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Eisbock eis-ing questions

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krebs119

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Hi all... been brewing for over a decade but finally getting around to trying a Eisbock.

My recipe will get me a ~9% beer at 5 gallons. I typically ferment in a big mouth plastic fermenter and then keg. I'm thinking of bottling this one entirely though.

I've had 3 thoughts on how to "eis" this and looking for opinions from those who have done this...

Option 1: split the 5 gal fermented beer into (2) 3 gallon Better Bottles. Leave these outside for a few hours? A day? Weekend? and let them freeze. Then let them drip out into another vessel - add champagne yeast and some priming sugar, and bottle.

Option 2: transfer the 5 gallons into a keg. Leave the keg outside until it mostly freezes. Use an autosiphon to transfer away from the ice. Add champagne yeast and priming sugar, and bottle.

Option 3: transfer the 5 gallons into a bucket. Leave the bucket outside until it starts freezing. Skim ice off the top with a sanitized kitchen handheld colander. Repeat every few hours until I get down to 3-ish gallons. Add champagne yeast and priming sugar, and bottle.

All 3 options seem like I might introduce too much oxygen. It would be a shame to ruin this with oxygen after all of this work. Option 1 might not leave enough headspace in the better bottles to freeze correctly?

Thoughts? Opinions from anyone who has done this?

Lastly - anyone have any idea how long 2.5gal or 5 gal of 9% beer will take to start to freeze at say 20 degrees F?
 

RM-MN

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If you put the beer in a keg and set it outside it may freeze and split the keg. You'd lose the keg and all the beer. This could be the outcome for any method but buckets are much cheaper than kegs and may be able to stretch a bit without breaking.
 

cactusgarrett

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I have done ZERO research into this, but from what I understand, in scenarios 1 and 2, the freezing happens quickly enough that the beer and alcohol gets trapped up/integrated with the ice. The separating process won't do much to actually separate.

Option 3, though, seems like your best bet, as the slow freezing process is solidifying only water, which is (relatively) quickly removed.
 

brownni5

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How timely - I have a big dark lager fermenting right now that will be an Eisbock. I have the same questions and will be watching.

Several years ago, James at Basic Brewing did option #1 with a barleywine, but that to me seemed like an oxygen rich way of doing it. The video is on YouTube if you look for it.
 

Vale71

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I'm afraid that short of freezing in some sort of pressurized vessel and then performing a closed transfer of the concentrate any other option will inevitably give you an Eisbock with heavily oxidized notes.

Other than that a slow freezing is essential to get good separation of alcohol and water in order to reach an adequate ABV.
 
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krebs119

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So I should have specified - for the keg or bucket option i don't intend on sealing the tops - I would leave the lids on loose, so if the ice became too much it would overflow and now blow up the vessel.

@cactusgarrett - I don't believe that the alcohol would get trapped in the ice, from what I've read. It seems that only the water portion will freeze - assuming I keep an eye on this. https://barlowbrewing.com/tag/making-an-eisbock/ . In any of the 3 cases, I would be freezing the same method - on my back porch on a cold day where I'm home to watch it, so they would all potentially be "slow".

I'm sure there's some math out there to tell me how long liquid at 9% at 20 degrees would take to freeze, but that's not my forte. Any math/science-y people out there know?

With regard to
I'm afraid that short of freezing in some sort of pressurized vessel and then performing a closed transfer of the concentrate any other option will inevitably give you an Eisbock with heavily oxidized notes.
Not to get way off on a tangent here, but how to the brewers who use coolships not have 100% oxidized beer?
 

Vale71

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Not to get way off on a tangent here, but how to the brewers who use coolships not have 100% oxidized beer?
Because what they have in the coolship is not (yet) beer? I assume you are aware that cooling of the wort happens prior to fermentation whereas what you propose to do involves handling of actual fermented beer?
 
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krebs119

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Because what they have in the coolship is not (yet) beer? I assume you are aware that cooling of the wort happens prior to fermentation whereas what you propose to do involves handling of actual fermented beer?
Derp, yes. for some reason I had this backwards. I am aware, just apparently not enough coffee.
 

catalanotte

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Hi all... been brewing for over a decade but finally getting around to trying a Eisbock.
What did you end up doing and how did it work? Making a full batch of dopple bock soon and was thinking of trying a few gallons of it as an eisbock. I saw you mentioned adding champagne yeast to bottle condition. How much did you add and I presume you’re bringing it back up to lager temp to condition? Priming sugar addition same as normal? Looking forward to trying this style, but am still researching methods. Any advice is appreciated.
 
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