In the the first two installments of this article, I described the basic idea behind “feeding” the fermentation of a very strong beer and how to formulate a recipe for this procedure. Here is how to actually brew the beer.
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There are basically two steps to brewing a very strong beer by feeding your fermentation. The first step is to formulate a recipe and a plan. The second step is to brew the initial beer and then feed the fermentation. I’ll cover the first step today and the second tomorrow.
Twelve percent alcohol by volume (ABV) is the alcohol tolerance listed for many yeast strains that are commonly use to brew strong beers. For recipes under 12% ABV, you probably do not want to bother with feeding — just brew the normal way, paying close attention to pitching rate and aeration. If your beer is over 12% ABV, or the predicted ABV is higher than the alcohol tolerance listed for your intended yeast strain, feeding the fermentation should let you squeeze a little bit more alcohol from your yeast.
Brewing a drinkable very strong beer takes a lot of work. (For the sake of this article, let’s define “very strong” as over 12% ABV.) Everything — from wort production, to raising the proper amount of yeast, to running the fermentation — requires more. More ingredients. More time. More care. One technique can make brewing the absolute biggest beers a bit easier — “feeding” the beer as fermentation progresses.
Today I’d like to give five tips for new brewers. However, these tips also apply to brewers who are switching to all-grain or trying out anything new within brewing (brewing sour beers, decoction mashing, etc.).
Today, the winners of the Beer and Wine Journal/Basic Brewing Radio Homebrew Heroics Contest were first announced on Basic Brewing Radio. The top two winners received passes to the 2015 National Homebrew Conference (NHC) in San Diego. (In a twist of fate, one of the winners declared himself ineligible, so the prize was passed on to the next runner up.)
Below are the essays from the two original winners (Benjamin Grupe and Greg Niznik), plus the winning runner up (Tim Wang). Tomorrow, I will post a few of the other runners up. Thanks to everyone who entered and hope to see you at the NHC!
It was April Fools Day on Wednesday. Every year, many breweries post press releases on April Fools Day announcing a spoof beer or some other prank. This year, I’ve collected some the best here. But first, there were some beer stories on the web that were not April Fools jokes. For example, someone felt it necessary to point out that these five beers are real. Also, apparently someone decided to make a dress out of beer and bacteria and announce it around April 1st.