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General Category => Extract/Partial Mash Brewing => Topic started by: jivetyrant on March 02, 2011, 03:52:52 AM

Title: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
Post by: jivetyrant on March 02, 2011, 03:52:52 AM
     So my sister is planning her wedding for mid-July this year and I want to make a truly special beer to commemorate this (hopefully) once in a lifetime event.  In the first homebrewing book I purchased there is a recipe for a real beast of a beer, beyond even a barleywine in it's final alcohol content.  This will be a pretty expensive brew, not to mention the large time commitment that will go into it.  I have had some complaints about the recipes in this book, mostly that they were obviously written by different people and little effort was put into keeping them inside a standard format.  Before I order my ingredients, I'd like to run the recipe by folks on the forums for a quick proofread and possible revision.  Here goes!

OG 1.100, prior to the (many) fermentation stage sugar additions.
FG with this many sugar additions your guess is a good as mine.
target ABV of 14-16%

Preboil

4 Gallons cool water

1/2 lb crushed cara-munich barley
1/2 lb crushed special B barley
2 tsp gypsum

With grains in a mesh bag, add all ingredients and heat, stirring every 5 minutes.  Remove grain when water reaches 170 degrees, drain excess water without squeezing the bag.

Boil (65 minutes)

13.2 lbs light LME or 11 lbs light DME (65 minutes)
2 oz tomahawk pellets (60 minutes) These do not appear to be available from the normal web sources or homebrew shops I use, will probably have to substitute something else. I will research that tomorrow.
2oz Chinook pellets (20 minutes)
1/2 lb pure cane sugar (20 minutes)
2 tsp irish moss (20 minutes)
stir for 1 minute
1/2 lb Demerara sugar (10 minutes)
stir for 1 minute
add wort chiller to sanitize

remove from heat and stir for 2 minutes, creating a whirlpool

cool to 70-75 degrees and transfer to carboy, topping off volume to 5 gallons.

add 5 tsp yeast nutrient
pitch Wyeast 1214 Abbey Ale or White Labs WLP570 Belgian Strong/Golden Ale.  MrMalty says 2 vials or slap packs assuming new-ish yeast in a 1.5L starter, BUT there will be substantial sugar additions after the start of fermentation not accounted for, read on and give your yeast recommendation.  No recommendation on fermentation temperature.

Hook up to Aquarium pump for 1 hour. (I have a pure O2 system I would be using, 2 micron aeration stone.  I normally run it for 1 minute per Wyeast's recommendation)

After the most vigorous fermentation subsides, 8 to 10 days, begin alternating additions of 1oz pure can sugar and 1oz demerara sugar every day for 5 days straight.

Rack to secondary a few days later when primary fermentation slows down.  Before racking, add 1oz Cascade hop pellets to the clean and sanitized carboy.

Pitch Distillers yeast, probably Wyeast 4347 Eau de Vie, the recipe recommends a yeast starter but does not say how large or with how many vials/slap packs.  Also add 1oz pure cane sugar.  Alternate with 1oz demarara sugar for a further 5 days straight.  Secondary fermentation should last 1 to 3 weeks total. (yikes, big variable there)

2 weeks after all fermentation activity has subsided the beer will be ready to package.

Before bottling, dissolve Champagne yeast, probably  Wyeast 4021 Pasteur Champagne in 1 cup of the beer.  Add this mixture along with 5oz priming sugar dissolved in 1 cup boiled water, cooled.  Stir well and bottle.

Minimum aging recommendation of 3 weeks, though I would imagine that this would keep very, very well.

So the real question is, if I were to start this next weekend would it be ready by mid-July?  Is there a reliable way of determining the ABV of a beer like this in a home environment?  The total bill looks to be around $110 in ingredients, not including the Demerara sugar which I'll have to order separately, I may use Turbinado instead as it is more readily available locally.  Please post any tweaks or recommendations you may have, I want this to be a really memorable one!

Sorry for the monster post, hopefully I don't get too many TLDR responses. ;p




Title: Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
Post by: euge on March 02, 2011, 06:52:25 AM
   
So the real question is, if I were to start this next weekend would it be ready by mid-July?  Is there a reliable way of determining the ABV of a beer like this in a home environment?  The total bill looks to be around $110 in ingredients, not including the Demerara sugar which I'll have to order separately, I may use Turbinado instead as it is more readily available locally.  Please post any tweaks or recommendations you may have, I want this to be a really memorable one!

Sorry for the monster post, hopefully I don't get too many TLDR responses. ;p





That's a tall order for such a big beer. It may be "ready" but this beer won't be at its peak for quite some time. Years probably. If you make a couple cases then they can crack one every year.

So tell me about the chinook.
Title: Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
Post by: tygo on March 02, 2011, 12:03:45 PM
I agree with Euge that while you can complete fermentation in that time it's probably going to take a good while for this one to sit and condition.  If you're planning on serving it for the wedding then that might be a little tight.  But I think what you're saying is that it'll be given as a gift in which case they can just let it age in the bottles so that would be okay.

If I'm following your sugar additions correctly it looks like you'll have about 2 lbs of sugar along with the 11 lbs of DME.  That should give you an OG after factoring in sugar additions of around 1.108.  If you manage to get around 75% AA that would give you a FG of 1.025 and an ABV of 10.94%.

Ferment it low and slow and I'd rack this one to a secondary to continue conditioning until about a month before the wedding then add the additional yeast and priming sugar and bottle.

I've never used champagne yeast so I can't comment directly but I haven't heard good things.  If you did a low gravity five gallon batch with the yeast and pitched this beast on the entire yeast cake I think you'd probably be able to get the job done without using them.
Title: Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
Post by: bonjour on March 02, 2011, 01:48:26 PM
Tomahawk is the same as columbus or zeus, the three are commonly referred to as CTZ

Can you do all grain?  I typically recommend 1.100 as the cutoff for extract based beers because of the attenuation factor.

This is NOT that big of a beer, I brewed a 1.146 OG beer on Sunday.
I don't trust this recipe.
First the brewer is calling for both distillers yeast and champagne yeast, neither of which is necessary.
He is talking American hops with a Belgian yeast, not a bad idea but unusual.
Second, there are no specialty grains.  This means no complexity in flavor.
This recipe seems to be put together as an alcohol delivery vehicle, not what I call a beer for a special occasion.

The first real question is what does the Bride like.

Check out my page on homebrew weddings for some ideas.


Title: Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
Post by: Hokerer on March 02, 2011, 01:54:14 PM
Second, there are no specialty grains.  This means no complexity in flavor.

Minor point, but it does look like there's a little bit of CaraMunich and Special B
Title: Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
Post by: bonjour on March 02, 2011, 02:04:03 PM
You got me, I missed that.
Title: Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
Post by: jivetyrant on March 02, 2011, 02:29:30 PM

The first real question is what does the Bride like.

Check out my page on homebrew weddings for some ideas.


My sister doesn't really like beer, this is more for her fiance, heh.  He's an avid beer drinker and has not yet found a beer he dislikes, in his words.

I'll check out your website, do you have a link?

I don't yet have the gear to do all grain, that's going to be my next major investment.  I just have to finish reading the all grain section in The Joy of Homebrewing before I make any purchases.

Thanks for the tip on the Tomahawk, that answers my question.

I have had problems with the last recipe I used from this book, see my thread in the Yeast and Fermentation forum.  It called for tons of specialty grains and 12 lbs of dark DME which has caused some attenuation problems.  I'm fighting with it as we speak, should be taking a hydrometer reading tonight after I buy one to replace the one I dropped on the floor and broke a couple nights ago. (doh!)  I decided that I don't want to trust a suspect recipe without some other, more experienced folks taking a look at it first!
Title: Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
Post by: Hokerer on March 02, 2011, 02:37:14 PM
Check out my page on homebrew weddings for some ideas.

I'll check out your website, do you have a link?


Fred's website is linked in the signature under his posts.
Title: Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
Post by: bonjour on March 02, 2011, 02:53:25 PM
http://beerdujour.com/AwardWinningRecipes.htm (http://beerdujour.com/AwardWinningRecipes.htm)  Recipes that have had beer judges say these are good.  about 1/3 of them are extract with grain
http://beerdujour.com/ (http://beerdujour.com/) is the base site
http://beerdujour.com/Wedding.html (http://beerdujour.com/Wedding.html)
I also did my daughters wedding last October.

Oh, with big beers, they should be very good 30 days after brewing, improve with age, but good enough that you don't want to.
Title: Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
Post by: bonjour on March 02, 2011, 02:55:33 PM
Is this for serving at the wedding?  If so I would make a much more modest beer, one without a lot of American hops.
Title: Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
Post by: denny on March 02, 2011, 04:36:35 PM
I have had problems with the last recipe I used from this book, see my thread in the Yeast and Fermentation forum.  It called for tons of specialty grains and 12 lbs of dark DME which has caused some attenuation problems.  I'm fighting with it as we speak, should be taking a hydrometer reading tonight after I buy one to replace the one I dropped on the floor and broke a couple nights ago. (doh!)  I decided that I don't want to trust a suspect recipe without some other, more experienced folks taking a look at it first!

Kinda sounds like a red flag...lots of specialties and dark extract will contribute a lot of unfermentables.

And in the recipe you posted, 5 tsp. of yeast nutrient is WAAAAYYYYY over the top.  1/2 tsp. is the usual recommendation and 5 tsp. could leave an ammonia like taste to the beer.
Title: Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
Post by: morticaixavier on March 02, 2011, 05:09:28 PM
I don't yet have the gear to do all grain, that's going to be my next major investment.  I just have to finish reading the all grain section in The Joy of Homebrewing before I make any purchases.

I started doing all grain with my bottleing bucket and a grain bag that fit inside it wrapped in a comforter. It wasn't big enough for a big beer like this but it wouild be good for a partial mash. If you could get some of your fermentables from a long and low mash (148 for 90 minutes or more) it would help balance the ufermentables in the extract. just a thought. I looked at some of Fred's high ABV recipes ont eh wedding page and those look really good! I bet you could adapt one of them to partial mash.
Title: Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
Post by: jivetyrant on March 04, 2011, 01:00:07 PM
Thanks for the input so far folks!  I'll definitely cut down the yeast nutrient to the manufacturers recommendation, I have some of the Wyeast stuff en-route, should be delivered tomorrow.

If I brew a low gravity batch first using the primary yeast and use the yeast cake do you think I would be able to skip the distillers yeast?  What is the best method to do that?  Do I just use a little bit of my new wort to shake the yeast cake into a more liquid state and pitch that right from the old carboy to the new one?  I've never tried that technique before, it doesn't seem like it would be very sanitary.  Is there a step I am missing?
Title: Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
Post by: bonjour on March 04, 2011, 02:26:54 PM
I NEVER use distillers yeast and I brew much bigger beers than this.
Title: Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
Post by: Hokerer on March 04, 2011, 03:22:36 PM
What is the best method to do that?  Do I just use a little bit of my new wort to shake the yeast cake into a more liquid state and pitch that right from the old carboy to the new one?  I've never tried that technique before, it doesn't seem like it would be very sanitary.  Is there a step I am missing?

You can do it even more simply.  Brew your small beer and when it's done fermenting, rack it to secondary or to bottling, whatever is your normal procedure.  Then brew your big beer, chill, aerate, and then just dump it right into the carboy you used for your small batch that has all the yeast still in it.
Title: Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
Post by: denny on March 04, 2011, 03:51:36 PM
I NEVER use distillers yeast and I brew much bigger beers than this.

+1 Distiller's yeast is not for beer.
Title: Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
Post by: euge on March 04, 2011, 06:42:38 PM
Which book is this recipe from? My suspicion is that this recipe was just thrown together by the author but never actually brewed.
Title: Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
Post by: jivetyrant on March 05, 2011, 12:29:48 PM
This is in Extreme Brewing by Sam Calagione.  There were several recipe contributors, I'm not sure who wrote the recipe in question.
Title: Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
Post by: Kit B on March 23, 2011, 08:51:14 PM
Bwahahahahahaha!!!!

I love it.

He does actually have a great sense of humor.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYO76bVuITw

See 6:18...And, again at 14:38.

I'd recommend starting with something a little lighter.
Also...See if your water needs the gypsum addition, before tossing it in.
Title: Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
Post by: colinhayes on April 14, 2011, 06:51:43 PM
Do you really want a beer that strong at a wedding?  I've got a 4.5% alt and a 8.5% strong golden w/ raspberries on deck for mine in 6 weeks, and I think even the 8.5 is way too strong.  You don't really want people getting drunk at a wedding... I've seen it plenty of times while working a photobooth at weddings, and it's just not pretty.  Plus it's in July... nobody is going to want heavy beers.

Now what would be awesome, is to have your sister and her husband over and you all brew the beer together, and they can crack some open each year around their anniversary.  A beer that strong would age for a long time.  I think we're planning on doing something like that after we get back from the honeymoon.
Title: Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
Post by: skyler on April 14, 2011, 07:43:02 PM
If I wanted to brew a giant beer like that for a wedding, I would instead just brew a barleywine or a Belgian Dark Strong or a Belgian Golden Strong. Since I think a barleywine would probably be the easiest to pull off with extract, I would probably just brew a big American barleywine. I suspect you could find plenty of great recipes at the homebrewopedia recipe wiki or by google search. I've heard good things about Denny's Old Stoner. Also my 2ยข - I like American Barleywines best when they are just lightly aged but still pretty fresh. I don't really understand aging strong beers, since so many taste better fresh (according to my mouth, anyway). Now sour beers... that's a different story.
Title: Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
Post by: astrivian on May 21, 2011, 06:12:26 PM

This is NOT that big of a beer, I brewed a 1.146 OG beer on Sunday.


Nice. :)
Title: Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
Post by: gymrat on May 29, 2011, 03:07:23 PM
If you want a good reliable recipe you might consider a kit from Northern Brewer or Midwest Supplies. I did the Scottish Wee Heavy from Northern Brewer. It weighed in at 9% ABV. You would never know it was that strong by tasting it. It is delicious and was already pretty darn good a month into the bottle.