On Christmas day i brewed a 20 gallon batch of barleywine with intentions of aging it to drink next christmas. My target OG was 1.101 and target IBU's 101.4. Brew day went well my preboil gravity was 1.073, however, checking the wort gravity at post boil i got 1.063 with my refractometer (calibrated before and after the bizarre reading) as well as 2 hydrometers.
Some brew day notes:
23.00 lb 2-row
23.00 lb munich malt
5.00 lb 90*L malt
10.99 lb 80*L malt
1.25 lb Whit wheat malt
18.25 lb DME (never added due to high pre boil gravity)
5.5 oz chinook @ FWH
9 oz chinook @ 60 min from end
2.5 oz golding @ 30 min from end
2 oz Fuggles @ 30 min from end
4.5 oz golding @ 15 min from end
Wyeast 1056-American Ale- harvested and repitched
(*all samples were cooled to 65* and taken with a calibrated refractometer)
@ 17 min into mash 1.060, 4.0 PH
@ 33 min into mash 1.068, 4.0 PH
@ 46 min into mash 1.072, 5.0 PH
@ 60 min into mash 1.073, 4.0 PH (pre boil gravity)
I didn't add the DME because the pre boil gravity was 1.073. Also i did boil off SOME water because my pre boil volume was 25 gallons and i pitched 20 gallons of wort. I recirculate through the entire boil and my lid stays cracked the entire boil, I'm thinking that some humidity from the surrounding air condensed on the lid and dripped into my kettle causing a lower gravity into the fermentor. I know its not possible for the gravity to rise during the boil. My fermentation is going strong with repitched yeast from a porter, I'm thinking of boiling up a healthy amount of DME mixed with buckwheat honey and some chinook hops cooling that and racking the barleywine on top of that and putting it back into fermentation, possibly repitching some more harvested yeast as well.
I checked the wort gravity before it hit my plate chiller (also cooled this sample and took multiple tests) to make sure that the plate chiller was not leaching water into the brew, it wasn't.