Take the 2-minute tour ×
Homebrewing Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for dedicated home brewers and serious enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My current setup is an 8-gallon aluminum kettle with a weldless valve and Blichmann Brewmometer (which, even when 'shielded' from flame, does not work, not happy with that investment). This serves as MLT and brew kettle. I live in a tiny rowhouse with no yard so I brew in my kitchen, but have a decent range and can get a 6.5 gallon volume up to boil in about 20-30 minutes with 3 burners going.

What I have been enjoying quite a bit is mashing to a high gravity, say for example, 1.090, collecting 8 ish gallons between lauter and 1-2 sparges, splitting into two buckets, diluting to a 'sessionable' gravity (say 1.055-60), then doing two separate 6-6.5 gallon boils with different hop additions and/or different yeast/fermentations. In some cases, I will do a 30 minute specialty steep on one of the two batches (for example, to make a twin IPA and black IPA). Part of the motivation for this process is to isolate certain ingredients/procedures and taste side-by-side, and part of it is to maximize my 'time-spent-brewing : beer made' ratio.

My questions are for AG and extract brewers regarding dilution. I have made a few extract batches recently, and seem to (may be in my head) notice a lack of body to my beers. I notice something similar with my split-batch obsession, though typically, friends/family/fellow brewers dig them. Also, I am hitting my desired concentration of sugars after diluting.

I have listened to both sides of the argument of hop utilization (ie different amounts extracted with concentrated boils), and don't really have an opinion, but does anyone see any glaring issues with brewing this way?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Your process seems fine - I do split batches for the same reason, and not had the problem with body. Do you have measured OG/FG figures?

As the gravity of the mash increases, extraction efficiency typically decreases so you may not get out expected efficiency if you base ts on what you normally get when doing a full mash and undiluted boil.

Just a thought, but perhaps try drinking other beers (a buddy's or commercial) since sometimes you can get very used to your own beer and your sense of high/low can become a little off.

For example, at one point I felt my beers had too much body and sweetness, so over time I started aiming for increased fermentability by adjusting recipes and reducing mash temps. The beers taste fine, but when I compare to other examples, e.g. Carlsberg/Hansa (sadly, all I can get on tap around here) I now find that the commercial examples taste sweet, which I'd never noticed before. Drinking a variety of beer can help keep your tastebuds in check!

share|improve this answer
    
upvote and accepted, good point on the palette developing. Also, I personally tend to be a huge critic of my own stuff, and am consistently in search of the perfect IPA. I was picking up acetaldehyde in my sorachi black IPA (side note: in retrospect, while I wanted to work with this varietal, I would not recommend it with a black IPA...lemon+roast doesn't really work), but others thought it tasted great. Also, re: extraction efficiency, typically what I will do with BTP is set up a 'recipe' that is only my mash. I basically cut ingredients in half for the individual diluted brews. –  Pietro Feb 10 '12 at 15:45

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.