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Old 07-26-2013, 02:06 PM   #1
yesyves
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Default BarleyWine and secondary

Hi

I'm brewing my first BarleyWine and after a fews days of fermentation, a lot has gone through the blowoff and I think I have closer to 4 gallons than 5.

What is the best way to move on to secondary fermentation from that point ? I don't want to leave to much air in the carboy and I don't want to drown the precious liquid in water to top it off !

I'm even considering brewing a small batch to compensate but I won't be able to do the same recipe.

Thanks for your help

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Old 07-26-2013, 02:12 PM   #2
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Why not leave it in the primary then since you have it there already and know that it would have too much headspace in secondary. It will have a better chance of fermenting out completely with all the yeast than if you racked it off and will mature faster on the yeast cake than it will in secondary too.

One of the people I chat with on another forum left an average gravity ale in the primary for 8 months with no issues and it even had enough yeast to carbonate properly. Your barleywine should do fine for a few months.

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Old 07-26-2013, 02:43 PM   #3
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+1 to leaving it alone in the primary. How big is it? Kegging or bottling? I don't want to hijack you threat and turn it into a primary vs secondary debate, but without the proper vessel you're likely to do more harm than good with a transfer...

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Old 07-26-2013, 03:52 PM   #4
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That is definitely good news ! I never left anything more than 1 month in primary for fear of off-flavors.

It's going to be 10-11 % and bottled. So I was planning 3 weeks in primary then 3 months in secondary before bottling.

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Old 07-26-2013, 05:54 PM   #5
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There's advatages and disadvantages to moving your beer to secondary. As stated, it will age faster on the cake, and moving it runs the risk of infection and oxidation. Leaving it where it is avoids those risks, but a 10% beer is not the friendliest long-term environment for yeast, so there's some risk of autolysis. For three months, I'd probably leave it in primary, but it's kind of a coin flip. If you move it, I would rack it onto a couple ounces of table sugar, which the yeast will turn into CO2, thus driving off much of the oxygen. Some oxidized flavors are not out of place in English barleywines, although they're not good in hoppy American ones. When you bottle, you can buy some cheap insurance by adding a tiny amount of champagne yeast. It eats just the table sugar and is very tolerant of high-abv environments.

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Old 07-26-2013, 09:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yesyves
That is definitely good news ! I never left anything more than 1 month in primary for fear of off-flavors.

It's going to be 10-11 % and bottled. So I was planning 3 weeks in primary then 3 months in secondary before bottling.
I'd just shorten the whole thing to 6 or 8 weeks in primary then as long as you can stand in the bottle. I've still got a few of my April 2011 batch that are better every 6 months I try them...
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:29 PM   #7
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I think the 6-8 weeks in primary gives the best safety / simplicity.

All very sound advices. Thanks to everyone.

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Old 09-18-2013, 02:25 AM   #8
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Bottled after 6 weeks in primary. Alcohol taste maybe a bit harsh which may well be related to too much time in primary ... But it is a 10,8 % Barley Wine after all ! We'll see how it fares in 6 months ...

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Old 09-18-2013, 03:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yesyves
Bottled after 6 weeks in primary. Alcohol taste maybe a bit harsh which may well be related to too much time in primary ... But it is a 10,8 % Barley Wine after all ! We'll see how it fares in 6 months ...
Time in primary won't impact the alcohol...you've got an almost 11% beer there, so it will take some time (months) to mellow. Your fermentation temps could also affect the alcohol flavor - higher temps can result in "hotter" alcohols.
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:29 PM   #10
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I'd probably move it to secondary and add a bit of sugar to help force out the air.

Then again, I'd probably put it in secondary and shoot it with a bit of CO2, since I have a kegging system...

This reminds me I need to read up on barleywine recipes and get something going!

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