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Old 07-20-2013, 03:13 PM   #1
Jonk4
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Default Should I Go Big?

So I have two extract brews under my belt. The first one not so great, but it is getting better after sitting in the bottle. The second is the 15 Minute Pale Ale recipe and is pretty good. My question is this: should I do a couple of easy brews or should I try my hand at a Belgian Tripel or Russian Imperial Stout. My first two were about 5% ABV and I kind of want to make a 9% or 10%. Is this wise to do after two brews and should I refine my techniques or should I dive in and make a challenging brew?


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Old 07-20-2013, 03:26 PM   #2
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Do you have oxygenation/aeration and yeast starters figured out?


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Old 07-20-2013, 03:28 PM   #3
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yea, go head. A good stout may take some time to smooth out (like 8 months aging). Most new brewers want to drink their beer after a week. But yea go head and have some fun. IMHO I'd stick to a proven recipe for now.
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Old 07-20-2013, 03:39 PM   #4
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I agree with mike. Have fun and do you research. A big stout should be ready by the end of fall.
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Old 07-20-2013, 04:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedOktoberfest View Post
Do you have oxygenation/aeration and yeast starters figured out?
^ This. You need to pay attention to yeast health on a big beer. Really the biggest difference from regular gravity brews IMO. If you can do that, go for it!
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Old 07-20-2013, 04:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikescooling View Post
yea, go head. A good stout may take some time to smooth out (like 8 months aging). Most new brewers want to drink their beer after a week. But yea go head and have some fun. IMHO I'd stick to a proven recipe for now.
+1

IMO homebrewing should be about having fun and enjoying your beer. If you like big beers, go for it. Definitely do some research regarding pitch rates and nutrient needs to keep your little yeasties happy. And I agree with Mike: stick with a proven recipe first, and experiment with your own designs after nailing down your processes.Good luck!
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Old 07-20-2013, 04:28 PM   #7
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I would go with a good quality kit. I like Northern Brewer and Austin Homebrew Supply. Watch your fermentation temperature and keep it in the mid sixties (wort temperature not ambient). If you use liquid yeast, make a proper sized starter. With dry it might take a couple of packs and you should probably re-hydrate for big beers.
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Old 07-20-2013, 06:23 PM   #8
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My first ever batch is in bottles now. 1.090 OG Belgian tripel. (10.12FG) 10.2 %abv.... made a starter with wyeast 1214 - the Chimay strain. My whole rationale was why brew if I'm not gonna be making what I would otherwise buy at the store? Where's the satisfaction?

Pre-bottling flavor was amazing, left it in primary a month. It'll need to sit in bottles a month before I even taste it, but not great until even a few more months have gone by. See my thread on the same topic: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/noob...-090-a-417150/

Recipe is in there too.

Good luck!
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Old 07-20-2013, 06:32 PM   #9
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I say go for it. It's a learning experience. For a big extract beer, you might want to consider adding some yeast nutrient to your boil as well as making a starter for the yeast. Both will help reduce the likelihood of a stuck fermentation.

My 2nd beer I added fruit to and my 3rd was a lambic.

I always like to have a 6 - 12 month project beer or wine going.

Just remember that beers over 8% take more time to mellow and to carbonate in bottles.
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Old 07-21-2013, 02:22 AM   #10
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An O2 injector is a good investment for any brewer, so if you're going big, I'd bite that bullet. Pitch properly, oxygenate, and you can make big beer just as easy as a "regular" beer.

Only warning, big beers take time to be great. I did a couple big beers before I had a large pipeline, and found that I drank them up and only the last few bottles had fully developed to their potential.

Brewing is about having fun!


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