Ss Brewing Technologies Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > First High Gravity Beer Fermentation Question
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 06-05-2011, 03:30 PM   #1
rmuenster
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Gastonia, NC
Posts: 6
Default First High Gravity Beer Fermentation Question

This is my first higher gravity beer i've tried brewing. It's a Russion Imperioal Stout from an extract kit I purchased at my local homebrew store (Alternative Beverage rocks!). He'res what i've done so far....

11 lbs DME (5 light and 6 dark)
1 bag speciality malts - black patent, crystal flaked barley and roasted barley
3 zo northern Brewer pettet hops
wirlflock tablet
1 oz Fuggle plug hops I'm tossing in my secondary when the time comes

I used a combination of Windsor and Champagne yeast. Created about a 2 cup starter from my DME once it was disolved in warm water. I added them both at once which after reading on the forums may or may not have been a good idea.

SG was 1.09 a little lower than I was hoping for but not much I could do about it.

Its been in my tub here for a week at about 74 deg. I noticed some active fermentation on day 2-3 but it's slowed down to a crawl with a bubble every 10 minutes or so. Is this normal? I guess I was expecting it to be a bit more active. I took a measurement and my gravity is around 1.034 right now. My kit calls for a TG or around 1.01 - 1.03.

With high gravity beers I keep reading to give it time. I was going to transfer to my secondary and start my dry hop but wasn't sure if I should do it now or wait another week. Is there any danger in leaving the hops in the secondary for more than a week?

Although I started kegging, I think I'm going bottle this one only because I don't want to tie up my keg for 6 months since I plan on breaking this stout out around Christmas. That or get another keg....

Sorry for all the questions but I'm really hoping this guy turns out well.

TIA for any help.

Rudi

__________________
rmuenster is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-05-2011, 03:35 PM   #2
mcaple1
Registered User
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Falcon, CO
Posts: 892
Liked 13 Times on 13 Posts

Default

hopefully you aerated the hell outta this thing. honestly, i brought my imperial IPA dwon from 1.084 to 1.010....9.6% ABV. Didn't make a starter, but used a large vial of wyeast 1056. That champagne yeast should dry the hell out of your beer. i think you will be best if you let it sit for 2-3 weeks before racking for dry hop. if you decide not to dry hop, leave it in primary for 3-4 weeks and then crash for 4 days.

__________________
mcaple1 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-05-2011, 03:39 PM   #3
jigidyjim
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 696
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

When you make big beers, things take longer.

Don't transfer to secondary until it is done fermenting (or don't use secondary at all, up to you). Either way, you need to wait until it is done before you transfer.

You can't use bubbles to determine your fermentation, only your hydrometer. So take another reading after a few days and see if it is stalled at 1.034.

If it's stuck at 1.034, you need to rouse the yeast and get them going again, or read the many threads on "should I pitch more yeast?!?" or "fermentation stuck!!!". That's way too high and is definitely not done yet.

You say the kit says TG of 1.01-1.03... that's a huge range. Did you mean 1.01-1.013?

Some people say dry hopping too long can leave a grassy taste. I haven't experienced it yet though, so just repeating what I've heard.

__________________
jigidyjim is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-05-2011, 03:50 PM   #4
mcaple1
Registered User
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Falcon, CO
Posts: 892
Liked 13 Times on 13 Posts

Default

to second that...I dry hop for 2 weeks...great aroma and flavor...no grassy profile whatsoever.

__________________
mcaple1 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-05-2011, 03:51 PM   #5
asterix404
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Natick, MA
Posts: 541
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

High gravity beer is a totally different beast, but it's totally worth it. Two things to bear in mind, it requires a ton of airoration, and a lot more yeast than you would think. I am going to assume that you used a packet of dry ale yeast and a packet of dry champagne yeast? Did you put the dry ale yeast in, let it wait until it almost finished a bit and then add the champagne yeast or do it all at once?

Basically, the ale yeast will slow down, and the champagne yeast will keep on going. If there was not enough yeast used it will be a slow start, and a slow fermentation and it might not actually ever pick up and just continue to slowly bubble. For a beer this big with a slow fermentation, I would wait for about 3 weeks before racking it. Also, you will want to let this sit for a long time, either in the secondary to do a batch conditioning or in bottles for bottle conditioning. A long time being about 6 months or longer. It will be drinkable after about 3 months, but 6 months to a year it will really get great, if it lasts that long.

I would seriously think about dry hopping for this style... it could be very strange. Most stouts that I drink, the hops are just there to offset the intense sweetness and since it's this big you can hop it a lot.

BTW, kegging this would work great, but you really want it to condition for a long time before drinking.

__________________
asterix404 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-05-2011, 04:04 PM   #6
mcaple1
Registered User
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Falcon, CO
Posts: 892
Liked 13 Times on 13 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by asterix404 View Post
Did you put the dry ale yeast in, let it wait until it almost finished a bit and then add the champagne yeast or do it all at once?
Dude...he said he added them both at once
__________________
mcaple1 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-05-2011, 04:05 PM   #7
mcaple1
Registered User
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Falcon, CO
Posts: 892
Liked 13 Times on 13 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by asterix404 View Post
Also, you will want to let this sit for a long time, either in the secondary to do a batch conditioning or in bottles for bottle conditioning. A long time being about 6 months or longer. It will be drinkable after about 3 months, but 6 months to a year it will really get great, if it lasts that long.
Whaaat...I did a 1.084 down to 1.010 in 3 weeks and drank it at 4 weeks....tastes great. He's at 1.09.....6 MONTHS!!
__________________
mcaple1 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-05-2011, 04:06 PM   #8
rmuenster
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Gastonia, NC
Posts: 6
Default

Thanks for the quick responses. I've been reading a lot on fermentation and some of the sticky's on the beginners section and they or proving very valuable.

I left a 9 off my TG. I should have said 1.019 - 1.031. It closes the gap a bit on the range.

They were dry yeast packs and I dropped both in at once to create my starter. The next time I'll certainly seperate them out.

I've aerated it quite a bit but not sure it was enough. However, I think i'm just getting impatient with it which is about the worst thing I can do.

I think I'm going to take a few more readings this week, if it's settled out transfer it to my secondary for 10 days with the hop adition then bottle in some new 22's I just picked up.

I tend to like prefer a hoppier beer but that said I don't want it tasting grassy. 10-14 days is about my max on the higher (dollar) beer although I may try it longer with a cheaper IPA.

My kit came with a 1/2 cup priming sugar. I've read a lot of guys add another yeast pack prior to bottling. Anyone have good/bad experience with that? Should I only attempt it if my TG is at the higher range?

__________________
rmuenster is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-05-2011, 04:11 PM   #9
mcaple1
Registered User
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Falcon, CO
Posts: 892
Liked 13 Times on 13 Posts

Default

my imperial IPA ran me 75 bucks total cost for a 5 gallon batch (is that high dollar for you)...37 of it being the hops....8 oz for the dry hop..6 oz in the boil..2 weeks dry hop...no grassy flavors.

__________________
mcaple1 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-07-2011, 11:48 AM   #10
rmuenster
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Gastonia, NC
Posts: 6
Default

Maybe I should have rephrased my comments such that I don't want my highest dollar batch (to date) turning into vinegar. Up 'til now I've brewed 5 gal batches for ~$45.

Gravity readings are dropping slightly still. Heading out until Friday and planning on letting it sit until then.

Thanks for all the feedback guys.

__________________
rmuenster is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Re-using yeast after high-gravity fermentation? peripatetic Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 11 11-21-2010 04:43 PM
Fermentation Stopped/Gravity still high Jamie8747 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 07-02-2010 02:15 PM
Primary only proponents: high gravity beer conditioning question tincob Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 17 12-17-2009 01:46 AM
Stuck Fermentation in High Gravity Beer DocBrown Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 11 10-15-2009 11:11 PM
First time brewing a high-gravity beer...secondary fermentation ? kjung Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 4 05-21-2008 09:13 PM