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10

With a beer that strong, you probably should have repitched at bottling. There are several factors that the yeast must fight in this situation, including: high alcohol strength - almost 10% ABV cool temperature - the bottom two degrees of the yeast's fermentation range long settling time - six weeks There's good news, though. That strain should be able ...


10

First, make an appropriately sized starter! Pitching a regular old vial into something like a 1.090 beer is a good way to overstress the yeast and get lots of undesirable esters, and have a beer that didn't finish out completely. Jamil has a helpful writeup on pitching rates and a pitching rate calculator that will help you size a starter. Second, pick a ...


7

Pure sugar is the most fermentable substance, at 1.046 points per pound per gallon. With 12 pounds of sugar in 3 gallons, you'd expect a OG of 1.183. Honey has an estimated yield of 35 ppg, and correspondingly the gravity would be lower - 1.135. There could be 3 possibilities for the observed high gravity the stratification is causing the reading to be ...


7

As alcohol levels rise in a beer, eventually you can taste it. There is just no way around that part. However as a brewer you do have control over some of the less desirable tasting higher order (molecularly complex) alcohols. The best way to control the levels of these types of flavors is to pitch plenty of yeast, ferment on the cooler side (that also ...


7

I'd bet that you didn't get it as well mixed as you think you did and you got a false reading. I've seen it happen many, many times. The other thing to address is your boiloff amount. You should be boiling off maybe 1.5 gal. in an hour. Boiling off 50% of your wort needs to be addressed.


6

Putting 10.5kg of grain in 11.5 litres of water will kill your efficiency, unfortunately: From Braukaiser: Traditional British style infusion mashes are with about 2-2.5 l/kg (1 - 1.15 qt/lb) very thick and German style mashes are generally much thinner (3.5-5 l/kg / 1.75-2.5 qt/lb). Historically this is rooted in the fact that the latter needed to ...


5

If the basement stays at 65, I don't see a problem with this. Sounds like you've got enough yeast, and the temperatures you have are right in the sweet spot for that strain, (65-68F).


5

This is a perfectly fine technique if you don't want to do a double mash session to get it all grain. The only limitation with trying to go "imperial" using a large portion of extract (or doing it all extract if you aren't set up for all-grain brewing) is the fermentability of the extract. Extract, by nature of how it is made, tends to have a limit to ...


5

If the starter fully fermented, most of the 1.040 should be gone; normal yeast attenuation is around 75%, so you should have 1L of 1.010 beer in the starter vessel. 1L of 1.010 beer into 19L of 1.076 OG wort would reduce the OG down to about 1.073. (76 points * 19L + 10 points * 1L) / 20L = 72.7 points = 1.073. Though if possible, you should try to ...


4

I'd add to be sure you can maintain a proper fermentation temp, also. High gravity beers have a propensity for throwing fusels, and if you don't keep the temp down it can exacerbate that.


4

60f shouldn't be cold enough to kill the yeast, but cold enough to slow it down drastically. If the beer tasted fine prior to bottling, it should be OK after a couple of weeks at 70f.


4

Nearly any yeast will ferment out a 12% ABV beer. The Ardennes yeast especially should have no trouble. I have never found it necessary to do incremental additions to the fermenter for a high OG beer. Just be certain that you pitch the right amount of healthy yeast, oxygenate/aerate well, and make a fermentable wort. That means a long, low temp mash, and ...


4

Oxygenate Pitch a proper amount of yeast Keep it at a steady temperature. For Ardennes I'd recommend starting around 66-68 for at least two days then ramping up to 70-72 until fermentation is done. Have up to 20% of your fermentables come from sugar, not malt. This is normal for Tripels. Those are the main things. A good tripel recipe is designed to make ...


4

How do you feel about sour beers? I was just reading on The Mad Fermentationist that sour beers often mask their alcohol content with their other pungent aromas and flavors. And since they attenuate more than a normal brew, you get more alcohol for the same starting gravity, so take that into account as well. A 1.080 sour that gets down to 1.005 should be ...


4

I'd be willing to bet that the high FG was due to insufficient yeast pitching. By itself, most yeast can handle up to 13% ABV, so it isn't the intolerance of your alcohol level. I would recommend doing a yeast starter for brews this high in gravity (a little late now obviously). In your situation, I would consider pitching another packet of yeast (see the ...


3

I like to make my starters well in advance so they can ferment out and I can decant the spent wort, rather than pitching it into my nice fresh wort. Also, you can make a larger starter and only use 1 smack pack if you want to save some money.


3

You'd need to check the Mr Malty pitching calculator to be sure, but I think you are going way overboard with the starter. For a 1.085 Belgian ale that started off in a smack-pack, I'd make about a half gallon starter of 1.040 gravity and call it a day. I've made a similar Belgian in the past, and did a 1qt starter stepped up with another 2 quarts, and it ...


3

"Primary" fermentation for a big beer like that could be as long as 3-4 weeks. I certainly wouldn't touch it for 3 weeks myself, except to check the gravity once a week. After that, a secondary is up to you. I would personally secondary that beer for a few weeks before bottling, but I think you can skip that step, assuming your beer is fully fermented out. ...


3

I too am brewing a couple winter warmers right now (1.090) one a week old and one a day old. I always start my fermentation out a little cold (max 5 deg from suggested, 2 or 3 if i can help it) that way the yeast has a chance to get comfy and rev up. Both batches pitched at low 60's, and the other answer is very correct about fermentation raising the temp, ...


3

What you are wanting to do is basically a parti-gyle. This is where you run off multiple beers from a single mash. There are many different ways to go about this but the most common is to run off your strong beer and then your secondary. You can also blend the two worts to reach differing target gravities or do a 1/3-2/3 runoff. Here is an article ...


3

The easiest way to determine the effect of starter gravity is to decant the starter so the amount is negligible. In addition, I've found that it makes better beer.


3

At this point you don't know if the fermentation is stuck or finished. Despite the yeast attenuation rating, it's the fermentability of the wort that determines attenuation. Alcohol tolerance is not the problem. More yeast might help or it might not. Before you do anything you should try a fast ferment test to determine if there are any more fermentable ...


3

I recently brewed a 14% RIS using a similar technique - I started out with S-04, and then used WLP099 to continue where that couldn't. Since the WLP090 yeast strain has a high alcohol tolerance, you only need the WLP099 if you're talking abv levels above around 13%. I think your plan sounds about right - although I would use more WLP090 and less WLP099, or ...


3

I would definitely not bottle yet. You may get bottle bombs, but you'll definitely get a beer that's too sweet. It's only been 2 weeks and for a high gravity barley wine, that's not much at all. You could warm it up in the 70sF (24C?) and see if you can get more fermentation, but I suspect you won't get much more with that yeast. Personally, I would ...


2

I just take a look at what I've got in my inventory and wing it. I almost always cap the mash with some additional grain, usually crystal of some sort. I've found that second runnings beers can have a thin body and adding more crystal helps with that. In addition, you don't have to worry about conversion using crystal or other non diastatic malts. As to ...


2

As long as you ensure your extract is reasonably fresh, you shouldn't be able to notice the LME in an imperial that's mostly grain. From personal experience, the high alcohol content and heavy hopping rates make it impossible to tell that LME was used. Additionally, stronger beers tend towards higher concentrations of esters, fusels, and other aromatics, ...


2

Yeah, that sounds perfectly fine. A big beer like that could easily actively ferment 5-7 days. I generally won't even look at it for 2 weeks, and let it primary at least 4.


2

Like so many things in beer, a multitude of factors could be at work. Is this an all-grain or partial mash? It's possible that you ended up with a lot of unfermentable sugars and the yeast are just done. More yeast will have nothing to eat. In which case your beer is just done. 7.35% ABV and ~63% apparent attenuation. Not terrible. If the yeast has ...


2

Not only is it not too cold, it is in fact, too warm and could possibly make crappy beer. A 1.095 beer is going to ferment with a LOT of activity and heat. The real temp of that beer today or tomorrow is going to be close to 70-75F if the ambient temp is 65F. Anything over 70F and you've got a real danger of developing fusel alcohols that taste bad and do ...


2

Over a week or two, the temperature swings wont make much difference since there is little flavor contribution from the fermentation that goes on in bottle conditioning - for a high gravity beer, the priming sugar represents only about 1% of fermentables. It sounds like after a week, fermentation of the priming sugar is pretty much done - the remaining ...



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