Changing OG of a recipe in BIABacus

Post #1 made 11 months ago
Hello! I feel bad that I scarcely post here and don't check up on posts promptly enough but the truth is I don't get to brew that often either. I began my brewing journey around the same time as I started my fatherhood journey so that's just how it goes I suppose... I had a question regarding adjusting OG in BIABacus. I'm brewing Zainasheff's Chocolate Hazelnut Porter but I want to bump up the gravity because I tried a CHIP that was so good I must try to recreate it. Anyway when I enter in the "For this batch, I'd like to try an OG of" it adjusts every grain in the bill including those marked for "Steep only." My understanding has been that if you want to increase gravity without changing flavor and color characteristics from the kilned grains then you increase ONLY the base grains. When using a recipe one would not want to change the specialty grains unless changing the volume of beer they were wishing to produce. I'm sure there are debates about this but I believe I read it in BCS which seems to be a sort of bible around here. I do wish to use this method for now and am wondering if BIABacus has a way to do this or if I'm just going to have enter in my desired gravity calculate new percentages based on the adjusted base grain measurements and make a new BIABacus file with an altered grain bill. (I'd considered just adding additional grain rather than go through the trouble of documenting but thought it would make it difficult to track my numbers and I don't wish to diminish the usefulness of BIABacus.

As always I appreciate your collective wisdom.
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Re: Changing OG of a recipe in BIABacus

Post #2 made 11 months ago
I am not an expert on the intricacies behind the way the BIABacus adjusts the grain bill. My guess is that the base malt to adjunct balance is paired to result in a similar (subjective) flavor of the finished beer. When one brews a SMASH (Single Malt And Single Hop) beer there would be only one grain to change to increase the FG. If there are two or more base grains they are likely to make different contributions to fermentable sugars as you have pointed out. If one base grain was increased and the other stayed constant, both the final ABV and flavor would be new. As part of the total grist, altering one grain alone can affect the product. The change could also come from changing the ratios among grains. If the ratio between the base malt and the sum of the adjuncts changes, I think the beer would taste different in the final product. How different? It depends on all the grains involved.

I would probably follow the BIABacus, but another alternative would be to add a fermentable sugar to the wort from the same grist - no real flavor change, just higher ABV.

Re: Changing OG of a recipe in BIABacus

Post #3 made 11 months ago
Thanks for the response! It appears as though entering in a new OG just increases all grains maintaining the exact same percentages. I was hoping there might be some way to tell biabacus to ignore those grains that aren't part of the mash. It does just about everything else you could hope for so I can definitely forgive it if thats not part of its its functionality.
    • SVA Brewer With Over 5 Brews From United States of America

Re: Changing OG of a recipe in BIABacus

Post #4 made 11 months ago
Forget what you think you may have read elsewhere on this one pirate. Your wisest course is to increase all the grains including the specialty malts for a number of reasons. For a start, this simply maintains the right flavour balance (base malts also have flavour), a bit like if you increased the amount of coffee in a cup of coffee, you might also add a little extra sugar to combat the extra bitterness even though the volume hasn't changed. Also when you increase the OG of the recipe, your hop bill increases. Once again, increasing all of the malts helps maintain the right balance between malt flavours and hops.

:luck: Pat
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