Author Topic: Fermenting high gravity brews  (Read 827 times)

Offline JJeffers09

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Fermenting high gravity brews
« on: February 01, 2017, 04:45:53 PM »
What is the 'stages' length you ferment your high gravity brews?  From bocks-stouts-Barleywines, I have been happy with my high gravity brews.  However the aged beer flavor is always very subtle.  It always seems to be missing the x-factor aged flavor.

I am currently trying something with my weizenbock, a 2ndary hold.  So @ 11% ABV, I racked to a secondary filled to the neck of a carboy and am trying to decide the holding time.  I think the brew could benefit from some extra hop character, something to balance the aroma.  A child of saaz, something (I'm not sure yet). 

At any rate.  As the weizenbock goes, I am not sure what is traditional.  What would be appropriate?

As far as the x-factor flavor of aged/kept beers.  What do you do?

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Offline erockrph

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Re: Fermenting high gravity brews
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2017, 05:28:04 PM »
That "aged" character in big beers is oxidation, at least the character I'm thinking of (sherry/raisin/fig). I find that bottling and cellaring them for extended aging is really the best way to achieve this.
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Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Fermenting high gravity brews
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2017, 05:30:45 PM »
That "aged" character in big beers is oxidation, at least the character I'm thinking of (sherry/raisin/fig). I find that bottling and cellaring them for extended aging is really the best way to achieve this.
How long do you age your brews?  Holding onto a barley wine for 18 months and it is still as mellow and smooth as I remember it 6 months ago...

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Offline denny

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Re: Fermenting high gravity brews
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2017, 05:53:48 PM »
That "aged" character in big beers is oxidation, at least the character I'm thinking of (sherry/raisin/fig). I find that bottling and cellaring them for extended aging is really the best way to achieve this.
How long do you age your brews?  Holding onto a barley wine for 18 months and it is still as mellow and smooth as I remember it 6 months ago...

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Offline The Beerery

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Re: Fermenting high gravity brews
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2017, 06:09:02 PM »
I agree that the aged character is oxidation. I recently tapped a Dopplebock that was brewed using low oxygen methods it has sat for a good 6-8 months in the spunded keg, upon looking at the DO reading it was 0.00, so no oxidation had taken place. However knowing this I made my own oxidation flavors with malts. I blended a range of cara's( I think it was like 5 separate caras) using the weyermann flavor wheel( great resource) to achieve the aged flavors I wanted. It turned out freekishly well. All of the beautiful dark fruit, raisins, etc with none of the soy sauce, kibble, and sherry. So thats an option as well.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Fermenting high gravity brews
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2017, 07:08:31 PM »
Interesting discussion.  I made some Tomme Arthur based dubbel a few years back, adding raisins at the end of the boil and then bottle conditioned and waxed the tops.  Predates any of my knowledge about LO brewing, but the beers have held up remarkably well....

Recipe based oxidation flavoring, a whole new thing!
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Offline denny

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Re: Fermenting high gravity brews
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2017, 07:11:20 PM »
I'm having a hard time understanding why you'd want to go through what I see as the effort of a low oxygen brew, then more effort to add back the oxidation flavors.
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Re: Fermenting high gravity brews
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2017, 07:15:27 PM »
I'm having a hard time understanding why you'd want to go through what I see as the effort of a low oxygen brew, then more effort to add back the oxidation flavors.

I think it's a control thing. You are mimicking the desirable aspects of age, flavor wise, without leaving it to chance.

Doppelbock is actually the best example: by utilizing ingredient choices over actual age, you get some of the aged cara malt flavors without the soy sauce/dog food thing.

I had a bottle of Korbinian this past weekend that had flashes of brilliance but was dominated by some undesirable oxidation flavors.

Offline denny

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Re: Fermenting high gravity brews
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2017, 07:20:17 PM »
I'm having a hard time understanding why you'd want to go through what I see as the effort of a low oxygen brew, then more effort to add back the oxidation flavors.

I think it's a control thing. You are mimicking the desirable aspects of age, flavor wise, without leaving it to chance.

Doppelbock is actually the best example: by utilizing ingredient choices over actual age, you get some of the aged cara malt flavors without the soy sauce/dog food thing.

I had a bottle of Korbinian this past weekend that had flashes of brilliance but was dominated by some undesirable oxidation flavors.

I'm a control freak, but not that much.
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Re: Fermenting high gravity brews
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2017, 07:27:45 PM »
I'm having a hard time understanding why you'd want to go through what I see as the effort of a low oxygen brew, then more effort to add back the oxidation flavors.

I think it's a control thing. You are mimicking the desirable aspects of age, flavor wise, without leaving it to chance.

Doppelbock is actually the best example: by utilizing ingredient choices over actual age, you get some of the aged cara malt flavors without the soy sauce/dog food thing.

I had a bottle of Korbinian this past weekend that had flashes of brilliance but was dominated by some undesirable oxidation flavors.

I'm a control freak, but not that much.

In he end it's part of the recipe formulation phase so it adds no additional complexity to actually brewing the beer.

Different strokes.

Offline The Beerery

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Re: Fermenting high gravity brews
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2017, 08:10:24 PM »
Another cog to turn, tis all.
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Offline denny

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Re: Fermenting high gravity brews
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2017, 08:10:48 PM »

In he end it's part of the recipe formulation phase so it adds no additional complexity to actually brewing the beer.

Different strokes.

I see.  Bryan's [post had me thinking it was something you added later.
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Offline The Beerery

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Re: Fermenting high gravity brews
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2017, 08:14:10 PM »
To be clear, I didn't oxidize anything. I used the weyermann malt wheel to find caras with the flavors I wanted and then blended them into the beer recipe. Mimicking the good oxidation flavors, while not actually oxidizing the beer and getting the undesirables as well.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2017, 08:15:57 PM by The Beerery »
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Offline 69franx

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Re: Fermenting high gravity brews
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2017, 08:28:32 PM »
Bryan that sounds like an awesome plan to get what you are looking for, thanks for sharing
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Fermenting:
Conditioning:
In keg:
In Bottles:  
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Offline denny

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Re: Fermenting high gravity brews
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2017, 08:30:20 PM »
To be clear, I didn't oxidize anything. I used the weyermann malt wheel to find caras with the flavors I wanted and then blended them into the beer recipe. Mimicking the good oxidation flavors, while not actually oxidizing the beer and getting the undesirables as well.

Understood.  It had sounded like you made some sort of tincture/extract that was added later.
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