Author Topic: When is too late to top off?  (Read 2637 times)

Offline majorvices

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Re: When is too late to top off?
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2012, 10:47:12 AM »
well, theoretically at least, you are breaking up the colloids which can affect mouth feel if you water down any beer post boil. Maybe it is not a genuine concern. I personally feel that you are best topping off before flame out if ever.
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Offline nateo

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Re: When is too late to top off?
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2012, 10:51:28 AM »
well, theoretically at least, you are breaking up the colloids which can affect mouth feel if you water down any beer post boil. Maybe it is not a genuine concern. I personally feel that you are best topping off before flame out if ever.

How accurate do you think it'd be to use the temp correction tool in beersmith to measure gravity on the wort during the boil? Or should I cool the sample down before measuring? I usually don't check the gravity until it's chilled and in the fermentor.
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Re: When is too late to top off?
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2012, 10:56:31 AM »
How accurate do you think it'd be to use the temp correction tool in beersmith to measure gravity on the wort during the boil? Or should I cool the sample down before measuring? I usually don't check the gravity until it's chilled and in the fermentor.

I've been told that temp correction tables aren't very accurate over 90F.  I always cool my samples before taking a reading.  Put 8 0z. in a metal cocktail shaker and put it in a bowl of ice water.  Swirl it around.  In a minute or so, it will be in the 60s and you can take an accurate reading.
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Re: When is too late to top off?
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2012, 10:58:54 AM »
before I got my refractometer I used a steel cocktail shaker immersed in ice water to cool the sample. Took about 2 minutes and I always checked with 10-15 min left in the boil and just called it close enough. That also left me with enough time to make any necessary changes. I love my refractometer though.
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Offline nateo

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Re: When is too late to top off?
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2012, 11:00:18 AM »
Put 8 0z. in a metal cocktail shaker and put it in a bowl of ice water.  Swirl it around.  In a minute or so, it will be in the 60s and you can take an accurate reading.

That's a good idea. I'm thinking I could add my -60min hops, boil for 30min, check gravity, if it's low, plan on boiling longer. I don't think you'll get much more bittering at -90min vs -60min. If it's too high, I could add the top-off then. Sound good?

Woops, Major beat me to it.
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Re: When is too late to top off?
« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2012, 11:03:25 AM »
Put 8 0z. in a metal cocktail shaker and put it in a bowl of ice water.  Swirl it around.  In a minute or so, it will be in the 60s and you can take an accurate reading.

Hooray! All the tips I have taken from Denny it's comforting to see he took one from me!  ;D
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Offline weithman5

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Re: When is too late to top off?
« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2012, 11:05:37 AM »
+1. Watered down beer sucks.

Sorry to revive a dead thread, but I thought I'd add my $0.02 in case anyone reads this later. I've topped off my beers at all the different stages (during primary, during secondary, or at bottling) at one time or another, and never had any ill-effects that I could tell...

+1.   
I don't do it very often, and when I do it's not for the usual reasons  that many state (such as winding up with too high FG ...I generally consider that event more of a bonus than a failure.   :P.   Fact is though, if one is careful, the beer can be topped up at practically any stage from pre fermentation, to kegging, or (more rarely) at serving time.
 
Sometimes, if I want to have a beer and not be concerned about getting buzzed, I will occasionally make an "L.A." beer by pouring a robustly flavored (but not necessarily strong) beer such as a porter, and cutting it with a some plain, cold seltzer, right in the glass.     
Sounds odd, I know, but the result is refreshing, lower in alcohol, still packed with flavor, and it allows me to have a pint in the middle of the day and still get my work done
...without getting my mixed all words up. ::)

similar i will take a beer and make my own shandy with a little carbonated lemonade over ice half and half with a beer. awesome.

also if not late in fermentation i am not convinced that adding oxygen is a bad thing.  but the earlier the mistake is noted the better.
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Re: When is too late to top off?
« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2012, 11:27:41 AM »
before I got my refractometer I used a steel cocktail shaker immersed in ice water to cool the sample. Took about 2 minutes and I always checked with 10-15 min left in the boil and just called it close enough. That also left me with enough time to make any necessary changes. I love my refractometer though.

Exactly what I do.  I wish I could get an accurate reading with my refractometer, but I've given up on it.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Re: When is too late to top off?
« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2012, 11:28:43 AM »
Put 8 0z. in a metal cocktail shaker and put it in a bowl of ice water.  Swirl it around.  In a minute or so, it will be in the 60s and you can take an accurate reading.

Hooray! All the tips I have taken from Denny it's comforting to see he took one from me!  ;D

Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes....;)
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline repo

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Re: When is too late to top off?
« Reply #24 on: March 27, 2012, 11:32:46 AM »
I take a sample as soon as I have all my runnings collected, throw it in the freezer and its around 60 by the time I get my hot break. I can then figure about where I will end up and adjust hops or add sugar or water or whatever with pretty much the full boil to go. And I always get to know my mash efficiency.

Offline majorvices

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Re: When is too late to top off?
« Reply #25 on: March 27, 2012, 11:37:22 AM »
before I got my refractometer I used a steel cocktail shaker immersed in ice water to cool the sample. Took about 2 minutes and I always checked with 10-15 min left in the boil and just called it close enough. That also left me with enough time to make any necessary changes. I love my refractometer though.

Exactly what I do.  I wish I could get an accurate reading with my refractometer, but I've given up on it.

Really? I collect a small sample in a big metal spoon, cool it down by blowing on it and take a reading after about 30 seconds on the glass. works great for me but will give you crazy results if you don't cool first.
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Re: When is too late to top off?
« Reply #26 on: March 27, 2012, 12:02:50 PM »
I've been told that temp correction tables aren't very accurate over 90F.

I don't think the tables are inaccurate so much as it's trying to hit a moving target while the sample cools (and maybe isn't cooling uniformly at that).
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Re: When is too late to top off?
« Reply #27 on: March 27, 2012, 12:05:13 PM »
Really? I collect a small sample in a big metal spoon, cool it down by blowing on it and take a reading after about 30 seconds on the glass. works great for me but will give you crazy results if you don't cool first.

Yep, tried that method, as well as taking a sample with a pipette.
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Re: When is too late to top off?
« Reply #28 on: March 27, 2012, 12:50:07 PM »
Maybe you are looking through the wrong end.  :P ;)
Keith Y.

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