Brewing Big Beers
Brewing a high-gravity beer is more difficult than brewing a “normal” sized ale or lager and much more difficult than making wine. Direct cost is an obvious factor. It requires more fermentables (grain, sugar, etc) to achieve higher alcohol levels. You need more hops and yeast, too. But it is all quite doable and the payoff, after the time and the money is spent, is much higher than any of the individual parts. Assuming you’re willing to make the investment required to brew a “big” beer, .
A high–gravity brew will also use hops a great deal less efficiently than a lower-gravity beer. This means breweries need to use more hops in high–gravity beers than normal. To give an example, Uinta Brewing Co.’s Dubhe Imperial Black IPA, at a modest 9.2 percent ABV, uses more than five pounds of hops per barrel.
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