RIS with High Finishing Gravity

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brewmeister13

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Hey all, I brewed up my first RIS back in March. I've known for a while that it finished high, 1.039, but was hoping that some aging would make it drinkable. My mistake was believing BrewSmith and mashing at 155 (it gave me an approximated FG of 1.021). I tossed it in a keg and carbonated it a week ago or so, and it is thick as syrup and not very pleasant. I've kicked around the idea of brewing another batch with an extremely low finishing gravity and blending them, but don't really want 10 gallons of 12+% RIS sitting around.

I really don't want to dump $100+ in materials, not to mention time, research and effort so the other option I've considered is a brett strain or bacteria, though I'm not huge on sours, to help lower the gravity. I'm pretty sure I can get it back into a carboy with minimal oxidation, but I've no clue which brett/bacteria or mix to use. Any suggestions?

Here are the vitals of the brew (it was a Mephistopheles Clone):

OG:1.135
FG: 1.039

14.5 lbs Bairds Maris Otter
1.375 lbs Bairds English Roasted Barley
1 lb Special B
1 lb Aromatic
.75 lbs Barids Black Patent
.25 lbs Briess Crystal 80L

3.75 lbs Light DME
2 lbs corn sugar (added during fermentation)
2 lbs Turbinado (added during fermentation)

3 oz Magnum 60 min
.5 oz Horizon 60 min
2 oz Sterling 20 min
 

Flakk

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First question is what was your yeast and how did you prep it for all that sugar?


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brewmeister13

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I used WLP 007. I grew a starter that was pitched at 1.5 mil cells/ml/ºP. Then I pitched it in wort that I aerated for 6 minutes with pure O2 @ .5 LPM. I re-aerated at 18 hours for 2 minutes @ .5 LPM. I "fed" the yeast the simple sugars (the dextrose and turbinado) in 3 increments, 2 days apart, after 4 days of fermentation. Once I was afraid that I may have hit the yeasts limit I pitched a large starter of WLP099 (my notes on this weren't good, but I do remember making a decent sized starter 3-4L probably). It didn't move at all. Unfortunately I forgot to run a fast ferment test on this batch to find the limit of attenuation, but I don't think there is much that a Sacc strain can do for me at this point.
 
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brewmeister13

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No one? Would another forum be a better place? Perhaps, lambic and wild brewing?
 

erick0619

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Bump


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Where do you place your probe?
 

Hopper5000

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If you aren't a huge fan of sours then IMHO you should blend this with something else. Brett takes a while so you are looking at heaving to let this thing sit in a secondary environment for about 6 months or so. Brett could also take this beer way down in FG. However, being that the beer is already at about 13% you are getting into territory where bugs may not really work very well.
 
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How about racking it on top of some bourbon and oak cubes? It might make it a little more palatable. Might help offset the sweetness. Most Bourbon Stouts are a little sweet to start with IMO.
 

sweetcell

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J343MY

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I'm really surprised that at 1.039 you find it too sweet. I typically prefer my imperial stouts when they finish above 1.040. Also lots of commercial imperial stouts finish much higher than 1.039.

Maybe just give it a bit more time to age and then try it again.
 

Calder

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I'm really surprised that at 1.039 you find it too sweet. I typically prefer my imperial stouts when they finish above 1.040. Also lots of commercial imperial stouts finish much higher than 1.039.
Really. 1.039 is very sweet. Too sweet for me.


Some thoughts for the OP:

- You don't like Sours, so don't use any bugs.

- Brett will take a while. What do you think of Brett beers? It may be too much alcohol for many Bretts.

- I doubt Champagne yeast will do much.

- I think I'd take that 5 gallons and dilute it to something some yeast might have a chance working on. Maybe bring the 1.135 OG down to an effective 1.100 OG (dilute from 5 gallons to 7 gallons). Boil any water you add to get rid of most en-trained O2. Use a yeast that is known to eat a lot of long chain sugars. Not my favorite yeast, but it does work, 3711 will bring down anything. Using it as a secondary yeast will not add much flavor. This will be quicker than Brett. You may still end up with an 11 to 12% brew. I used 3711 to finish off a 12% barley wine once; didn't notice any flavors from the 3711.
 
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I would give the champagne yeast a shot first. It can't hurt and if it takes off it could get you down a few points. I would thi if you got to 1.025 that is about the best you are going to do. You could also try WLP078 the neutral grain distillers yeast. It is good to around 21% abv. You could also try using some beano tablets to break down the branching dextrins and make them fermentible.
 

Smellyglove

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Old thread, but I have the same problem.

RIS, 1.104 -> 1.027. Mashed at 64-65C (MT was full and I forgot to wet the grains so I was having some troubles with maintaininng flow)

I used my house US-05 strain, and it crapped out at 72% AA. The beer tastes very sweet. It's in a keg, SG didn't drop after two weeks so I kegged it, but haven't carbonated.

When it comes to adding more yeast, I can culture some more of the us-05, or add 3711. I'm curious about if 3711 would add much flavor to the beer?
 

sweetcell

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1.027 for such a big beer isn't too bad. you're at about 11% ABV (depending on the formula you use) so it might be tough to get much more outta that.

i don't think 3711 would add much flavor, there won't be much growth going on. you'll need to get it active in a small starter before pitching. let us know what it does!
 

Smellyglove

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I know. 1.027 was spot on my target FG (pretty lucky there). But it's just extremely sweet, and with the american oak chips with the vanilla they contribute it's just to much, like a dessert wine.

Since I mashed at 65C, and it tastes as sweet as it does I guess there's still a bunch of easy fermentables down there. I boiled this for almost 6 hours, and with all that sweetness the viscosity is closer to north sea oil than a beer.
 

adiochiro3

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I know. 1.027 was spot on my target FG (pretty lucky there). But it's just extremely sweet, and with the american oak chips with the vanilla they contribute it's just to much, like a dessert wine.

Since I mashed at 65C, and it tastes as sweet as it does I guess there's still a bunch of easy fermentables down there. I boiled this for almost 6 hours, and with all that sweetness the viscosity is closer to north sea oil than a beer.
Not necessarily. With a beer this big, you probably have hit the end of the fermentables (or really close). How old is the brew? This puppy will need some aging -- up to a year perhaps. It is perfect for an oak bourbon barrel, IMHO. That will round out a lot of the sweetness and smooth things out.

You could also brew a hoppy porter with a good bittering hops and blend the two to balance the sweetness.
 

Smellyglove

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My plan is to age it until 9th of april 2016.

The beer is named after a national hero, the commander of the fort which sunk a german cruiser during the invasion of Norway, 9th of april 1940.
This was our only man who decided to act upon his instincts to protect our country and king when every politician failed to do so. What he wrote in his logbook during those hours is epic, truly epic. I really want this beer to end up inspired by him. No compromise, just like his actions that fatal morning, hence I don't want to blend it.

Does the sweetness really go away over time?

It was racked into keg about a week ago, it had about two weeks in the fermentor and SG was stable before I racked it, then it got one week in a secondary with oak chips.
 

Smellyglove

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The keg is out in the sun warming up. I'll make a small starter for the 3711 to get those tiny buddies to start munching and pitch it a when I see good activity in the starter.
 

azazel1024

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Some of the sweetness may age out. One of the things is I can't help wondering what the IBUs were. One of the issues I've seen with a lot of people doing RIS is that the IBUs aren't nearly high enough.

In my opinion the starting place needs to be 50IBUs for anything over 1.100 OG.

It is also why I stay away from much in the way of crystal or other specialty malts except for the "black" malts like roasted barley, chocolate, etc.

A RIS I have aging before bottling was 1.120 OG and last I checked it is down to about 1.025FG right now (have to check my notes). Tastes very nice. I did 2oz of cluster (8.3%) at 75 minutes and an ounce at 10 minutes. For the 4 gallon batch I only used half a pound of Crystal 120L, half a pound of roasted barley and half a pound of chocolate malt. The rest was 100% 2-row (with about 3/4lb of DME to make up the gravity). Used two packets of S05 rehydrated.
 
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