2.5 Gallon Barleywine

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smmcdermott

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I know it is late, but I am going to make a 2.5 gallon AG barleywine this weekend and plan to drink it late January/early February. I took the NB Barleywine and halved the recipe to get my grains.

My questions are:

1) how big a starter do I need to make? It uses Wyeast 1945 which I have never used before and I have also never made a beer this big.

2) when I bottle this in 5 months will I need to add yeast or will I be alright?

Thanks.
 

HopsJunkie

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What's your target OG, that tells a lot about how much yeast you need. Also, Mr.Malty(http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html) has a great pitching calculator. That way, you're doing math instead of figuring out who's right on here.

As far as bottling, by then you're not looking for a ton of yeast to be active, as you should've hit your target gravity. If you'd need more yeast, it'd be likely somewhere in the middle if it slows/stops/gets stuck. I've had good luck with the Mr. Malty calculator though on high gravity beers.


Cheers!
 

HopsJunkie

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Lol, you would use a 4 liter starter, but let the active yeast settle and pitch that. Ofc, not many people can make that large a starter anyways. I'd just make the largest that you can, being that it's a barleywine. Quite honestly, if you pitched a 1L starter, it'd be plenty for that small a batch. Even beyond that, if you don't want to even do a starter, pitch two smackpacks and you should probably be fine as well. Let's face it, we aren't professionals and we don't have giant starter vessels.

Cheers!
 
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smmcdermott

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lol - yea i know how a starter works, but 4 liters is crazy, I think i can do a liter, so thats what i will do.

Thanks all.
 

tonyolympia

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smmcdermott said:
It came up with over 4 liters!!! OG = 1.082
Yes, and that's at Mr. Malty's standard ale pitching rate of .75 million cells per ml of wort per degree plato. I have read recommendations that 1 million cells/ml/degree plato is more appropriate for most beers, so my practice is to take the number of cells the calculator recommends, divide it by .75, and plan my starter accordingly. I'm pretty new to brewing, so I'm still trying to figure out what this higher pitching rate contributes to my beers.

This October, I'm going to make a 1.090 spiced winter beer for drinking in late December. To come up with enough yeast for that, I'm planning to brew a 1.035 mild ale in September and pitch the spiced beer onto the yeast cake from the mild. I'm excited to see how that ferments.
 

JonM

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Is that right? Did you tell Mr. malty you're doing a 2.5 gal batch? I only ask because I recently did a 2.5 gal 1.100 RIS and Mr. malty only recommended 1.5 L of starter. mine finished at 1.018 in less than 2 weeks.
 

stbnj

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Same here, recently did a 2.5 gallon batch and only used a 1.5 liter starter as per Mr. Malty. I decanted the excess wort of it and only pitched the yeast and fermentation took off immediately and I had the carboy filled with krauzen and coming out the blow off valve in 4 hours. I should add I also used a stir plate from stir starters.
 

tonyolympia

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Out of curiosity, Jonm and stbnj, are you pitching into only 2.5 gallons of wort? Or is there more in your fermenter to account for trub loss, hydro samples, etc?

When I brew a 2.5 gallon batch, I try to begin with 3.5 gallons in the fermenter.
 

bknifefight

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Use dry yeast. For a 2.5 gallon batch at 1.082 you can get away with 1 package of Nottingham with no starter and since it is a beer that the yeast doesn't shine through, I would consider it.
 

JonM

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tonyolympia said:
Out of curiosity, Jonm and stbnj, are you pitching into only 2.5 gallons of wort? Or is there more in your fermenter to account for trub loss, hydro samples, etc?

When I brew a 2.5 gallon batch, I try to begin with 3.5 gallons in the fermenter.
I usually start with 3 gals, leave a quart of cold break in the kettle, leave a quart of trub behind in the fermenter and wind up with 26 or 27 bottles of really clean beer.
 

tonyolympia

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JonM said:
I usually start with 3 gals, leave a quart of cold break in the kettle, leave a quart of trub behind in the fermenter and wind up with 26 or 27 bottles of really clean beer.
Thanks. Have you ever pitched a jar of washed yeast, let's say ~25 ml of milky white yeast solids, into a batch that size, without first stepping the yeast up in a starter? If so, what's the maximum gravity you'd pitch into without a starter?

I'm struggling to understand Mr. Malty's repitch from slurry section, and how it works with washed yeast--especially with very low-gravity brews, where it seems I *might* be able to get away with not making a starter.
 
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