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Old 09-22-2008, 02:35 PM   #1
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Default Help planning first barley wine...

So I've got a few beers under my belt and I think I'm ready to try something with a higher gravity. I ordered the SN Bigfoot clone from Austin Homebrew and I'd like some tips and hints for my first big beer. I'd like to pitch on top of a yeast cake for this beer, however I've never done that before. Any tips on that or do I literally just pitch on top of the yeast cake from a previously racked carboy? Can the yeast cake come from any size beer with the yeast I want or should I keep it a smaller beer like an APA, brown ale, or something along those lines? Is there anything in specific in the regular brewing process that should be done differently, or emphasized, with a beer this big?

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Old 09-22-2008, 04:18 PM   #2
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Pitching on a yeast cake is just that easy. Rack the beer of the yeast cake then transfer the cooler and aerated wort onto the cake. It saves cleaning the used fermenter and sanitizing the new one.
This is an excellent idea for a barleywine as you get a large healthy yeast population ready to go.

It is best if the beer the yeast cake come from was moderate to low gravity and bitterness. Both high levels of alcohol and IBUs stress the yeast and can lead to off flavors in the following beer. A nice session beer is the best choice for a donating beer.

Otherwise the biggest thing to concentrate on with a beer this big is sufficient aeration. And be aware that you should definitely use a blow off tube. A big beer on a yeast cake is almost sure to blow off some unless you have a huge fermenter and/or use fermcap.

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