Author Topic: super high gravity  (Read 996 times)

Offline astrivian

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super high gravity
« on: June 07, 2010, 07:46:24 PM »
Hey all,

I am new to the forum and still pretty new to homebrewing. I was trying (just for fun) a super high gravity ale (OG: 1.200) using WLP099 Super High Gravity. I am trying to push the 1 gallon batch to 20% ABV or higher.

I was curious if anyone had experience with this yeast or with super high gravity beers in general. What are some tricks to push the ABV so high? I notice that the yeast is very slow, even at higher temps. It reached about 11% then quit, so i made another starter (about a quart) and repitched. Now i pushed it to 15% but it is slowing down again.

Is this yeast just really slow and i should just be patient?

Thanks!
Never trust a skinny chef and never trust a sober brewer.

Offline a10t2

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Re: super high gravity
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2010, 09:22:01 PM »
I dont actually think it has anything to do with the yeast being slow. At that ABV level, you're just getting to the point at which the yeast are dying off faster than they can ferment. Successive pitches are the only way to get around that.

This might be helpful: Batch 25

edit: Fred Bonjour has some good advice too: How to brew a really BIG beer
« Last Edit: June 07, 2010, 09:30:50 PM by a10t2 »
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: super high gravity
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2010, 09:27:48 PM »
Here is how Chris White has said to do a Super High Gravity Beer.  Did you do all this?

http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/homebrew_super.html
Jeff Rankert
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Offline IHBHS

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Re: super high gravity
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2010, 09:55:28 PM »
With WLP-099 there are a few tricks that you need to be aware of.  First is the amount of yeast you are pitching.  1 vial for 5 gallons wont cut it with a high gravity.  You need at least double the yeast if you want to get up that high. Second is your nutrient.  You need about 5 times as much nutrient to really help this stuff out.  Third is to oxygenate this hell out of this stuff.  Fourth is you need to agitate it.  If you see that it's stopped actively bubbling, swirl your carboy as if you're trying to create a whirlpool inside the carboy.  This will re-suspend the yeast and get it going again.  I used this with a mix of WLP-028 to create a Super Strong Scotch Ale.  I ued 1 vial of 099 and one of 028 with the extra nutrient and agitating it every day for a week and a half and I got my 10 gallon batch up to 12.56, but I know the yeast will tolerate 20% abv.  Good Luck.
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Offline bonjour

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Re: super high gravity
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2010, 06:02:10 AM »
You need a LOT of yeast to start with,  I'll suggest 5 gallons of a 1.040-1.050 beer for a STARTER,  pitch onto the yeast cake and mix it up real good.  collect some of this yeast (a vial or so worth) to make another "STARTER" (5 gallon starter) in a month or so.  Pitch this second 5 gallon starter when it is ready and fresh.  The idea is to add a population of working yeast when the original yeast dies off so you are adding the entire yeast cake.

Oh, and as stated above, http://beerdujour.com/Howtobrewabigbeer.htm

VERY, VERY important,  mash for maximium attenuation/fermentability,  this usually means low and long, at least 2 hours, 3 will not hurt.

Fred
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Everything under 1.100 is a 'session' beer ;)

Offline bluesman

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Re: super high gravity
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2010, 07:58:52 AM »
You need a LOT of yeast to start with,  I'll suggest 5 gallons of a 1.040-1.050 beer for a STARTER,  pitch onto the yeast cake and mix it up real good.  collect some of this yeast (a vial or so worth) to make another "STARTER" (5 gallon starter) in a month or so.  Pitch this second 5 gallon starter when it is ready and fresh.  The idea is to add a population of working yeast when the original yeast dies off so you are adding the entire yeast cake.

Oh, and as stated above, http://beerdujour.com/Howtobrewabigbeer.htm

VERY, VERY important,  mash for maximium attenuation/fermentability,  this usually means low and long, at least 2 hours, 3 will not hurt.

Fred

Nice tips!

I have to remember these.

Ron Price

Offline bonjour

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Re: super high gravity
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2010, 08:08:24 AM »
as a second note, these levels, approaching 20%abv, are nearly impossible to make with extract because you have little control of the fermentability of the extract and will have a high FG.

I would be possible if you add enzymes to the extract to further breakdown the complex sugars.

Fred
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Everything under 1.100 is a 'session' beer ;)

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: super high gravity
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2010, 09:27:32 AM »
+1

Good tips from those websites.

I would add Sam Calagione's Extreme Brewing to the list. Dogfish Head has some pretty good tips on dosing with sugar to keep that yeast working.
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Offline astrivian

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Re: super high gravity
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2010, 06:51:21 PM »
Wow these are all excellent suggestions thank you. I read the articles and it looks like i did a lot of things wrong, or at least could improve on next time. I did pitch a good amount of yeast though: 1/2 gallon starter to 1 gallon wort. This one was just a test batch anyhow, i will have to try again and let you know how it turns out.

Thanks!
Never trust a skinny chef and never trust a sober brewer.