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High gravity small batch K+K

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awall

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A while back I bought a Coopers English Bitter kit and 1kg of DME. This is just sitting here and I would like to use it before it I forget about it and it gets old. I was just planning on doing it as a standard 23L batch, but recently I've been doing some PM's and now an AG beer on a smaller scale.

What I've been thinking is using the K+K in a ~12L batch to get a big beer. Just plugging that into the kit/extract spreadsheet gives me an OG of 1.075 and 61.4 IBU. If I add another 500g of DME it pumps it up to 1.091. I've never made a beer that big and I'm not sure if this will even be drinkable. I was thinking I could leave it like that and end up with a barleywine? My other thought was to cold steep some choc malt (I have some leftover that i would like to use up) and coffee to end up with a monster dark ale? Anything else I could try?

Has anyone ever tried brewing a high gravity, small batch K+K like this? I'd be happy brewing anything, but am slightly leaning towards the dark ale option. I had this recently and it was delicious http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/to-ol-mochaccino-messiah/172760/ . I should add that I can only ferment one beer at a time and usually just go from primary to bottling. If I leave a beer this big for just 3-4 weeks in primary and then bottle condition for 6+ months, will that work, or am I asking for trouble?

Cheers!
 

bum

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It will definately make beer. It'll be a beer that will need serious conditiong time but it sounds like you're prepared for that.

As long as you can spare the fermenting time and the bottles for it to sit around for a while then I say go for it. Fermenting big beers like this is a bit different to lower grav beers, in my experience, so a "practice run" is a good idea if you intend making an AG barleywine or similar down the track.
 

Bribie G

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It's really half of a "toucan" brew if you get my meaning, and should turn out well. The extra body, alcohol heat and sweetness from the malt should counteract the IBUs. Just like some of those big APAs often come in with IBUs up in the 60s or more. I'd look at dry hopping to add some more flavour and aroma, rather than having mostly bitterness as often happens with kits.
 

awall

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Ah thanks, that belgian looks great wagga! I have my first belgian style beer ferming atm. Can't wait for it to be done :icon_drool2:

In what way are they different to ferment? From what i can read a lot of brewers seem to leave in primary for 1 month then secondary for a few months. That's def not my usual procedure and hoped my "secondary" could be done in the bottles. In your experience will just a primary of 3-4 weeks be enough for the yeast to get through a big beer? I can leave bottles stashed away and with a small batch I will be less inclined to try a "tester" until it's actually ready. Fermenter space is what I really lack, and I don't have enough room to properly control temps of more than one beer.

Which yeast could handle the abv of this beer and would i need to add another bottling yeast? I generally carb my beers lower than normal and this would be lower still, so is it even necessary?

Bribie, I nearly brewed a toucan, but never got round to it, so this can make up for it! I'm leaning toward the darker coffee option, so I won't bother with a dry hop if i go that route. The beer in the link I posted has coffee and lactose, but is 7% abv. If i go the 1.090+ option, I'm assuming there will be enough residual sweetness without the lactose?

Thanks for the help everyone. This forum is excellent!
 

Nick JD

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The key to making a good high abv beer is to pitch a lot of yeast. And I mean A LOT!

A great way to do this is to make a mild beer, say 1.035 and then put your 1.090 wort on top of the yeast trub.

When big beers fail, nine times out of ten it's because the yeast says, "**** this" and gives up the ghost at 1.030 leaving you with a sweet, syrupy useless beer.
 

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