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Old 04-04-2011, 02:21 AM   #1
dougdecinces
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Default Pitching a barleywine on a stout yeast cake

I plan on brewing a barleywine in the next couple weeks. I currently have a sweet stout with a 1.074 OG fermenting and I was wondering if I could ferment the barleywine on that yeast cake. I'm still new to this, but I'm concerned that the OG is too high and/or the original beer is too dark/assertive.

I also have a Kentucky Common fermenting, but that is only a 3 gallon batch and I worry that there wouldn't be enough yeast.

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Old 04-04-2011, 02:34 AM   #2
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What yeast did you pitch for the stout?

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Old 04-04-2011, 03:20 AM   #3
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What's the OG on the Kentucky Common?

A yeast cake that just chewed its way through a stout that strong is not something i'd pitch another beer onto. It is going to be fairly stressed out. I generally avoid repitching after about 1.06 to avoid mutations. Also if the IBU's on the stout are high that is another reason to not use the stout cake.

As for the 3 gallon beer not producing enough yeast, I don't think that is possible. Check out Mr Malty's pitching rate calculator. I am willing to bet pitching a 5 gallon barleywine onto a yeast cake from a 3 gallon batch would be overpitching

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Old 04-04-2011, 03:37 AM   #4
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To answer both questions:

1056 - American Ale yeast for both the stout and the KY Common. I've had very good luck with this strain. I consistently get 80+% attenuation.

The Kentucky Common had an OG of 1.048. I guess, then if I wanted to use the Kentucky Common, could I add a packet of dry yeast to the party to up the cell count?

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Old 04-04-2011, 03:42 AM   #5
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You already have a 3 gallon starter! I really don't think you need to pitch anything else.

Once you have your recipe figured out, plug the expected OG into the pitching rate calculator. I REALLY doubt it will tell you you need even as much yeast as you already have

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Old 04-04-2011, 03:54 AM   #6
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I don't think you would have any fermentation issues. I pitched my 1.123 barleywine on a yeast cake from an IPA I made that had an OG of 1.078. It fermented just fine.

However, I've read that you want to pitch on a yeast cake from a similar beer because some of those flavors/aromas will carry over into your barleywine. Personally I wouldn't risk it by pitching onto a stout cake. Barleywines are an investment to brew because the ingredients are expensive & it will tie up your secondary for 6 months to a year if you're bulk aging it. You don't want to go that far & then realize it didn't turn out because of the yeast cake you used on day 1.

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Old 04-04-2011, 03:59 AM   #7
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I just crunched the numbers on the Mr Malty calculator, and a three gallon starter w/o stirplate should cover anything up to an OG of 1.14 something. That is REALLY strong.

And yes, it is possible that pitching onto the stout cake things will turn out fine. I just think for what it costs to brew a barleywine, that is not a wise move.

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Old 04-04-2011, 03:23 PM   #8
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Why not wash the yeast before pitching? While a little more involved, it will result in a cleaner yeast devoid of the flavors from the last ferment.

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