How long should I leave my high gravity beer in primary.

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monkey11798

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I brewed my first high gravity beer yesterday. It is a Belgium dark strong ale with an OG of 1.113 and a target FG of 1.020. I made a 1 gallon yeast started and had it on the stip plate for 3 days. Prior to pitching I added pure O2 for two minuets. I know that with high gravity beers need more time, so my questions are.

1) How long should I leave it in the primary?
2) Should I put it in a secondary and if so how long?
3) If my FG is off can and should I pitch more yeast?
4) When I bottle do I need carbonation tabs or priming sugar since the FG is so high?
5) is there anything else I need to pay attention to?
 

mblanks2

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I brewed my first high gravity beer yesterday. It is a Belgium dark strong ale with an OG of 1.113 and a target FG of 1.020. I made a 1 gallon yeast started and had it on the stip plate for 3 days. Prior to pitching I added pure O2 for two minuets. I know that with high gravity beers need more time, so my questions are.

1) How long should I leave it in the primary?
2) Should I put it in a secondary and if so how long?
3) If my FG is off can and should I pitch more yeast?
4) When I bottle do I need carbonation tabs or priming sugar since the FG is so high?
5) is there anything else I need to pay attention to?
I have a RIS that I brew annually @ OG 1.113. I leave this beer in primary for 5 weeks before transferring to secondary for bulk ageing on bourbon soaked oak.
If your FG is off another batch of the same yeast won't have any better chance of surviving the high alcohol content so I would look at possibly adding a yeast that is more alcohol tolerant.
When bottling I use 1/2 a pack of Lalvin EC-1118 champagne yeast re hydrated into my bottling bucket with my priming solution.
I would consider that once bottled it should be bottle aged for a minimum of 6 months and probably get better with age.

With that said I offer the following.
1) How long should I leave it in the primary? 5 + weeks
2) Should I put it in a secondary and if so how long? Yes for bulk ageing for 2 - 4 months
3) If my FG is off can and should I pitch more yeast? Yes, but a strain that is more alcohol tolerant
4) When I bottle do I need carbonation tabs or priming sugar since the FG is so high? Yes, with the addition of the EC-1118
5) is there anything else I need to pay attention to? Bottle ageing.
 
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monkey11798

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I have a RIS that I brew annually @ OG 1.113. I leave this beer in primary for 5 weeks before transferring to secondary for bulk ageing on bourbon soaked oak.
If your FG is off another batch of the same yeast won't have any better chance of surviving the high alcohol content so I would look at possibly adding a yeast that is more alcohol tolerant.
When bottling I use 1/2 a pack of Lalvin EC-1118 champagne yeast re hydrated into my bottling bucket with my priming solution.
I would consider that once bottled it should be bottle aged for a minimum of 6 months and probably get better with age.

With that said I offer the following.
1) How long should I leave it in the primary? 5 + weeks
2) Should I put it in a secondary and if so how long? Yes for bulk ageing for 2 - 4 months
3) If my FG is off can and should I pitch more yeast? Yes, but a strain that is more alcohol tolerant
4) When I bottle do I need carbonation tabs or priming sugar since the FG is so high? Yes, with the addition of the EC-1118
5) is there anything else I need to pay attention to? Bottle ageing.
Thank you mblanks2. That helped me a lot.
 
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monkey11798

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I have a RIS that I brew annually @ OG 1.113. I leave this beer in primary for 5 weeks before transferring to secondary for bulk ageing on bourbon soaked oak.
If your FG is off another batch of the same yeast won't have any better chance of surviving the high alcohol content so I would look at possibly adding a yeast that is more alcohol tolerant.
When bottling I use 1/2 a pack of Lalvin EC-1118 champagne yeast re hydrated into my bottling bucket with my priming solution.
I would consider that once bottled it should be bottle aged for a minimum of 6 months and probably get better with age.

With that said I offer the following.
1) How long should I leave it in the primary? 5 + weeks
2) Should I put it in a secondary and if so how long? Yes for bulk ageing for 2 - 4 months
3) If my FG is off can and should I pitch more yeast? Yes, but a strain that is more alcohol tolerant
4) When I bottle do I need carbonation tabs or priming sugar since the FG is so high? Yes, with the addition of the EC-1118
5) is there anything else I need to pay attention to? Bottle ageing.
Thanks mblanks2 that's helps me out a lot.
 

HB_in_Subic

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With those gravity readings you are at 12.2%ABV. Depending on your yeast strain, if the yeast you are using can go higher like some Belgian Ale Yeasts do (Wyeast 1388, Mangrove Jack M27, Lallemande Belgian Ale Yeast), you could get away with just priming sugar alone. I have been using the above 3 yeasts for my meads and they finish at least 14% typically.

For my heavy beers (10-12%) using the same yeasts, I usually give them a minimum of 4 preferably 8 weeks in Primary, then bottle and let them sit for 3 weeks minimum or as long as I can stand it. They always taste better the longer you can let them sit.

I have used EC1118 for my mango wine and it can go up to 18%, so I would use it as a last resort as you can end up very dry.
 

mike_fini

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Hello. New to the forum and to brewing. I know this is an old thread but was hoping someone might answer a few questions for me.

I have a 5 gal Baltic porter extract kit with the white labs super high gravity yeast (wlp099) capable of producing up to 25%. I'm going to start brewing this week. I already doubled the 2 liter starter and boiled and Jared 5 jars of adjuncts (1/2 gallon total) I plan to add during the first 5-6 days of fermentation. 1 jar a day and oxygenate at each addition. I'm also going to put 4oz of cacao nibs and 2 vanilla beans in the secondary for the last few days. The adjuncts are:
1lb dark DME. = 43 points
1lb honey. = 40 points
1lb pure maple syrup. = 32 points
1/2lb brown sugar. = 23 points

Total. 138 points
Estimated points for the 5 gal kit is 400.
So 538 ÷ by 5.5 gal = 98 point 1.098 OG.
With an estimated FG of 1.019. So potential ABV of 10.4%

My questions are:
1. With this brew kit, yeast and adjuncts, how long should I leave in primary after the last jar of adjuncts are added?
2. How long should I leave in secondary before bottling?
3. Will 5oz of priming sugar be enough for 5.5 gal.?
4. Can I mix priming sugar and maple syrup to prime my bottles for a little maple flavor, if so what's the ratio I should use?

Thanks to all in advance.
Mike
 

kh54s10

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My first thought is to watch your gravity during the adjunct additions. If your gravity drops significantly during the process do not aerate. You could oxidize the beer.

1) For time in primary you could go with a few days to a week after you get final gravity. This might be as little as 2 weeks.
2) I aged my Baltic Porter for about 2 weeks in primary then another 2 weeks in secondary with an addition of bourbon soaked oak chips the last 10 days. Longer in secondary won't hurt.
3) I use an online calculator to determine how much priming sugar to use. The one I use is on Northern Brewers' website.
4) Can't answer this one. I would look at a priming calculator and try to figure it out. I have never used anything other than corn sugar for priming. I think that most of the maple flavor will ferment out during carbonation.

I bottle aged mine for 4 months before trying one. Really only started drinking them after 6 months and the last was consumed after 1 1/2 years.
 

mike_fini

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My first thought is to watch your gravity during the adjunct additions. If your gravity drops significantly during the process do not aerate. You could oxidize the beer.

Thanks for the replies 🍺

Well as long as my yeast stay healthy and keep producing alcohol and co2, wouldn't that take care of any oxidizing issues?


1) For time in primary you could go with a few days to a week after you get final gravity. This might be as little as 2 weeks.
2) I aged my Baltic Porter for about 2 weeks in primary then another 2 weeks in secondary with an addition of bourbon soaked oak chips the last 10 days. Longer in secondary won't hurt.

Ok. That is about what I was figuring I'd be doing.


3) I use an online calculator to determine how much priming sugar to use. The one I use is on Northern Brewers' website.
4) Can't answer this one. I would look at a priming calculator and try to figure it out. I have never used anything other than corn sugar for priming. I think that most of the maple flavor will ferment out during carbonation.

I bottle aged mine for 4 months before trying one. Really only started drinking them after 6 months and the last was consumed after 1 1/2 years.
Ok thank you for the help.
 

mike_fini

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My first thought is to watch your gravity during the adjunct additions. If your gravity drops significantly during the process do not aerate. You could oxidize the beer.
Hmmm, Well, if I'm adding more sugars for the yeast to feed on daily, wouldn't a blast of oxygen be beneficial for the yeast to keep them active? And wouldn't the yeast eat up the oxygen, so not to worry about oxidation? That's what I've been reading when looking for info about brewing bigger beers.
Thanks again.
 

RM-MN

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Hmmm, Well, if I'm adding more sugars for the yeast to feed on daily, wouldn't a blast of oxygen be beneficial for the yeast to keep them active? And wouldn't the yeast eat up the oxygen, so not to worry about oxidation? That's what I've been reading when looking for info about brewing bigger beers.
Thanks again.
Extra oxygen is used to build up the numbers of yeast cells as the yeast need O2 for reproduction. If you use a large starter, you should have a lot of cells already. Adding oxygen on the second day will build more but after that it may not and it shouldn't be needed as you already have sufficient cells. Don't worry about the yeast being active for the later additions, there will be plenty of yeast cells already and they will find the extra sugars.
 

mike_fini

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Extra oxygen is used to build up the numbers of yeast cells as the yeast need O2 for reproduction. If you use a large starter, you should have a lot of cells already. Adding oxygen on the second day will build more but after that it may not and it shouldn't be needed as you already have sufficient cells. Don't worry about the yeast being active for the later additions, there will be plenty of yeast cells already and they will find the extra sugars.
Ok thanks for the help. 🍺
 
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