Author Topic: Highest OG for all-malt brew  (Read 919 times)

Offline erockrph

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Highest OG for all-malt brew
« on: February 20, 2014, 01:31:24 PM »
No, this isn't a "my barleywine is bigger than yours" thread. But I was wondering how high everyone would be comfortable pushing the limits for an OG on a beer that used no simple sugars or incremental feeding or anything else of that sort. In other words, at what point would you be concerned that the OG would be so high that the beer had little chance at finishing out at a drinkable FG, and is more likely to stall out at the "alcoholic malt syrup" stage.

Here's my scenario that has me thinking about this. For my next beer I am brewing a barleywine using an iterated mash. Basically, for a 3-gallon batch, I am planning on mashing 8 lbs of grain around 160F (for a high Alpha rest), then pulling the grain bag, and replacing it with 8 more pounds of grain. I'm hoping this will get me down to Beta rest temps (148ish), where I will hold for a long mash to max out fermentability.

I'm using 60% as a ballpark effiency, which would give me something in the 1.125 range for an OG. The thing is, I've gotten as high as 86% efficiency on barleywines using 8 lbs of grain in the mash before. If that happens, then I'd be up over 1.170 for my OG. Even with a big pitch of yeast, followed by a second active starter pitched 7 days later, I have a hard time imagining that this would finish as low as I'd want.

What would you use for your upper limit for the OG on an all-malt barleywine?
Eric B.

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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Highest OG for all-malt brew
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2014, 01:43:30 PM »
I'm afraid to think about a 1.170 barley wine. I wouldn't personally want to go much over 1.1 all malt, maybe 1.11 but I don't know about that. figure ~70% AA and your still looking over 1.030 FG. maybe with a metric butt load of hops?
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Highest OG for all-malt brew
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2014, 01:48:09 PM »
I don't like to go much over 1.100 for all malt beers. And that's mashing @ 148F to get the FG down into drinkable range (eventually).
Jon H.

Offline svejk

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Re: Highest OG for all-malt brew
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2014, 01:58:53 PM »
My highest was 1.137 for an all grain barleywine and it finished about 100 points lower than that.  Even with a high fg, it was amazing after aging an a mini bourbon barrel.  I did mash at 148F for almost 2 hours and needed to pitch an additional slurry from a brewpub to shave off the last few points. 

That said, if I had to guess, I would be very surprised if you would be in any danger of approaching the theoretical OG of 1.170 without extended boiling because first runnings tend to max out at a certain point and you would really having a hard time rinsing additional sugars from the mash if you aren't sparging and the solution is already saturated with sugar.

Offline bonjour

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Re: Highest OG for all-malt brew
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2014, 02:14:44 PM »
1.161 to 1.029 English BW
5 gallons of Malted Bliss
Mash low (148) and long 2+hrs
3+ hour boil
Fred Bonjour
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Everything under 1.100 is a 'session' beer ;)

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Highest OG for all-malt brew
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2014, 02:55:18 PM »
1.161 to 1.029 English BW
5 gallons of Malted Bliss
Mash low (148) and long 2+hrs
3+ hour boil

jaysus that's nuts.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Highest OG for all-malt brew
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2014, 03:03:40 PM »
1.161 to 1.029 English BW
5 gallons of Malted Bliss
Mash low (148) and long 2+hrs
3+ hour boil

jaysus that's nuts.

That's incredible.  I wouldn't have thought you could get that OG down so low without adding sugar. Hell, even with sugar is no slamdunk !
Jon H.

Offline dkfick

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Re: Highest OG for all-malt brew
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2014, 03:08:46 PM »
I've only gone as high as 1.150. Finished about 1.029.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Highest OG for all-malt brew
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2014, 03:48:07 PM »

I don't like to go much over 1.100 for all malt beers. And that's mashing @ 148F to get the FG down into drinkable range (eventually).

+1. In fact, I don't usually go over 1.090 and I use a bit of sugar. ;)
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Offline CASK1

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Re: Highest OG for all-malt brew
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2014, 07:35:13 PM »
1.161 to 1.029 English BW
5 gallons of Malted Bliss
Mash low (148) and long 2+hrs
3+ hour boil
What yeast did you use? How much? How long to reach FG?

Offline bonjour

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Re: Highest OG for all-malt brew
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2014, 08:38:57 PM »
Primary Yeast was Nottingham yeast cake, and finished with an American Ale II Growler of active slurry from a brew pub.

Do you have BeerSmith?  Look up Imperial Barleywine (63) Double Malted Bliss  in the cloud.

This beer won the Imperial Anything AHA Club Only contest.
Fred Bonjour
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Everything under 1.100 is a 'session' beer ;)

Offline erockrph

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Re: Highest OG for all-malt brew
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2014, 05:24:39 PM »
I ended up with an OG of 1.142 on this one. Just took my FG reading and I got down to 1.024. I'm not sure how much the step-down mash helped, but I can't complain with this level of attenuation.
Eric B.

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Highest OG for all-malt brew
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2014, 05:36:35 PM »
Man, that's very impressive. And that was an all malt barleywine, right ?
Jon H.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Highest OG for all-malt brew
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2014, 05:43:13 PM »
Man, that's very impressive. And that was an all malt barleywine, right ?

Yep. 16 pounds of MO in a 3-gallon batch, no sugar added.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Highest OG for all-malt brew
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2014, 05:49:24 PM »
Wow. I'm ballparking ~ 15% abv - ish. That'll be pretty fair shelf life on that bad boy.
Jon H.