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Author Topic: Big Alcohol, Little Knowledge  (Read 6019 times)

Offline BigBearyZ

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Re: Big Alcohol, Little Knowledge
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2014, 03:31:18 pm »



if you can work it I would brew a small dry stout with the Irish yeast and pitch about 1/3 to 1/2 of the resulting cake into this beer to start.

What do you mean by cake? Just the remnants left in the brewpot?

Offline BigBearyZ

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Re: Big Alcohol, Little Knowledge
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2014, 03:34:06 pm »



My bad.  I assumed you were mashing some grains and then adding all the extract and sugar to boost the alcohol as it fermented.  You don't need to go all grain, you could do a mini-mash and then add extract.  Or you can stay with all extract, if that's where you're comfortable.

For extracts, I have found Breiss Pilsen dry extract to be highly fermentable and I would recommend it for this application.  Something like their golden light might give you more body.  I would definitely steep some dark grains for color and flavor.

As far as you're target ABV, what batch size are you looking at?  IME, you're not likely to get 20% ABV with 12 lbs of liquid extract and a couple lbs of sugar, unless it's a smaller batch.  I haven't plugged this into a calculator, but I think you'll need more extract to reach that % and still have a stout.

I actually looked at the draft of the recipe and its more like 15 lbs, sorry for the misrepresentation

Offline kramerog

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Re: Big Alcohol, Little Knowledge
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2014, 03:37:51 pm »
You will have to use a vessel with a relatively wide mouth to use a mix stir like a bucket or big mouth bubbler.


I use my mixstir in a better bottle all the time. Used it in a glass carboy as well. I actually prefer it because as it spins up the wort doesn't fly over the edge as it has before in a bucket.

I guess I got a bigger mix stir.  Bigger is not always better!

Offline BigBearyZ

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Re: Big Alcohol, Little Knowledge
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2014, 03:46:34 pm »
Duly noted!

Offline kramerog

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Re: Big Alcohol, Little Knowledge
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2014, 03:49:24 pm »



if you can work it I would brew a small dry stout with the Irish yeast and pitch about 1/3 to 1/2 of the resulting cake into this beer to start.

What do you mean by cake? Just the remnants left in the brewpot?

Cake is the yeast cake from fermenting another beer.

Offline BigBearyZ

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Re: Big Alcohol, Little Knowledge
« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2014, 03:52:51 pm »
Sorry, im pretty new at this. So its what's left at the bottom of the fermenter?

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Big Alcohol, Little Knowledge
« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2014, 03:55:25 pm »
Sorry, im pretty new at this. So its what's left at the bottom of the fermenter?

you got it.
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Offline BigBearyZ

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Re: Big Alcohol, Little Knowledge
« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2014, 03:58:04 pm »
So why would I add the cake when I could make a starter,  if the purpose is to have an increased number of cells?

Offline 69franx

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Re: Big Alcohol, Little Knowledge
« Reply #23 on: November 06, 2014, 04:03:08 pm »
You will need a lot of cells, enough so that making a smaller beer and using that cake should be easier and more rewarding than making a huge starter where you just throw away the spent wort. At least that's part of it
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Offline BigBearyZ

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Re: Big Alcohol, Little Knowledge
« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2014, 04:14:35 pm »
Wow, I didn't realize it required that much yeast! That makes much more sense

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Big Alcohol, Little Knowledge
« Reply #25 on: November 06, 2014, 04:18:05 pm »
So why would I add the cake when I could make a starter,  if the purpose is to have an increased number of cells?

actually looking at the incremental feeding schedule I outlined above you can probably get away without a starter come to think of it.

2 gallons at 1.075 will be fine with one vial of yeast. then that will grow plenty of yeast to take on the second step. The yeast will be getting a bit old by step 4 but then you'll hit it with a 1 liter active starter of the high gravity and that should help.
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Offline BigBearyZ

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Re: Big Alcohol, Little Knowledge
« Reply #26 on: November 06, 2014, 04:27:16 pm »
Oh awesome, so are starters exclusively for >7% beers? Or is there another criteria as a deciding factor?

Offline Stevie

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Re: Big Alcohol, Little Knowledge
« Reply #27 on: November 06, 2014, 04:34:30 pm »

I guess I got a bigger mix stir.  Bigger is not always better!
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Offline BigBearyZ

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Re: Big Alcohol, Little Knowledge
« Reply #28 on: November 06, 2014, 04:40:49 pm »
I haven't heard of them before this post, most definitely gonna invest in them

Offline a10t2

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Re: Big Alcohol, Little Knowledge
« Reply #29 on: November 06, 2014, 06:44:09 pm »
I've brewed a couple of >20% beers. I wouldn't use extract, personally, other than to make up a small gravity deficit. If extract is where you're at, then like everyone else said, use the most fermentable extract you can get.

I'd brew a ~1.120 wort, as fermentable as possible, then use sequential sugar additions during fermentation to bring up the ABV. Use a powdery, attenuative yeast like Chico with a healthy starter for the initial pitch, then monitor gravity and feed ~2 lb of cane sugar at a time each time it ferments below 10°P or so. Aerate along with each sugar addition except for the last one. If gravity stops dropping, rack the beer onto an entire yeast cake from another beer using an alcohol-tolerant yeast. You may have to do this several times to get the beer to its attenuation limit. For a 5 gal batch, 6 lb of sugar would take you from 1.120 OG and 1.030 FG (12% ABV) to 1.170 OG and 1.010 FG, for 21% ABV.

Oh awesome, so are starters exclusively for >7% beers? Or is there another criteria as a deciding factor?

A starter is never necessary, strictly speaking. How much yeast to use comes down to the target pitching rate. 0.75 million/mL-°P is pretty much standard for ales; some brewers pitch more for high-gravity ales and pretty much everyone pitches more for lagers. For 5 gal (19 L) at 1.050 (12.5°P), that's 178 billion cells, or basically two packs/vials (~100B each). So a starter is usually a good idea for any normal homebrew batch.
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