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Old 06-01-2012, 02:51 PM   #1
SATXbrew
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Default Barley Wine Fermentation Question

Hi all! I have a question about my first barley wine I have been fermenting for about 3 months now. Here is the recipe.

20 lbs 2 Row
1.5 Crystal
1 biscuit

1L Calif Ale Starter
1 vile WL Calif Ale

I didn't have time to do a 2L starter, so that is why I added the additional vile. I know it is not ideal.

OG was 1.120
Gravity now is 1050 so it is just shy of 9% ABV

I was hoping it would go lower than that because I took a sample and it is super sweet. I am ok with the alcohol as it is, but I would like it to dry out.

I have half of this batch and my brother has the other. We decided to experiment and pitch more yeast to get the FG down. He pitched some champagne yeast and I pitched a vile of belgian yeast WLP500.

We did that about a week ago and nothing has visibly happened to either of our beers. I know you cant really go by that but I would have expected some sort of reaction.

So my question is, what is going to happen to the flavor if the yeast didn't eat any sugars? If I want to get the FG down more, where should I go from here? I will take a sample tomorrow to find out for sure if anything has progressed. How much can I expect the sweetness to go down on it's own? I am planning for about 1 year fermentation so I know that is still a long ways off.

Thanks for the help!!

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Old 06-01-2012, 05:04 PM   #2
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The environment that you put the extra vile into might be too hostile now for the yeast to get going. May have been better to make a new starter and pitch it all in there at high krausen when the yeast is visibly active.

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Old 06-01-2012, 05:12 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by beermonster View Post
The environment that you put the extra vile into might be too hostile now for the yeast to get going. May have been better to make a new starter and pitch it all in there at high krausen when the yeast is visibly active.
+1, just tossing a vial into 9% wort is going to kill a large portion of those yeast cells, you really should pitch an active starter. if nothing works, you can always try adding amylase enzyme or using WLP099

what temp did you mash at?
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:20 PM   #4
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+1 to WLP099 with a huge starter at high krausen. I suggested that to another stuck BW sufferer here and it worked well at his last posting.

FWIW, I used 099 about a month ago on my American BW. It was "only" 1.102, but I made a 3L starter and pitched at high krausen... took the BW down to 1.020 in FOUR DAYS!!!

EDIT: I just ran 1.120 through mrmalty.com--says you'd need about 4 vials for that batch...

Healthy yeast pitched at correct rate = VICTORY

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Old 06-01-2012, 05:31 PM   #5
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I'd say you need to get down another 20 points at least to make it drinkable. I second everyone else's advice about high krausen pitching. What were your mash temps like?

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Old 06-01-2012, 11:57 PM   #6
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What was your mash temperature? If you mashed high, you may be done. You have about 60% attenuation. Granted Cali yeast should do better, but if you have a high amount of complex sugars, it will not get through them.

Last time I tried starting a stuck wort (BW 1.100, stuck at 1.025), I made a half-gallon starter of a high gravity yeast (WLP550), when it was actively working I added half a gallon of my beer to it, and let it go for a day, then I added the whole lot to the main beer. Took it down to 1.010.

Wine/Champagne yeast will not work. It is a lot less efficient at the complex sugars than Ale yeasts. You could try 3711; that yeast can do some real damage to a wort.

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Old 06-02-2012, 03:49 AM   #7
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You could try 3711; that yeast can do some real damage to a wort.
Oh yeah! Somebody said it before I did
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Old 06-02-2012, 04:27 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by dcp27 View Post
+1, just tossing a vial into 9% wort is going to kill a large portion of those yeast cells, you really should pitch an active starter. if nothing works, you can always try adding amylase enzyme or using WLP099

what temp did you mash at?
Thanks for the input on this. I mashed at 150
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Old 06-02-2012, 04:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piratwolf View Post
+1 to WLP099 with a huge starter at high krausen. I suggested that to another stuck BW sufferer here and it worked well at his last posting.

FWIW, I used 099 about a month ago on my American BW. It was "only" 1.102, but I made a 3L starter and pitched at high krausen... took the BW down to 1.020 in FOUR DAYS!!!

EDIT: I just ran 1.120 through mrmalty.com--says you'd need about 4 vials for that batch...

Healthy yeast pitched at correct rate = VICTORY
Phew! Another 3L starter? Talk about underestimating the amount of yeast I needed
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Old 06-02-2012, 04:32 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by ChessRockwell View Post
Oh yeah! Somebody said it before I did
Just one pack?
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