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Old 11-06-2012, 12:15 AM   #1
chrisfiac
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Default Big OG problem/Challenge

Hi There:

I brewed a recipe (trailing this post) collated from a number of sources. I was really keen to get this one right and was shooting for a 1.11 OG; reality was a 1.22OG!! Since the wort was already cooled, I went ahead and pitched a medium size starter on it, and within hours, it was fermenting like an aquarium.

No I'm afraid the yeast is going to quickly die of alcohol poisoning--leaving me with a massively sweet beer. So what can I do to make sure it ferments down quite a bit? Should I make another HUGE starter with, say, Scotch ale yeast or California ale yeast? An even if I do this, I'm worried that 1.) the yeast will quickly die or 2.) the fermentation will stop for a few days while the starter readies.

This batch is supposed to be Christmas presents, and I have a good amount of money invested in this thus far. So any guidance is well appreciated!

-Cheers, Chris

Profile:
1.111 OG (reality was 1.22OG)
1.028 FG
84.2 IBU
11.1% ABV

Grain:
12 lbs 2-Row (58.5%)
4 lbs apple wood smoked 2-row (19.5%)
1.5 lbs roasted barley (7.3%)
1 lbs Special B (5%)
1 lbs flaked barley (5%)
.5 lbs chocolate (2.4%)
.5 oz crystal 60*l (2%)
20.5 lbs Total Weight

Mash:
Mash in: 1 qts per lbs strike water (5.125 gal)
150* for 90 minutes
Mash out: 1.325 qts per lbs at 212* (1.813 gal)
Total mash volume: 7 gallons
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Hops:
60 min: 1.5 oz Chinook
15 min: 1.5 oz Chinook
5 min: 1 oz Chinook

Adjuncts:
3 OZ Coffee @ 5 min boil

Secondary:
3 oz med toasted American oak cubes
.75 cup bourbon at aging

Yeast:
American Ale (1056). Made a starter 2 days prior

Notes: Soak oak and vanilla and bourbon in jar during primary duration. Taste in secondary weekly to get oak profile correct. Age until Christmas time and bottle.

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Old 11-06-2012, 12:27 AM   #2
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That is a massive beer to have ready by Christmas. I have a 1.107 Belgian Dark Strong that has been fermenting for almost 6 weeks, not close to being ready yet.

You would want this on the oak for at least a few weeks, a month or 2 is better. Then a loonnggg aging, there is going to be a heavy dose of alcohol up front until that ages probably 6 months.

You'll need an alcohol tolerant yeast, maybe Trappist High Gravity. I would have a nice alcohol tolerant dry yeast waiting in the wings in case this thing stalls out in the 30's or 40's.

If you use liquid, make a large starter, probably 4L or step up a couple 2L starters and have plenty of head room in the fermentor, this thing will start off with a bang. You might consider some FermCap to prevent excessive blow off early (I had almost a gallon of blow off).

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Kegged: Sour Saison, Pale Ale, Aggie Ale
Bottled: Belgian Quad (Grand Reserve), Derangement (Belgian Dark Strong)
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:27 AM   #3
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1.22?!? You doubled your expected OG?!?

You sure it wasn't 1.12?

I really really really think you misread the hydrometer (Do they even go that high?)

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Old 11-06-2012, 12:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisfiac View Post
This batch is supposed to be Christmas presents, and I have a good amount of money invested in this thus far.
It will make great Christmas gifts... in 2013
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:31 AM   #5
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you could pitch a starter of WLP099 Super High Gravity, its good up to 25% abv.

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Old 11-06-2012, 12:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rossi46 View Post
you could pitch a starter of WLP099 Super High Gravity, its good up to 25% abv.
^^^ Nice, I forgot all about the San Diego Super yeast.
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Something is always fermenting....
"It's Bahl Hornin'"

Primary:
Brite Tank/Lagering:
Kegged: Sour Saison, Pale Ale, Aggie Ale
Bottled: Belgian Quad (Grand Reserve), Derangement (Belgian Dark Strong)
On Deck: Firestone DBA, De Koninck Blonde
My Site: www.restlesscellars.com
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:49 AM   #7
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Yes!!! You're correct; I misread! Obviously I'm a bit new at this. The OG was 1.122, which is much more in line with my expectations. What a huge relief. So maybe I should try a smack pack pack of (Belgian Abby?) if fermentation stalls in a week?

Yeah, I'm now realizing this won't be ideal when it's bottled and given away at Christmas. I'll have to instruct the recipient to cellar the beer to drinken at next Christmas dinner. I'll market it a a start to a long tradition.

--Thanks, Chris

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Old 11-06-2012, 05:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helibrewer View Post
^^^ Nice, I forgot all about the San Diego Super yeast.
WLP090 is San Diego, WLP099 is Super High Gravity. I had WLP090 crap out on a 1.091 beer.
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewThruYou View Post
WLP090 is San Diego, WLP099 is Super High Gravity. I had WLP090 crap out on a 1.091 beer.
Thanks for the correction...I'll have to find a recipe to try the 099 with.
__________________
Something is always fermenting....
"It's Bahl Hornin'"

Primary:
Brite Tank/Lagering:
Kegged: Sour Saison, Pale Ale, Aggie Ale
Bottled: Belgian Quad (Grand Reserve), Derangement (Belgian Dark Strong)
On Deck: Firestone DBA, De Koninck Blonde
My Site: www.restlesscellars.com
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisfiac View Post
Yes!!! You're correct; I misread! Obviously I'm a bit new at this. The OG was 1.122, which is much more in line with my expectations. What a huge relief. So maybe I should try a smack pack pack of (Belgian Abby?) if fermentation stalls in a week?
shouldn't be necessary, 1056 shouldn't have a problem finishing that if you pitched enough. make sure to keep your temps down
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