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Stebas

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Hey guys

I've been doing some serious brewing lately, well as serious as a newbie could, and I've got quite a collection of brews in the basement just waiting...

So I've decided to make a few, shall we say, 'different' brews for the mates. Amongst the To Do list, I'm looking to spring upon my mates a super strength brew. You know, the kind of stuff you could strip paint off the wall with, or fuel a 4WD.

I was thinking just getting a simple Coopers kit but putting a shite load more sugar/malt extract than normal.

What's the highest alc % brew you guys have made and what quantities of sugar/Malt extract did you put in it? I'm only a simple kit brewer so far, so what kind of sugars do you guys reckon I should put in ti
 

JimD

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One thing you need to do is make sure you have a yeast with a high alcohol tolerance. With standard beer yeast, the fermentation will stick at, maybe 6 or 7% alcohol. Most people use a wine yeast for high strength beers, though you can get special high alcohol tolerant beer yeasts.

As for the strength, use extra malt extract, or maybe 2 kits together to get the strength you want; avoid using too much sugar, or you'll get a thin brew with no body.
 

Scotty

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I made a high alcoholic ale a while back it was aweful. I used two coopers tins, 3kg of dextrose and wine yeast. If you were going to attempt it i would say add lots of malt, not much sugar and lots of hops. Hope this helps.

Scotty
 

pint of lager

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A good plan of attack on a brew such as this is to use a good attenuating yeast and pitch a slurry. If need be, after the beer yeast has finished fermenting, add some wine yeast. This way, the main ferment occurs with a beer yeast, giving beer flavours rather than using a wine yeast giving wine flavours to the brew.
 

ryanator

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My Choc-Honey Porter has:
- Cascade Chocolate Mahogany Porter Kit
- Dextrose 500g
- Brewcraft Premium Dark Dried Malt Extract 500g
- Goldings Hops Infusion Bag 12g
- Cadbury Drinking Chocolate 500g
- 2 Jars of Red Gum Honey 500g

I used the yeast that came with the kit which was a big mistake. Where I live, it's hard to get good yeast. It will be interesting to see how 1kg of honey will boost the alcohol content. I just hope the yeast doesn't die.
 

bonjour

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If you aerate well and pitch a starter there is no reason your regular beer yeast shouldn't have too much trouble up to 12-13%abv. You may have to rouse the yeast a few times a day, but that is all. The trick is to get your attenuation up so you beer won't be too sweet. No John Bull or Laaglanders extracts in a beer over 10% unless you are really sure you want them. AG brewers mash for fermentability (low and long).

Fred
 

pbrosnan

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I just tonight racked a 7.9% AG brew that used a Wyeast 2112 Cal lager yeast. I wasn't aiming for such a high OG (1070) but my recipe called for 500g of cane sugar so that's what pushed it so high. Anyway I aired well and the yeast didn'r have a problem getting down to 1010 which is around 84% attenuation according to ProMash, here's the recipe


% Amount Name Origin Potential SRM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
77.7 4.00 kg. Weyermann Pilsner Germany 1.038 2
9.7 0.50 kg. Cane Sugar Generic 1.046 0
4.9 0.25 kg. Wheat Malt Germany 1.039 2
3.9 0.20 kg. Crystal 75L Great Britian 1.034 75
3.9 0.20 kg. Crystal 105L Great Britain 1.033 105

Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.


Hops

Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
20.00 g. Pride of Ringwood Pellet 10.00 26.2 60 min.
10.00 g. Fuggle Pellet 5.00 1.3 10 min.


Yeast
-----

WYeast 2112 California Lager
 

dr K

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Stebas said:
I'm looking to spring upon my mates a super strength brew. You know, the kind of stuff you could strip paint off the wall with, or fuel a 4WD.

I was thinking just getting a simple Coopers kit but putting a shite load more sugar/malt extract than normal.

Ok..
Stebas, the first answer is No, just don't do it. Brewing from a kit and keeping within some basic guidlines you will make quite acceptable beer.
High gravity beers are another thing entirely, just adding more sugar/fermentables will, yes increase the alcohol but do nothing for the flavor, at best you will get an unbalanced smelly hard to drink beer.
A full mash brewer can do it because with full mash you have control of the mash and of the fermentables
If you must then here is a way.
Make a stout but use a liquid stout yeast such as 1084 Irish Ale. If the beer is good drain off the slurry for use that day or the next. Take two cans of your favorite tinned stout, a kilo of sugar and make it up to about SG 1100 (prob about 15 litres), pitch on to the slurry and prepare for a fairly volcanic fermentation oh and make sure that the room temp is not above 18C. Ferment to about 1022-1028 if possible.
Call it a Russian Imperial Stout (its not really but ....). What you make will not be prize winning but apart from just don't do it its your best bet.

Kurtz
 

tangent

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Red wine yeast or white wine yeast or the generic red/white yeast?
 

peas_and_corn

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I cannot mash that
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That recipe for the Choc-Honey Porter sounds really good; I'd like to hear how it goes and how it tastes!

I think I might steal your recipe so I can add it to the list of potential beers I want to make... There are quite a few!

I guess I should brew more regularly
 

ryanator

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peas_and_korn said:
That recipe for the Choc-Honey Porter sounds really good; I'd like to hear how it goes and how it tastes!

I think I might steal your recipe so I can add it to the list of potential beers I want to make... There are quite a few!

I guess I should brew more regularly
[post="79053"][/post]​
Hey peas_and_korn,

It'll be ready to drink in about 2 weeks so if it's a success I'll post the recipe and some additional notes on how I brewed it.

Hope it turns out good because it was a heap of effort to make!

:beer:
 

peas_and_corn

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I cannot mash that
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I'm going to give it a bash as well... but have to wait for a couple of weeks as I'm brewing a smoky Belgian ale right now...

It would be good to hear how it turns out, since I could benefit from your hindsight when I start making it
 

SpaceMonkey

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If you're after something strong and pretty foolproof for a kit brewer why not go with a kit that's meant to yeild a high alcohol content in the first place, maybe something like the ESB Bavarian Bock kit?
 

Jye

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When would be the best time to add the wine yeast?

I did an Arrogant Bastard 9 days ago and the fg is stable at 1.034 from 1.066, not to happy with this since I pitch on top of a yeast cake. Have I left it too late?

Cheers
 

pint of lager

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If need be, after the beer yeast has finished fermenting, add some wine yeast.
 

bonjour

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I would start by rousing your yeast 3 times a day. and see if that helps.

Post your recipe and temps so we can see if there are any process issues we should be aware of. Note that sertain extracts (Laaglanders, John Bull) could indicate that you are at/near final gravity. And some yeasys are very slow to finish.

If you are in fact stuck, try this:

1. Rouse the yeast, 3 time a day (before and after work, and when you go to bed).
2. Make another starter.
3. Pitch at high Krausen, it is very important that the yeast are in an active feeding phase.
4. when you pitch, add sugar, a cup of table or corn sugar should do. Good fermentable sugar to keep the yeast munching. Other than boosting your final alcohol % a bit this should be fine.

Fred
 

Jye

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The recipe is the first one posted by Doc in this thread. I pitched it onto a yeast cake of 1272 and have been rousing the yeast twice a day expecting the fg to be in the range of 1.015 - 1.020. The temp has unfortunately been about 23 -25C since the Brisbane weather decided it was summer time <_<

Would it be worth while pitching another starter or just going the wine yeast?

Cheers
 

BRAD T

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Back in April I did an ESB (Extra Special Bitter not to be confused with East Sydney Brewery) Partial Mash with an OG of 1057 and FG of 1008(ABV 6.6%) using SO4 yeast fermented @ 20 deg. 1 week in primary then 2 weeks in a cube. With the extra alcohol from priming sugar it was around ABV 7.1%.
After 2 weeks in bottles it was carbonated quite well but did not hold much of a head and had quite a raw alcohol taste to it. After 2 months the alcohol taste had mellowed and it was a very nice winter warmer, I wish I had not been so greedy and kept a few to see how it would be after 10-12 months.
I find that SO4 is a very aggressive, highly attenuating yeast that flocculates very well to leave a nice clear result, I would imagine that it could be used for brews with an OG of 1060+ without any drama.

Cheers
Brad T
 

pint of lager

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Hitting final gravities is an art based on loads of experience.

Bonjour has posted an excellent list of suggestions, which I would be following. As he suggested earlier, if your brewing methods are sound, most beer yeasts are capable of doing the job.

If you are after a "quick and dirty" way of reaching a lower gravity, wine yeast is an option. Wine yeasts attenuate (or can convert) longer chain sachaarides.

Stuck ferments are due to:
low pitching rates
high pitching rates
temperature fluctuations
poor yeast health
some yeasts floc out readily needing constant resuspending
excessive trapped CO2 in the wort

Also the following can be included:
mashing at too high a temperature
using too much crystal style malts in the grain bill

Starting off a high og wort means pitching at higher rates and controlling the temperature.

I suspect that you have overpitched by dumping on a complete yeast cake, the ferment took off violently, you couldn't control the ferment temperature and it has now finished.

Jye, it is your beer, you can follow Bonjour's excellent suggestions or dump some wine yeast and nutrient in it.
 

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