Author Topic: Barley Wine Beer - HELP!  (Read 2996 times)

Offline Bill365

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Barley Wine Beer - HELP!
« on: August 29, 2017, 01:39:58 AM »
I think I could use some advice from those of you who are more experienced than I.
2 weeks ago I brewed an English Barley Wine beer. I used approx. 5 Kg CPM as well a 1 Kg malt extract & 1kg invert sugar. The volume turned out to be approx. 15L and my OG was 1130. I used Danstar Nottingham dried Yeast and yeast supplement after a week. The supplier assured me the yeast would cope with the high gravity. All seems well. It smells and tastes good. For a light coloured beer it has great depth of flavour, quite a lot of sweetness and an almost syrupy feel in the mouth. The FG, if this is the end, is 1040 and this starts the alarm bells ringing. There is another week of fermentation to go following the recipe but I have just racked the beer for the second time and the yeast was well settled and the beer reasonably clear so I think there isn't much fermentation left to occur.
My questions are
1. I was expecting a FG of 1026 (as per recipe) but since my OG was higher than the recipe 1130 instead of 1122 does that mean I should accept a higher FG?
2. How long can I afford to wait to see if the FG does come down?
3. When I bottle the beer do I add primer sugar (& assume the yeast is alive) or do I and add a live yeast and primer sugar culture (& assume the yeast is dead) like they do with Worthington White Shield? Or do I assume the yeast is alive and there is enough residual sugar, in the beer to produce a secondary fermentation, so no need for additional primer? I don't want to have bottles exploding.
Barley wine (English-style)

20L grain mash + extract
OG =1122, FG=1026.
Target ABV = 14.2%?

Ingredients

5.1kg   Maris Otter malt
240g   Crushed Crystal Malt

67g   Goldings Hops (60 mins) 
1.0kg   Light dried premium malt extract (30 mins)
1.0kg   Sucrose (30 mins)
12g   Fuggles Hops (20 mins)
1 tsp   Irish Moss (15 mins)

8g    Fuggles Hops (flameout)



Brewer?s Yeast ? Danstar Nottingham dried Yeast

1 pkt   Youngs Finings (7 days)
? tsp    Yeast nutrients (7 days)

Method:
Liquor - treat 15L water with AMS (20ml) & DWB (12g). Heat to strike 70 ?C

Mash grains at 66 ?C in 15L treated liquor for 60 mins. Stir & raise temp to 76 ?C for 20 mins.

Sparge with 77 ?C water to a volume of approx. 20L.

Weigh hops & tie up in separate muslin bags.

Boil: Add Goldings at start, Malt extract & Invert brewing sugar at 30 mins, Fuggles for last 20 mins & Irish moss 15 mins before end boil. Add invert brewing sugar. Stop boil at 60 mins. Wort volume should be approx. 15L. Add Fuggles hops at flameout and soak for 15 mins

Ice Bath: Chill wort rapidly using ice bath Take OG reading

Ferment: Hydrate yeast with cooled kettle water & pitch starter at 20 ?C. Skim every day.

7 days later: Rack & fine in new FV. Add yeast nutrient & stir.

14 days later: After fermentation is finished, rack in new FV & take FG reading.

Prime: each bottle with 1.5g white sugar and bottle. Mature for 8-12 weeks.



Offline brett

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Re: Barley Wine Beer - HELP!
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2017, 07:28:45 PM »
1. It's a good idea to take successive SG readings with a number of days, or weeks, between each. When gravity has stabilized, fermentation has stopped. Residual sugars may still remain nonetheless. Agitation to put the yeast back in suspension can sometimes help but you want to avoid introducing oxygen into the beer. It is often a good idea to allow fermentation produced CO2 to purge the O2 before agitating but I understand that you do not appear to be getting fermentation. That's is always a quandary. Swirl gently and do your best if you take this approach.
2. There really isn't any practical reason you can't wait weeks for a change in the SG. Barleywine can age a year or more with great results. Sometimes you can add a less flocculent or more alcohol tolerant yeast to good advantage, though I have not had success that way. If you could back up in time you would want to create a larger starter. I suspect that fresh krausen is the best way to get a stuck ferment going again, but I understand that is a tough one for most of us home brewers to pull off. I wouldn't skim yeast in the future either.
3. I recently saw a discussion - could have been Brad Smith's blog - about this. If you have spent an extended time in secondary it doesn't hurt to add new yeast - often a different yeast is used at bottling time. It had the potential to speed up bottle conditioning considerably. Great patience may be required otherwise. Frankly, I have always relied on patience!  ;)

I hope you find something there that helps!

Offline Bill365

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Re: Barley Wine Beer - HELP!
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2017, 03:24:36 AM »
Thank you Brett. I am scheduled to bottle on Monday so I will take another FG and decide if I should add further priming sugar +/- a pipette of wort hydrated new yeast. What's the highest gravity you have heard of after fermentation has finished? Bill

Offline brett

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Re: Barley Wine Beer - HELP!
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2017, 05:56:47 PM »
Very sorry, Bill, I am just seeing this now, months late. How did it go? It certainly isn't unheard of to have the yeast complete above 1.03 for a very high OG ale. BeerSmith should give you an estimate for your future tries, but I don't worry if I am a little above or below BeerSmith's estimate. The big boys do a forced fermentation with a small amount of their wort from each batch to figure out where it should end. I've never bothered with that approach.

I hope it came out great. I have my own Barley Wine aging in an oak barrel presently. Fun stuff!

Offline Beer Volcano

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Re: Barley Wine Beer - HELP!
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2017, 10:17:36 AM »
If you plan on bottle conditioning I suggest using champagne yeast or CBC-1 to carbonate. It sounds like the Nottingham may have given up.

 

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