Rocket Fuel

brewed what I thought was going to be a double ipa about three weeks ago. The issue is that I used WLP099 (Super High Gravity) yeast. My local homebrew store was out of the San Diego Super Yeast and for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to substitute in the WLP099. OG was 1.064, I just pulled a sample and it measured 1.000. This stuff is 8.5%+ of rocket fuel, undrinkable. I was thinking I could try to turn it into a barleywine by steeping a bunch of crystal and other various darker malts and then adding it to the fermenter/keg. The issue I can forsee is that the yeast will continue with these fermentables and eat through my steeping addition as well. I was also contemplating pasteurized the beer to kill the 099 and then add my steeping grain addition. I need some thoughts as to how to save this $50+ beer.

Thanks all!

Just my opinion, but sounds like a good problem to have. Once you sure it’s done, bottle it and let it age for a year in a cool dark place. I bet it’s good then.

The stuff has zero sugar left. I’m not sure aging will help in terms of drinkablility, will it?

Why do you describe it as rocket fuel? I’ve had belgians or saisons that fermented down close to that and were around 8% which tasted fine. Is it a burning alcoholic flavor? Or just super boozy? If it’s burning and unpleasant that could have more to do with fermentation stress or high temperature. How much yeast did you pitch and what temps did you ferment at?

It’s super boozy. I pitched 1 vial and fermented at 64*. Maybe I’ll let it sit for a few months. Should I pull it off the yeast into a secondary?

With no body to back up the 8.5% ABV I can see how it would taste very alcoholic. Probably pretty bitter too, assuming you used a IIPA load of hops. Aging likely won’t turn this into something you want to drink - you need to add some mouthfeel. Fastest way would be to steep a couple lbs of crystal in a half-gallon of water, boil down to a quart, and add. Or you could brew another batch and blend the two.

What’s the best way to prevent the WLP099 from eating up all of the crystal? This stuff will eat through anything even resembling sugar.

You could use maltodextrin instead.

This yeast is typically used for things like Dogfish 120 minute IPA clones, where you incrementally feed it sugar daily over the course of a couple of weeks until the yeast can’t go any further. I think it generally ends up in the 18% range, but allegedly it can hit close to 25% if you baby it well. So if you want to give it a shot, I’d feed it 1/2lb-1lb of sugar every day and watch the gravity. Once the gravity comes up a few points and doesn’t go back down, then it should be safe to add any crystal malt concoction you want. You will end up with a super boozy beer, but one that should age exceptionally well if you cellar it properly.

I think shadetree’s got the best approach by maltodextrin or reduction/further carmelizing the crystal malt addition. Sure some will ferment, how much is anybody’s guess.

Personally, I wouldn’t fool with it any more, keg it, serve it mixed 50/50 with some other beers to get it down and over with. Invite some friends (or enemies? :twisted: ) over to get rid of it. Get drunk, be merry. I have two brothers and countless friends that love such a challenge.

Focus your attention on getting a new brew on deck.

[quote=“anotheritguy”]What’s the best way to prevent the WLP099 from eating up all of the crystal? This stuff will eat through anything even resembling sugar.[/quote]Rack it to a secondary and add some potassium sorbate

to stop renewed fermentation.

I’m curious as to why you thought you needed to use that yeast. I could see if you had a 12% Barleywine but for a 1.064 IPA you could have just used a pack of dry yeast or a starter of liquid yeast.

The SG of the IPA was suppose to be around 1.090 but I had my efficiency wrong in Beersmith. I figured that would be high enough to warrant the WLP099.

When I brew high gravity beers I make a Cream or Pale ale 2 or 3 weeks ahead and pitch directly on the yeast bed, my last Barleywine was at 98 and finished at 14.