Author Topic: Gravity/volume adjustment  (Read 729 times)

Offline troybinso

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Gravity/volume adjustment
« on: March 14, 2015, 03:24:05 PM »
If my kettle is a little too small for my fermenter can I just shoot for a slightly higher gravity and IBU, etc. in the kettle and then add like 10% water at some point post-boil. Does anyone have any suggestions of how to best do this? Any concerns?

Offline denny

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Re: Gravity/volume adjustment
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2015, 03:45:49 PM »
Sure.  I think we've all done that.
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Offline cascadesrunner

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Re: Gravity/volume adjustment
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2015, 03:58:58 PM »
Denny is right, nearly all of us have done this.  There are a number of resources and apps that can help you dial it in.  Below is one of many.

http://www.brewersfriend.com/dilution-and-boiloff-gravity-calculator/
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Offline Black Sands Brewery & Supply

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Re: Gravity/volume adjustment
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2015, 07:20:48 PM »
we do this all the time. commercial side does it too!
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Offline troybinso

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Re: Gravity/volume adjustment
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2015, 07:32:52 PM »
So is the process to boil and chill water then in the fermenter, or tap water straight into the fermneter? Or something else?

Offline Black Sands Brewery & Supply

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Re: Gravity/volume adjustment
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2015, 08:43:56 PM »
So is the process to boil and chill water then in the fermenter, or tap water straight into the fermneter? Or something else?

Some people just add the tap water right into the fermenter... but you risk a possible infection but i know of people that have done it this way w/o any problems for years.

the other option is to add the water to the kettle to get a full volume and the correct gravity.

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Offline erockrph

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Re: Gravity/volume adjustment
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2015, 03:12:33 PM »
So is the process to boil and chill water then in the fermenter, or tap water straight into the fermneter? Or something else?
I prefer bottled RO water for this if I'm doing it intentionally. I consider sealed bottled water sanitary for my purposes, and if you don't need to worry about adding a significant amount of minerals back into your beer at that point.

Having said that, I have used water right out of my tap with no issues to speak of.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Gravity/volume adjustment
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2015, 04:15:57 PM »
I haven't let tap water anywhere near a batch of beer in years because my tap water tastes awful. So if that is your situation then I would avoid tap water and opt for bottled water. $0.70 for a gallon of water at the store is a worthwhile investment to keep out nasty tap water.
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Offline santoch

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Re: Gravity/volume adjustment
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2015, 06:17:08 PM »
Chlorophenolic off flavors are a very common result when folks top off with tap water, more often than infection.

I highly recommend treating all water to remove chlorine/chloramine before brewing with it.  Campden tablets are cheap and effective in this regard.  A half an aspirin-sized campden tablet is effective in removing the chlorine compounds in 10 gallons of water.  A packet is usually only a couple of dollars.

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Offline leejoreilly

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Re: Gravity/volume adjustment
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2015, 01:27:11 PM »
Chlorophenolic off flavors are a very common result when folks top off with tap water, more often than infection.

I highly recommend treating all water to remove chlorine/chloramine before brewing with it.  Campden tablets are cheap and effective in this regard.  A half an aspirin-sized campden tablet is effective in removing the chlorine compounds in 10 gallons of water.  A packet is usually only a couple of dollars.

HTH-

^^^THIS. I have an older, small kettle that I fill and treat with campden, and boil along with my boil kettles (I use two boil kettles on our kitchen gas range). If I need top-off water, it's ready to go. If not, I have hot water for clean-up. Our water has significant chloramine; I wouldn't top off from the tap.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Gravity/volume adjustment
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2015, 01:42:14 PM »
Another +1 to topping off with non tap water.  Back when I started (with a smaller pot) I would have to top off a gallon or two, and had chlorinated water related phenols a few times before I connected the dots. Started using RO water to top off and the problem disappeared.
Jon H.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Gravity/volume adjustment
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2015, 03:29:32 PM »
I filter my water and have never had an issue.  But I certainly wouldn't go straight off the tap.
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Offline troybinso

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Re: Gravity/volume adjustment
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2015, 03:30:26 PM »
I think I will have enough room in the kettle after the boil, so I will treat the top up water by heating extra water in the hot liquor tank and add it to the kettle during whirlpool. We don't have chloramine - we have chlorine - so I have noticed that just heating up the water gets rid of the off flavor.

Offline denny

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Re: Gravity/volume adjustment
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2015, 03:43:34 PM »
Obviously, it will depend on your own water.  Since mine comes from a well, chlorophenols will never be an issue.
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Offline Werks21

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Re: Gravity/volume adjustment
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2015, 01:58:47 AM »
If you have your top up water in a sanitary container or containers in the fridge and ready to go you can add it right to the kettle and cut your cooling time down a good bit. This is one of my favorite tricks for larger batches since I'm to cheap to by a bigger/better cooler right now.
Jonathan W.
Snohomish WA