Sometimes you just want to make a beer that has more of a kick than the average brew. Fortunately, you have a beer brewing kit; so you can make literally any kind of beer you could ever want and that includes high alcohol beer. In fact, it’s actually easier to make high alcohol beer than you might think, but you’ll need some basic equipment in order to get started: namely, a beer brewing kit and the usual ingredients, water, hops, malt and yeast.
The Process of Creating High Alcohol Beer
You’ll start off making your beer in the usual way. Boil your wort and add hops as directed by the recipe you’re using or to taste. You probably will want to use a recipe for a project like this, especially if you’ve never made a beer with higher alcohol content before. You can’t simply guesstimate your proportions and expect things to turn out OK – more than likely you’ll end up with something undrinkable if you take that approach.
You’ll probably need to get a different kind of yeast than you’re used to using with your beer brewing kit. The yeasts which are typically used to brew beer have been selectively bred to produce beer at a relatively low alcohol by volume, but there are also strains which are designed to be able to ferment your wort into something with a little more kick to it. While you can’t reasonably expect to end up with an alcohol content of 15% or 20%, using one of these high gravity yeasts, as they are sometimes called, will enable you to produce something a but stronger than the average brew.
Along with possibly using a special strain of yeast, you’re also going to need to make sure that your yeast has plenty of sugar to work with, which can be done by adjusting the amount of malt extract that you use and adding other fermentable sugars to the wort. Again, this will be spelled out for you if you’re using a recipe, but if you’re a more experienced home brewer and you feel confident enough to play it by ear, then this is what you’ll need to do.
A lot of brewers swear by a higher fermentation temperature for brewing a more alcoholic beer. Fermenting at a temperature just a few degrees higher than normal can help the yeast along and give your finished beer higher alcohol content. Make sure that your fermentation temperature is no more than a few degrees higher than usual, however, since too high of a temperature can stop the fermentation entirely and ruin your beer.
While it’s more of a challenge than brewing garden variety beer in your beer brewing kit, you can and should brew your own high alcohol beer at home if you’re so inclined. It’s not all that hard to do; with a little care and a good recipe to follow, you’ll be able to create the big, bold brew you’ve always wanted.