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Old 12-04-2012, 06:56 PM   #11
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Actually, AG wort can be boiled down to nearly any concentration.

Boil down a normal 5 gallon batch to 2 gallons and it will be pretty damned strong.

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Old 12-04-2012, 07:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jsv1204 View Post
I have heard of folks using a wine yeast to finish big beers. No personal experience with it, though. I would personally not keg a barley wine mostly because I don't want to tie up my keg for months (or years). I bottled a barley wine in July and it is only now starting to be drinkable. Some of it will be around next year this time. Just a thought. And it took a long time for the bottles to show any sign of carbonation...
I don't know much about wine yeast, but I wonder about the fact that although they have high alcohol tolerance, do they have the capability to ferment the higher chain sugars that are left at the end of fermentation? I mean, there's not much of those sugars in grape juice. But I don't know.

And in reality, I'll carbonate in keg and then beer gun 'em into bottles after some bulk aging.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:08 PM   #13
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Actually, AG wort can be boiled down to nearly any concentration.

Boil down a normal 5 gallon batch to 2 gallons and it will be pretty damned strong.
But at what flavor cost? Have you had Green Flash's barleywine? They say on their website that they have a four hour boil. If you want to taste what kettle-produced melanoidins taste like, this is the beer. For me, it's a sickeningly caramelly flavor... almost roasty or smokey. I've never tasted anything like it.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:11 PM   #14
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But at what flavor cost? Have you had Green Flash's barleywine? They say on their website that they have a four hour boil. If you want to taste what kettle-produced melanoidins taste like, this is the beer. For me, it's a sickeningly caramelly flavor... almost roasty or smokey. I've never tasted anything like it.
OK then take 25 lbs of grain and only the first runnings.....

Extract seems like the way, but to each their own!
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:15 PM   #15
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And in reality, I'll carbonate in keg and then beer gun 'em into bottles after some bulk aging.
Makes sense to me
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:18 PM   #16
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If I were you, I'd pick up some amylase enzyme, take a pint or two of the batch and put it in a beaker or starter vessel, pitch maybe an 1/8th TSP of the amylase into the vessel, and see if it starts fermenting again after 24 hrs (make sure to get a little yeast in the starter vessel).

If it starts fermenting, then it means you probably have residual long chain sugars (even though your temperatures would seem to indicate otherwise).

I always keep amylase around for this purpose - it's a great way to tell if there is a problem with your fermenting wort or a problem with your yeast.

In addition, I've had the exact same thing happen on one or two of my beers: WY 1968 didn't quite attenuate as much as I wanted, so I added dry yeast to the wort with no success. Added an active starter of WLP001 and did have success.

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Old 12-04-2012, 07:19 PM   #17
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Kinda wondering if your result isn't fairly typical. I think I ended up with about 66/69% attenuation myself. Every barley wine I have ever had has been on the sweet side.

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Old 12-04-2012, 07:33 PM   #18
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If I were you, I'd pick up some amylase enzyme, take a pint or two of the batch and put it in a beaker or starter vessel, pitch maybe an 1/8th TSP of the amylase into the vessel, and see if it starts fermenting again after 24 hrs (make sure to get a little yeast in the starter vessel).

If it starts fermenting, then it means you probably have residual long chain sugars (even though your temperatures would seem to indicate otherwise).

I always keep amylase around for this purpose - it's a great way to tell if there is a problem with your fermenting wort or a problem with your yeast.

In addition, I've had the exact same thing happen on one or two of my beers: WY 1968 didn't quite attenuate as much as I wanted, so I added dry yeast to the wort with no success. Added an active starter of WLP001 and did have success.
Hey we're both in Cville!

So this might be a dumb question, but isn't there definitely and obviously some long chain starches in there? I mean, what else is making the gravity high? Doesn't every beer have some leftover starches and that's kinda accepted in beer brewing?

I'm pretty against the (frequent) suggestion that people use amylase to restart stuck fermentations and get more attenuation. I understand that this is not what you're suggesting, but I see this all the time on this forum. Basically, if you're turning your beer into an experiment, it's not likely that you'll fix it. That's why I'm pretty set on accepting this beer for how it turned out and if I don't like it I'll brew it again sometime.

I'm thinking that you might be right that dry yeast doesn't have the chutzpa to get going in a high alcohol environment. Next time I think I'll pitch a liquid culture that's actively fermenting.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:51 PM   #19
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Do you go to the CAMRA meetings here in town? I've only been to one or two but am hoping to make it to more.

Yeah, I'm on the same page as you in terms of not using amylase every time there is a stuck fermentation. I've got a Lagunitas Brown Shugga clone right now that went from 1.099 to 1.030. I would love for it to finish nearer to 1.023/1.024 like they get at Lagunitas, but I'm not sure I'm going to start messing with it just to get 1 or 2 degree Plato.

I do, however, like to know what causes underattenuation, which is why I use the starter / amylase method to diagnose improper mashing / sparging techniques.

Check this link out if you have time.

http://brewery.org/brewery/library/enzymes595.html

There are definitely long chain starches in your wort (even if you mash at low temps), but my understanding is that higher mash temps or improper conversion can lead to an excessive quantity of long chain sugars.

But I'm by no means the expert. I do know, however, that amylase has helped me fix several of my beers, but only because I was able to stop the enzyme activity when I reached a specific gravity (by crash cooling), and because I keg and don't have to worry about carbing bottles with beer that still has enzymes that might still be viable and cause bottle bombs ??

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Old 12-05-2012, 12:06 AM   #20
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1) Thanks for the enzyme article. My concern with using enzymes post-boil is how to make it stop, and the related problem of over-attenuating a batch. In my batch, I have 34 gravity points per gallon made up of, I assume, unfermentables... these sugars/starches have to be contributing something to flavor, body, mouthfeel, etc. If you strip all this out, can your result still truly be called beer?

I'm not even asking this as a BJCP style question - I'm asking if the beer ventures beyond something that we taste and truly know as beer. I'm sure it tastes like a hoppy, alcoholic, grainy, carbonated liquid which pretty well describes beer as a whole, but what else? Or what is missing?

I guess I might be a purist, but then again I'm not a Reinheitsgebot guy so... still mulling it over I guess!

Not many people talk about using enzymes in the mash to speed up or intensify the completeness of conversion. I'd like to hear more about that, though it still makes me pose my "beer ethics" questions from above.

2) I've only been to a few CAMRA meetings - just don't have the time. I have a baby and I own a bakery in town (Great Harvest). Good club and all, and I'm a member mostly for the discount at Fifth Season.

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