How to balance a beer

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Jtvann

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I’m aiming to make an odd ball beer just to see if I can.

I’m shooting for something in the 8-9% abv range. I’ll be adding lactose in at about 5-6%. I am looking for a sweeter beer, but not off the charts. I don’t know how much ibus to target for a beer like this. Probably in the range of 1.090 OG and in the mid 1.020 finial gravity.

I’m not looking for a hoppy flavor at all. Most all hops should be for bittering only. This is for a stout if it matters.
 

VikeMan

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Sounds like you want an Imperial Sweet Stout. For a 1.090 OG....maybe 30-35 IBUs?

You say you'll be "adding lactose in at about 5-6%." Do you mean adding it to the fermenter? If so, why not add it near the end of the boil? Less O2 exposure. Less risk of infection. And no need to boil the lactose with water separately.
 
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Jtvann

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That’s what I was looking for.

Sorry I had planned on adding lactose to the boil. In a 12 gallon batch, is 2 lbs lactose too much?
 

VikeMan

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In a 12 gallon batch, is 2 lbs lactose too much?
Depends on who you ask. I use 2 lbs in 5 gallons in my "pastry" stouts.

But for 12 gallons? I bet @dmtaylor would allow a half pound or so. :)

But seriously, I think 2 pounds in 12 gallons might fit your "sweeter beer, but not off the charts" goal.
 

dmtaylor

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Depends on who you ask. I use 2 lbs in 5 gallons in my "pastry" stouts.

But for 12 gallons? I bet @dmtaylor would allow a half pound or so. :)

But seriously, I think 2 pounds in 12 gallons might fit your "sweeter beer, but not off the charts" goal.
2 pounds in 12 gallons should be just fine. I wouldn't go much bigger than that though. Unless you want your beer to have more of a consistency of maple syrup then by all means go ahead and use even more. :D
 
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Jtvann

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So how about using cocoa nibs. 2 lbs in 12 gallons. Should I just throw them in like dry hops? Also is 2 lbs too much?
 

VikeMan

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So how about using cocoa nibs. 2 lbs in 12 gallons. Should I just throw them in like dry hops? Also is 2 lbs too much?
I've never used more than 8 ounces in 5 gallons. So 2 lbs in 12 gallons sounds like a lot to me, but I can't really say for sure.

When I use nibs, I put them in a hop cage, and yes, basically treat then like dry hops. Technically, there's a risk of contamination, but it's either very low, or I have dodged bullets.
 

InspectorJon

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Lots of people soak cocoa nibs in liquor to sanitize and help extract flavor. Vodka or Everclear if you don't want the liquor flavor, whiskey or rum if you want that flavor. Soak for a few days or longer and then add it all to the beer after fermentation is done, like dryhoping.
 

Dgallo

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So how about using cocoa nibs. 2 lbs in 12 gallons. Should I just throw them in like dry hops? Also is 2 lbs too much?
1 - 1.5oz of nibs per gallon will give you a very forward chocolate character, especially paired with the correct roasted malts. I throw them in like dryhops. I know many like to make tinctures out of them but in your case, 12-18oz of coconibs will need at least 16oz of spirit.
 
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