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Old 04-20-2014, 05:00 AM   #11
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Depending on the yeast your going to use. Here is some advise from one of my brewers who will often make beers in the 16 to 18% range. Advise I use whenever I get the OG above 1.100
1. Aerate LIKE CRAZY!
2. Pitch 2x the yeast you think your going to need and pitch to the style of the beer. He tells me dont be afraid to pitch a yeast even if its going to kill it self with alcohol because it will totally add the character to the beer your shooing for and back it up with a high gravity yeast like wlp099 until it dies then add the ec-1118 to dry it out a little and hit your target FG
3. Keep it in motion, rock your fermenter every time you think about it. Even though its going off like a mad mother some lazy yeast will lay down. Get em back up and back to work. No free rides!
4. Transfer before you pitch the EC-1118 and get it active first.

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Old 04-20-2014, 10:08 PM   #12
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On a big beer shaking might not be enough; it will get you to around 10% ABV at the most. So if you really want go above 9% ABV you really should use oxygen in your wort just to be on the safe side.
BS. Agreed, aeration is important. I shake, and have no issues with achieving high gravities, or drying my beer out. 13% is the biggest I've tried, and had no issues. I regularly do 10% without any problems.
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Old 04-22-2014, 07:43 PM   #13
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Thanks for the responses! Until my friends and I invest in an O2 tank we have been using an aquarium pump, what are your thoughts on that? Another question with the yeast starter should start it, decant it after 48 hours and throw another DME solution in it? If so how long should I let that go?


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Old 04-22-2014, 08:37 PM   #14
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If this is your first time brewing a high ABV beer here's a really rough rule of thumb: The amount of yeast you think you need? You need more of it.

My brewmates and I wanted to make a Baltic Porter (1.10 OG), but after making some posts and doing some reading it turned out we'd need a NINE LITER starter. The best advice I can give is to make a low-flavor starter beer, like a Kolsch, and then just pitch the cake. I believe it was BigFloyd that told me that 1.1 OG beers are one of the few times you'd ever want to pitch onto a cake.

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Old 04-22-2014, 09:28 PM   #15
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It'll be our sixth batch, we have been dropping starters for all out batches except the first. So you're basically saying just throw more yeast after krausen?


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Old 04-22-2014, 10:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crbice View Post
Thanks for the responses! Until my friends and I invest in an O2 tank we have been using an aquarium pump, what are your thoughts on that? Another question with the yeast starter should start it, decant it after 48 hours and throw another DME solution in it? If so how long should I let that go?


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Only difference between an aquarium pump and shaking is you don't have to lift 5 gallons of beer with the pump. Going off the top of my head I believe shaking and the pump will only get you to 8PPM, and big beers really needs closer to 12PPM which you'll only achieve with an O2 tank.
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:03 PM   #17
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I like my big beers (anything over 1.100) and so far lots of solid advice. I brew partial mash, so I have the opportunity to do incremental malt/sugar feedings.

If you're only brewing something around 1.100 or lower, just aerate well, use a huge starter, or even better, use a portion of a yeast cake.

If you get around 1.130 or bigger, use stepped feedings of malt and/or sugar.

The aquarium pump is a good idea (I use it on my big beers) and will use it after aerating via shaking or pouring between buckets. Normally I'll let it run for a few hours mostly to keep the wort moving to keep the yeast from settling. Does it help/matter? I don't know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trox View Post
On a big beer shaking might not be enough; it will get you to around 10% ABV at the most. So if you really want go above 9% ABV you really should use oxygen in your wort just to be on the safe side.
I have a beer in the fermenter that is at 15% right now with only shaking/pouring between buckets/stirring with handheld mixer.
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