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Old 09-14-2012, 05:25 PM   #1
I_Brew_Drunk
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Default What's the highest abv I can reach?

I'm curious what's the highest alcohol content I can reach and still have a beer that's drinkable. I'm not a huge fan of barleywine but I can go that route if its the only way. I'm looking to make a beer that I can pull out for my friends that want something different/new, then I can just pull out this bad boy and knock them into the wall . A novelty beer of sorts. I've been brewing partial mash but I'm planning on making a MLT soon for AG. I'll probably only want to make a 2.5 gallon batch of this stuff. Any cool recipes you guys know/have tried?!

Thanks

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Old 09-14-2012, 05:31 PM   #2
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Why not a BW? What is it you don't like about them? Do you have any flavor characteristics in mind? And define "drinkable"...it varies from person to person.

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Old 09-14-2012, 05:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I_Brew_Drunk View Post
I'm curious what's the highest alcohol content I can reach and still have a beer that's drinkable. I'm not a huge fan of barleywine but I can go that route if its the only way. I'm looking to make a beer that I can pull out for my friends that want something different/new, then I can just pull out this bad boy and knock them into the wall . A novelty beer of sorts. I've been brewing partial mash but I'm planning on making a MLT soon for AG. I'll probably only want to make a 2.5 gallon batch of this stuff. Any cool recipes you guys know/have tried?!

Thanks
Stouts tend to get boozy at around 12-13%, barleywines can go up to 15% (case in point DFH Olde School), and then there's the more extreme 120min IPAs, Paradox brews, etc that can round out upwards of 20%.

That being said, I'd try to keep it below 15% if you're looking for something to drink within a year, because it takes a long long time for the big boy beers to mellow out.
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:34 PM   #4
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It should also be mentioned that yeast health is of the utmost importance to making high gravity beers. You need to be able to make big yeast starters, aerate with pure O2, and control fermentation temperature to end up with a well attenuated, drinkable beer.

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Old 09-14-2012, 05:53 PM   #5
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Why not a BW? What is it you don't like about them? Do you have any flavor characteristics in mind? And define "drinkable"...it varies from person to person.
I tend to get a sweet/warm flavor out of BWs (as well as Belgians) that I'm not in love with. I'm more of a high IBU IPA, pales, porters & stouts kinda guy. That being said, this beer wont really be for me so its sounding like I should go with a BW and shoot for around %14 so I don't have to wait an eternity. What type of container would you guys recommend aging in? Carboy? Bottles?

Also, what about Imperial IPAs? whats the abv cap on those? I had a pretty good one at Rogue in SF last night (asked the bartender for their highest alcohol beer).
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:00 PM   #6
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I brew once a year a 3F Gumballhead that basically doubles the grain bill but only collect 6 gallons. I have had it go as high as 15%, but you need to have a HUGE starter and 4X the hops. Fun to make- great novelty beer. Doesnt take too long to mellow out ( 4 weeks in secondary). Its also great when I am having back pain.....;-) PS: adding extract malt helps achieve the ^ gravity...

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Old 09-14-2012, 06:04 PM   #7
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My 5 year aging barleywine for my 50th birthday, made with 50 year old honey turned out to be 17.5% ABV. It's in an oak barrel now and is quite drinkable.

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Old 09-14-2012, 06:05 PM   #8
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here is a thread of someone taking their DFH 120 clone up around 20%. I forget exactly what they were going for.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/dfh-...-clone-259314/

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Old 09-14-2012, 06:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinman1 View Post
I brew once a year a 3F Gumballhead that basically doubles the grain bill but only collect 6 gallons. I have had it go as high as 15%, but you need to have a HUGE starter and 4X the hops. Fun to make- great novelty beer. Doesnt take too long to mellow out ( 4 weeks in secondary). Its also great when I am having back pain.....;-) PS: adding extract malt helps achieve the ^ gravity...
tinman: I like the sound of that! I don't think I've ever had a wheat with a super high alc content.

You have the recipe by chance?

Revvy: that looks awesome, once I'm out of college & get a place I'm definitely going to have to whip up something like that.
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:45 PM   #10
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You can always try your hand at an eisbock of sorts. Lots of technique required, but you can get these to push 20%+ if you're lucky

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