DrHB 90 dilution question

Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:42 am

In this episode someone asked about diluting a high gravity beer to make one brew extend into two fermenters. Similar to macro beer's high gravity brewing, but they dilute on the way to packaging.

The minmum that i can brew, due to the location of the thermowell in my fermenter, is larger than my boil kettle. So, i am forced to either double batch or brew high gravity and dilute that single brew - or both. But, the mash tun is plenty large to make wort of higher gravity than anything i care to make, so a single high gravity brew is easy - compute the recipe in your brewing software as the full volume, then leave all of the ingredient quantities as is, but drop the mash water additions to fit the kettle, then adjust the hops to restore the BU estimates. While this boils, boil the volume of water that you removed from the mash water additions for at least 15 mins to sanitize. After the wort is chilled - through the counterflow chiller, if you are me - follow it with that boiled water, to chill it and flush the chiller.

It works a treat. Ive done this a few times with Schwarzbier and Pilsener.

More clues here: http://byo.com/bock/item/237-blending-f ... techniques

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Re: DrHB 90 dilution question

Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:44 am

So you are doing this pre-ferment yes? I haven't done this since I was a non-full-wort boil extract brewer. I have done it the other way, where I ferment a bigger beer (say, 8%) and then dilute it into 2 kegs of water to make 2 kegs of 4.5% beer. How big are the beers you usually make? There was a question/comment over on the AHA forum from someone that diluting small beers (OG=1.040) can make it more watery. I'm curious if you are brewing in that range or higher.
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Re: DrHB 90 dilution question

Sat Mar 04, 2017 7:44 am

Correct, pre-fermentation. I havent tried doing it post. However, i do make carbonated mineral water to have on tap and sometimes dilute helles bock at the tap by perhaps 10% just to make lighter; clearly i dont measure this, but diluting a 7-8.5 abv beer 10% in this manner is actually pleasant, to me.

I primarily make German styles, though often a little stronger than style. The last Schwarzbier was about 6%, and had been diluted 18%. I really enjoyed that beer and did not find it watery. Though there may be some upper limit that I havent encountered, If you find yours watery - add more malt.

I suppose that if you do not adjust the mineral profile of the dilution water or you have temporary hardness that would normally drop-out after boiling and you havent boiled long enough, this will have an affect on the total mineral profile of the beer and could make it seem sharp, bland, flabby, etc depending upon the direction that the profile shifted. In my mineral water example, one high in Mg (about 150ppm IIRC), a sharpness is added to the pint that is pleasant.

In your example of the 8% beer, I suggest considering many of these "session IPAs" which I find horrible. Not because they cant be good, because theyre arent - watery, flabby, etc. There is no reason that style cant be good; consider the scottish ales or English mild.

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