Author Topic: Stupid high gravity brew  (Read 9085 times)

Offline nateo

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Re: Stupid high gravity brew
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2012, 01:21:20 PM »
One of the best beers I've made was a sour fermented with wine yeast. Wine yeast definitely has a flavor contribution, and in certain cases it's great. I think you're right about wine yeast not being the best choice for this beer, though. I'm shooting for something close, but not a clone per se.
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Offline rjharper

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Re: Stupid high gravity brew
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2012, 01:25:53 PM »
One of the best beers I've made was a sour fermented with wine yeast. Wine yeast definitely has a flavor contribution, and in certain cases it's great. I think you're right about wine yeast not being the best choice for this beer, though. I'm shooting for something close, but not a clone per se.

I'd run with wlp099 if you could.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Stupid high gravity brew
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2012, 01:27:40 PM »
I think making a beer THIS big with out pure O2 is risky business.

The WLP099 may be able to handle it, but without proper nutrition/aeration it may give you some funky resuts. I've never used this strain, but White Labs cautions that its finnicky and needs a lot of TLC to reduce off-flavors.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Stupid high gravity brew
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2012, 01:38:54 PM »
I'm sure you're right about O2. It's been many years since I've had to dump a batch. I'll roll the dice on T-58 and normal aeration, and either dump it if I need to, or revise my planned sugar additions and aim for a lower gravity.

I'm concerned with how finnicky WLP099 is purported to be. Since I'm not going over 15% ABV I think that's do-able with "normal" yeast, but I might be fantastically wrong. Either way, I'll let you guys know how it turns out. I probably won't get a chance to brew this one for a few weeks yet. 
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 03:36:06 PM by nateo »
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Stupid high gravity brew
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2012, 06:43:15 AM »
Sounds good - please update with how it goes - I don't feel like I see enough follow-up after a thread has run its course!
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Offline nateo

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Re: Stupid high gravity brew
« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2012, 07:11:12 AM »
Sounds good - please update with how it goes - I don't feel like I see enough follow-up after a thread has run its course!

I don't mind looking dumb, so I'll let you know what a horrible success/failure it turned out to be.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Stupid high gravity brew
« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2012, 09:19:34 AM »
I've got the first round in the fermentor now. I had a yeast cake left over from a Dubbel, so I'm using that instead of trying to build up a regular starter. It's a blend of Ardennes (3522) and T-58. Avery has tweaked their recipe since I started thinking about this, so their OG is lower now.

Depending on my actual volume and gravity of stage two, I'll adjust the volume and gravity in stage 3 to target 30L with a cumulative gravity of 1.135. I'll be splitting that in half to age it. I had a version called "meph addict" at the Avery tap room years ago where they dumped a pound of coffee into a keg of Mephistopheles, so I'll age 1/2 on oak, and 1/2 on oak with coffee beans.

Here's my basic plan:

Stage 1 (completed)
Size: 11L
OG: 1.073

2kg Floor-malted pils
400g Aromatic
400g Special B
200g Carafa II
200g Black Barley

50g Magnum (10%) @ -60min

1tbsp yeast energizer

Stage 2:
Size: 17L
OG: 1.105

7kg F-M pils
500g Black barley
400g Carafa II

100g Magnum (10%) @-60min

1tbsp yeast energizer

Add yeast cake from tripel that's currently fermenting

Stage 3:
Size: TBD
OG: TBD

50% Turbinado
50% Dextrose
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Offline nateo

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Re: Stupid high gravity brew
« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2012, 03:34:00 PM »
Stage 2 made it into the fermentation chamber. It's split into two buckets, and I dumped another yeast cake of Ardennes into them.

Recipe I ended up with:
9kg FMPils,
670g roasted barley
230g Carafa II

100g Magnum -90min

Stage 2 OG/volume: 1.117 / 16.75L
Total from stage 1 plus new yeast cake: 1.019 / 13.25
Updated gravity: 1.070 / 30L

I'm at 1.093 cumulative gravity at this point. Once it's made it through this stage, I'll be adding sugar for 8L @ 1.200 to bring the batch gravity up to 1.116.
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Offline mihalybaci

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Re: Stupid high gravity brew
« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2012, 04:25:31 PM »
What is your fermentation temperature? I've been thinking about making a port-like beer similar to Sam Adam's Utopias using a similar method of stepping up the gravity. I don't want to add any spirits (as in "Radical Brewing") to get a high ABV though, so I'm very curious as to how the method works. good luck!

Offline nateo

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Re: Stupid high gravity brew
« Reply #24 on: August 09, 2012, 06:56:32 PM »
What is your fermentation temperature? I've been thinking about making a port-like beer similar to Sam Adam's Utopias using a similar method of stepping up the gravity. I don't want to add any spirits (as in "Radical Brewing") to get a high ABV though, so I'm very curious as to how the method works. good luck!

Freezer is set to 56*. Johnson controller cycles down -4* from setpoint. In the real deal Mephistopheles they use 3787 (or equivalent) and pitch fresh yeast every day until it hits terminal gravity. I don't wanna deal with that, so I'm stepping it up to be as nice to the yeast as I can. 
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Stupid high gravity brew
« Reply #25 on: August 09, 2012, 08:26:08 PM »
Sorry I missed this thread the first time around. Maybe it's too late, but this may still be helpful: http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?t=65941
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Stupid high gravity brew
« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2012, 05:44:25 AM »
Thanks for keeping us posted. How did you manage with your efficiency on this wort addition? Did you sparge at all?

I just did my first high-gravity brew a couple of weeks ago and I was surprised to see that I was right in my usual efficiency ballpark even though my mash was on the thicker side (for BIAB at least - 1.82 qt/lb). I don't have a refractometer, so I don't know my preboil gravity, but after my usual 90-minute boil I got a 1.110 wort.

I seem to hear "well, I don't know how well BIAB would work for a high-gravity beer" a lot, but it didn't seem to really affect my efficiency. I don't have my system 100% dialed in yet, so take this with a grain of salt, but I won't hesitate to brew barleyines/IIPAs/Quads/etc with my current setup going forward.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Stupid high gravity brew
« Reply #27 on: August 10, 2012, 09:23:32 AM »
I'm not exactly sure what the efficiency was, because it was an unevenly split partigyle. I don't think it was great, but it wasn't awful either. I think the mash efficiency was about 85%. I collected 23.5L of 1.085 wort, and boiled for about 120min to get to 16.75L of 1.117 wort. I also collected about 17L of 1.037 wort for a different beer. I sparged twice for the first beer, one more time for the last one. I could've sparged again to get some more gravity, but I didn't need it.

One of the nice things about brewing this beer in stages is that I don't really have to stress about hitting my gravity at any point, since I can make up the difference with the next addition.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 09:36:06 AM by nateo »
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Offline nateo

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Re: Stupid high gravity brew
« Reply #28 on: August 10, 2012, 09:32:32 AM »
Sorry I missed this thread the first time around. Maybe it's too late, but this may still be helpful: http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?t=65941

Wow Sean, we have much different definitions of "stupid high gravity." Anything over 1.100 is stupid high to me. 1.214 is pretty crazy.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Stupid high gravity brew
« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2012, 07:39:09 AM »
Step three is in the fermentor. Kraeusen was still high but gravity was down to 1.025 when I added step three. Didn't take into account how large the volume of sugar would be, so I ended up with 9.75L @ 1.170 instead of 8L @ 1.200. Cumulative gravity was 1.112, so not too far off my target. Lowered the ferm temp to 54* when I added the sugar.

The base beer was surprisingly clean. Definitely warm alcohol, but fusels were very low. Bitterness and roasted character were too high, but we'll see how it ends up after the sugar additions.

I didn't have enough turbinado on hand, so I subbed a portion of brown sugar.

Step 3:
8L of water
718g turbinado
894g brown sugar
891g fructose
1391g cane
456g dextrose
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