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Old 07-18-2007, 06:04 PM   #1
Evan!
 
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So I asked Avery some questions about their Mephistopheles Stout. This is the reply I got back:

Quote:
Evan,
Glad you enjoy! There is sooooo much in the art and science of brewing Meph that we could write a book on it! We prefer to keep this one to ourselves, hope you understand. I will give you this though, oxygenate the crap outa the wort and over pitch your yeast at least 5 times more than on a normal beer. And then cross your fingers and hope for the best! Good brewing to ya and hope to see you at our tasting Room some day!
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Adam Avery
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Avery Brewing Company
Okay, fine, but...how do I pitch 5 times the yeast I normally pitch? "Meph" is quoted as being 16.1% ABV, so I figure I'll have to use WLP099, but I'm certainly not going to blow my cash on 5 vials of the stuff.

My typical starters are just DME/LME and 2L of water, and I pitch the whole thing. But if I'm gonna need 5 times the yeast, I should probably make a much bigger starter and ramp it up somehow...meaning I'll want to cold-crash and decant the liquid off before I pitch it. I've never done that before, but it sounds straightforward enough.

So what say ye? If I use WLP099, do I really need 5 times as much yeast as I normally use? Should I pitch the whole batch at once? Or perhaps I should go the route of DFH's 120minute IIPA, and keep some sugar aside, and slowly add it to the wort over the course of fermentation, so the gravity never gets too high. Thoughts?


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.planned:
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.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
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Old 07-18-2007, 06:11 PM   #2
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Interesting.
I don't have much helpful to say except have you read this: http://www.mrmalty.com/pitching.php



 
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Old 07-18-2007, 06:19 PM   #3
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Evan, I can't speak about the amount to pitch, but I can tell you that cold crashing and decanting the spent beer off the starter and just pitching the yeast slurry couldn't be easier. I do that for all my starters. I just can't imagine pitching all that oxidized, nasty beer into my brew. I make 3L starters in a 4L Erlenmeyer flask for all my beers and only pitch the slurry.
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Old 07-18-2007, 06:32 PM   #4
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Whitelabs recommends adding fermentables daily for 5 days after pitching the yeast into ~1.070(somewhere in there I think) wort to achieve the 25% alcohol claim. Of course you're not shooting for 25% so you may not have to. I'd go with a big starter( they say 3-4times normal) and maybe save some of the fermentables to add once its going. In my mind if the yeast is capable of hitting 25% then 16% shouldn't be to hard. But I'll be using it for the first time soon as well. Whitelabs says 12-16% is where most fermentations will stop without using the high gravity techniques they advise.
Here: http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/homebrew_super.html
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Old 07-18-2007, 06:35 PM   #5
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I think I will end up stepping some dextrose/sucanat additions during the fermentation. Just to be sure. Can't hurt...just takes a little more effort.

Hey, so, let's say I boiled the entire dextrose solution and put it into a sanitized jar and kept the lid on, then added a little bit each day. Is that safe? Or do I need to boil the partial solution right before each addition to keep the nasties away?
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MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
Aristocratic Ales, Lascivious Lagers


.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)

 
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Old 07-18-2007, 07:13 PM   #6
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You could pitch onto the yeast cake of a smaller beer. That should ensure more than enough yeast.

Feeding the yeast during fermentation is probably not necessary but sounds like a good idea with something this big.

I would think storing the high G wort in a sanitized container in the fridge should be sufficient. Canning the wort or boiling for every addition would work also and be slightly safer but I doubt you would have any problems with your suggestions, especially if you seal the container while the wort is hot (>150F).

Craig

 
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Old 07-18-2007, 08:03 PM   #7

I agree with everything posted. I began cold crashing my starters and it really does make it much easier to decant off the used wort. I'd either step my starter up three times or pour your Meph clone on top of a yeast cake that has already processed a couple of decent batches. That's what I do for my RIS which, at 1.112 and 11.76% ABV, is the highest gravity beer I brew.

 
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Old 07-18-2007, 10:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBBaron
You could pitch onto the yeast cake of a smaller beer. That should ensure more than enough yeast.

Craig
Best advise yet. If you want to brew a really big beer it is best to brew a small beer first, this way you will be sure to have enough yeast for the big beer.

Since I do 25 gallon batches it is really difficult to step up a starter enough for high gravity beers so I plan ahead and brew something with a SG of 1.040 - 1.055 first.
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Old 07-18-2007, 10:09 PM   #9
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I'll agree with the yeast cake answer.

My barleywine from December is almost 11% ABV and I did 3 gallons on a yeast cake of WPL-001. Attenuation was over 80%. Lots of healthy yeast should do the trick. I would just use the 001 and only go to the 099 if absolutely necessary.


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