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Old 07-11-2012, 04:10 AM   #1
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Default Too Much Alcohol...

So my chestnut beer has been fermenting a week now and I took a gravity reading today...ABV is at 12.8% and tastes like an off flavored Mad Dog. Is there anything I can do to soften the alcohol taste a bit, will it get better with age, or is there not much I can do about it?


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Old 07-11-2012, 04:17 AM   #2
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Are you sure you are reading your alcohol level correctly?. You can not read the alcohol directly off a refractometer or hydrometer. You would have had to have an absolutely huge starting gravity to get that much alcohol.

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Old 07-11-2012, 05:01 AM   #3
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SG was 1.110

The gravity reading I just took was 1.012

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Old 07-11-2012, 06:48 AM   #4
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Well, OK. If those readings are correct than you are correct on your alcohol level. Was it your intention to make a beer with this much alcohol? Time will mellow the hot taste, but at that alcohol level you are probably looking at a lot of time, like a year or more to completely mellow. It might be drinkable in several months. You are at Barleywine levels there.

Other than waiting for it to age out, your only other real option would be to brew a similar recipe at a very low gravity and mix the two beers together. It would still take a while for some of the alcohol heat to mellow out.

Was there something specific you were trying to emulate with that recipe?

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Old 07-11-2012, 06:51 AM   #5
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You now have an "Imperial" brown ale. Big beers like that need to age longer. Give it 3-4 months at least. Should be delicious.

So...... To get an OG of 1.110 you need to add way more ingredients than you would have gotten with any kit, and any recipe would have been specifically for a very high alcohol beer. An OG of 1.110 is a lot. Like over the top a lot. It's sort of hard to do by accident honestly. Did you follow a recipe?

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Old 07-11-2012, 09:26 AM   #6
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Let it age for a LONG time. I have a 10% imperial stout that is in bottles right now. It sat on the yeast for 2 months and I bottled it last month. I'm not even going to think of cracking open a bottle until December.

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Old 07-11-2012, 09:41 AM   #7
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1. Let it age.
2. You fermented fairly quick for that big of a beer. Did you have a warmer fermentation?
3. Perhaps you're O.G. was incorrect? I.E. Extract brew that wasn't mixed well.

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Old 07-11-2012, 01:41 PM   #8
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OP, if this was an extract kit and you used water to top off, your gravtiy wasn't really 1.110 - you simply didn't fully mix the top off water in, and your gravity sample contained more of the concentrated wort than the top off water.

This is a COMMON mistake for new brewers (I did it on my first two batches). If you used the correct amount of extract and hit your volume, your gravity can only be within a couple thousandths of the recipe - there is a set amount of sugar there, and your process can't increase this.

Hot flavors come from fusel alcohols and green beer, and usually have to do with you letting your fermentation temps get too high. Either way, you are still probably going to have to let this batch age a bit (but probably not a year or more... I'm betting that your gravity was a lot lower than you measured).

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Old 07-11-2012, 01:46 PM   #9
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1.110 seems very high; what was the temp of wort when you took the reading?

D

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Old 07-11-2012, 01:53 PM   #10
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Can you post the recipe and someone can confirm the expected OG?

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