Higher Alcohol content question - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Higher Alcohol content question

Thread Tools
Old 02-08-2013, 05:17 PM   #1
Feb 2013
Posts: 7

I have seen some porters labelled as 15+ percent ABV. The yeast that I have been using, scottish ale yeast reports about 8-9 percent ABV. How are these porters getting the higher alcohol content?

Are they pitching Champagne yeast in addition to the ale yeast? Are they adding distilled liquor to the fermentation?

Any advice would be helpful, thanks in advance.

Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 05:20 PM   #2
Registered User
Nov 2009
Posts: 12,960
Liked 1672 Times on 1251 Posts

There are beer yeasts that claim to be able to get to 25% abv.

a 8/9% yeast has been able to muster 12% with step fermentation and even bottle carb with some care.

Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 05:28 PM   #3
KeystoneHomebrew's Avatar
Dec 2012
Montgomeryville, PA
Posts: 351
Liked 34 Times on 31 Posts

They legally cannot add spirits and still call it beer.

Most ale yeasts will actually go up to 12% if not a touch higher if treated right. It's all about acclimating the yeast to the hostile environment. Almost all strains of yeast were conditioned a certain way to make them do what the brewer wanted. A good example is Wyeast 1728 Scottish and 3522 Ardennes. Believe it not, it's the same strain of yeast. But obviously 3522 was conditioned over many generations to do a very different job.

But yes, many breweries add champagne yeast towards the end of fermentation to make sure the beer gets to where they want it to be.
Got a Question? Always happy to help. Just shoot me a message.

Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 05:37 PM   #4
aiptasia's Avatar
Jul 2011
Them Scary Woods, FL
Posts: 3,487
Liked 544 Times on 481 Posts

Step fermentation is what DFH does with 120 and Utopias. Small base malt and dextrose additions in combination with more nutrients and pure O2 additions. The principle is to keep the active fermentation going... and going.... and going.....

I know the 120 regimen takes well over a month of daily supplemental sugar and O2 feedings.

Another possibility is to do a rum wash, which is to brew both the base beer and distill some rum (yeah, illegal as hell without the proper licensing) and then blend the two together. Seems lazy to me.
Paranormal Brewing
Beer so good, it's frightening.

2014: Seven Heavens Series One: Vilon, Mystic Melomel, Skeeter Pee.

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Higher alcohol content? kenpotf General Beer Discussion 15 11-04-2011 03:26 AM
How can I get a higher alcohol content with coopers LME kits ? ohiochris Extract Brewing 2 03-17-2011 04:51 PM
Alcohol content question Rev2010 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 4 01-08-2011 10:56 PM
Higher Alcohol Content For Breakfast Stout ericmunley Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 04-28-2009 01:00 AM
Higher Alcohol Content kontreren Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 19 08-26-2008 06:36 PM

Forum Jump