Friday, March 5, 2010

20% 21.5% ABV Imperial Stout Update

Ive been watching my huge OG RIS the last week or so, checking the gravity and tasting. The gravity reading is steady at 1022, and it tastes pretty good at this point. Now the OG and FG, predict the beer to be about 23%abv, now I didn't really think the calculation for abv by OG/FG would be linear in this range so I brought in a 30mL sample of the beer to my lab for testing.

I analyzed the beer several ways (gas chromatography - heated headspace, and direct injection) all pointed to one result, which matched the OG/FG calculation fairly well. In the end the beer turned out to be 21.5%abv!!

I honestly cant believe I got the beer to finish out this low, with such a high alcohol content, and be as smooth as it is. Drinking it still, it reminds me of a lower alcohol rum. Its very warming going down, but there isn't really any burn. Still, due to the low FG I plan on adding some of the remaining heavily caramelized wort to sweeten it just a touch. Ive tried it both ways and far prefer a bit more sweetness to the beer. I hope to rack and force carb maybe 1 to 1.5vols of CO2, and bottle within the next 2weeks or so.

If any other homebrewers out there are curious about the abv of their beers and would like them analyzed, shoot me an email maybe we can work something out.


JC Tetreault said...

well done Ryan.

to get that bad boy to attenuate down below even what the bruery accomplished with black tuesday...well done sir.

interesting that you even thought it attenuated too far for your liking. I haven't re-read your prior posts, but are you consider oak aging this to add another flavor dimension? perhaps some portion of it?

oh, and I'd like a bottle of this to sample when all is said and done, please.

Ryan said...

I have had the opportunity to try black tuesday, have you?

I dont think it attenuated to far per se, but I think a bit more residual sweetness would be nice to balance the alcohol a bit

I have given some thought to vanilla, but Im not sure about oak, Ive kinda been turned off by oak due to a lot of breweries over oaking everything, it might be something to try a very very light hand with

I kinda wish I had a bigger batch so I could do more things with it (vanilla, oak, sweetening or bottling as is) I also wish I could find some 3oz bottles, smallest I found was 6oz, 6oz of 21.5abv is a lot to drink!

Brett said...

Congrats on the great FG reading. I'm curious, what do you mean by "adding caramelized wort" back into the mix? Was this retained from the original boil and set aside?

Would love a professional ABV analysis but we're out in Cincinnati. Our latest batch of Irish Stout came out reading a paltry 3.2% ABV. our first all-grain and i think we didn't mash correctly (hence less sugar for the yeast to consume and lower ABV).

Ryan said...

- Thanks, and you got it exactly right, I will be adding some of the originally caramelized wort (~16oz or so) back to the batch to slightly sweeten it

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