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Has anyone used Beano with success?

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Shred

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I'm planning a Utopias-like brew. It will be a small (2-2.5 gallon) batch due to equipment constraints but a huge project nonetheless.

The goal is to end up with a 21-23% finished product.

My plan is to brew a regular batch of something without a ton of bold flavors with a mild yeast strain then pitch the slurry. Once the ABV gets to the point that it has killed off that yeast champagne yeast will be pitched.

Finally - after the champagne yeast has fought the good fight the WLP099 will be pitched (I'm planning a 2 liter, 1.050 starter and 2 vials).

From what I've heard from others who have had success with giant beers like this, I'll probably finish somewhere between 1.050-1.060 FG. I'd like to knock it down a few more points and get some additional ABV as well but not at the cost of flavor.

Has anyone done a project similar to this and used Beano? If so how much and with what results?

Thanks!
 

pjj2ba

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I've used beano to make a light beer and it worked great. Beano will allow you to make a higher ABV beer with a lower starting gravity that a beer without beano.

I have heard of people using it to kick start a stuck fermentation, but I'm dubious of that claim. The enzymes in beano break down sugars that the yeast CANNOT digest into sugars that the yeast can eat. Chances are in a really big beer, that there is still plenty of digestible sugar around when the yeast crap out. Beano won't help with that. The trick is to get the yeast to eat up all that they can. If the yeast have eaten all that they can, then maybe adding beano will be useful to give them more sugars for them to eat. I'd add it right at the beginning of fermentation though.
 

helibrewer

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Check with White labs and make sure that WLP099 will play well with your strain of Champagne yeast. Many wine strains are designed with a positive competitive factor which will kill any subsequent beer yeast additions.

I wouldn't even use the champagne yeast, it's alcohol tolerance is 15-16% tops and the WLP099 works above this range...go straight to it, why mess with intermediate yeasts (champagne yeast is neutral for flavors).
 
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Shred

Shred

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I've used beano to make a light beer and it worked great. Beano will allow you to make a higher ABV beer with a lower starting gravity that a beer without beano.

I have heard of people using it to kick start a stuck fermentation, but I'm dubious of that claim. The enzymes in beano break down sugars that the yeast CANNOT digest into sugars that the yeast can eat. Chances are in a really big beer, that there is still plenty of digestible sugar around when the yeast crap out. Beano won't help with that. The trick is to get the yeast to eat up all that they can. If the yeast have eaten all that they can, then maybe adding beano will be useful to give them more sugars for them to eat. I'd add it right at the beginning of fermentation though.
That's an interesting thought. So you think there may be fermentable sugars left behind after the 099? It's supposed to be tolerant up to 25% (though I know that's not a realistic goal... just a hope) and a lot of the work has been done for it by the prior pitch(s). Maybe tossing in the Beano right before the 099 is the way to go.

The downside to that is I won't be able to gauge whether or not the Beano actually helped.

Check with White labs and make sure that WLP099 will play well with your strain of Champagne yeast. Many wine strains are designed with a positive competitive factor which will kill any subsequent beer yeast additions.

I wouldn't even use the champagne yeast, it's alcohol tolerance is 15-16% tops and the WLP099 works above this range...go straight to it, why mess with intermediate yeasts (champagne yeast is neutral for flavors).
The triple pitch idea came from the guy at my LHBS. He has successfully brewed 25% ABV beers using champagne yeast after a slurry pitch died out. Maybe I'd better shoot an email off to White Labs prior to trying it myself, though.


Oh - to make things even more interesting, I don't have an oxygenation setup currently. I was planning to get one but the lady friend has put her foot down and told me I'm not allowed to buy anything else before Christmas. The LHBS guy (the same as mentioned above) said that he, to prove a point (this guy loves to prove a point and he borders on being some sort of biological sciences genius) used no O2 in his 25% brew. Rather, he used olive oil to give yeast colony access to the fatty acids they needed to build healthy cell walls.

The one time that I tried this trick was with a Belgian Dark Strong. My blow off jar was "glugging" away within 2 hours.

More controversy, anyone? :fro:
 

Radegast

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I used Beano and amylase powder while cereal mashing oatmeal. The amylase ate the starch, and the Beano cut down the big sugars. It was extract, so I had no barley enzymes. It turned out real well. Efficiency-wise, it's better than my AG mashes. I wanted a highly fermentable extract out of the oatmeal, which is why I used the Beano. Otherwise, I would have just used the amylase. I wouldn't use it at the beginning of fermentation. I'd wait to until primary slowed down to add Beano. If there's too many simple sugars off the bat, it puts more osmotic pressure on the yeast and can keep them eating the polysaccharides properly.
 
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