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Hopping levels to balance a big milk stout

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gmac:
OK, went with the boil down method as suggested.  Boiled 4 litres down to about 1 litre.  Then added the rest of the wort.
My efficiency went all to crap.  Not sure if that is normal with big beers or what but I usually run about 83% and this time it's more like 67%.  But, it was also really cold in the garage today and over-heated the mash water and mashed in way too hot.  I should have cooled it down first so I don't know what sort of damage I did to the enzymes (temp was 180 when I had everything stirred in, added cold water down to 156). 
Pre-boil was 1.075 before I added the lactose.

Jimmy K:
The efficiency dive is COMPLETELY normal for high gravity beer.

Edit: There was an article in Zymurgy and with a table of efficiencies at different gravities. It went down to about 50%. I think 67% is actually fantastic!

Jimmy K:

--- Quote from: mtnrockhopper on December 06, 2012, 02:01:47 PM ---Edit: There was an article in Zymurgy and with a table of efficiencies at different gravities. It went down to about 50%. I think 67% is actually fantastic!

--- End quote ---

July/August 2009 Pg 56

gmac:
Update. 
Took a gravity today and I couldn't believe it but it said 1.014 which is pretty darn low given all the stuff in it.  It tastes pretty good but definitely not "sweet" as I was expecting.  You can really detect the alcohol and it has a definite alcohol "heat" to it.  It'll be interesting to see what this is like a year from now.  The hops are not overly bitter.  I'm not really sure what to think of this right now. 

I'm gonna add the vanilla pods today.  Not sure if that is a good idea or not but I don't get the burnt sugar I was hoping for from the boil down.  Maybe more boiling was needed.
It'll sit for a week or so on the pods and then it's going into 750 ml champagne bottles to bottle condition.  Thinking I'll pitch some champagne yeast or something to bottle condition.  It's probably 10% ABV or so now and I'm worried that the yeast in the beer may not have the ambition to finish conditioning.

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