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Old 09-09-2012, 10:22 PM   #1
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Default BDSA secondary ?

Question about secondary for BDSA. Brewed it about a month ago. Moved it to a keg today (gravity at 1.95 OG to 1.017 with a 1 month primary.)

I intend to secondary it in the keg rather than moving it to a secondary carboy and then bottling/kegging. Any problem with this? Eventually, I will just force carb it in the keg and use counter pressure bottle filler to put it in bottles 6-12 months from now.

Did a barleywine that I bottled/primed 2 months ago and it is just not carbing up. Figured I would avoid that issue all together by kegging and force carbing this one.

Any problems with this method?

thanks


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Old 09-10-2012, 03:30 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Braufessor View Post
Question about secondary for BDSA. Brewed it about a month ago. Moved it to a keg today (gravity at 1.95 OG to 1.017 with a 1 month primary.)

I intend to secondary it in the keg rather than moving it to a secondary carboy and then bottling/kegging. Any problem with this? Eventually, I will just force carb it in the keg and use counter pressure bottle filler to put it in bottles 6-12 months from now.

Did a barleywine that I bottled/primed 2 months ago and it is just not carbing up. Figured I would avoid that issue all together by kegging and force carbing this one.

Any problems with this method?

thanks
You'll have a hard time carbonating naturally when the alcohol level is high, because yeast has trouble staying healthy at those heights. So kegging etc would be your answer. I think barleywine isn't typically carb'd, but I wouldn't know.


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Old 09-10-2012, 03:39 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by iambeer

You'll have a hard time carbonating naturally when the alcohol level is high, because yeast has trouble staying healthy at those heights. So kegging etc would be your answer. I think barleywine isn't typically carb'd, but I wouldn't know.
Barleywine is carbed, but usually relatively low. I do them no higher than 2.0 volumes. The problems carbonating could also be a result of a lack of viable yeast, which is also fairly common with barleywines due to their typically long conditioning/aging periods.

And BDSA is one of those styles that just seems to be better bottle-conditioned. If you're under the ABV tolerance of the yeast strain you used, I'd recommend that.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:40 PM   #4
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You'll have a hard time carbonating naturally when the alcohol level is high, because yeast has trouble staying healthy at those heights. So kegging etc would be your answer. I think barleywine isn't typically carb'd, but I wouldn't know.
1) I've bottle conditioned 11.5% and 10.6% Belgian Dark Strong Ales without repitching yeast. Carbed up just fine. So kegging is not really your one and only 'answer'.

2) Barleywine is always carbed (low to moderate carbonation), but thanks for playing.

Now that we've dispelled the myths, back to the OP.

I don't see a problem with this method, although I personally think that the carbonation from bottle conditioning is 'finer' and works better with Belgians, but to each his own on that.

What temperature are you keeping the keg at? I find that my Belgian Strong benefit from a month or two of bulk cold-aging. For my last Golden Strong, I bulk aged on the yeast cake for a month at 50* and it really helped calm the higher alcohols down very quickly. I was drinking a beautiful BGSA at 3 months from brew day.
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:34 PM   #5
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So far, this is what I have done:

Primary: 1 week ambient room temp. of about 62, 3 weeks ambient room temp. @68-70.

Put in keg for secondary - ambient room temp probably 58-60 and that will drop to 50-55 over the next couple months as fall sets in.

My big question is will secondary in a sealed keg allow for the beer to "mellow" adequately? I thought it tasted good at transfer - but definitely needs some time. Strong alcohol flavors, and all of the other flavors were rather sharp as opposed to blending together into one smooth taste.

Also, I can secondary the keg at a variety of temps.
Upstairs @ 68-70
Basement @ 58-62
Lager Freezer @ 50
Dispensing fridge @ 40

I am looking for the best conditions for this beer to age, mellow and blend together to reduce the alchohol flavors and other sharp flavors.

*as to carbonation - no idea why my barley wine is not carbonating the way I had hoped. I even repitched some US 05 at bottling. I prefer bottle conditioned too, but at this point, just don't want to take a chance on this one after the problems I am having with my barleywine.

Thanks
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Old 09-10-2012, 07:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Braufessor View Post
So far, this is what I have done:

Primary: 1 week ambient room temp. of about 62, 3 weeks ambient room temp. @68-70.

Put in keg for secondary - ambient room temp probably 58-60 and that will drop to 50-55 over the next couple months as fall sets in.
Sounds like a great start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Braufessor View Post
My big question is will secondary in a sealed keg allow for the beer to "mellow" adequately? I thought it tasted good at transfer - but definitely needs some time. Strong alcohol flavors, and all of the other flavors were rather sharp as opposed to blending together into one smooth taste.

Also, I can secondary the keg at a variety of temps.
Upstairs @ 68-70
Basement @ 58-62
Lager Freezer @ 50
Dispensing fridge @ 40

I am looking for the best conditions for this beer to age, mellow and blend together to reduce the alchohol flavors and other sharp flavors.
Think of it this way: how is a sealed keg different than a glass carboy for a secondary? Honestly, the keg has the advantage here: built-in handles, won't break, completely sealed, easy to be moved... That being said, I would put it in the lager chamber @ 50* just because that's the temp I like to age my strong ales at. Try that and taste it at a month and see what has changed.

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Originally Posted by Braufessor View Post
*as to carbonation - no idea why my barley wine is not carbonating the way I had hoped. I even repitched some US 05 at bottling. I prefer bottle conditioned too, but at this point, just don't want to take a chance on this one after the problems I am having with my barleywine.
How long has it been in the bottle? All things point to 'it should be carbonated'. I know that somewhere around here there is a pretty crude BMP basically stating that Higher OG = more time to carbonate.
Edit: found it!
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:16 PM   #7
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Thanks. Figured the only difference would be the possible exchange through the airlock. Not that it would be that much.

The Barley wine was bottled sometime in July - can't remember exactly - but it is about 2 months. I am still holding out hope. Moved it upstairs to warmer area,shook up bottles to get yeast suspended a couple times. Will continue to do that for another month. There was a tiny little bit of carbonation present, but almost nothing. It was a big beer - 1.1+ gravity. So, it would definitely be on the right side of the diagram

Thanks for the info.


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