipe:
15lbs 4oz Rahr PAle Ale
1 lbs American Crystal 40
1 lbs American Crystal  120
8 oz brown malt
8 oz choc malt
4 oz black barley

Correct me if I'm wrong, but for a 5 gal batch I should have been around 1.092-1.094.  I had an OG of 1.084.  I mashed in at 153, mashed out at 167, fly sparged for 55 minutes using 172 degree water.

I made a 1.5 liter starter using Wyeast 1028 (London Ale) and then added a Safale 05.  It finished out at 1.026 and I was expecting that if I hit my target OG.  My thought is if I was 6-10 points off my target OG I should have finished out at 3-5 points below my estimated FG which was 1.022-1.025.

It began fermenting at 67 and then raised up to 72 due to lack of temp control.

Don't get me wrong, it tastes good (broke into it two days ago), but I feel it could have been better if my numbers hit closer.

Back to the original thread:  I will have to ask if he boiled the sugar separately the second time then added it to the original beer or if he boiled the beer after first fermentation with the new added sugars.

this doesn't seem out of bounds for that grain bill. you are looking at ~70% brew house efficiency that's about what I get on a big beer.
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: travjohn92 on November 29, 2012, 06:21:11 PM
I find that collecting first runnings followed by putting in more water into the mash, mixing well, letting sit for another 30 or so minutes and collecting second runnings (mixing first and second, obviously) extracts way more out of the grain than fly sparging.

Let me understand.  You mash in and mash out.  Collect all of your first wort runnings and then you add water back to your mashed grains, let sit for another 30 minutes and then collect enough 2nd runnings to combine with first runnings for you boil.  I assume the water you add is +/- 170 to 175ish and you would collect around 6.25 to 6.50 gallons for a 5 gallons batch.

Is this batch sparging?
Title: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: denny on November 29, 2012, 06:31:23 PM
I find that collecting first runnings followed by putting in more water into the mash, mixing well, letting sit for another 30 or so minutes and collecting second runnings (mixing first and second, obviously) extracts way more out of the grain than fly sparging.

Let me understand.  You mash in and mash out.  Collect all of your first wort runnings and then you add water back to your mashed grains, let sit for another 30 minutes and then collect enough 2nd runnings to combine with first runnings for you boil.  I assume the water you add is +/- 170 to 175ish and you would collect around 6.25 to 6.50 gallons for a 5 gallons batch.

Is this batch sparging?

Nope.  Batch sparging would be adding the second water addition and running off immediately.  I don't really see the point of letting the second water addition sit for 30 min.
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: a10t2 on November 29, 2012, 06:37:21 PM
For example, I attempted to make and Old Rasputin RIS clone and it didn't hit anywhere near the OG numbers I thought I should hit.

At 1.084 in 5.0 gal, your efficiency is in the low 60s, which is reasonable for a big beer like that. Expecting 1.094 (~70% efficiency) may not be realistic, depending on your system.

Your FG (69% ADF) also seems reasonable for a recipe that's 11% crystal malt.
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: morticaixavier on November 29, 2012, 07:05:13 PM
For example, I attempted to make and Old Rasputin RIS clone and it didn't hit anywhere near the OG numbers I thought I should hit.

At 1.084 in 5.0 gal, your efficiency is in the low 60s, which is reasonable for a big beer like that. Expecting 1.094 (~70% efficiency) may not be realistic, depending on your system.

Your FG (69% ADF) also seems reasonable for a recipe that's 11% crystal malt.

thanks for correcting my math sean. I was pretty sure my ballpark was off a bit.

I agree that the OP may well be chasing problems that are not there.
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: Jimmy K on November 29, 2012, 07:27:30 PM
I find that collecting first runnings followed by putting in more water into the mash, mixing well, letting sit for another 30 or so minutes and collecting second runnings (mixing first and second, obviously) extracts way more out of the grain than fly sparging.

Let me understand.  You mash in and mash out.  Collect all of your first wort runnings and then you add water back to your mashed grains, let sit for another 30 minutes and then collect enough 2nd runnings to combine with first runnings for you boil.  I assume the water you add is +/- 170 to 175ish and you would collect around 6.25 to 6.50 gallons for a 5 gallons batch.

Is this batch sparging?

Nope.  Batch sparging would be adding the second water addition and running off immediately.  I don't really see the point of letting the second water addition sit for 30 min.
Sounds like batch sparging to me -- with extra time for a samich.
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: Kaiser on November 29, 2012, 08:18:32 PM
On the original topic of double boil and double ferment, I don't think that this is a practical way of making any high alcohol beer. With this technique you actually increase the unfermentable extract in the beer since you end up with the residual extract of the 1st and 2nd fermentation but only have the alcohol from the 2nd fermentation.

Kai
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: weithman5 on November 29, 2012, 08:26:10 PM
if you read old threads and articles about making low alcohol/no alcohol beers one of the techniques is to actually boil or near boil the beer post fermentation, as this drives off alcohol.
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: Jimmy K on November 29, 2012, 09:08:45 PM
I suspect your friend is applying bad math and hoping it all goes to plan.
 
...Sharks with frickin laser beams...
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: snowtiger87 on November 29, 2012, 09:46:07 PM
Perhaps he was talking about the double mash that Randy Mosher described in his last book. That is where you collect the runnings from one mash, then use that as the mash water for a second mash (with new grain).

Speaking of high gravity efficiency, on my last batch of Belgian Strong Dark I was shooting for 85% (which I have been getting consistently) and a 1.090 OG. However, on this batch I got an OG of 1.106 which would equate to a 95% efficiency. I did not believe it but I calibrated my refractometer and my hydrometer matched it. I don't think I mis-weighed the grain either. Collected volume was good too. I did have a 4 lb sugar addition but I accounted for that in the recipe. Perhaps Pro-Mash is not calculating the sugar gravity points correctly.
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: dimik on November 30, 2012, 02:19:51 AM
I find that collecting first runnings followed by putting in more water into the mash, mixing well, letting sit for another 30 or so minutes and collecting second runnings (mixing first and second, obviously) extracts way more out of the grain than fly sparging.

Let me understand.  You mash in and mash out.  Collect all of your first wort runnings and then you add water back to your mashed grains, let sit for another 30 minutes and then collect enough 2nd runnings to combine with first runnings for you boil.  I assume the water you add is +/- 170 to 175ish and you would collect around 6.25 to 6.50 gallons for a 5 gallons batch.

Is this batch sparging?

Nope.  Batch sparging would be adding the second water addition and running off immediately.  I don't really see the point of letting the second water addition sit for 30 min.

The point is to let more sugars dissolve out of the grain into the water. May not seem like it would help, but it really does.
Title: Re: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: Mark G on November 30, 2012, 02:56:29 PM
I find that collecting first runnings followed by putting in more water into the mash, mixing well, letting sit for another 30 or so minutes and collecting second runnings (mixing first and second, obviously) extracts way more out of the grain than fly sparging.

Let me understand.  You mash in and mash out.  Collect all of your first wort runnings and then you add water back to your mashed grains, let sit for another 30 minutes and then collect enough 2nd runnings to combine with first runnings for you boil.  I assume the water you add is +/- 170 to 175ish and you would collect around 6.25 to 6.50 gallons for a 5 gallons batch.

Is this batch sparging?

Nope.  Batch sparging would be adding the second water addition and running off immediately.  I don't really see the point of letting the second water addition sit for 30 min.

The point is to let more sugars dissolve out of the grain into the water. May not seem like it would help, but it really does.
A few minutes of stirring should get any remaining sugars dissolved into the sparge water. If you're getting an efficiency boost by doing that extra 30 minute rest, you probably didn't have complete conversion in your initial mash rest.
Title: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: denny on November 30, 2012, 04:56:32 PM
I find that collecting first runnings followed by putting in more water into the mash, mixing well, letting sit for another 30 or so minutes and collecting second runnings (mixing first and second, obviously) extracts way more out of the grain than fly sparging.

Let me understand.  You mash in and mash out.  Collect all of your first wort runnings and then you add water back to your mashed grains, let sit for another 30 minutes and then collect enough 2nd runnings to combine with first runnings for you boil.  I assume the water you add is +/- 170 to 175ish and you would collect around 6.25 to 6.50 gallons for a 5 gallons batch.

Is this batch sparging?

Nope.  Batch sparging would be adding the second water addition and running off immediately.  I don't really see the point of letting the second water addition sit for 30 min.

The point is to let more sugars dissolve out of the grain into the water. May not seem like it would help, but it really does.

But that's contrary to the theory of batch sparging.  And why wouldn't it be generally applicable to everyone?  Why don't I or others see efficiency oncreases from it?  I think you have another issue.
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: Kaiser on November 30, 2012, 05:02:48 PM
I find that collecting first runnings followed by putting in more water into the mash, mixing well, letting sit for another 30 or so minutes and collecting second runnings (mixing first and second, obviously) extracts way more out of the grain than fly sparging.

I think that there is additional conversion happening. Next time you do this you may want to record these numbers:

grist weight
mash water volume
gravity of well mixed wort that you ran off first. You can test that in the mash tun if you have a refractometer. When using a hydrometer make sure you cool the wort in a closed vessel to eliminate evaporation.

water volume added after run-off
gravity right after stirring in that water
gravity 30 min later.

Based on this we should be able to reconstruct what's happening.

Kai
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: dimik on December 01, 2012, 04:02:36 AM
Beats me why you don't see efficiency increase. I can get up to 90% that way with a low grain brew like a bitter, while the regular way gives me ~65-70. 75-80% with bigger grain bills. Don't think it's conversion because I did a 2 hour mash once and it ran off at around 65%, while 60+30 min gives me considerably higher yield. Seems pretty logical to me...
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: denny on December 01, 2012, 06:01:21 PM
Beats me why you don't see efficiency increase. I can get up to 90% that way with a low grain brew like a bitter, while the regular way gives me ~65-70. 75-80% with bigger grain bills. Don't think it's conversion because I did a 2 hour mash once and it ran off at around 65%, while 60+30 min gives me considerably higher yield. Seems pretty logical to me...

Well, if it works for you it works, but I think you're misattributing the reason.
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: a10t2 on December 01, 2012, 07:17:26 PM
Isn't it more or less common knowledge that a mash out can accelerate conversion? I know that when I incorporate one I can count on >95% conversion, whereas after a 60 min rest I've occasionally seen CE as low as ~85%.
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: denny on December 01, 2012, 07:24:11 PM
Isn't it more or less common knowledge that a mash out can accelerate conversion? I know that when I incorporate one I can count on >95% conversion, whereas after a 60 min rest I've occasionally seen CE as low as ~85%.

Yeah, although I wouldn't call it a mash out if the purpose isn't to denature enzymes.  I've found that raising the grain bed temp at the end of the mash does increase my efficiency.  But I don't do any kind of rest with it.  Just stir in the water, vorlauf and run off.
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: a10t2 on December 01, 2012, 07:56:20 PM
Good point. I shoot for ~72°C, then recirculate for 15 min. I guess it's just an alpha-amylase rest at that point.
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: Kaiser on December 02, 2012, 02:13:47 PM
It seems that many brewers still think the mash out boosts efficiency by making the wort less vicious add opposed to speeding up conversion. But Sean is correct, the conversion is boosted.

You can easily be at only 85% CE even with a 60 min mash. Especially with a coarse crush. I have seen this in my brewing.

Kai
Title: Re: Double Boiling, Double Fermentation
Post by: dimik on December 02, 2012, 07:56:40 PM
I see 60-65% eff all the time in my brewing and that's why I ask the homebrew store to crush my grains twice (they're nice enough to do it since we're all living in apartments here and almost none can afford such luxury as to have grain crushers or store sacks of grain at home) after which it goes up to 90 sometimes, but generally hangs around 75-80 for mid-grav brews. I'd love to get an even finer crush, but there is only so much that can be done in these conditions. Perhaps I misspoke... It generally takes me about 30 minutes to get the first runnings to the stove and do the rest of the mumbo-jumbo before I get to collect second runnings, so that's why my magical number is 30 minutes. Indeed I cannot see any possible boots in conversion with a mashout+second water since it denatures the enzymes, but I think it does boost up the solubilization and results in my observations. Anyway, I'm not saying "convert or die", just stating my observation and what works for me because it seems to be somewhat tangent to the topic of this thread.