Author Topic: Boiled too fast...  (Read 1619 times)

Offline cenosillica

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Boiled too fast...
« on: July 12, 2011, 09:35:17 PM »
past my 5.25 gallon mark and lost an additional 1/4 gallon in the keggle, so now I'm left with 4 gallons at my target gravity; I didn't want to dilute by topping off with plain water. What I'm wondering is, after a week in the primary, can I boil another small 1 gallon batch and combine the two in the secondary?

I know I could probably just ferment out the 1 gallon batch and combine the two at bottling/kegging, but has anyone done this earlier in the secondary stage?

I'm brewing an Imperial Stout OG 1.092 with English Ale yeast. I was planning to use a champagne yeast in the secondary. I'm factoring in if I should just dump the 1 gallon on top of the stuff in the primary without racking - or - combine in the secondary with the champagne yeast. I also forgot to add molasses in the recipe and wanted to add it to the 1 gallon batch (4 oz). With all this considered is there anything that makes you leap out of your chair to scream heresy lunatic at me?

Offline gigatropolis

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Re: Boiled too fast...
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2011, 09:55:41 PM »
, so now I'm left with 4 gallons at my target gravity; I didn't want to dilute by topping off with plain water. What I'm wondering is, after a week in the primary, can I boil another small 1 gallon batch and combine the two in the secondary?


   I f you're at the target gravity then I would say don't touch it and be happy with a 4 gallon batch of good stout. Not sure why you feel the need to add another gallon

  I would add the extra gallon to the primary fermenter before going to the secondary since all the yeast is already there. I would think to do it before the yeast completely drops out. I base this all on having no knowledge of such things of course :)


Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Boiled too fast...
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2011, 11:09:34 PM »
There is no need to add champagne yeast at all. It will not gain you anything good. The english ale yeast will get you to a perfectly respectable FG and there is no reason to think that champagne yeast will get it any lower.

I sort of agree with the just go with 4 gallons comment. I am not sure about your math either. If you boiled to just below 5.25 mark and then left .25 in the kettle doesn't that leave you with 5 gallons about?

Over all I would say
1) let it ride
2) don't even bother going to secondary unless you plan to bulk age for months
3) leave the champagne yeast in the fridge until you want to make some dry mead.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

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Offline malzig

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Re: Boiled too fast...
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2011, 04:09:08 AM »
If you boiled to just below 5.25 mark and then left .25 in the kettle doesn't that leave you with 5 gallons about?
After cooling from boiling to 68°F, due to the 4% temperature associated volume change, 5.25 gallons would become 5.04 gallons.  Lose 0.25 gallons to the kettle and you're left with 4.74 gallons.

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Boiled too fast...
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2011, 06:55:33 AM »
I'd go along with just bottling the 4 gallons and no additional yeast.  There is nothing magical about 5 gallons.  If it's good? Go with it.

It gives you the option of giving it a unique name like "Short Stout" or the like.  8^)

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*** Edited to make it at sound like I know English.  Sheesh! I need to learn to type better.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2011, 09:08:17 AM by Slowbrew »
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Boiled too fast...
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2011, 07:30:54 AM »
Do NOT add wort to secondary. You'll have decreased the yeast population by transfering it, then adding more wort will only stress the yeast that remain. They'll ferment slow, produce off-flavors, and probably leave a sweet, underattenuated beer.

Also, it would be almost the same work to make 1 gallon of beer to add, I'd just bottle the four gallons and save the work for your next 5 gallon batch.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Boiled too fast...
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2011, 07:59:00 AM »
I did something similar recently, though for different reasons.

I overshot my target gravity and so after primary fermentation (a 1.12 old ale that stopped at 1.044) I split the batch and diluted with another 3 gallon batch.  I re-pitched the yeast and it fermented out to right where I wanted it.

In your case, if you are set on adding the molasses I would recommend brewing and fermenting the 1 gallon batch separately and then blending them for aging/packaging.

I agree on the comments recommending that you skip the champagne yeast.  I've used it in the past and feel that it didn't add anything beneficial.  However, if you're set on using it I don't think it will hurt.
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Offline euge

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Re: Boiled too fast...
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2011, 11:09:14 AM »
I'm coming away from this with the idea that there's a bigger problem if you hit your target gravity but expected final volume was less. I would expect it to be higher.

You could add more wort to primary but I'd just chalk it up as a learning experience and RDWHAHB.
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Offline cenosillica

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Re: Boiled too fast...
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2011, 01:12:18 PM »
Thanks everyone for yet again some great sound advice!

The reasoning behind wanting more than 4 gallons is really financial. I figure, if I'm going to drop $50-60 bones on ingredients, I'm going to want to fill my cornies to capacity. 4 gallons is 20% less than I hoped for. But is it worth the risk of ruining the entire batch with the 8 pints I could gain from filling it up to 5 again? Probably not. I'll heed to your advice and just leave it.

I'm taking a gravity reading weekly to get an idea when the English yeast slows down. I plan to add the champagne yeast if and only if the English yeast gives up attenuating early. However, if I make a second batch and blend at kegging to get that molasses layer in there, I will use only the champagne yeast to add a different flavor profile.

Any thoughts if I just boiled 4oz of molasses and pitched it into the primary fermenter with yeast nutrient? Certainly it would bump the gravity and produce more alcohol (I'm really more interested in the flavor profile molasses would add; the alcohol is just an ancillary benefit! ). I did use a 1L starter and I'm only 5 days into the fermentation.

BTW - LOVE the "short stout" name suggestion! Classic!!


Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Boiled too fast...
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2011, 01:20:36 PM »
My advice to skip the champagne yeast is based on the fact that champagne yeast is not as good as an ale yeast at eating maltose. It has been selected for eating fructose and so does not really do any better than the English ale yeast. The alcahol tolerance numbers listed for the yeast is not a hard and fast celing if the right kind of sugars are still present it will keep eating them for quite a while. It might get stressed if there was not enough o2 or enough yeast to start with. If the english ale yeast poops out on you the champagne will probably not do much to the gravity anyway. If you are interested in the flavour you get from the champagne yeast that is a different story and I would go ahead and make a batch with just that yeast to see what you get. The molasses is a great idea in a stout though and you could probably add it at this point if you wanted to.

In terms of the cost issue, to make another gallon of the same wort will cost you 20% of what the 4 gallons you already have did so you are not saving any money by doing that.
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Offline oscarvan

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Re: Boiled too fast...
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2011, 01:28:35 PM »
If you over boiled the OG should be higher.... otherwise there's another problem.... the e-word.
Once it gets going, let it go....don't mess with it.
$50-$60 for ingredients for a 5 gallon batch? Is this all grain? If not, you need to be. I do 10 gallon batches in the 1080 range for $30-ish.......
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Offline cenosillica

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Re: Boiled too fast...
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2011, 01:45:27 PM »
@ oscarvan: I over boiled and my efficiency was low, you are right. I'm factoring more than just the ingredients... the water, the chemical additions to the mash, the propane to boil, driving all around town to get all the stuff that i need. There are a LOT of intangibles when brewing a batch beyond just the raw ingredients when you think about it.

@ morticaixavier: I used a 1L starter and an O2 diffusion stone to aerate the wort. I also pitched some yeast nutrient for good measure. I had a strong fermentation going 6 hours later. The airlock lid popped off followed by a foaming gusher a day later. I'd say that's a healthy sign of a good party going on in that bucket. Good point on the "not really saving money" as the grains/yeast/water and boiling would only add to my current costs.

How about adding just the molasses to the primary? Would I need to boil it somehow? I can't really boil/sterilize without diluting it in some kind of solution (water or DME/water). Not sure how to handle this. I'd really like to add it. I know I should have pitched it during the last 10 minutes of the boil, but I forgot to buy some and now I'm left wondering how to get it to the party?


Offline Kirk

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Re: Boiled too fast...
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2011, 01:53:38 PM »
What kind of crystal malts did you add?  I've found some of the darker ones add plenty of molasses flavor on their own, and don't need any help, too much IMO.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Boiled too fast...
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2011, 01:56:46 PM »
How about adding just the molasses to the primary? Would I need to boil it somehow? I can't really boil/sterilize without diluting it in some kind of solution (water or DME/water). Not sure how to handle this. I'd really like to add it. I know I should have pitched it during the last 10 minutes of the boil, but I forgot to buy some and now I'm left wondering how to get it to the party?



If you dilute it down with a little water and then boil to sterilize it should be fine,
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Offline cenosillica

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Re: Boiled too fast...
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2011, 03:04:41 PM »
@Kirk: Here is the grain bill I used...

Amount Item Type % or IBU
15.00 lb Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 80.0 %
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 5.3 %
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 5.3 %
0.50 lb Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM) Grain 2.7 %
0.50 lb Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 2.7 %
0.25 lb Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 1.3 %
0.25 lb Black Barley (Stout) (500.0 SRM) Grain 1.3 %
0.25 lb Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 1.3 %
1.00 oz Chinook [13.00%] (60 min) Hops 37.2 IBU
1.00 oz Nugget [13.00%] (60 min) Hops 37.2 IBU
0.50 oz Columbia [5.50%] (60 min) Hops 7.9 IBU
1 Pkgs English Ale (White Labs #WLP002) Yeast-Ale

It will probably be fine without molasses, but like soup, I try to add as many complimentary flavors as possible to add complexity and layers to the beer.