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Old 05-15-2010, 01:41 PM   #1
pr0cess
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Default High OG Yeast Question

I have made 4 batches, 3 of which turned out drinkable, I figure that puts me squarely in the No0b realm still. I am interested in doing something big soon but have noticed all the Wyeast (sp?) smack packs say something to the effect of 'good to 1.060 OG'. I assume that for a big old barley wine, or even just a burly IIPA the OG would have to be over 1.060 to get the final ABV over 11% Am I right? And if so what do you use for yeast?

Also a procedural question; My hydrometer looks like an old thermometer, big weighted end glass tube. What is the argument against dropping it in the wort to get a reading (as opposed to having a sample to be read removed from the wort) assuming it is cleansed and sanatized before use?

Thanks
dylan.

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Old 05-15-2010, 01:51 PM   #2
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The key to a high O.G. beer is proper pitching rates, correct amounts of 02, wort-sugar composition, nutrients, and temperature control. I tend to build a nice starter for anything over 1.050 or so. Off the top of my head, depending on your attenuation level you'll need something like 1.100 or more to hit 11% ABV. I don't want to discourage you, but big beers can be temperamental, and you may want to get your brewing practices down before attempting it. If you still go for it, I'd recommend brewing a smaller beer first, racking when finished, and then pitching your big brew right on top of the existing cake....this should ensure plenty of yeast.

As for the hydrometer, I tend to avoid dropping anything glass in my wort for fear it'll drop to the bottom of the pot and shatter. Certainly don't do it if the wort is hot. With cool wort and good sanitation, you should be fine.

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Old 05-15-2010, 03:14 PM   #3
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This isn't my next project (thats going to be a lowly IPA which is what was undrinkiable on the first try), I am just trying to see what I need to learn to get there 'eventually'. This may be a silly question but how does one build a starter? I thought that if there was sugar the yeast would pretty much start itself like in baking where I have much more experience.

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Old 05-15-2010, 03:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pr0cess View Post
This isn't my next project (thats going to be a lowly IPA which is what was undrinkiable on the first try), I am just trying to see what I need to learn to get there 'eventually'. This may be a silly question but how does one build a starter? I thought that if there was sugar the yeast would pretty much start itself like in baking where I have much more experience.
you have to make a batch of wort...buy a super light DME...you boil 3 cups of water unto a 1 cup of DME. then you cool and pitch, close, mix well, and leave it at like 70 to grow.

thats the plan for my next batch, started and then prime with wort (gyle).

make a better beer everyday.
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Old 05-15-2010, 03:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pr0cess View Post
This isn't my next project (thats going to be a lowly IPA which is what was undrinkiable on the first try), I am just trying to see what I need to learn to get there 'eventually'. This may be a silly question but how does one build a starter? I thought that if there was sugar the yeast would pretty much start itself like in baking where I have much more experience.
The point of the starter isn't so much to prime the yeast, as it is to grow the number of cells. Here is a useful calculator for figuring out the appropriate starter size:

http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html
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