Really High Attenuation and hot alcohol taste

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by J A, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I just moved my Helles Bock to secondary/lagering after about 10 days of primary and several days of raised temp for D-rest. It's a pretty high OG beer and the WLP 860 I'm using is a good attenuator, so I expected it to be fairly low FG and started with an OG on the low end of the style guideline. It was predicted to go from 1.066 to 1.014 for just about 6.7% ABV.
    When I checked the gravity reading it was 1.009 which calculates almost 7.5% ABV. A taste test shows that it's malty with a little sweetness, but the alcohol is really strong. I know it'll mellow out some and when it's lagered and carbed it'll change the balance, but is there anything that can or should be done to insure that it calms down a little. I don't know of anything that can be added in secondary that can add residual sugar without re-starting fermentation and adding alcohol. Or will it age over a few months (it's a good Oktoberfest beer, after all) and be a totally kick-ass big, bold lager? :D
    Any thoughts appreciated.
     
  2. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    first thought, like you said, is just leave it alone and let it do its thing.

    but, you could put in something to stop the yeast (i know a campden tablet works, forget the particular chemical / molecule that it is). that's what they do for wine and meads, i assume, to avoid any bottle bombs with long term storage.

    from there, you could back sweeten it. i've never done it, so this is just conjecture, but i'd go with a more "flavorful" sugar, like molasses, honey, brown sugar, jaggery, etc.
     
  3. wolfie7873

    wolfie7873 Member

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    Potassium Metabisulfite

    Potassium Sorbate is probably better to use after fermentation, though. It's what cider makers use to kill yeast off for back-sweetening.
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    If you are going to stop and back-sweeten, you need both the metabisulfite and the potassium sorbate. We use this combination when making off-dry wines. If you don't stabilize with sorbate, you'll get renewed fermentation. The problem with this approach is you can't condition naturally - you'll have killed off all the yeast making the second fermentation impossible. I don't know the amounts of each to use off hand but there are plenty of guidelines available for wine on the internet - just use the same amounts in your beer.
     
  5. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    One of the seminars at the homebrew con this year was partly about salvaging potential dumpers.

    You could blend it with a fresh small beer to off set the high abv. You could split your current batch into different testers, so you could try different dry hopping rates or spices to add.

    Basically, anything you can do to make it a learning experience rather than a total loss
     

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