High-gravity belgians, under-pitching, and yeast strains. - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > High-gravity belgians, under-pitching, and yeast strains.

Thread Tools
Old 12-17-2012, 09:30 PM   #1
Sep 2010
Posts: 271
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

I'm putting together a recipe for a high-gravity quad (quintuppel?) in the 14% ABV range. I know that, traditionally, with high gravity beers, you want a HUGE starter and aerate the heck out of it, but I usually underpitch if I'm doing a Belgian to entice the yeast to throw off more esters.

Anyone have experience with ultra high-gravity Belgians and yeast behavior? Or just additional tips & tricks? This will be my first beer to break the 1.100 barrier.
Check out Chill Haze for my adventures in brewing, cooking, and more!

Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2012, 10:35 PM   #2
sweetcell's Avatar
Jan 2012
Rockville, MD
Posts: 5,163
Liked 986 Times on 714 Posts

i wouldn't underpitch that big a beer. the environment will be stressful enough with all that sugar in there. you're going to need a lot of soldiers to conquer that hill.

i would consider adding sugar in waves after primary has starter. that way you'll start off with a 1.080 (for example) beer, but through the addition of sugar on days 3, 5 and 7 you ramp it up to 1.100.

i don't have any experience brewing a belgian that big, but i'm not sure that there is any belgian ale yeast that can get you to 14%. you might want to start off with a belgian yeast and see where it gets you, and have some high-gravity yeast (wlp099 or a wine/champagne yeast) ready to take over once the belgian craps out. if you go with 099, be sure to get it going in a starter first and pitch at high krausen. you want those bugs active before going into a ~10% ABV environment.

there are several excellent threads on this forum that discuss high-gravity brewing - excellent resources.
What hops should I grow? Looking for cheap honey?
- Drinking: English Barleywine (half on brett), local sour cherry kriek #2, Imperial Chocolate Milk Stout on vanilla, sour blond on second-use cherries
- Aging: 3726 saison w/ brett x2 (dregs mix & Lochristi), GNO 3724 saison w/ brett mix, cherry mead, acerglyn, and a few other sours...
- Up next: Empty-the-freezer DIPA

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pitching yeast for high gravity beer Craigweiser General Beer Discussion 5 10-25-2011 09:36 PM
Pitching two different yeast strains paraordnance Fermentation & Yeast 1 11-12-2010 04:53 PM
Pitching High Gravity Wort onto Notty Yeast Cake permo Fermentation & Yeast 11 12-21-2009 01:54 AM
Bottle conditioning high gravity belgians - share your experience smashed4 Bottling/Kegging 7 12-14-2009 05:44 PM
Pitching two yeast strains? DMo General Beer Discussion 2 04-14-2009 10:58 PM

Forum Jump