11

Mostly the high temperature. You started out at 73° C, which is already at the high side for the alfa-amylase enzymes, which convert the starches into complex sugars. While at this moment, the beta-amylase enzymes, which convert the complex sugars into simple sugars, are not yet denatured, two things work against them: The high temperature, which will ...


7

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

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.


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 cold-...


5

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 ...


5

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 ...


5

More bad news: If you didn't like the OG, you'll probably like the FG even less. This is because higher mash temps produce more complex (and less fermentable) sugars. You want to be making disaccharides like the maltose which will be converted to alcohol, but you probably made a lot of trisaccharides and unfermentable dextrins like maltotriose, etc. If you ...


4

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 ...


3

I'd suspect either a faulty thermometer that's reading deceptively low is to blame, or perhaps your mash water chemistry is really off and you aren't getting full conversion. For the former, check your thermometer in crushed ice-water to ensure that its reading 32F, and in boiling water to ensure its 212F. Don't be shocked if you can't get it to read 212F ...


3

Oxygen at this point may create some oxidation off flavors (wet paper) since you're close to 50% attenuation. Try to warm it up and swirl more. I would go to 74°F. I would question your measuring device. You shouldn't have any significant rises until it has completed. Usually on a graph at the very end of fermentation a slight rise in gravity is the ...


2

It depends on what you're looking to do. I've seen the 20L system handle ~1.070-ish beers without trouble. That's a reasonably big beer, though many people ignore the included instructions and start doing things like sparging to get there. If you want to go much above that, however, I get the impression that you'll need to shrink your batch size or use an ...


2

I have some friends that have the 50 liter version (about 15 gallons) and I know they've brewed a couple of RIS and other strong beers, so it's definitely not impossible, however I don't think it's as easy as some other setups. They had to perform two separate mashes due to the large amount of grain. Each mash had 10.5 kg (about 23lb) of grain in order to ...


2

Your efficiency goes down as the gravity of your beer goes up. That's because of the sugar you leave behind when using a "normal" amount of water. In order to increase your effieincy, you need to sparge more. That also means you need to boil longer to drive off the extra water.


2

It all comes down to mash temp. Lower mash temps(145-148) will yield more fermentable sugars. Down side is you lower your mash efficiency and need to compensate with more grain or adjuncts. But you will have a substantially dry beer. Even with a iipa you should be able to hit 1.01.


2

Water may be the problem, but I'd focus on some easier solutions first. Confirming mash temp with a second thermometer. Mashing a little thinner (1.5-1.75qt/lb)and cooler (145-149F). And I would strongly recommend repeating one of the same beers you've already made so you can compare the end result with a prior result. THIS IS VITAL otherwise you really ...


2

The yeast will eventually ferment out more sugar, but it can take many months. I have a High FG 12% beer in a keg that I thought was done, only to find it had built up a lot of pressure as the beer continued fermenting. (To be more thorough I should take a sample, degass it and measure the FG to see how much it's dropped.)


2

Interesting question. Lead me to some interesting Google results. First is this paper regarding fermentation in the Tequila industry. Brief take home is they went to 170g/L of sugars, but found that supplemental nitrogen is needed for good yeast performance (i.e. yeast nutrient) This second source sites distillers yeast going to 350g/L. I'd expect ...


2

First: It is your first brew! Relax. Brew it and THEN start playing. There is a lot of things you need to get used to. But it is up to you. :) You can follow thesquaregroot's answer, or you can alter the abv in a different way: Brew the beer and let it ferment in two fermenters, where the one fermenter is the one gallon one that will be made special. When ...


2

Your best bet is to add all your fermentables at once. The reason is that if you wait until your 7% beer has completed primary fermentation to add more yeast, you are adding that alcohol tolerant yeast to a hostile environment - one in which there is already a high level of alcohol present. Despite being bred as a "alcohol tolerant" yeast, it is still yeast ...


2

Is this a 10 gallon batch? The crystal malts are only around 10% of the grist, so I don't think you have a problem there. I would consider 78 F too warm for pitching WLP001, but I doubt that's your problem either. My guess is that the fermentation has slowed down because you under pitched and presumably didn't oxygenate the wort. Each White Labs vial would ...


2

I would focus on the yeast. How old were the yeast packs? Viability and cell count starts to drop off after just a few weeks. How big was the starter and what was the O.G.? Did you use a stir plate? There is a yeast calculator at Mr. Malty that I have found to be helpful. A stir plate helps quite a bit too. Make sure the temperature of your starter is near ...


2

Average it! First convert your values to Plato as SG isn’t linear for mass of sugar in a volume vs gravity points. This allows you to use simple algebra to average different beers. If the two gravities are very close then not converting will mean you will be off by only a few points, but if the gravities are vastly different your calculated value will be off ...


2

One can pitch dry powdered yeast directly into a brew. It often works well but sometimes not. In my entire brewing career(?!?) I have never used a yeast nutrient(!?!). Some do, some don't. I usually recommend making a starter with yeast in sugar solution as this is the easiest way to check the yeast is actually active before pitching. I have used powdered ...


2

I strongly advise against yeast nutrients, unless you are sure that this addition will not be sensed in finished beer even if yeast will fall to eat it. Once I had a batch less than optimal due to this. First, you can just stir gently. This may sometimes be all you really need. Second, more reliable way is to add a packet or three (yes, three, really) of ...


2

It is most likely not the nutrients that are needed but oxygen, your stir will have introduced sufficent oxygen to drop a further 5 points of gravity. I advise popping the top and giving it a really good stir, and a shake this will do 2 things, firstly in gets some more oxygen into the wort, and also resuspends the yeast.


2

So, actually, after one week or so, i have new data. As you can see on the graph below, my fermentation restarted and slowly made its way to ~1.020 (it's still fermenting and i'll leave it for one more week or so). Fermentation was actually stuck and there was still a lot of fermentable sugar, my guess is that my initial problem was not enough oxygenation ...


1

With that OG and mash temp it will have a lot of fermentables, that OG really goes into Wee Heavy and English Barley Wine territory. The wine yeast sounds like it's to finish out the few remaining gravity points and for natural carbonation using a 2 bar air lock on the barrel. Update: The additions of the wine yeast are to insure a good FG and added ...


1

I know that raw honey can ferment if it has enough moisture content and a warm environment. There is an interesting thing that can happen resulting in snowflake yeast where yeast doesn't seperate during reproduction due to the bottle neck effect of the dense media it's in. This actually results in genetic mutations too. Pretty cool huh? As far as an OG ...


1

Try the tab that says "repitching from slurry" and it will show the volume of (packed) yeast that calculated. It will be much less than the volume shown on the first tab, which seems to be the 2.75L you referred to above.


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