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Barley Wine fermentation question

IcemanFTW

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I looking at brewing a Barley Wine and I'm wondering about the fermentation times. How long can I leave the beer in primary? I'm thinking somewhere between 4-6 weeks.

I don't normally use a secondary, but I've also never brewed a beer with as big an ABV (10.6%) as this. Can I skip the secondary and just bottle age the beer instead?

I have also read that some people are using a second yeast before bottling, is this a necessary step? Thanks!
 

jomebrew

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I left my barleywine in the primary for 6-8 weeks then kegged.  The transfer process left a lot of gunk in the keg which clogged the dispensing tube and ball lock.  I have never used a secondary but had I, I would have had much less sediment to deal with.  My next batch I'll be using a hop sack on the transfer tube to catch sediment but still will not use a secondary.
 
K

KellerBrauer

Greetings iceman - I recently brewed a Belgian Tripel.  After fermentation, I racked to the secondary and cold crashed the batch for 30 days to help clear it.  Then, I made another yeast starter, pitched it and bottled.  I don't believe you would have much yeast left in suspension to properly carbonate if you waited 4-6 weeks to bottle.
 

IcemanFTW

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Thanks for the advice. Any ideas on how big of a starter would I need to properly carbonate the beer. This would be a 5 gallon batch.
 
K

KellerBrauer

Greetings iceman - without knowing some specifics about your brew, it would be impossible for me to guess.  OG, FG, Bottling Volume, etc.
 

IcemanFTW

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OG: 1.100
FG: 1.024
Est. Bottling Vol: 3 Gallons

I'll be fermenting with WLP013 (London Ale).
 
K

KellerBrauer

Greetings iceman - the recipe I made called for a 400ml starter for a 5 gallon bottling vol. batch.  So that's 80ml/gallon X 3 gallons = 240ml.  The yeast I used was for Mead and Wine - WLP 720.  I used the entire pouch in a 400ml starter.  It worked beautifully.

That said, Lallemand makes a Cask and Bottling Conditioning yeast for just such a purpose.  Its a dry yeast and the instructions are on the package.  However, I didn't have much luck with the Lallemand CBC on another batch I made of a much lower FG brew.

Good Luck!!

Hope this information helps!!
 

BeerSmith

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Here's some more advice for fermenting out very high gravity beers:
- If you can use pure oxygen or an aquarium pump to aerate the wort before pitching
- Beers above 1.080 can also benefit from a second oxygenation about 12 hours later (per Chris White)
- Be sure to look at the alcohol tolerance for your yeast - some will peter out before they complete fermentation
- I would personally recommend an extended secondary - this is not a beer you drink in a few weeks and it will improve with age and you don't want a mess in the keg
- If you do get a stuck fermentation you can consider yeast nutrients, pitching fresh yeast or adjusting the pH (if too low) to get things moving again

Brad
 

IcemanFTW

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Thanks very for all the help. I 'm planning on brewing this next month with the intention of drinking it around Christmas 2017.
 

KipDM

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others things that COULD [not saying should] be done are:

add 25-50% more yeast nutrient than normal
ferment at the lower end of the yeasty range for the first 1-3 days then go up one degree per day until in the top 1/2 of the yeasts operating range, then go up 1 degree every other day until you get to the top quarter of the yeasts viable range. let it sit here for at least one week.
transfer to a secondary and low temp by 1 degree every 2 days until back in the low end of the range, let sit here 1-3 weeks, then start lowering the temp [whatever rate you choose] until you get to about 40F [?2C?] and let sit for at least 1 week just to optimize particulate precipitation.

if kegging, rack it, if bottling i suggest bottle conditioning for 2-3 weeks before refrigerating [or cellaring].

either way, for a barleywine i would then let it sit another 2-4 months [if bottled i'd set aside several bottle for taste comparisons every year].
 
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