Beer Brewing Question (Ice Beer Content)

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Dere, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. Dere

    Dere New Member

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    I'm interviewing for a job (internship) with MillerCoors in the coming days and I've made it my goal to know basically everything about their company I can, including how their beers are brewed.

    I'm very familiar with lager style brewing, but I'm not as familiar with ice beer brewing. Is the primary difference that the wort is frozen, water that freezes to the top is skimmed and then rewarmed to make a higher alcohol beer? I couldn't get a sense from what I found exactly when in brewing this happens?
     
  2. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    My understanding is it's done post fermentation. But not sure how the big boys do it.
    I've only done it once with some apple cider. Happy with the results, and the skimmed slush was delicious too.
    Good luck getting the internship!
     
  3. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    There would be no advantage in doing that...it's far easier just to add more fermentables. The reason for "Ice" beer to exist is to have alcohol content higher than the typical yeast can produce or tolerate. With extremely high-gravity worts, at a certain point in fermentation most lager yeasts will start to suffer in the higher alcohol environment and cease metabolizing the excess sugars.
    By producing a standard gravity beer and freezing it, the water can be removed to increase the percentage of alcohol in the remaining liquid.
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'm really not sure what Miller Ice really is - there's no commercial reason to freeze the beer to raise the alcohol content (as JA mentions). The actual Eisbier process takes advantage of the fact that water freezes at a much higher temperature than alcohol, the reason alcohols are used as antifreeze, by the way. But at the percentage ABV of Miller Ice, all that's needed is a bit more sugar in the beer to up the percentage - concentrating alcohol by freezing is only sensible above about 12% alcohol. My take, it is referring to the serving temperature: Chill the stuff to damned near freezing so you can't taste the lovely cooked corn DMS flavor characteristic of the beer!
     
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  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Oh, forgot to ask: MillerCoors here in Colorado? The brewery in Golden is staying, the headquarters is moving to Chicago.
     
  6. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    I've always though the light lager/ice beer thing is weird. It's not like they're actually making a high gravity beer. Certainly not something you'd need the part freezing to achieve.

    It doesn't seem to be related to the high gravity fermentations which is all about pressure, more fermentables and then dilution so that they don't have to buy more stainless to meet demand.

    Maybe it's more about some process to speed up the lagering phase and the ice is coincedental? Or just marketing?
     
  7. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Got it. They're simply lagering the beer so cold that it partially freezes. Has nothing to do with the "Eisbock" or similar beers where the brewer is really trying to concentrate the beer, it's just a marketing gimick.
     
  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    That's the "Eisbock" process I mentioned, not what they're doing here.
     
  10. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    That...:cool:
     
  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Exactly that.
     
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