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All Grain Brunch Stout

So this past weekend I brewed the Brunch Stout All Grain - which just smelled awesome throughout the entire brew. And I measured a high gravity with the refractometer, 1.086, the suggested OG is 1.068. I thought this was way too high and double checked my calibration and it measured exactly at 1.000 with distilled water. So my question is, is this a bad thing, good thing? I did try to take longer than normal while fly sparging, almost 40 mins total time.

Also, I made a yeast starter with Safe Ale S04 and added it Sunday afternoon, it took about 8hr for it take off but has going mad all day Monday. My concern is can the yeast handle that high of an OG?

Has anyone else that has brewed the brunch stout gotten a much higher OG than suggested?

S-04 can handle your S G.
Is this an extract recipe or all grain?

Did you make a yeast starter (added the yeast to a small amount of boiled, cooled wort to increase cell count) or did you just rehydrate in water? You really don’t want to do a starter with dry yeast; just pitch an extra packet for high gravity brews. Sounds like it still took off, though. You should be fine.

He did say it was all grain

I made a yeast starter with DME and boiled water, it seemed to do pretty well with just the DME in about a 12hr period. Then aerated the Brunch stout wort and added the yeast starter.

I have another question, this was suggested to me by a brewer at Goose Island. With a 5 Gallon boils its harder to bring the temp down relatively quickly with a wort chiller, i can drop it about 100 degrees from boil in about 25min. What I have been doing is then putting the wort in the fermenter bucket over night to bring it down to 65-75 degrees then aerating then adding the yeast starter.

I have pitched the following morning plenty of times after letting wort chill to ideal temp overnight. I have never had a problem with it, and in my opinion, this is a much better approach than pitching into 90 degrees. I might be overly sensitive to this, but I believe the flavor added by yeast is driven mainly by the temperature at which it ferments in the 24-48 hours after being pitched… I mean, that’s when I see the most vigorous fermentation.

+1 Turkeygecko… I have pitched the yeast 24-48 hours later many times. Never once have I had a problem. If everything is sanitized you should be fine.

Awesome, exactly what I wanted to hear. I’ll post again in a few weeks with an update on the stout. The suggested time frame is 4-6 weeks, I’m leaning more towards 6 weeks. I think I will leave it in the primary for 3 weeks, secondary 2 weeks, and keg 1 week before tasting.

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