5 Tips for Brewing High Gravity Beers
What is a High Gravity beer?
High Gravity beer, or "Big Beer", is flavorful and powerful, with higher alcohol content. A beer is called High Gravity when its OG is above than 1,075.
An interesting aspect of beer production is the possibility of playing with the alcohol content.
It' s cool to be able to produce very alcoholic beers such as Barleywine, Imperial stout, IIPAs, etc. but keep in mind: it's not as easy as brewing a beer with 5% abv.
In fact, if you want to produce high gravity beer you have to pay more attention because during the brewing process some problems could ruin your beer, for example:
Little to No Carbonation
For this reason it is important to follow some guidelines, to avoid ruining the batch.
Tips for brewing High gravity beers:
Here is a list of tips that can help you in making beers with a high alcohol content.
- First, make sure you've chosen the right yeast strain. It will have to work hard and tolerate high alcohol levels. It is important to inoculate a live and active yeast. You have to prepare a starter because you need more than 400 billion cells.
- Yeast needs oxygen to work. Raise your oxygen levels when you inoculate the yeast. Change your oxygenation techniques if necessary. Yeast need proper aeration and nutrition.
- Start the fermentation with a low temperature. In this way the yeast does not produce significant esters and you have the possibility to raise it later, when the yeast will need more heat to complete its work.
- Remember to always keep PH under control. It is a very important side of brewing. Ph should remain between 4.5 and 5. Never forget it!
- It may seem obvious to say it but remember that you are brewing a very alcoholic beer, complex and excellent to age. Your goal is to create a beer with a lot of character, don't be afraid to dare!