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Old 02-16-2010, 05:59 AM   #1
cbird01
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Default Help with first barleywine

I am planning my first BW this weekend. I never brewed big before and was looking for tips / pitfalls when brewing big. I plan to make Water into Barleywine:
17.5 lbs of grain - OG 1.106 FG 1.024 WLP001

I have a 40 qt rectangle MLT with copper manifold, keggle and IC

My typical AG process is a 60 min Single Infusion mash with 2 equal batch sparges and a 60 min boil

Is this all Kosher? steps that would be good to add?

Recipe specific questions:
-Says Huge Starter - whats sufficient, never made a starter before
-Says Prim 1 week, Sec 1 month but it also says Cold Conditioning as additional ferm - how long/what temp/when - I don't have refrig space
- Mash/Sparge volumes. My normal BeerSmith settings are giving me 5.5 gal Mash in and about 4 gal Sparge water with 7.2gal in pot
Enough sparging? More batches? Longer boil?

Your comments are appreciated

Craig

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Old 02-16-2010, 01:18 PM   #2
discgolfin
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My best advice would be to have a few pounds of dme o hand. One thing I have learned from years of large batches is my eff. will go down. I have been as low as 65% eff. So the best way to fix this is a few pounds of dme. I also will build me recipe a bit larger to plan for the bit loss in eff.. Longer boils will help with your eff. because you can sparge with more water and boil it down to what you want. I made a quad with close to 11%abv and boiled for 2 hrs..my first ever was an imperial stout that was freaking huge and started with 10 gallons pre boil to finish with 5 gallons post boil.......long boil.

big thing for fermentation is o2, big starter and keep temp cool and under control to keep hot alcohols down...age age..leave for 6 months before you taste..than another 6 months..

J

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Old 02-16-2010, 01:44 PM   #3
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Thanks J - The only thing I have done for oxygenation is shaking the fermenter after racking from boiler. Any tips or cheap homemade solutions?

How big is a big starter?

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Old 02-16-2010, 05:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbird01 View Post
I am planning my first BW this weekend. I never brewed big before and was looking for tips / pitfalls when brewing big. I plan to make Water into Barleywine:
17.5 lbs of grain - OG 1.106 FG 1.024 WLP001

I have a 40 qt rectangle MLT with copper manifold, keggle and IC

My typical AG process is a 60 min Single Infusion mash with 2 equal batch sparges and a 60 min boil

Is this all Kosher? steps that would be good to add?

Recipe specific questions:
-Says Huge Starter - whats sufficient, never made a starter before
-Says Prim 1 week, Sec 1 month but it also says Cold Conditioning as additional ferm - how long/what temp/when - I don't have refrig space
- Mash/Sparge volumes. My normal BeerSmith settings are giving me 5.5 gal Mash in and about 4 gal Sparge water with 7.2gal in pot
Enough sparging? More batches? Longer boil?

Your comments are appreciated

Craig
How do you make your starters? Stir-plate? Add O2?

I would be very surprised if that beer was done fermenting at 7 days. It is a very big beer and may take 2-3 weeks to ferment. Don't move it until is done, the FG may be too high.

Eric
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:43 PM   #5
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Eric - I never made a starter before so I am looking for direction. I read threads and there is all sorts of opinions. I was just going to do 1/2 cup DME to 1 quart water - boil 10min - cool down - pitch to foil covered jug. Let this go for 24 hours prior to brew day and pitch the whole quart. Not sure if this qualifies as a "Big" starter.

The 7 days was just in the primary. Secondary fermentation is 1 month.

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Old 02-16-2010, 09:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by cbird01 View Post
Eric - I never made a starter before so I am looking for direction. I read threads and there is all sorts of opinions. I was just going to do 1/2 cup DME to 1 quart water - boil 10min - cool down - pitch to foil covered jug. Let this go for 24 hours prior to brew day and pitch the whole quart. Not sure if this qualifies as a "Big" starter.

The 7 days was just in the primary. Secondary fermentation is 1 month.

Here's how I do a starter:

Take a clean 3000 (preferred for this size) erlenmyer flask and add a measured amount of water. According to Mr. Malty's Pitching Rate Calculator you need approximately the following starter (as long as your yeast is somewhat fresh) for this beer:

367 billion yeast cells
4.1 vials needed without starter
2 vials needed with starter
2000mL starter

There is an article on the Mr. Malty site about why you should use a starter and FAQ about starters. He can explain it better than I can.

There are a few ways to calculate DME needed plus water needed, but this is the easiest. You need 10g of DME per 100mL of water. I would measure out about 2200mL of warm tap water (about 200mL will be boiled off) and place it in a mixing bowl. Add 200g of pale or extra pale DME and mix with a whisk. This is a good time to add Fermcap-s or any other product to reduce foaming. Pour (with a funnel) into the flask. Boil at the lowest heat setting possible for 10-15 minutes. Keep your oven mitt on. DO NOT WALK AWAY. Boilovers are not fun. Just Sayin.

Once you are done boiling, place flask in the sink place sanitized foil loosely over top. Add ice and water to stoppered sink to cool flask. After about 20 minutes, you should be able to touch the flask easily and it should not feel warm at all. I don't take the temperature, but if it feels room temp to me, it probably is. Add two vials or packs of Cal Ale yeast. Replace sanitized foil. Swirl starter in flask to mix. Place somewhere out of direct sunlight (sunlight doesn't matter, but you don't want it to warm up too much). Swirl frequently (once an hour if you can). After 24-36 hours, the yeast has built up about as much as it can. You are now ready to pitch. You can either pitch the whole thing (nothing wrong with that) or chill the starter for about 24 hours, decant the wort, and just pour the yeast.

This is a big beer and will need time on the yeast to fully ferment. It will take at least a week for fermentation to complete. Once the krausen falls, let the beer sit on the yeast for the same amount of time. For example,
if it takes 8 days for the krausen to fall, let it sit another 8 days.

Take a hydrometer reading. If you have hit (or nearly hit) your FG, rack to a secondary. With this big of a beer, bulk conditioning in a secondary or keg may be helpful and won't be harmful (as long as you take care to be very clean and reduce oxidation as much as possible). I would keep it in secondary for 3 weeks. Then rack to keg or bottles and put them somewhere cool and dark for 6 months and forget about the beer. Don't taste it. You will hate yourself later for drinking a green beer and wasting what will be a special beer when you could have had it after 1, 2, or 3 years when it is much better.

I am not saying this is what you have to do, but this is what I would do.

Have fun.

Eric
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Kegged: Belgian Dark Strong (8.9%abv)

Fermenting: Arrogant Bastard Clone, BCS Dry stout

Planned: Rye IPA, ESB, Oatmeal Pale Ale, Rye Amber

Can You Brew It Recipe Database
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Last edited by EricCSU; 02-16-2010 at 09:21 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:39 AM   #7
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Thanks for your detailed explaination - I always appreciate detail as I am a detail person myself.

Isn't there a way to use only one vial of yeast but get the same pre-pitch yeast population, by letting the yeast settle out the first round, decanting off the beer and adding more DME/Liquid.

I was thinking of doing the first starter wednesday night and again thurs/fri morning...for brewing Sat.

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Old 02-17-2010, 12:45 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=cbird01;1887764]Isn't there a way to use only one vial of yeast but get the same pre-pitch yeast population, by letting the yeast settle out the first round, decanting off the beer and adding more DME/Liquid.
QUOTE]


I believe that you can, but I am not very experienced in that process so I hesitate to provide any guidance.

The other option is to use 4 vials.

A stirplate provides faster yeast growth with a smaller starter and you can buy one for less than one batch.

With this big of a beer, managing yeast is extremely important. If it was me, I wouldn't skimp on this step. I would not want to be dissapointed with my results after all the money and time spent.

Eric

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Kegged: Belgian Dark Strong (8.9%abv)

Fermenting: Arrogant Bastard Clone, BCS Dry stout

Planned: Rye IPA, ESB, Oatmeal Pale Ale, Rye Amber

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Old 02-17-2010, 04:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discgolfin View Post
My best advice would be to have a few pounds of dme o hand. One thing I have learned from years of large batches is my eff. will go down. I have been as low as 65% eff. So the best way to fix this is a few pounds of dme. I also will build me recipe a bit larger to plan for the bit loss in eff.. Longer boils will help with your eff. because you can sparge with more water and boil it down to what you want. I made a quad with close to 11%abv and boiled for 2 hrs..my first ever was an imperial stout that was freaking huge and started with 10 gallons pre boil to finish with 5 gallons post boil.......long boil.
J
What do you think good sparge amounts and # of batches would be for this recipe?
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Old 02-17-2010, 05:23 AM   #10
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Default sparging

When I've done a big beer like that, I just used the single sparge, and the volumes looked good to me. Your efficiency will be lower than usual, which is expected.

Yeast health is definitely important for this big beer. You don't want them to get tired and give up before its done. Use a yeast nutrient in the last 10 mins of the boil.

For aeration, you can use a cheap aquarium air bubbler and santized air hose, provided you get an in-line air filter like this.


And the stirplate for the starter will keep O2/air flowing into the starter and keep the yeast suspended. A great deal is here.


Or.. you could just pitch 4 vials.
Good luck!
--LexusChris

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