I just put a batch of “winter warmer” in my primary. The ingredients are 3.5 lb Muntons Stout kit, 3.3 lb. Muntons Amber extract, 3 lb Muntons Amber DME, Halletauer hops and 1 lb of honey spiced with various spices. My O.G. is 1.080. Is that too high? Is this gonna have a high ABV? I’m a noob and this is my first actual recipe that I put together. Thanks!http://forum.northernbrewer.com/posting.php?mode=post&f=1#
The honey will dry it out a bit, but with all that amber and dark extract it probably won’t finish below 1.025 or so. That would be ~7% ABV.
I would have to agree, the honey will dry it out, and you could ferment at the higher temp that the yeast can handle and it would come down some more. But now a whole bunch you might hit the high teens. If you do decide to go that route keep in mind you want to still stay in the recomended temperature range for the yeast.
would you recommend adding anything (spices, fruit, etc.) at secondary?
Since it is a “winter beer” you could add some of those wintery type spices, star of anise, cinnamon, etc… I would add it too the boil about 20 minutes into it. The sooner you add it to the boil the more flavor you get off the spices IMO. That way when primary is done and you sample it if there is not enough “spice” for you, then you can take some of your spices soak in vodka for a day or so to make sort of an extract, add a little at at time. And taste as you go.
I agree that it is likely it will stick high due to all the malt extract in there, no doubt you have already found that out.
The problem is that even very good malt extract has got a DE (Dextrose Equivalent) of only around 75%. That means 25% of the weight will not convert into alcohol but instead stay there as final gravity.
To get around this, you would need to either find extremely high DE malt extracts and that is very difficult. Muntons is a good choice, most of them are high in DE. But it may still not be enough. That leaves you with the option of using an amyloglucosidase enzyme. You only need around 1 gramme for a 5 gallon kit, add it with the yeast in the beginning.
Amyloglucosidase will break up the unfermentable starches of the malt extract into fermentable sugars so you will convert much more into alcohol - and get much less as residual gravity.
In some home brew shops you can find this as “Pilsner Enzyme” or similar (in case they don’t know the chemical name).