"upgrading" True Brew kits

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

fightguy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2007
Messages
176
Reaction score
4
Location
Mesa, Arizona
How would you go about making an IIPA out of an IPA kit or an Imperial Stout out of a regular stout kit? I am a total n00b and am curious how that would work, or if it would even be possible.

Also, what would happen if I just used two of the kits in one batch? :cross:
 

Liquidsandwich

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2007
Messages
54
Reaction score
0
Location
Lake Orion, Mi
Dark horse brewery in Mich has a good IIPA and a great IPA. For thier Double Crooked Tree recipe they double everything in thier Crooked recipe, Exept the water. It is strong 13.6% ABV, but is good, Most other recipes I've seen just double the hops.
 

Thalon

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 11, 2007
Messages
356
Reaction score
0
Location
St. Louis Park, MN
Increasing hops is easy, simply add more hops. Increasing ABV is a LOT trickier. You have to add more fermentable sugars, usually in the form of malt extract, but you can't make the wort too thick or it will inhibit the yeast. Also, most yeast cannot handle alcohol levels above 6% or so, so you would have to use special yeast to get into the Imperial Stout range.

Best to stick with easy, simple beers to learn the process. Once you can make good "normal size" beers, then start messing around with the special styles. I've been brewing for nearly a year and I've never tried anything over normal stout range. Yet. ;)

EDIT: Check out this recent thread for a discussion on how to brew big beers.
 
OP
F

fightguy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2007
Messages
176
Reaction score
4
Location
Mesa, Arizona
Thanks for the replies. I was thinking that just doubling the extract would do it, but I assumed that some other adjustments would need to be made. Perhaps adding a little extra water and different yeast would make it turn out? I wonder if it would still taste good though
 

brewitnow

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2007
Messages
83
Reaction score
0
Location
Washington, DC
Yep, but the hops need to keep pace as well, to balance the sweet. Also, the higher gravity wort will inhibit the amount of alpha acids that are placed in solution in the wort during the boil of bittering hops. So, if you double the fermentables/extract, you will actually need to boost the hops quit a bit. Smarter people on here than me can probably give an idea of how much more hops are needed (which would depend on your wort gravity).
 
OP
F

fightguy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2007
Messages
176
Reaction score
4
Location
Mesa, Arizona
So if I were to go with the two-kit method, what steps should I take? I need expert opinions and concrete answers here! What yeast? How much extra water? How much extra hops? Etc?

And what is the worst that could happen doing this? Flat beer? Crap beer?

Sorry, I feel like a man on a mission who isn't at all prepared for his mission! :D
 

Orfy

For the love of beer!
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 27, 2005
Messages
11,732
Reaction score
121
Location
Cheshire, England
If you double the amount of malt and keep the water the same then you will roughly double the ABV.

If you are keeping it below 8% hen you can use the same amount of yeast. You may want to use a yeast that has an higer attenuation.

But there again you may want a maltier brew to counteract the Alcohol bite.

Using a software like Beersmith or the web based recipator will help you work it out.
 
OP
F

fightguy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2007
Messages
176
Reaction score
4
Location
Mesa, Arizona
orfy said:
If you double the amount of malt and keep the water the same then you will roughly double the ABV.

If you are keeping it below 8% hen you can use the same amount of yeast. You may want to use a yeast that has an higer attenuation.

But there again you may want a maltier brew to counteract the Alcohol bite.

Using a software like Beersmith or the web based recipator will help you work it out.
If it is going to be higher than 8% then which yeast should I use?
 

doublegun

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
74
Reaction score
1
Location
Columbus, Georgia
SWMBO and I cooked up a True Brew IPA as about our 3rd or 4th batch. Dumped the dextrose in the boil, and saved the dme for priming out of a 1# bag, dumping the rest in the boil. We then added about 1/3 more finishing hops, using a bag of Cascade pellets, and pitched 2 packets of Nottingham yeast. We were very pleased w/ the results. All this was done on the advice of our LHBS's proprietor. So, in addition to the kit, I suggest a 1# bag of light DME, a 1 oz bag of Cascade pellets, and Nottingham yeast. We were surprised that the yeast kicked off in about 4 hours, having followed the instructions on the packet. Just our experience, but we were pleased enough with the results that we have done it again. Good luck, and I hope you can use some of this advice. We call it Dog Vomit IPA, as the Krausen was a yellowish tint, looking like, well, you can guess. The finished beer came out with a hot copper color, not very pale, and a nice subtle, Grapefruit citrus twang.
 
OP
F

fightguy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2007
Messages
176
Reaction score
4
Location
Mesa, Arizona
Thalon said:
Increasing hops is easy, simply add more hops. Increasing ABV is a LOT trickier. You have to add more fermentable sugars, usually in the form of malt extract, but you can't make the wort too thick or it will inhibit the yeast. Also, most yeast cannot handle alcohol levels above 6% or so, so you would have to use special yeast to get into the Imperial Stout range.
If I use two full kits (each coming with everything needed for a 5 gallon batch of IPA) then wouldn't the hops and fermentable sugars all be in the right proportion?

And I am still waiting for a recommendation on which yeast to use
 

Thalon

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 11, 2007
Messages
356
Reaction score
0
Location
St. Louis Park, MN
fightguy said:
If I use two full kits (each coming with everything needed for a 5 gallon batch of IPA) then wouldn't the hops and fermentable sugars all be in the right proportion?

And I am still waiting for a recommendation on which yeast to use
I've never brewed such a big beer myself, but I have seen a few threads and clicked on a few links from these forums on how to get the ABV up in the stratosphere. Here's a link to Evan!'s experience producing a 15% ABV beer. You may not need to take it as far as he did, but just to get over the average 6% ABV beer you'll need to employ most of those methods.

I would start with the recommended yeast for the style beer you're after for the first "batch" of 1.060 wort. That's where most of the yeast-related flavors are going to come from. Then, when you add more concentrated wort, toss in WPL099 to push the ABV past 6%.
 
OP
F

fightguy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2007
Messages
176
Reaction score
4
Location
Mesa, Arizona
Well, this might have been a stupid idea but today I made a 2.5 gallon batch of lager out of a 5 gallon extract kit. I basically just made it according to the directions but only used half the water. The OG was 1.100!! It’s probably going to taste like a bucket of turkey rectums, but I’ll at least give it a try.

Do you guys think I need to do anything different when bottling/carbonating it? I don’t want my bottles to explode on me.

I apologize up front for my ignorance, as I am extremely new to brewing and really don’t have a clue what I am doing. All I know is that I really enjoy strong beers.

If this batch turns out okay I’m going to go ahead and try to make the Double IPA the same way, except I am going to add a substantial amount of hops to the recipe.
 

DeathBrewer

Maniacally Malty
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 9, 2007
Messages
21,787
Reaction score
317
Location
Oakland, CA
fightguy,

the yeast will still eat the sugars, although it may take a long time...i hope you used a starter or some dry yeast. be patient, it may need a few weeks in the primary but i'm sure it will be tasty.

you shouldn't have to worry about exploding bottles, just use your hydrometer and look at your yeasts attenuation range. most should be above 70% apparent attenuation when they're finished. you can use my calculator:
http://bens-store.com/brewing/brewingcalculator.xls

I would recommend starting with some lower gravity beers...the fermentation is easier and they don't take near as long.

as for your recipe...basically, if you add more sugar (extract), you'll get more alcohol. if you drop the amount of water, it raises the percentage of sugars in the mix. if you want to make anything but high gravity brews and you can only make 2.5 gallons, split the ingredients in half along with water and you'll make the same beer.

and if you want to make strong beers, you should search for some belgian strong ale recipes ;)

cheers

:mug:
 
Top