Author Topic: Two Brothers Christmas Brew Session  (Read 1126 times)

Offline Bret

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Two Brothers Christmas Brew Session
« on: January 21, 2011, 03:30:02 PM »
My brother and I have been brewing for nearly 20 years, but we only did it together once--two beers we bottled together --The Brothers Black and Tan. Over the Christmas break, we decided to brew a big beer and age it until next Christmas.  The process was a lot of fun, and we had a good time coming up with our recipe and executing the brew day.  The beer is huge and fermenting nicely at his house in Maine.  It is the beer I am talking about in the thread about high gravity bottling in the kegging/bottling section.  Here's the recipe:

 Double Trouble Triple
10 lb. Weyermann Pilsner Malt  (Germany)
1 lb. Honey Malt (Canada)
1 lb. 5° lv Crystal Malt
6.6 lbs. Briess Pilsner Light Malt Extract Syrup (2° lv) (US)
2 lbs. Belgian Light Candi Sugar (Belgium)
1 oz. Simcoe (12.2% aa — Boil 90 minutes) (US)
1 oz. Amarillo (8% aa — flavor, 15 minutes) (US)
1 oz. Saaz (4% aa — aroma) (CZ)
Wyeast 1388 Belgian Strong Ale

OG: 1.124 + 002 (taken at 77 F) = 1.126 = Wow!


After 11 days in primary, racked to secondary.  Starter culture of White Labs WLP P099 Super High Gravity Yeast added with two tablespoons of Yeast nutrient. My bro did this step after the initial fermentation stalled. This is by far the highest OG either of us has ever tried.  Try a project with a brew pal--it is so much easier to clean up!
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Offline Bret

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Re: Two Brothers Christmas Brew Session
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2011, 11:14:05 AM »
 ???
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Two Brothers Christmas Brew Session
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2011, 12:27:30 PM »
Hi Bret, the recipe looks tasty.  I'm curious to hear how the mixture of amarillo and saaz turns out.

Did he check the gravity before racking?  Did you make a starter with the 1388?  How is fermentation going now?  1388 should have been able to finish that beer if you used enough and aerated well, but wlp099 might be able to clean it up for you.  It's hard to say, that's not the way white labs recommends using it and I have no experience with it.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Bret

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Re: Two Brothers Christmas Brew Session
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2011, 04:41:48 PM »
Hey Tom, thanks for the reply.  

Keep in mind, the brew was a collaboration.  We were on limited time (vacation) so some of the process was outside my norm.  I would have used a huge starter for a beer this big--my norm would be to brew on a yeast cake.  My bro is of the "one smack pack is enough" school of thought, and we were on limited time, so smack and dump it was.  It was most likely under pitched, but we did aerate the heck out of it--shaker style.

As far as amarillo and saaz--well, bro don't play "style guidelines" and likes the odd hops.  I'm curious too.

Yes, he did check the gravity and it was stalled at 1.030* or so for a while (week?). The second inoculation was at the suggestion of his LHBS guy, and hopefully will finish up fermentation without overriding the 1388 profile.  The fermentation continues slow and steady--airlock burps every 15 seconds or so. We are also hoping for enough yeast activity left over to bottle condition this beer--my norm is to keg, and with this beer I would have counter pressure filled the bottles.  We'll see I guess.  The plan is to bottle age this til next Christmas.  I will be updating both of the threads if anyone's interested.

*1.070
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 11:00:46 AM by Bret »
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Two Brothers Christmas Brew Session
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2011, 04:52:04 PM »
It's fine not to adhere to a style, I just don't think I've had that hop combination before :)

And it went down from 1.126 to 1.030 and he thought it wasn't finished?  At 76% attenuation it sure sounds finished to me!  It might drop a little further, but I wouldn't expect too much. ;)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Bret

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Re: Two Brothers Christmas Brew Session
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2011, 05:15:08 PM »
Crap. I hadn't thought it might be done. D'oh.  Bro felt is was necessary to do the additional pitch, so maybe I'm remembering the numbers wrong.  I'll check with him and update. 
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Two Brothers Christmas Brew Session
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2011, 05:19:43 PM »
It's possible if you're used to making beers with OG under 1.080 that you expect it to finish in the teens, and when you don't see that then you worry.  You did say "This is by far the highest OG either of us has ever tried" ;D
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Bret

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Re: Two Brothers Christmas Brew Session
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2011, 10:59:29 AM »
Correction:  The initial yeast quit at 1.070, not 1.030.
So you all know, it was my mistake, not my brother!

This beer is still actively fermenting!
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 11:01:33 AM by Bret »
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Two Brothers Christmas Brew Session
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2011, 11:05:47 AM »
Cool, can't wait to hear how it turns out. :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Bret

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Re: Two Brothers Christmas Brew Session
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2011, 09:40:48 AM »
Gravity checked and sample sampled.  We're down to 1.014 and Bro reports that the beer is tasty: residual sweetness and nice hops.  My SIL says it smells both hoppy and sweet.  

Now we bottle and age! I can't wait to try this beer!
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Offline Bret

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Re: Two Brothers Christmas Brew Session
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2011, 09:44:08 AM »
another photo
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