Hello – thanks for looking at our blog again. This post is about keeping it real because these Brew Dudes keep it real. We’re exploring the trouble with high original gravity beers; specifically, hitting your targeted starting gravity. To watch our sad but ultimately hopeful discussion, check out this video:

What’s The Problem With High Gravity Beers?

Well, I’ll tell you. If you practice brewing beers of an average targeted starting gravity (between 1.040 and 1.060), you get really good at hitting your number. When you set your sights on bigger beers, you enter uncharted territory and there will be trial and error – at least in my experience.

Things that can and will cause you problems:

  • Too much grain for your mash tun so you can’t mash in one vessel
  • Your mash efficiency goes down because of the larger grain bill
  • You don’t collect enough wort for the boil
  • You don’t relax and have a homebrew because you are out of your comfort zone

OK – not sure about the last one, but the other three are pretty valid. Since the brewing of my Baltic Porter was my second attempt at a big, all grain recipe and I still ran into missing my targeted starting gravity, I need to really plan out my next one and fix the problem once and for all.

The Tips to Hit Your High Starting Gravity

From chatting with Mike, I think the thing to try is the reiterated mash technique. Here are the steps I am planning.

  • Mix your grains together well
  • Split the grain into two equal portions
  • Mash and sparge as you would normally
  • Clean out your mash tun and add the other portion of grain to it
  • Mash with the wort you collected off of your first portion
  • Adjust your temp with hot or cold water to hit your mash temp
  • Collect your wort for the boil

That’s what I am going to try next time. I am hoping by doing this reiterated mash process, my starting gravity will be as big and bold as it needs to be.

Thanks for reading this post. We appreciate your time and love of the hobby.

Stay tuned as I attempt this process again at the end of summer.

Brew On!