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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Which small beer for a starter for a huge beer?
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:37 PM   #1
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Default Which small beer for a starter for a huge beer?

So I am debating on which beer to make to be used as a starter for my huge beer, a 15ish% barleywine. This is kind of a celebration for my first year of homebrewing, which I started last May. My beers of choice is a brown ale, my first brew ever that turned out really good, and my dad keeps on raving about it, or a porter that I've been wanting to brew for a bit. Both will be about 6% and they will use a clean American ale yeast most likely. I think 1056 is the American ale.
I used this yeast for my huge imperial stout (13%), and it's tolerance is 11%, not sure how my beer was able to do all that, but it worked!
In preparation for this bigger beer, I will also have on hand, or get some, wlp099, high gravity yeast to finish it off, along with adding fermentables after it starts to slow down. I think that helped get my imperial stout down enough adding the fermentables.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this thread, I guess to give me some ideas, or comments to help out with this big beer. I think I'm going to go with the porter, since I haven't brewed one yet.

I will have to use a swamp cooler and fan to help keep my temp down, as next month the averages will be in the low 70's.

I guess I should post up my barleywine recipe for review. I'll do that a little later. The porter will just be a basic one, I think the robust porter recipe in the database. I was thinking of adding some coffee in the secondary, I think that will go nice with it.

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Old 04-18-2013, 07:14 PM   #2
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Barleywine Recipe: 5.25 gallons- Using BrewR App
6 lbs -Extra Light DME @ 60
12 lbs -Extra Light LME @ 15
1 lb Crystal 120
.5 lbs Crystal 80
.5 lbs Special B
1 lb Dextrose
2 Oz. Magnum (12%AA) @ 60
American Ale Yeast- Starter= smaller beer porter/ brown ale
WLP099- High Gravity Yeast- to get the FG down!
Est OG- 1.152
Est FG- 1.038
IBU's- 50
SRM 28
ABV- 15%

I'm hoping to get the FG lower, closer to 1.030, but we'll see. Open to suggestions

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Old 04-18-2013, 07:22 PM   #3
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I would do an American mild of sorts. Like a session strength Moose Drool.

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Old 04-18-2013, 07:34 PM   #4
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2 lbs of the upper crystal malts might be too much if you are trying to hit 1.030 from 1.150. The pound of C120 looks high to me. Also if you are going to age this for awhile, 50 IBU might be a tad low as the bitterness fades.

A porter at 6% sounds like a great brew to make the yeast. Since you are not adding any roasted barley or chocolate to your barleywine, it won't' hurt if it picks up a tad from the slurry on the bottom. I would rack off the porter a little sooner than normal to secondary so the yeast is still very active and not stressed by the alcohol.

Excellent idea BTW on celebrating a milestone. I'm going to do a similar massive barleywine for my 50th brew sometime next fall/winter.

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Old 04-18-2013, 07:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanmyth View Post
I would do an American mild of sorts. Like a session strength Moose Drool.
Is moose drool (caribou slobber) a hoppy brown? I am looking to do a beer with smaller amounts of hops. The porter would have only 1 oz. of NB hops. The brown ale would have 2.5 oz of hops.

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Originally Posted by solbes View Post
2 lbs of the upper crystal malts might be too much if you are trying to hit 1.030 from 1.150. The pound of C120 looks high to me. Also if you are going to age this for awhile, 50 IBU might be a tad low as the bitterness fades.

A porter at 6% sounds like a great brew to make the yeast. Since you are not adding any roasted barley or chocolate to your barleywine, it won't' hurt if it picks up a tad from the slurry on the bottom. I would rack off the porter a little sooner than normal to secondary so the yeast is still very active and not stressed by the alcohol.

Excellent idea BTW on celebrating a milestone. I'm going to do a similar massive barleywine for my 50th brew sometime next fall/winter.
You're probably right, that's why I am thinking of adding in that super high gravity yeast to eat a bit more of the fermentable sugars that the other yeast wont get to because the tolerance will be too low.

You're also right about the IBU's... I have over 100 for my imperial stout, and that tastes just fine. If I add 2 more oz at 45, It'll bring it up to 80 IBU's. I'm guessing I can go higher. The Magnum btw is a theoretical 12%AA, as I don't have them yet.

I was going to primary the porter for 3 weeks, do you think 2 weeks would be better? 1 week and try and get some yeast into the secondary for a real secondary fermentation to get the FG down to where it should be? I like that idea of racking the barleywine right on top of the yeast when it's active.

I also might save 3lbs of the lme and add that 4-5 days after starting fermentation, when it starts to slow down, so this will kick it back up again. And yes, I will keep this in a secondary vessel as long as I can. I plan on at least a month primary, if not 2 months. This is getting me excited and I haven't even started
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:18 PM   #6
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As to the IBU's, 2 oz of Magnum (12% theoretical) boiled for 60 minutes comes out to 85 IBU on BYO Brew Calculator. Assumptions are 5.25 gallons of wort and 1.152 OG. You might want to double check your numbers just to be sure you don't add too much.

I think a 2 week primary for porter would be ideal. Long enough that you aren't damaging the porter, as it can finish cleaning up in secondary. And the yeasties would be in prime shape for the big barleywine.

Moose Drool is 26 IBU, and about 4.1% ABV. One of the benchmark American Brown's out there. I like the beer and love the name.

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Old 04-18-2013, 09:50 PM   #7
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Can you plug in boil volume? In my app I plug in 3 gallons for boil, if it were 5.25 boil volume I'm getting 65 ibu's, with just the 2 oz of magnum at 60. Also, I learned recently that the extract additions make a huge difference and those affect the ibu's as well.

I think I'm going to brew this porter up this Sunday.

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Old 05-09-2013, 03:39 AM   #8
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Yeah buddy!! 1.165, this has a very good chance to be a 16-17% beer. My robust porter turned out amazing when bottling tonight, as I brewed this. The porter was my starter. My recipe slightly changed. 18 lbs light lme, 4 lbs Munich lme. 60 instead of 80, since I already had the 60. And brown sugar instead of the dex.
I'm not even going to touch this Betty for a long time, unless it gets stuck, but I'll check it after a week or so. I will probably leave this for a good couple months in the primary. Then secondary for a long long time.
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:12 AM   #9
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The gravity is down to 1.060ish(foamed in hydrometer) its still active. I figured I would see where its at. I'm thinking before I leave for PA this memorial day weekend, I'll add a high gravity yeast to really make it drop down to a good gravity. I plan on just leaving it in the fermenter for a solid 2 months, then racking to a secondary for a while.
The sample tasted pretty freakin good! Of course it's sweet, but the flavor was nice. Not bad for only fermenting a week and a half and dropping 1 full point.

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