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Old 01-06-2013, 11:19 PM   #1
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Default Barley wine advice

trying to select yeast for a Barley wine! (~12%)

As these beverages require (benefit) from such an extended conditioning time, I thought I would inspire a new (ok, not new, just updated . . .) discussion regarding lessons learned from yeast selections and best results for a hearty barley wine. looking for updates from home brewmasters that have had the patience to wait for the extended results of their efforts and yeast selection(s)

What yeast did you use? What would you have done differently? Did you mix and match?

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Old 01-06-2013, 11:29 PM   #2
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I'm using WLP099 in my 15.3% (target) barleywine... I've used Wyeast 1728 to get a wee heavy up to 12.5%. If I was to aim for a ~12% barleywine, I'd go with Wyeast 1728 in a heartbeat. Let it run it's course, then age it on some oak (or other good wood) for several months. I did that with the wee heavy and plan on doing it with my barleywine. I brewed the barleywine on 10/27, using a starter with the yeast (was full active in under 8 hours). I fermented it in the cooler end of things (58-62F, mostly about 58-60F) for about two months (that's how long it took to finish). I'm letting the yeast flocculate before I transfer it to an aging vessel, onto some good oak pieces. I'll then set it in the cooler part of the basement for several more months.

BTW, for anything even close to 12% ABV, I'd plan on letting it go a year, or more. For my barleywine, I'm not planning to keg it until after November of this year. IF it's even ready by then.

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Old 01-07-2013, 07:08 PM   #3
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Wy1728 is a good one especially at the lower ferm temp, as mentioned above. Wlp 001/Wy 1056 work as well.

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Old 01-07-2013, 08:18 PM   #4
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I really hate the flavors WLP099 gives off- my barleywine uses WLP090 and I love it. Super clean, hard floccing, and great alcohol tolerance make it the perfect American barleywine yeast, in my opinion. You'll want to ferment it warmish, around 66-68 in the fermentor.

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Old 01-07-2013, 10:55 PM   #5
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Thank you for the advice! I have heard and read similar thoughts about WLP099 in that it does not lend the desired flavor esters. Ill research more on the 090 and being a fan of Wyeast, really look into 1728. I heard something about Pacman from Wyeast as well . . . .

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Old 01-08-2013, 12:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daksin View Post
I really hate the flavors WLP099 gives off- my barleywine uses WLP090 and I love it. Super clean, hard floccing, and great alcohol tolerance make it the perfect American barleywine yeast, in my opinion. You'll want to ferment it warmish, around 66-68 in the fermentor.
What temp did you ferment WLP099 at??
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:02 AM   #7
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I have used WL007 in an English Barleywine with good success.

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Old 01-08-2013, 05:16 PM   #8
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What temp did you ferment WLP099 at??
I've had it several times at the White Labs tasting room, which is great because you can get 6-8 beers that are all from the same batch of wort fermented by the pros with different yeasts. WLP099 is consistently subpar when compared to other, better yeasts for the job. At best, the beers it makes are sort of flat and bitter- the worst offenders can have hot alcohol burn or a burnt rubber sort of off flavor I can't identify.

IMO 099 is a bandaid yeast- pretty much only good for fixing mixtakes (underattenuated beers due to underoxygenation, underpitching, or poor temperature control). Almost every strain WL produces should have no problem with a 10% beer and most can do much better than that, particularly if you're treating your yeast well (oxygen, pitching rates, temperature).
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daksin View Post
I've had it several times at the White Labs tasting room, which is great because you can get 6-8 beers that are all from the same batch of wort fermented by the pros with different yeasts. WLP099 is consistently subpar when compared to other, better yeasts for the job. At best, the beers it makes are sort of flat and bitter- the worst offenders can have hot alcohol burn or a burnt rubber sort of off flavor I can't identify.

IMO 099 is a bandaid yeast- pretty much only good for fixing mixtakes (underattenuated beers due to underoxygenation, underpitching, or poor temperature control). Almost every strain WL produces should have no problem with a 10% beer and most can do much better than that, particularly if you're treating your yeast well (oxygen, pitching rates, temperature).
So, you've never actually used it yourself??

I used it in a 15.3% target barleywine. I also fermented it cooler than the listed temperature range for the strain. I did consult with White Labs about this before hand to make sure it would work well for this. Since I'm looking at aging it for an extended period (at least 1-3 years) I don't see any issue with it being 'hot'. With fermenting cooler than listed, it should produce much better results. I didn't care about a long fermentation time. It took just about two months to complete fermenting.

Only time will tell how this batch comes out. But, from what the WL person told me, the 'off flavors' you normally get from that strain are due to warmed fermenting temperatures than I used. Most of the time mine was in the 58-61F range (more often in the 58-60F range).

I might try to use WY1728 in another bigger brew. I've already had it go to 12.5% in a batch. I'll be looking to see if I can push it beyond about 14%. From communications I've had with Wyeast lab tech's, it's possible with good O2 infusions, pitching the correct amount of slurry, and giving it a good amount of nutrient.

I always use pure O2 to infuse my wort, and use nutrient in the batches. I used more of both for the barleywine with WLP099, per the documentation available.

BTW, I wouldn't look to use something like WLP099 in anything less than a 14%+ brew. As you mentioned, there are great yeasts available that can hit 10-12% without too much issue. If you're kegging, then you have less to worry about too. Mostly because you don't care if the yeast can bottle carbonate the batch. Which is the case with my 12.5% wee heavy.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:55 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Newfermenter1 View Post
What yeast did you use? What would you have done differently? Did you mix and match?
S-05, 007, 028 and 530 have all produced great results for me and will be able to get you to 12%. 530 was favorite of the bunch and less fusel worries.

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IMO 099 is a bandaid yeast- pretty much only good for fixing mixtakes (underattenuated beers due to underoxygenation, underpitching, or poor temperature control).
+1
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