Author Topic: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!  (Read 2524 times)

Offline jivetyrant

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     So my sister is planning her wedding for mid-July this year and I want to make a truly special beer to commemorate this (hopefully) once in a lifetime event.  In the first homebrewing book I purchased there is a recipe for a real beast of a beer, beyond even a barleywine in it's final alcohol content.  This will be a pretty expensive brew, not to mention the large time commitment that will go into it.  I have had some complaints about the recipes in this book, mostly that they were obviously written by different people and little effort was put into keeping them inside a standard format.  Before I order my ingredients, I'd like to run the recipe by folks on the forums for a quick proofread and possible revision.  Here goes!

OG 1.100, prior to the (many) fermentation stage sugar additions.
FG with this many sugar additions your guess is a good as mine.
target ABV of 14-16%

Preboil

4 Gallons cool water

1/2 lb crushed cara-munich barley
1/2 lb crushed special B barley
2 tsp gypsum

With grains in a mesh bag, add all ingredients and heat, stirring every 5 minutes.  Remove grain when water reaches 170 degrees, drain excess water without squeezing the bag.

Boil (65 minutes)

13.2 lbs light LME or 11 lbs light DME (65 minutes)
2 oz tomahawk pellets (60 minutes) These do not appear to be available from the normal web sources or homebrew shops I use, will probably have to substitute something else. I will research that tomorrow.
2oz Chinook pellets (20 minutes)
1/2 lb pure cane sugar (20 minutes)
2 tsp irish moss (20 minutes)
stir for 1 minute
1/2 lb Demerara sugar (10 minutes)
stir for 1 minute
add wort chiller to sanitize

remove from heat and stir for 2 minutes, creating a whirlpool

cool to 70-75 degrees and transfer to carboy, topping off volume to 5 gallons.

add 5 tsp yeast nutrient
pitch Wyeast 1214 Abbey Ale or White Labs WLP570 Belgian Strong/Golden Ale.  MrMalty says 2 vials or slap packs assuming new-ish yeast in a 1.5L starter, BUT there will be substantial sugar additions after the start of fermentation not accounted for, read on and give your yeast recommendation.  No recommendation on fermentation temperature.

Hook up to Aquarium pump for 1 hour. (I have a pure O2 system I would be using, 2 micron aeration stone.  I normally run it for 1 minute per Wyeast's recommendation)

After the most vigorous fermentation subsides, 8 to 10 days, begin alternating additions of 1oz pure can sugar and 1oz demerara sugar every day for 5 days straight.

Rack to secondary a few days later when primary fermentation slows down.  Before racking, add 1oz Cascade hop pellets to the clean and sanitized carboy.

Pitch Distillers yeast, probably Wyeast 4347 Eau de Vie, the recipe recommends a yeast starter but does not say how large or with how many vials/slap packs.  Also add 1oz pure cane sugar.  Alternate with 1oz demarara sugar for a further 5 days straight.  Secondary fermentation should last 1 to 3 weeks total. (yikes, big variable there)

2 weeks after all fermentation activity has subsided the beer will be ready to package.

Before bottling, dissolve Champagne yeast, probably  Wyeast 4021 Pasteur Champagne in 1 cup of the beer.  Add this mixture along with 5oz priming sugar dissolved in 1 cup boiled water, cooled.  Stir well and bottle.

Minimum aging recommendation of 3 weeks, though I would imagine that this would keep very, very well.

So the real question is, if I were to start this next weekend would it be ready by mid-July?  Is there a reliable way of determining the ABV of a beer like this in a home environment?  The total bill looks to be around $110 in ingredients, not including the Demerara sugar which I'll have to order separately, I may use Turbinado instead as it is more readily available locally.  Please post any tweaks or recommendations you may have, I want this to be a really memorable one!

Sorry for the monster post, hopefully I don't get too many TLDR responses. ;p




« Last Edit: March 01, 2011, 09:37:03 PM by jivetyrant »

Offline euge

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Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2011, 11:52:25 PM »
   
So the real question is, if I were to start this next weekend would it be ready by mid-July?  Is there a reliable way of determining the ABV of a beer like this in a home environment?  The total bill looks to be around $110 in ingredients, not including the Demerara sugar which I'll have to order separately, I may use Turbinado instead as it is more readily available locally.  Please post any tweaks or recommendations you may have, I want this to be a really memorable one!

Sorry for the monster post, hopefully I don't get too many TLDR responses. ;p





That's a tall order for such a big beer. It may be "ready" but this beer won't be at its peak for quite some time. Years probably. If you make a couple cases then they can crack one every year.

So tell me about the chinook.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline tygo

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Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2011, 05:03:45 AM »
I agree with Euge that while you can complete fermentation in that time it's probably going to take a good while for this one to sit and condition.  If you're planning on serving it for the wedding then that might be a little tight.  But I think what you're saying is that it'll be given as a gift in which case they can just let it age in the bottles so that would be okay.

If I'm following your sugar additions correctly it looks like you'll have about 2 lbs of sugar along with the 11 lbs of DME.  That should give you an OG after factoring in sugar additions of around 1.108.  If you manage to get around 75% AA that would give you a FG of 1.025 and an ABV of 10.94%.

Ferment it low and slow and I'd rack this one to a secondary to continue conditioning until about a month before the wedding then add the additional yeast and priming sugar and bottle.

I've never used champagne yeast so I can't comment directly but I haven't heard good things.  If you did a low gravity five gallon batch with the yeast and pitched this beast on the entire yeast cake I think you'd probably be able to get the job done without using them.
Clint
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On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline bonjour

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Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2011, 06:48:26 AM »
Tomahawk is the same as columbus or zeus, the three are commonly referred to as CTZ

Can you do all grain?  I typically recommend 1.100 as the cutoff for extract based beers because of the attenuation factor.

This is NOT that big of a beer, I brewed a 1.146 OG beer on Sunday.
I don't trust this recipe.
First the brewer is calling for both distillers yeast and champagne yeast, neither of which is necessary.
He is talking American hops with a Belgian yeast, not a bad idea but unusual.
Second, there are no specialty grains.  This means no complexity in flavor.
This recipe seems to be put together as an alcohol delivery vehicle, not what I call a beer for a special occasion.

The first real question is what does the Bride like.

Check out my page on homebrew weddings for some ideas.


Fred Bonjour
Co-Chair Mashing in Michigan 2014 AHA Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan
AHA Governing Committee; AHA Conference, Club Support & Web Subcommittees



Everything under 1.100 is a 'session' beer ;)

Offline hokerer

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Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2011, 06:54:14 AM »
Second, there are no specialty grains.  This means no complexity in flavor.

Minor point, but it does look like there's a little bit of CaraMunich and Special B
Joe

Offline bonjour

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Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2011, 07:04:03 AM »
You got me, I missed that.
Fred Bonjour
Co-Chair Mashing in Michigan 2014 AHA Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan
AHA Governing Committee; AHA Conference, Club Support & Web Subcommittees



Everything under 1.100 is a 'session' beer ;)

Offline jivetyrant

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Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2011, 07:29:30 AM »

The first real question is what does the Bride like.

Check out my page on homebrew weddings for some ideas.


My sister doesn't really like beer, this is more for her fiance, heh.  He's an avid beer drinker and has not yet found a beer he dislikes, in his words.

I'll check out your website, do you have a link?

I don't yet have the gear to do all grain, that's going to be my next major investment.  I just have to finish reading the all grain section in The Joy of Homebrewing before I make any purchases.

Thanks for the tip on the Tomahawk, that answers my question.

I have had problems with the last recipe I used from this book, see my thread in the Yeast and Fermentation forum.  It called for tons of specialty grains and 12 lbs of dark DME which has caused some attenuation problems.  I'm fighting with it as we speak, should be taking a hydrometer reading tonight after I buy one to replace the one I dropped on the floor and broke a couple nights ago. (doh!)  I decided that I don't want to trust a suspect recipe without some other, more experienced folks taking a look at it first!

Offline hokerer

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Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2011, 07:37:14 AM »
Check out my page on homebrew weddings for some ideas.

I'll check out your website, do you have a link?


Fred's website is linked in the signature under his posts.
Joe

Offline bonjour

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Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2011, 07:53:25 AM »
http://beerdujour.com/AwardWinningRecipes.htm  Recipes that have had beer judges say these are good.  about 1/3 of them are extract with grain
http://beerdujour.com/ is the base site
http://beerdujour.com/Wedding.html
I also did my daughters wedding last October.

Oh, with big beers, they should be very good 30 days after brewing, improve with age, but good enough that you don't want to.
Fred Bonjour
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AHA Governing Committee; AHA Conference, Club Support & Web Subcommittees



Everything under 1.100 is a 'session' beer ;)

Offline bonjour

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Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2011, 07:55:33 AM »
Is this for serving at the wedding?  If so I would make a much more modest beer, one without a lot of American hops.
Fred Bonjour
Co-Chair Mashing in Michigan 2014 AHA Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan
AHA Governing Committee; AHA Conference, Club Support & Web Subcommittees



Everything under 1.100 is a 'session' beer ;)

Offline denny

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Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2011, 09:36:35 AM »
I have had problems with the last recipe I used from this book, see my thread in the Yeast and Fermentation forum.  It called for tons of specialty grains and 12 lbs of dark DME which has caused some attenuation problems.  I'm fighting with it as we speak, should be taking a hydrometer reading tonight after I buy one to replace the one I dropped on the floor and broke a couple nights ago. (doh!)  I decided that I don't want to trust a suspect recipe without some other, more experienced folks taking a look at it first!

Kinda sounds like a red flag...lots of specialties and dark extract will contribute a lot of unfermentables.

And in the recipe you posted, 5 tsp. of yeast nutrient is WAAAAYYYYY over the top.  1/2 tsp. is the usual recommendation and 5 tsp. could leave an ammonia like taste to the beer.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2011, 10:09:28 AM »
I don't yet have the gear to do all grain, that's going to be my next major investment.  I just have to finish reading the all grain section in The Joy of Homebrewing before I make any purchases.

I started doing all grain with my bottleing bucket and a grain bag that fit inside it wrapped in a comforter. It wasn't big enough for a big beer like this but it wouild be good for a partial mash. If you could get some of your fermentables from a long and low mash (148 for 90 minutes or more) it would help balance the ufermentables in the extract. just a thought. I looked at some of Fred's high ABV recipes ont eh wedding page and those look really good! I bet you could adapt one of them to partial mash.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

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Offline jivetyrant

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Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2011, 06:00:07 AM »
Thanks for the input so far folks!  I'll definitely cut down the yeast nutrient to the manufacturers recommendation, I have some of the Wyeast stuff en-route, should be delivered tomorrow.

If I brew a low gravity batch first using the primary yeast and use the yeast cake do you think I would be able to skip the distillers yeast?  What is the best method to do that?  Do I just use a little bit of my new wort to shake the yeast cake into a more liquid state and pitch that right from the old carboy to the new one?  I've never tried that technique before, it doesn't seem like it would be very sanitary.  Is there a step I am missing?

Offline bonjour

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Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2011, 07:26:54 AM »
I NEVER use distillers yeast and I brew much bigger beers than this.
Fred Bonjour
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Everything under 1.100 is a 'session' beer ;)

Offline hokerer

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Re: Planning a huge beer for my sister's wedding, proofread please!
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2011, 08:22:36 AM »
What is the best method to do that?  Do I just use a little bit of my new wort to shake the yeast cake into a more liquid state and pitch that right from the old carboy to the new one?  I've never tried that technique before, it doesn't seem like it would be very sanitary.  Is there a step I am missing?

You can do it even more simply.  Brew your small beer and when it's done fermenting, rack it to secondary or to bottling, whatever is your normal procedure.  Then brew your big beer, chill, aerate, and then just dump it right into the carboy you used for your small batch that has all the yeast still in it.
Joe