Originally Posted by PolishStout
do yourself a favor and keep it in primary for 3 weeks, if you can wait that long. initial fermentation may be done within 5 days, but the extra time will allow the yeast to clean up its byproducts and clean up the flavor. also, you're adding the 2# DME which is another reason to give it more time in primary.
Lots of topics and eye-openers for this noob! I had always thought "big beers" were all about extra sucrose, dextrose, honey, etc. But here I'm reading I'd probably be better off using at least half of the extra sugars as malt extract - it seems the malt flavor could get overpowering so only half? SOOOooo... my next AHS chocolate stout kit is on the way, and instead of throwing in a bunch of honey, I'm going to:
(1) make a starter with malt extract (or is it better to use sucrose or honey + yeast food + oxygenate?)
(2) Add half unhopped malt extract and half honey+glucose to get a high specific gravity in the wort itself (1.100 or so?)
(3) Add a little alpha galactosidase to get the final specific gravity down below 1.010 (not sure when to add that - it seems like this properly belongs later in the ferment when the easy sugars are gone, rather than at the beginning
for a slightly lower-carb beer)
One of my concerns is the issue of yeast turning lazy. I have a vial of White WLP009 in the refrigerator. Not sure whether I need to use that for high ABV or not. Doesn't making a starter with malt extract circumvent yeast getting lazy?
Also, I have a glass carbouy which I bought so I could brew 2 batches at once by moving the first batch to the carbouy, but am thinking instead of buying a second bucket since I've read so much that "secondary fermenting" is not necessary and risks a beer getting infected.
Looking for input on these thoughts!