Need some ideas.... im stuck

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by simplegreen, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. simplegreen

    simplegreen Initiate (110) May 13, 2017 Texas

    Second time brewing a high gravity beer. 1.128 (total). Started with california ale on a 2 step (4 liter) starter. "original" original gravity was 1.075. Dropped really nicely and i racked over to buckets (10 gallon batch).

    Then pitched 2 vials of WLP099 (Super high gravity ale). From a two step starter (4 liter). Saw noticeable fermentation and started with the feeding of dextrose. 1 pound a day between the two of them (so half pound each bucket). I was shooting for 17% and when i hit 16.9 i did a gravity check and a taste check decided it was done and crashed it out.

    Well to my dismay, after a week on more hops i went to rack to kegs and found that it had a very noticeable sweetness left and chances were i didn't ferment out all the dextrose.

    So... i put it back in the temp control and slowly raise the temp back up. Washed the yeast and added a 3rd vial, build another starter and repitched. I saw very little action. So then i added 4 packs of champagne yeast. Assumption being, i dont care if it "dries out" a bit as thats really what i want to do dry out that simple sugar which the yeast will prefer most.

    saw some action but not much in the way of active which i wasn't really expecting anyway more just praying i would.

    lastly, i re-aerated with pure o2 for 30 seconds each and pitched yet another 2 vial - 2 step starter.

    i've seen maybe a .002 point variation of gravity after doing all that. Not having tasted it, im assuming it will still be sweet tasting.

    So after that novel and stage set. My question.

    I've done some research into amylase my understanding of that is to convert starches to fermentable sugars that are in solution and as a result, not the solution in this case as we dont have non fermented maltodextrose (grain sugar) in solution but simple sugar dextrose.

    So short of additional fermentation (which doesnt seem to be working) is there any course here i can cut the sweetness? Hide it in hops maybe? i dunno throwing darts here.
  2. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,380) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Wait... OG 1.128 and ABV 16.9%? That puts FG somewhere around 1.000 with the most common calculation, or 1.016 with an alternative "high gravity" calculation. Either way, that's huge attenuation.

    If the above numbers are right, whatever sweetness you're tasting probably is not simple sugars. (Though knowing your full grain bill and what calculation you're using would be helpful.)

    Was the beer cold when you tasted it? If not, it won't be as sweet when it's colder. And carbonated. Since you're kegging (not bottling), I'd recommend carbonating it and seeing how it is then. (ETA: Unless your grain bill/ABV formula is a revelation.)

    Frankly, I think I'd be more concerned about that post-fermentation pure O2 aeration than I would be about residual sweetness.
    #2 VikeMan, Jun 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
    GreenKrusty101 likes this.
  3. simplegreen

    simplegreen Initiate (110) May 13, 2017 Texas

    forgot, current gravity is 1.005. Under most circumstances yeah that beer is done but with 17% alcohol and that much residual sweetness i'd expect to drop below 1.000 to clean up this beer.
  4. simplegreen

    simplegreen Initiate (110) May 13, 2017 Texas

    Appreciate the response vike, yeah it was cold when i tasted it, but not carbed. Im not too concerned about the o2 as this beer wont be sitting on the shelf long its basicaly spoken for already. And i plan to re-dryhop as it just didn't have the punch i wanted. Carbing it is a good option, possibly oaking it too but thats just more time to acquire oak character. Not opposed to time, I just dont want to go down the wrong path and waste a lot of time.
  5. Tebuken

    Tebuken Disciple (326) Jun 6, 2009 Argentina

    I think you need to consider time when brewing such a beast , it is not possible to get the proper maturation of this beer if you don`t let it go, it needs time, long time in my opinion.
    machalel likes this.
  6. Supergenious

    Supergenious Disciple (378) May 9, 2011 Michigan

    If I'm following correctly... you've pitched 10 vials/ packs of yeast? You know what you could do?- pitch more yeast. :wink:

    Hate to break it to you, but this is probably not going to ferment anymore. A 17%abv beer is going seem sweet.
  7. machalel

    machalel Aspirant (287) Jan 19, 2012 Australia

    17% ABV?
    Final Gravity of 1.005?

    Be thankful you got it down that far! That baby going nowhere! :stuck_out_tongue:

    Don't forget that carbonation will cut the sweetness quite a bit.
    JrGtr likes this.
  8. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,139) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Is this troLling?
  9. JrGtr

    JrGtr Devotee (407) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    Beer won't go below 1.000... Cider will, occasionally, I don't know about wine, but there's enough residuals in beer that it won't.
    1.005 to me sounds awful dry, I can't imagine where it would be sweet - unless you added an extra zero, and it's actually 1.050, Dark Lord territory.
    Also, a 17% beer won't taste right fresh - something like that will need time for everything to work together.
    PLease post full recipe and such, like VikeMan asked, so we can try to decipher what may be happening.
    Mothergoose03 likes this.
  10. machalel

    machalel Aspirant (287) Jan 19, 2012 Australia

    Just checking that you didn't actually mean to type SG = 1.015

    Going from 1.128 to 1.015 = exactly 16.9% ABV using the alternate formula...