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Old 02-06-2011, 12:36 AM   #1
YouHadMeAtASL
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Default A Monster Beer. What to do from here?

Tried to make a Barleywine with a friend of mine tonight, and we need some advice on what to do from this point.

5 gallon
14lb LME

Steeped around 155
1lb Crystal 55L
.7lb Carastan 35-37L

2oz Magnum 14.4% 60 min
2oz Cascade 6% 30 min
1oz Centennial 10% 2 min
1oz DH

The OG reading was 1.122! We pitched Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity yeast at 75deg.

I'm hoping that yeast will rock the shi* out of the brew, but I'm kind of worried about the alcohol tolerance of the yeast.

The online description of the yeast says: Alcohol Tolerance: 11 to 12% ABV or higher.

Not sure if there was even a better choice in terms of the yeast, but I'm seeing the potential ABV hitting ~16%.

I'm also worried about the krausen blowing the top. I'm using an S-type airlock. I've never dealt with a blow-off and don't have the tubing to deal with it at the moment.

Any tips on what to do with such a big beer? I'm guessing that the beer won't even hit its flavor peak for many months.

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Old 02-06-2011, 12:49 AM   #2
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Well by my calcs, you probably won't hit above 10.5% ABV. With strong ales below 12%, it depends less on the yeast strain then it does amount of yeast and oxygenation of wort. If you didn't make a starter, chances are it might not attenuate all the way...so the beer will be a bit more on the sweeet side.

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Old 02-06-2011, 12:52 AM   #3
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I agree with the fact that you're going to have to age the Barleywine for AT LEAST a few months before it's any good. I'd say you could try it at 3, but you probably won't like the outcome until about 6 months. I think 12 months and up is where it'll really hit it's sweet spot.

How much headspace do you have in your fermenter? If you only have a gallon headspace, you're more than likely going to have blow-off issues, and I would invest the time to set up a blow-off tube.

I won't pretend to be an expert on how the yeast will behave in those gravities. I'm gonna guess you'll be fine, until it reaches the final stages, and you may find you'll have attenuation issues. You might consider finishing the fermentation with champagne yeast, but I would recommend you check out http://www.whitelabs.com/gravity.html and follow those tips, they will really help with your attenuation.

Good luck!

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Old 02-06-2011, 12:57 AM   #4
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How late is your LHBS open? Do you have a 3 piece airlock at home? If you do hit the nearest hardware store and pick up some tubing.

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Old 02-06-2011, 12:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davesrose View Post
Well by my calcs, you probably won't hit above 10.5% ABV. With strong ales below 12%, it depends less on the yeast strain then it does amount of yeast and oxygenation of wort. If you didn't make a starter, chances are it might not attenuate all the way...so the beer will be a bit more on the sweeet side.
We shook the hell out of it for a good 5 minutes. Also we used a smack-pack, which is a starter on its own, right?
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Old 02-06-2011, 01:11 AM   #6
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Also we used a smack-pack, which is a starter on its own, right?
No, a smack pack should be considered equivalent to a vial of White Labs. Yes, in general terms, the smack pack creates a very small starter when you smack it. But it alone is generally not exceptable for batches that are over by 1.080 (at the max I'd say). For a barleywine, it's good to pitch at least two of those...or go with a starter.
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Old 02-06-2011, 01:17 AM   #7
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It's not really a starter, no. It wakes the yeast up, gets them ready to be tossed into wort, but that's about it. And for a barleywine, you would need a very large starter to get good pitching rates.

The yeast might take off well, and may even ferment down all the way - especially since it sounds like it was well aerated. But the yeast will have to replicate like crazy at first, and that will create all sorts of esters and other flavors. Fortunately you're planning on aging this beer longterm, so that might take the edge off.

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Old 02-06-2011, 01:22 AM   #8
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Alright. We're set and ready for blow off. Time to drink now.

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Old 02-06-2011, 01:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davesrose View Post
No, a smack pack should be considered equivalent to a vial of White Labs. Yes, in general terms, the smack pack creates a very small starter when you smack it. But it alone is generally not exceptable for batches that are over by 1.080 (at the max I'd say). For a barleywine, it's good to pitch at least two of those...or go with a starter.
Can we repitch another one Monday or is that poor form?
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Old 02-06-2011, 01:35 AM   #10
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Yeah, the more the merrier: Monday is not too late, as I suspect it's going to take awhile to get your barleywine to ferment all the way.

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Conditioning:Baltic Porter
Fermenting: Double Simcoe IPA
On the Bench: Racer 5 IPA


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