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Old 12-14-2012, 05:27 AM   #1
Tiroux
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Default All about Eisbock

Before I begin, 1 thing: it is not illegal. I know it have been discussed here a lot, but I checked both canadian and american federal laws, and nothing is illegal, at least for homebrewing. It is not a distillation, it's the opposite of distillation. You take out the non-alcool (water), it is called ''concentration''.

That said.

Have you tried it?

I heard mainly 2 or 3 techniques. I would like to have your comments of those, or other techniques you might come up with. If I say wrong, please tell me, if I say right, please confirm.

1 - Full slushy freezing
Take a plastic gallon jug filled with your base beer (fermented, not carb'ed). You freeze it entirely to a slushy mixture. When done, you flip the jug upside down and place it in a funnel, draining into your next container. The alcool will melt before water and fall into the next container. You stop when you are at the concentration you want.

My POV: I'm not sure what's left is ONLY water, so that might not be the more efficient way to eisbock, and certainly not the best way to control and calculate your concentration

2 - Skimming ice on top
You place the beer in a plastic bucket, that you place in the freezer. Every few hours (I guess it depends on the size of the batch), you take off the lid, and (with a sanitized tool) remove the ice on top wich is almost 100% water, because that's what freezes first. Repeat until wanted volume.

My POV: Good way to control the concentration and ABV.. A bit of work but hey...

3 - Keg technique
Well, I don't have kegs, so I can't really speak about it but, that's mainly partially freeze your beer in the keg, then push out the non-frozen beer.

My POV: don't really no, how can you see the freezing process?


Bottling/Conditionning
-If you totally freeze the beer, your yeast's dead.
-If you concentrate to an alcool level your yeast can't take, it's dead.
-But, it you partially freeze it and only skim the top ice, there are chances that enough yeast is still alive to bottle condition normally. Lager yeast are resistant.
-If you want to be safe, or if your yeast is dead, or if you're now at 14%, you can add fresh yeast, and even use ale or champagne yeast or something like. that


What I plan to do, is to take my 7.5% Doppelbock and push it to 20% (2L to 0.75L) and bottle it flat in a 750ml and let it age several months (as long as I can wait). That would be more like a malt liquor than a beer.

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Old 12-14-2012, 05:34 AM   #2
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Brewing TV has an episode on it. What they did was add priming sugar to a 1 gallon milk jug and fill with beer. They put it in the freezer for 4 to 8 hours until it was slushy. Then they racked it straight into bottles. The beer carbed fine and it was concentrated. I am too lazy to post the link to the video but it is easy to find. Check it out if out haven't.

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Old 12-14-2012, 05:50 AM   #3
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I don't think you should carb a strong eisbock, from what I've heard, so I wouldn't worry about it. It's more like a weak whiskey or a sipping brandy.

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Old 12-14-2012, 06:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DacotahBrewing View Post
Brewing TV has an episode on it. What they did was add priming sugar to a 1 gallon milk jug and fill with beer. They put it in the freezer for 4 to 8 hours until it was slushy. Then they racked it straight into bottles. The beer carbed fine and it was concentrated. I am too lazy to post the link to the video but it is easy to find. Check it out if out haven't.
I've seen it. That's the technique no.1 I described
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbsmith View Post
I don't think you should carb a strong eisbock, from what I've heard, so I wouldn't worry about it. It's more like a weak whiskey or a sipping brandy.
That's why I say I want to bottle it flat.
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiroux View Post
That's why I say I want to bottle it flat.
Ah, I misread when you were talking about bottle conditioning. I'm confused, if you want your eisbock to be conditioned without worrying about the yeast, I would think that you could just let it condition in a secondary before doing any freezing, right? As far as conditioning goes, I think it is less about the yeast and more about giving chemical reactions between compounds already in the beer enough time to be carried out. Why worry about the yeast?
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbsmith View Post
Ah, I misread when you were talking about bottle conditioning. I'm confused, if you want your eisbock to be conditioned without worrying about the yeast, I would think that you could just let it condition in a secondary before doing any freezing, right? As far as conditioning goes, I think it is less about the yeast and more about giving chemical reactions between compounds already in the beer enough time to be carried out. Why worry about the yeast?
I talked about bottle conditionning just to mention YOU CAN carbonate it, if someone wants it. But at the end I just say mine will be flat.

That said, I'm not sure if it's better to age it in secondary or after freezing. That is quite a good question. Sounds like a microbiological/chimestry question I can't answer, but I'd like an answer!
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:01 AM   #8
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Hmm.. well if it were me, I would let it condition for a few weeks in the secondary to let the yeast clean things up, and then I would ice treat and bottle it, and let the chemicals run their course after that.

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