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Old 06-05-2012, 05:37 PM   #1
Kmcogar
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Default Attempting a HUGE brew. 20% or above. Need advice

I Know what you thinking. Stupid, pointless, and unnecessary. But I don't care! I don't want to hear any negative, can not comments. Only comments that may help. Here's my plan so far.

Make a huge beer. 20% plus. Maybe I should aim higher.........

I'm only brewing a 1 gallon batch. This is all experimental.

Ingredients: 6lbs 2 row then about a 1/4 pound of anything else I have. Hops will be plentiful. Maybe 6 oz in the brew and a couple more for dry hopping. Maybe throw in some oak chips. I dunno. Let's go crazy.

I'll brew it up and put it in my 1 gallon carboy. Then I'll throw in some Nottingham dry yeast. 1 packet for one gallon? I'll keeps some more on hand just in case. Then I'll let it work. After fermentation is done. I'm gonna let it sit for about 6 months. I'll be away from home. so that will be a good thing.


When I come home....
I read that you can freeze you beer into a slushy and the strongest part of the beer will stay at the bottom. That being said I will put my brew in a margarita bucket(sanitized of course) and let it sit in the fridge until it gets slushy. Then I will drain off the strongest part of it into my old chimay bottle( or whatever I have) I'll then throw some sugar in there and hope that it carbonates.

I'll probably let it sit another 6 months. Then try it out.

Any suggestions on my process or ingredients (which obviously are not locked down yet) would be great.

I want to make the worlds strongest homebrew. And try to make it taste......well I doubt it will be good. But let's try

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Old 06-05-2012, 05:40 PM   #2
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I have heard some will finish off big wines like barleywines with champagne yeasts which are more alcohol tolerant

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Old 06-05-2012, 05:49 PM   #3
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Based on your process you are wanting to make an Eisbier. I suggest watching the brewing tv episode on Eisbier.

I wouldn't think it would carb up after being Eised, without pitching some extra yeast and sugar, but I've never done it.

From what I understand it is hard to determine ABV after it has been eised.

Good luck

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Old 06-05-2012, 05:50 PM   #4
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There's lots of resources out there on working with high gravity but I think the key here is making sure you ferment this out well. I don't have experience going this high, but I would suggest starting off with a low fermentation temp and then ramping up to help the yeast along. I would then look into feeding this along further with some sugar and yeast nutrient additions after the primary fermentation phase has slowed. Going that high you might want to start off with one yeast and then finish off with a really high attenuating yeast like a champagne yeast pitched at high krausen or possibly a lager yeast and then the champagne to drop it down to your desired FG and the eis / freeze it off. Good luck!!!

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Old 06-05-2012, 05:51 PM   #5
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20% is damn near the limit of any yeast, and even that usually requires specialized techniques like yeast feeding. Using ale yeast and standard techniques you will be lucky to hit 15% IMO.

In fact, using only malt (not table sugar or other fermentables) I bet you will need such a high gravity to even attempt this that it will make fermentation very difficult.

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Old 06-05-2012, 05:53 PM   #6
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Find the Dogfish 120 Min Clone attempts/discussions. You will need to pitch a ton of healthy yeast and then feed it simple sugar daily

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Old 06-05-2012, 06:05 PM   #7
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Nottingham has a tolorence of about 12%, to go higher you may need to go with a champaign yeast (EC-1118) that goes to 18%. some of the distilling yeasts will go higher up to 23% but not sure of the taste.
Good luck, let us know how it turns out.

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Old 06-05-2012, 06:17 PM   #8
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Here is a link to a post about my super high gravity beer. The picture gallery in the post has some info. the last picture in the gallery has my notes that I kept during the whole process.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/brew...ml#post3219152

I used two yeasts, WLP007 and 099 both from huge starters. I split the wort into several additions to keep the yeast happy. Lots of oxygen and yeast nutrients. Add any sugar slowly over time to keep the yeast working. I'm pretty sure I could have gotten this thing higher but it wasn't what I was going for.

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Old 06-05-2012, 06:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brettwasbtd
Find the Dogfish 120 Min Clone attempts/discussions. You will need to pitch a ton of healthy yeast and then feed it simple sugar daily
I read a little on the 120 clone. It says to aerate it everyday for the first couple of days and keep adding yeast slowly. This will be quite a brew.

THANKS FOR ALL THE HELP SO FAR!
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:06 PM   #10
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Are you trying to get to 20% before freezing, or after? If after, I'd first figure out how high you want to go with the original brew. I've not tried making an eisbock before, but if you can figure out the expected concentration from freezing, you can get an idea of where you need to start (say 15%?).

From there, I think you'll definitely want to start in a decent OG range (1.08 or so) and add in additional wort as the yeast has a chance to work on it. Starting too high (>1.2?) will put a lot of osmotic stress on the yeast. It might be easier to make those additional additions plain sugar rather than wort. If you're set on an all-malt beer though, you could make up all of your wort on day 1 and save back some small samples to add later and hope they don't get contaminated.

Also, how are you planning on mashing this? Are you going to mash really thick, or mash a large amount (4-5 gal) and boil down to 1? If you're boiling down, you might not need anything else other than base malt. The long boil should provide a decent amount of caramelization to give you some nice malty flavors (think like a strong scotch ale).

I also agree with other posters that you'll have to go somewhere other than nottingham after the first part of fermentation. You could let the nottingham go to completion and add extra yeast (champagne, high-alc, etc.), but that might shock the new yeast due to the high alcohol content. You may want to either pitch both yeasts at the start, or pitch the high-alc yeast after only a few days of fermentation so it has time to acclimate.

Once you've concentrated it, I think you might have a hard time getting any carbonation going. You could try a new dose of champagne yeast or wine yeast, but there's no guarantees. If they don't work, you'll have added priming sugar to what might wind up being a pretty sweet beer anyways. I'd probably plan on leaving it uncarbonated and serving it in a brandy snifter! At that level of alcohol it won't be out of place to be uncarbonated.

Keep us updated on the progress!

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