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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > First High ABV Beer... Tips/Pointers/Suggestions?
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Old 04-04-2012, 04:08 PM   #1
BillyVegas
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Default First High ABV Beer... Tips/Pointers/Suggestions?

So,a friend and I are targeting to make an approx 10.5% ABV Dark Chocolate Stout w/ Strawberries for another friends wedding.
Tasty.
First time making a massive brew like this - looking for advice and tips if possible.

How long should I anticipate primary to take, approx?
Grain bill look fitting enough?
Where is the faildozer?


Recipe:

Dark Chocolate Stout+Strawberry
Brew Type:
All Grain Date: 4/13/2012
Style: Sweet Stout
Batch Size: 6.00 gal
Boil Volume: 7.94 gal
Boil Time: 90 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 % Actual Efficiency: 74.74 %

Ingredients Amount Item Type % or IBU
15.00 lb Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 66.67 %
2.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 8.89 %
2.00 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 8.89 %
1.00 lb Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 4.44 %
4.00 oz Crystal [3.10 %] (90 min) Hops 27.7 IBU
1.00 oz Crystal [3.10 %] (30 min) Hops 5.0 IBU
1.20 oz Chocolate Extract (Secondary 0.0 min) Misc
2.40 lb Frozen Strawberries (Secondary 14.0 days) Misc
1.50 lb Milk Sugar (Lactose) (0.0 SRM) Sugar 11.11 %
2 Pkgs Nottingham (Danstar #-) Yeast-Ale

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Old 04-04-2012, 04:14 PM   #2
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This is all you really need to brew a big beer:
beerdujour.com/Howtobrewabigbeer.htm

I think website is down right now, but google has a cached copy.

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Old 04-04-2012, 04:52 PM   #3
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Great link! Checking it out now ... thanks!

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Old 04-04-2012, 05:08 PM   #4
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Definitely plan on aerating the lot... but for 5-6 gallons of wort, Mr. Malty is telling me 5-6 packs of Nottingham? Sound proper?

Also - if I'm aerating and dumping 4-5 packs of Nottingham, how vital is a starter? I don't have a flask setup yet so if I was to rock a starter, I'd have to do it low budget style somehow if necessary...

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Old 04-04-2012, 05:16 PM   #5
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I've never heard of anybody making a starter with dry yeast. You can proof it, or put it into warm water for rehydration I guess. I don't know if that really does much though. But that recipe looks delicious.

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Old 04-04-2012, 05:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouBrew13 View Post
I've never heard of anybody making a starter with dry yeast. You can proof it, or put it into warm water for rehydration I guess. I don't know if that really does much though. But that recipe looks delicious.
Thanks man - pre-hydration of dry yeast is something I've never done... usually I stick with the liquid yeasts but... Nottingham should deliver the goods on this one (and its cheaper).

I'll let you know how it comes out... the original is from here (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f68/dark...-stout-136707/).

I plan on making a few mild additions as far as chocolate flavoring goes... but otherwise it looks tasty.
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:30 PM   #7
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Improper rehydration will kill about half your yeast. You really should rehydrate according to the manufacturer's directions.

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Old 04-04-2012, 05:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nateo View Post
Improper rehydration will kill about half your yeast. You really should rehydrate according to the manufacturer's directions.
Fair assessment - and I will gladly do this! In the past when I've used the dry packs, I usually go just to dump it in without issues... since this is a larger ABV I'm targeting, I'm down for more specific attention to details for a better final result.
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:48 PM   #9
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re-hydrating is easy. I think notty needs 92* degree water. let it sit for 15 mins, then swirl and pitch.

I heat the water by putting bottled water in some hot water until its up to temp. The water is sanitary cause it's been bottled. I find that my beers with re-hydrated yeast take off faster and finish lower than without. I always re-hydrate now. It's an easy step that really has no risk.

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Old 04-04-2012, 06:12 PM   #10
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Do a yeast starter, oxygenate the beer using pure O2 and a 2 micron diffuser stone, fermcap to avoid krausen overflow, blow off tube, start temperature a little low 64-66 degrees to keep fermentation under control until a day or 2 then 68-70. When I do 10% beers it usually ends up in primary for 3-4 weeks. Then rack to secondary or bottle for 1-6 months depending on how long you have. My primary issue with doing big beers over 10% were the krausen overflow...lid popped and had some volume loss and contamination risk, and just the waiting period. Also I do notice that my bigger beers take longer to carb up if your bottle conditioning. Just some tips for what it's worth.

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