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Old 10-27-2009, 07:29 PM   #1
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Default Questions - Anyone Brew an Eisbock?

So, I've been homebrewing for a few years now, pretty basic stuff, but over the past few months I've gotten much more involved in more experimental brews and techniques.

Anyway, I'm thinking of trying to brew a strong dark Belgian ale, something with a lot of dark fruit character, that I can freeze and seperate like an Eisbock, which (hopefully) will yield something reminiscent of a beer comparable to a Tawny Port (after decent aging).

Have any of you attempted Eisbock's or other frozen, separated beers before? What were the results? Any advice moving forward?

Most important, how much did freezing the beer increase the ABV? How much did it reduce the overall quantity?

I just want to get an idea of what I'm up against before I put the time and effort necessary into the brew.

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Old 10-27-2009, 09:43 PM   #2
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Here is a link to BYO that explains that of a 5 gallon dopplebock, you end with about 3.5 gallons after the freezing process.

http://www.byo.com/stories/recipes/a...ge/596-eisbock

I've heard two arguments on this, but AFIAK, you are condensing beer that has legally been brewed, and it's no longer considered distilling, but condensing, and therefore is legal. May vary from state to state.

I saw a video from the 'Basic Brewing' guys on this very process, using a Barleywine....


Now if you can make a Kulmbacher.... I would consider you a brewing god....
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Old 10-28-2009, 01:39 PM   #3
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FWIW, an "interview" (James followed up) with a rep from the appropriate governing body (not ATF anymore) on Basic Brewing Radio, performing techniques (condensing/skimming) to make an eisbock is NOT illegal.

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Old 10-28-2009, 02:01 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jollytim View Post
Here is a link to BYO that explains that of a 5 gallon dopplebock, you end with about 3.5 gallons after the freezing process.

http://www.byo.com/stories/recipes/a...ge/596-eisbock

I've heard two arguments on this, but AFIAK, you are condensing beer that has legally been brewed, and it's no longer considered distilling, but condensing, and therefore is legal. May vary from state to state.

I saw a video from the 'Basic Brewing' guys on this very process, using a Barleywine....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nnR4...layer_embedded

Now if you can make a Kulmbacher.... I would consider you a brewing god....
Thanks for the info! I never even thought that freezing/separating could be considered distilling. I'll have to check out the laws, but NY generally has pretty lax beer/wine laws compared to other states. Either or, I'm not looking to sell it, this is just for personal use so I'm not overly concerned.

In terms of the Kulmbacher, I've never been able to find it, but I've heard epic things about it. I consider myself a decent brewer, but I am far from skilled enough to make a home rendition of something of that quality. I'm great with flavor combos, but my actual techniques are still mediocre at best. I do whacky **** like freeze and condense my beer mostly because it hides my imperfections and gives people the impression that I'm better than I am.

If the recipe works out well I'll post it in the database (might be the first Eisbock on the site, I couldn't find any others). I'm shooting for 16% ABV that'll be bottled in 6.3 oz. mini champagne bottles. It works out to the equivalent of 1 shot per bottle, so it'll be easy to regulate something so potent and not go overboard. I'm sure it'll take a damn decade to age and mellow, though.

We shall see.

Thanks again for the info.
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Old 11-11-2009, 02:34 PM   #5
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Reviving this thread for another question in the same topic.

When you freeze and separate a beer, like an Eisbock, does it minimize the effects of the hops or emphasize them? I know the finished product focuses the malt and sugar, making them more impactful. Does the same thing happen to the hops? Will a bitter beer be increased in bitterness by this freezing technique or will the bitterness be downplayed by the higher sugar content?

I'm just trying to figure out exactly how to hop a beer like this without the end result being obnoxiously bitter or sweet.

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Old 11-11-2009, 08:29 PM   #6
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From my experience, it actually minimizes them. Bitter beers become more sweet.

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Old 11-12-2009, 04:01 PM   #7
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From my experience, it actually minimizes them. Bitter beers become more sweet.
Okay, awesome. That's what I expected, just because of how much more focused the sugars from the malt are, but I was thrown off by the video posted above, where the guy mentions the hop intensity of the barleywine.

Okay, that's for the info.
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:01 PM   #8
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Did you do this to the Belgian brew? If so...how did it turn out?

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Old 02-17-2012, 08:07 PM   #9
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Did you do this to the Belgian brew? If so...how did it turn out?
This is an old thread, and the poster before you hasn't posted on this forum for more than a year. You probably won't hear back from him.
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:09 AM   #10
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I just checked my fermenter downstairs and my probe was not reading properly and the temp dropped below freezing. I now have two frozen kegs. One is a maibock, so it would be possible to make it an eisbock, but I am not sure how to proceed. Should I thaw it completely? Should I thaw it partially and transfer, resulting in an eisbock?

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