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Old 01-07-2009, 01:05 AM   #1
Jmac
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Default Help Please!!! Barleywine/brew from Hell

First time posting but have and learned from many of you but still have lots to learn. I hope you can give me some advice..

Between a month or two ago I decided to do an all grain Barleywine.. It was about my 2nd or 3rd all grain recipe but I had never done a Barleywine before and thought it would be cool.

This brew was the brew from HELL. Everything that could have went wrong did!! I went to the brew store about 2:00 in the afternoon on Sunday... bought the recipe from the LHBS and then got home around 3:30. Propane tank ran out... had to go get some more propane.. Boiled the mash water.. Mixed all the grain and let sit for the hour... drained the wort into brew kettle.. Did the sparge for the first runnings and thought I needed more to get a higher gravity so added some more water. Added the second running to the boil kettle and began the boil. I must have ended up with 12 gallons of wort that needed to be boiled down to a 6.5 gallon carboy. I was not able to get enough vaporated the first night and it got to late so I had to rack to the carboy and pick up the boil the next night. I finally got the wort down to where it would go in the carboy.... The original gravity was around 1.120 when going into the primary... I had cleaned some yeast from one of my previous batches and saved to mason jars... Pitched in the cleaned wyeast 1056 to the fermenter and gave it a good shaking... Everything seems fine now and I was happy that this brew from hell was over. It fermented for quite a few days till all activity sloooowed and then I let it sit awhile longer... I racked it to secondary and it continued to barely bubble for probably another week or so. I checked the final gravity and it was 1.050 with no activity what so ever. The LHBS suggessted for me to add some dry wine yeast to it even though I had read on here to use champagne yeast. I took there word and went with the wine yeast...

Pitched this about a week ago and just took a gravity reading and tasted the brew. Gravity reading is at 1.040 and it tasted ok but had a very noticible sweetness to it.

I do need to start taking notes so I cant go into some of the specifics of the brew.. exact ingredients etc I dont have.. I do have a reciept for the grain bill and hops but the LHBS had to make substitutions and I dont remember the exact substitutions.. Note to self... TAKE NOTES!!!!!!!!!!!!

So after all this my question is should I go ahead and bottle this? Leave it alone? Get the champagne yeast and pitch that? Give up brewing?




Please advise!!

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Old 01-07-2009, 01:26 AM   #2
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WOW. suck.

1. If you went from 1.120 to 1.040, then you got about 67% attenuation. That's not horrible, but not good either. I think you'll want the FG to be lower than that. What was your mash temp? You said that you boiled the mash water? Did you dough-in with boiling water? That could explain the high final gravity. High mash temps will result in a less attenuable beer.

2. Bottle that sucker and give it the foul name it deserves. Something like "Evil Ba$tard Sewer Sh!t from Hell"! You may want to try and get that FG down a little more first though. The high amount of unfermentables will get gobbled up my any bacteria in their, and you'll end up with bottle bombs. You may want to go ahead and throw some dry champagne yeast in there, just for shts-and-giggles.

That's the best I can do.

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Old 01-07-2009, 01:40 AM   #3
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Seconded about the mash temp. Since barleywines are such big beers, you typically need to mash pretty low (148ish) in order to get your attenuation up close to 75%. If it's done, I'd bottle it and let it age, you'll probably be surprised how it turns out.

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Old 01-07-2009, 01:46 AM   #4
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As for the temp of the mash it was around 155F. Again trying to remember the exact temperature from over a month ago is tuff. I have a shot memory probably from the previous batches of HB. I boiled the sparge water not the mash water.. My bad.. I didnt dough in with boiling water but it was around 165 or so... stirring frequently while adding the water to mix it with the grain. Just to make it clear I boiled this for probably around 6 hours of the course of 2 days.. Next Barleywine will begin early in the morning with everything prepared and ready to go!!!!

I like the name!!! All my other brews have went really well and tasted great.. I dont have a single bottle left after making probalby 25 gallons last year. The barleywine was going to be put away for sometime and then break it out in 6 months to a year...

I might try the champagne yeast... That is what I read on this forum but went with the LHBS dude that recommende the wine yeast..


Thanks for the advice..

1 vote for Champagne yeast and name Evil Ba$tard Sewer Sh!t from Hell!!!

I did try Arrogant Bastard this weekend and I really really liked it. I want to try and brew that next!!!!!!

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Old 01-07-2009, 01:47 AM   #5
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Try the champagne yeast, it'll probably drop it a couple points, it certainly can't hurt - you would want to add some at bottling anyway. If you're ever in San Diego, check out the Stone Brewery, it's amazing.

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Old 01-07-2009, 01:54 AM   #6
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Should I rack it again from the secondary to get it off of the yeast that were left over after I racked it to seconday and also the wine yeast that I added before adding the champagne yeast?

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Old 01-07-2009, 01:57 AM   #7
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Nope, that yeast will help carbonate it. The priming sugar will be the limiting reagent, so don't worry about too much yeast. When you rack it to your bottling bucket, you can avoid most of the yeast at the bottom of the fermenter anyway.

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Old 01-07-2009, 01:59 AM   #8
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Any suggesions on how much priming sugar to use? With it sweet already I dont want to add to much... the normal 3/4 cup corn sugar or maybe a little less...

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Old 01-07-2009, 02:01 AM   #9
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You can add a little a less, as generally barleywines are a little less carbonated.

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Old 01-07-2009, 04:11 AM   #10
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Yeah, mash temps for Barleywines should be 148-152ish and about a pound of simple sugar like dextrose would help dry it out also. At this point you could try a beano tablet but you'll have to let it ride at that point.

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