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Old 02-24-2009, 04:28 AM   #1
rrockwel
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Default Dark and Stormy Irish Stout First Brew

It's been about a week since I've started my first brew and I've come up with a couple questions that I haven't been able to find the answers to yet. The starting gravity of my brew was 1.032 and the gravity right now (7 days after brewing) is 1.014, giving it an abv of about 2.25. I was wondering:

1) How can I increase the starting gravity to create a beer with a higher alcohol content?
2) Is the dark, creamy flavor of a beer (think Guinness) associated with the gravity of the beer in any way?
3) What can affect attenuation besides the type of yeast used?

Thanks everybody.



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Old 02-24-2009, 05:19 AM   #2
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If you want more alcohol content and higher gravity you need more fermentable sugars. So of increase your extract you'll have more for the yeast to eat. Also for an Irish stout that starting gravity seems low, but I'm not an expert on this yet.



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Old 02-24-2009, 05:38 AM   #3
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1) if you doing extract beers, add more extract. if your doing AG beers, add more grain. gravity is just a reading of the amount of sugar in water, basically

2) the creamy flavor in Guinness comes from the nitrogen pumped through it before it leaves the tap (or from the widget in the bottle) but its the ingredients that make up the beer that make the flavor.

3) aeration and correct fermentation temperature range would be the main things that affect attenuation

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Old 02-24-2009, 06:28 AM   #4
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Dark and Stormy... does that mean you want ginger and rum in you're stout?

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Old 02-24-2009, 12:21 PM   #5
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Did you use a kit? What was the recipe? That is a low OG ..

I just did a Brown Ale mini-mash and ended up with a low OG reading, shooting for 1.064 and got 1.038! see: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/low-og-problem-104650/

If i continued without doing anything I would have ended up with a very low ABV, so I heated up some water and added 2 lbs of DME, then cooled down mixture and added it to the already fermenting wort in the bucket. I checked back in a hour and was not surprised to see it blowing off... with the added DME I may not be able to accurately estimate the final ABV but it's going to be much higher than with-out.

I had some problems with the mini mash and didn't get the full potential from the grains. I plan to use the eazy partial mash as outlined here http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/easy-partial-mash-brewing-pics-75231/ in the future...

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Old 02-24-2009, 12:49 PM   #6
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First, welcome to HBT!

I suspect you don't need to boost this recipe at all. As often happens, your OG is artificially low due to insufficient mixing of the hot wort and cold water in the fermenter. Of course, this assumes an malt-extract wort and partial boil. Please post the recipe and general procedures you used.

Boosting OG and therefore potential alcohol is as simple as adding more sugars for the yeast to eat. For a high-quality beer, that generally means malt-based sugars, like more malt extract. Cane or corn sugars can be used in moderation to increase alcohol without increasing the beer's body.

As for creamy mouthfeel, the nitrogen has something to do with it, yes. The flaked unmalted barley used in large proportions in Dry Irish Stout also has a lot to do with it.

Cheers!

Bob

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Old 02-25-2009, 03:12 AM   #7
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Here is the recipe I used:

5.5 lb Amber Extract
12 oz Flaked Barley
12 oz Roasted Barley
4 oz Black Patent
.33 oz Horizon hops @ 20 min
.66 oz Horizon hops @ 60 min
11.7 oz Lager Yeast

Boiled 3 gallons for 1 hour. Added water up to 5 gallons after the wort cooled. I didn't really stir it up very well after the water was added so this could account for the low original gravity as you suggest NQ3X. It has been sitting in my closet at about 55 degrees for about a week now. In a few days I plan to move to my 5 gallon carboy for secondary fermentation. Any suggestions on how long I should leave it in the secondary?

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Old 02-25-2009, 03:18 AM   #8
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alot of people use the 1-2-3 method (1 week primary, 2 weeks secondary and 3 in the bottle).

You dont really have to move into a secondary unless you plan to dry hop or add other flavorings. I would personally just do like 3 weeks in the primary then bottle.

Always use the Hydrometer to judge when fermentation in complete!

Also you may want to warm that up a bit. 55 is low.

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Old 02-25-2009, 11:55 AM   #9
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Yeah, your OG had to be well over what you recorded, whether you used dry extract or syrup. Which was it, out of curiosity?

I agree that secondary is quite unnecessary with stout. No fermentation should take place in the secondary; it is a vessel to clarify the beer or add other flavorings or age in bulk. Stout needs none of these things (except possibly flavorings, but that's not true in your case), so you may as well leave it in the primary for another week or so.

In your case, the only reason to rack it is if you need your primary to ferment another brew! If that's so, give it until the morning of brew day this weekend and rack it. You can clean your primary while the new batch is boiling!

Have fun,

Bob

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Old 02-25-2009, 06:02 PM   #10
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Hi , I Just Did A Coopers Irish Stout With Mutons Light Dmeand 5oogdextrose
It Came Out Great,3 Weeks In Prime Then To Bottle Pail With 1cup Of Dextrose For Carb,really Good, On Sale At Makebeer.net .......



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