Author Topic: ice beer  (Read 1189 times)

Offline brew1314rw

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ice beer
« on: January 16, 2013, 08:08:58 PM »
What has people's experience been with producing ice beers (other than eisbock)?  I made more that I meant to (won't all fit in my kegs) of an English Bitter and an Alt and thought I would give it the ice beer treatment to use the extra volume to give it a try. It will only make a few but why not.   It got me wondering if anyone has ever experimented with different styles and what they found out.  Anyone have comments?

Offline euge

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Re: ice beer
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2013, 09:58:17 PM »
What is an ice-beer other than a overly strong pale lager? I did drink some Molson's Ice back in 93(?) that I'll swear was mentholated.

You'll have to be careful to get a balanced result because a pronounced alcohol taste is undesirable IMO. But make it too sweet and there is a cloying factor...

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Offline tygo

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Re: ice beer
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2013, 04:42:32 AM »
What is an ice-beer other than a overly strong pale lager?

Any beer that's been freeze concentrated.
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Offline liquidbrewing

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Re: ice beer
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2013, 08:58:07 AM »
What is an ice-beer other than a overly strong pale lager?

Any beer that's been freeze concentrated.

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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: ice beer
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2013, 08:59:56 AM »
I freeze-concentrated some agave mead a couple years ago. I did the whole milk jug in the freezer routine. It worked ok. It's not like you are going to go from single digit ABV to 20-30% unless you have access to freezers that can go well below 0F.

I did several passes, starting with a gallon and got down to about a pint. At about a half gallon I noticed from tasting the ice that I was losing some alcohol that was binding to the water trapped in the ice. After that I kept going just to see what happened but there was definitely a point where I wasn't getting any more alcohol concentration, just flavor concentration. Probably losing some alcohol, too. To get more concentration you really need lower temperatures rather than multiple passes. Most of the websites about the process explain the concentration to temperature correlation.

The end product wasn't terrible but wasn't great either. It started out around 8% and just by guessing from drinking it I probably got it in the low teens, maybe the mid teens. The biggest problem, if you really try to concentrate it more than once or twice, is all the dead yeast and all the minerals from the water concentrate and become a strong part of the flavor profile. For me the saltiness wasn't too bad because it ended up tasting like syrupy mezcal (I seem to think I just used tap water in the mead) but if I were to try any freeze concentrating in the future I would use very low mineral water and lager first to try to drop out as much yeast as possible before trying to concentrate.

If I had the freezer space again I'd probably try freeze concentrating something else but I would be a lot more precise about the process.
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Offline snowtiger87

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Re: ice beer
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2013, 12:56:31 PM »
I did (an need to do it again) an Imperial Classic American Pilsner. It was fantastic. I called it Ice CAP  ;D
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Offline weithman5

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Re: ice beer
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2013, 01:47:03 PM »
What is an ice-beer other than a overly strong pale lager? I did drink some Molson's Ice back in 93(?)

what were you doing drinking canadian beer at 10 years old?
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Offline brew1314rw

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Re: ice beer
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2013, 07:14:35 PM »
Thanks for the replies!  I will keep those in mind.  I was not going to try to get it to a super high alcohol level.  I was just going to test it out with a couple of styles and I did not know if anyone had experience with any type of hops or malts giving some strange flavors when going through the concentrating process.  One other concern was the potential for it being overly cloying like mentioned above but eisbocks do start as doppelbocks so I figured there was some room before it becomes an issue.

Offline euge

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Re: ice beer
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2013, 08:16:15 PM »
Well I'll add that if you have the ability to freeze a keg then you can start drawing off once the diptube thaws. I had one go that way by accident and for about 5 pints an amber ale tasted like a very fine bourbon- a whiskey that you could drink by the pint mind you... ;)

Anyway what was left once the keg thawed completely was like Schlitz. Off hand it was about 3-4 gallons in that keg when it froze. Don't know if I'd want to freeze a full cornie though.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman