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Up the Gravity?

hey guys, new brewer here. one batch under my belt and now im on to my second. im thinking about buying the “Chocolate milk stout” kit there sell in the shop but i want to up the final abv to get it around 9-10% im tweaking it just a little with the addition of hazelnut extract (choc + Hazelnut = Nutella beer) and i plan on using WLP545 strong Belgian Ale yeast in the primary.i know i need more fermentables for what im going for but im kind of at a loss for what malts i should use, or rather, how much. do you think another container of the dark malt syrup would do the trick?

on a side note i dont want this to be totally dry, id like a noticeable sweetness left at the end. any suggestions so far?

do you have any home brewing books?

I’m all for tweaking a recipe, but I would suggest brewing as is then go from there. A bigger beer is going to take longer before you drink it. If you stock up on smaller beers, you’ll have something to drink while you wait. I’ve only used hazelnut extract once, and it tasted like chemicals. That was about 10 yrs ago, so they might be better now.

When I brewed extract, I would add a pound or more of light DME or sugar to bump it up, depending on the beer. Regardless, welcome to the forum and to brewing. :cheers:

First things first; if you want a big beer you need to know how brewing a big beer is different. Do some research. You need better temp control on fermentation, a ton more yeast, more malt, probably more hops to balance it out and more time to let it age. You also should probably bottle it with some additional yeast and then be ready for it to take a while to carbonate.

That said, if you can do these things correctly I say try it out and have some fun. Just don’t make too many changes. If you want more booze toss in some lighter DME. See how it turns out. Make one change at a time.

I for one thing you are going at it wrong. You are trying to turn a less than five percent beer into a ten percent beer.

I think you should turn the or imperial stout into a imperial chocolate stout by add lactose cacao nibs and cutting some of the hops back.

I think the other way around would go really badly.

Just my opinion though.

yeah i have books, its been a while since i went through them and to be honest, it didn’t dawn on me to check there first. i was hear and thought i would ask the question.

[quote=“inhousebrew”]First things first; if you want a big beer you need to know how brewing a big beer is different. Do some research. You need better temp control on fermentation, a ton more yeast, more malt, probably more hops to balance it out and more time to let it age. You also should probably bottle it with some additional yeast and then be ready for it to take a while to carbonate.

That said, if you can do these things correctly I say try it out and have some fun. Just don’t make too many changes. If you want more booze toss in some lighter DME. See how it turns out. Make one change at a time.[/quote]

thanks. i dont think its so much the amount of booze in there so much as seeing if i can do it though.

[quote=“muddywater_grant”]I for one thing you are going at it wrong. You are trying to turn a less than five percent beer into a ten percent beer.

I think you should turn the or imperial stout into a imperial chocolate stout by add lactose cacao nibs and cutting some of the hops back.

I think the other way around would go really badly.

Just my opinion though.[/quote]

that is actually a fantastic idea. i think going the way i was heading is possible, but not for me right now lol. i think that might be the rout i go. thanks a bunch!

[quote=“gedion”][quote=“muddywater_grant”]I for one thing you are going at it wrong. You are trying to turn a less than five percent beer into a ten percent beer.

I think you should turn the or imperial stout into a imperial chocolate stout by add lactose cacao nibs and cutting some of the hops back.

I think the other way around would go really badly.

Just my opinion though.[/quote]

that is actually a fantastic idea. i think going the way i was heading is possible, but not for me right now lol. i think that might be the rout i go. thanks a bunch![/quote]

This is a good idea. If you are thinking about playing around with recipes I would recommend some brewing software to make sure you aren’t doing anything outrageous. I personally use Beersmith but there are others out there that can help you make sure your hops are inline with your gravity and such.

[quote=“inhousebrew”][quote=“gedion”][quote=“muddywater_grant”]I for one thing you are going at it wrong. You are trying to turn a less than five percent beer into a ten percent beer.

I think you should turn the or imperial stout into a imperial chocolate stout by add lactose cacao nibs and cutting some of the hops back.

I think the other way around would go really badly.

Just my opinion though.[/quote]

that is actually a fantastic idea. i think going the way i was heading is possible, but not for me right now lol. i think that might be the rout i go. thanks a bunch![/quote]

This is a good idea. If you are thinking about playing around with recipes I would recommend some brewing software to make sure you aren’t doing anything outrageous. I personally use Beersmith but there are others out there that can help you make sure your hops are inline with your gravity and such.[/quote]

6.6 lbs Dark Malt Extract
3.3 lbs Dark Malt Extract
1/2 lb. Choclolate Malt
1 lb. British Crystal Malt
3/4 lb. Black Patent Grain
1 lb. Roasted Grain
2 oz. Northern Brewer Hops
1 1/2 oz. Kent Goldings Hops
1 oz. Hallertauer Hersbrucker Hops
1/2 oz. Hallertauer Hersbrucker Hops
1 oz. Hallertauer Hersbrucker Hops
1 pkg. White Labs WLP545 Belgian strong Ale Yeast

this is the recipe i have going so far. its an imperial stout recipe from a local supplier. i tried to find a good program online(something free) and the only ones i found were a little over my head, i didn’t quite understand what the ins and outs of it were so i couldn’t quite adjust anything. the idea is to turn this into an imperial chocolate milk stout so there’s obviously going to be an addition of lactose in here someplace, im not sure if the hop volume needs to be changed though. any suggestion on the amount of lactose to use and when?
as for the chocolate i have an organic 85% cacao bar ill be using. i was told 8oz during the last 5 mins of the boil would be good and maybe another couple oz in the bucket. i think that sounds pretty good but second opinions cant hurt.

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