I'm brewing a mega beer at the moment. In fact I will keg it this weekend. It is my Xmas Bender beer. When I racked to tertiary it was already 9%.
It is a dark doppelbock style of beer, which I had to use a Belgian High Gravity Yeast to actually ferment it.
The barrier to super strong brews is not the fermentables (you can just add more to your recipe). The barrier is the yeast making so much alcohol it dies! Doc has it, you need a high gravity yeast or something like Champagne yeast. That's what I'll be trying for a batch of strong Cherry Beer/Barley Wine.
Give this one a whirl raa, I've got it brewing at the moment so no idea how it's going to turn out.
1 good bitter or ale kit
1.5kg light malt extract
15g Fuggles hop pellets
The name of the exact can I can't recall but it was from Morgans if my memory serves me correctly.
EDIT: If you have never used LME before it is a real pain in the ring to dissolve, it loves to stick in chunks making it hard to dissolve. Has anyone got any tips on getting LME to dissolve? Does it matter whether the water is boiling?
Al Korzonas, in "Homebrewing Volume 1" recommends using the entire yeast cake from a previous medium-gravity batch as the yeast for a barleywine. He argues that this is a better option than a large starter (eg. 2 litre). If using a starter and fermentation gets stuck, he recommends taking the entire yeast cake from another batch - or pitching 3 or four packages of rehydrated dry yeast (being careful not to aerate the wort).
There are a couple of big recipes in the Korzonas book. His barley wine is %9.7 and the imperial stout is around %12.