Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Fermenting big beers...
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 05-06-2008, 01:38 PM   #1
hal simmons
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 104
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default Fermenting big beers...

I'm planning on doing my first "big" beer this weekend, a 1.096 Barleywine. My biggest beer so far has been a 1.070 Belgian. What special techniques are necessary to ensure proper fermentation on something this big? Some specific items I'm thinking about are:

1. Mash temp. I brew all-grain, the recipe is mostly two-row with 7.5% Crystal varieties? What mash temp should I use?

2. Aeration I've got an aeration stone and pure O2. Do I simply aerate when pitching the yeast, or several times during the first day?

3. Yeast. Planning on pitching two packs of Nottingham.

4. Incremental feedings. Is this necessary for this size beer?

5. Secondary. I typically do 3-4 weeks in primary for larger beers, then straight to bottle. I'm planning on bottle conditioning this till next winter. On this one should I use a secondary for a month or so prior to bottling?


hal simmons is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2008, 02:06 PM   #2
FlyGuy
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
FlyGuy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 3,618
Liked 166 Times on 51 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

I think you are going to get a lot of different answers to some of these questions, especially since some of these can be 'it depends' answers. But here is my opinion (assumes 5 gal batch):

1. The typical 152 F is fine.

2. Aerate for two full minutes right after pitching the dry yeast, stirring gently with the wand the whole time. That's probably enough. You could probably also sneak in one more shot (1 min or less) at 12 hours or so (depends on state of fermentation), but I wouldn't do it any later in the process because I would be worried about off-flavours.

3. Two fresh packs of Nottingham should be ideal if you are certain to rehydrate them properly right before pitching

4. Probably not necessary, but I'll admit I don't know much about this

5. I am a *BIG* fan of volume conditioning beer. I think it speeds up the conditioning process and improves the flavour of the beer. Personally, this is one of the few beers that I would DEFINITELY put in a secondary (probably for 6 months minimum). Rack really cleanly from your primary (leave the trub and settled/dead yeast behind) and keep the barleywine on the (healthy) yeast -- this will help the beer to clean itself up much better.


Other advice: watch your temperatures like a hawk! Personally, I like to start bigger beers on the cool side so that there is no danger that the heat of fermentation pushes the fermentation to the high side (or above!) of the recommended temperature range. All that sugar (and later alcohol) is very stressful to the yeast already, and they will be very prone to fusel production (or other off flavours), especially if the temperature creeps up at the beginning of fermentation. Once fermentation starts to subside, you NEED to bring the temps up toward the high end of the range to ensure that you get full attenuation. If you miss this, there isn't much you can do to correct it (other than getting crazy and using champagne yeast or beano -- best avoided if possible). Temperature control is paramount for big beers. I have become a fan of using water baths and an aquarium heater, but fridges/freezers with temperature controllers work almost as well.


FlyGuy is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2008, 02:08 PM   #3
cheezydemon
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: The "Ville"
Posts: 1,921
Liked 10 Times on 10 Posts

Default

I will just speak on the yeast.......

I would get a more interesting yeast if I were you. Nottingham should handle that, but good grief. If not now, when?

www.whitelabs.com
__________________
BOTTLED: "Route 66 IPA" 7% ABV, "Dave's Imperial Stout" 12% ABV , "Spider Imperial Stout" 9%ABV , "Mutt Irish Ale" 7% ABV, "Sorta Sierra" IPA's 4.4% ABV, "Habanero Ales" 5.5% ABV, "Pumpkin Seed Ale" 5.5% ABV , "Marzen" Lager, "Step child Ale",
PRIMARies: "Caramel Amber" , "Black Porter"
SECONDARIES:1 :"Miller Ale"
On DECK: Another Russian Stout
cheezydemon is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2008, 02:31 PM   #4
hal simmons
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 104
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheezydemon View Post
I will just speak on the yeast.......

I would get a more interesting yeast if I were you. Nottingham should handle that, but good grief. If not now, when?

www.whitelabs.com

OK. I've been using Wyeast primarily, but just did a batch with Nottingham recently and liked what it did. My intentions were to pick something that attenuates well, but is fairly neutral to get out of the way of the other flavors. Plus, using dry yeast means I don't have to make a huge starter.

Bad idea? Any suggestions?
hal simmons is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2008, 02:44 PM   #5
shafferpilot
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
shafferpilot's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cincinnati OH
Posts: 1,639
Liked 20 Times on 19 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

If you are interested in using a more unique yeast: Get one and make a lower gravity beer. Then pitch your barley wine onto the trub of that beer. It's like making a super-starter, only you also get some beer out of it
__________________
A great man knows that he knows NOTHING
shafferpilot is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2008, 02:49 PM   #6
hal simmons
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 104
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheezydemon View Post
I would get a more interesting yeast if I were you.[/url]
Off the top of my head I'm thinking WYeast 1056 might be a good choice?
hal simmons is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2008, 02:58 PM   #7
FlyGuy
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
FlyGuy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 3,618
Liked 166 Times on 51 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

Personally, if you are going to use 1056 you might as well use Nottingham. Both are pretty clean, neutral yeasts. At least with the dry yeast you won't need to make a monster starter.
FlyGuy is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2008, 05:47 PM   #8
z987k
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
z987k's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Anchorage
Posts: 3,544
Liked 24 Times on 22 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

yeah and isn't wyeast 1056 just us-05?
z987k is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2008, 06:26 PM   #9
hal simmons
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 104
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

I was hoping to brew the Barleywine on Saturday, but i'm not going to be able to make it to my LHBS till Friday. That doesn't leave me much time to make a big enough starter if I go with liquid yeast.

My options at this point are:

1. Put off the Barleywine for another batch so I can use an appropriate liquid yeast.

2. Brew anyway with Nottingham or similar dry yeast. Any recommendations? Is it a bad idea to use Nottingham?
hal simmons is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2008, 06:30 PM   #10
Beerthoven
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Beerthoven's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 2,181
Liked 22 Times on 21 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

I say follow your original plan, brew this weekend and use the 2 packets of Nottingham.

There are yeasts out there that have more character, but WLP001, Wyeast 1056, and SafAle US-05 are not among them.


__________________

Primary/Secondary: #122 American Wheat
Kegged: #121 IPA
Planned: Smoked Cali Common

Beerthoven is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What beers do you have fermenting, conditioning or kegged? C4PNJ4ZZ General Beer Discussion 23 10-13-2009 11:59 AM
Sergio's World Beers - Over 1000 beers - Opening in Louisville, KY KYB Kentucky HomeBrew Forum 18 08-13-2009 07:37 PM
Hotter fermenting beers? FlyingSailor Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 8 05-22-2009 03:50 PM
warmer temp fermenting beers? MikeInCtown Recipes/Ingredients 2 09-20-2008 04:15 AM
Fermenting foam for different beers. alamedabrew Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 09-05-2008 07:47 PM


Forum Jump

Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS