If you’re like me, one of the first things you’ll want to learn is how to make strong home brew beer over 10% ABV. Why? Well why not? It’s always fun to push the envelope and make a crazy strong beer.
What kind of homebrew can you make this strong?
In theory, you can make just about any style of homebrew beer as strong as you’d like. The only really limiting factor is the type of yeast that you use. A good rule of thumb is that ale yeast does a much better job of fermenting very strong beers and does better in high-alcohol environments than lager yeasts.
Belgian ale yeasts are probably the best for fermenting strong beers that still taste great. Many typical Belgian Tripels or Quads often top out well over 10% ABV, and you can go even higher if you add more sugar.
What do you need to do differently during fermentation when making really strong homebrew?
The more sugars you have present during primary fermentation, the more help the yeast needs when you learn how to make strong home brew beer. To give your yeast the best chance of fully fermenting the wort you’ll definitely want to oxygenate. An oxygen-rich environment gives the yeast more energy and ability to consume the sugars, and can greatly increase the efficiency of fermentation.
Something else that’s very important when fermenting a very strong beer is to let the temperature rise near the end of fermentation. For example, let’s say you’re brewing an Imperial or Double IPA that you expect to finish around 10% ABV. You will still want to begin your fermentation at the normal temperature for this style and yeast, which is likely around 62 degrees.
However, near the end of fermentation, when things start to slow down, it’s important to slowly let the temperature rise. This will allow the yeast to remain active as they have more thermal energy to work with and increase the chances that your fermentation finishes at your target final gravity.
Let it condition!
When you make beer this strong it needs time to condition, so you must be patient! A 10% beer isn’t ready to drink just a few weeks after fermentation. It will often need to sit and condition for at least 2-3 months to allow the flavors to mellow and meld together. So be patient, you will be rewarded!
If you’re confused by any of the terms I use in this post, just remember in our Members Area I thoroughly explain all of these terms through hundreds of pages of homebrewing guides and over 100 high-quality step-by-step instructional homebrew videos. This makes it easy for anyone to learn how to make strong home brew beer – whether it’s over 10% ABV or not!