Stuck Barleywine

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:


New Member
Mar 19, 2011
Reaction score
Fort Collins
Brewed a 5gal batch of barleywine with 25# pale malt and 6# specialty malts...IG was 1.118 and I pitched 21-Feb with a 5th generation population of WLP029 German Ale Yeast that I got from a local microbrewery's active primary vessel bottoms. Checked it 12-Mar and it was stuck at 1.072 at which point I got a DME starter going with WYeast German Ale 1007. Added 1/2gal to the starter after 24hrs, took it up to 1gal 12hrs later, and then to 2.5gal with some yeast nutrient 24hrs after that. I combined the rest of the beer with the re-pitched portion on 15-Mar and it has dropped to 1.045. The airlock kicks a bubble every 12-15 seconds and I'm wondering where to go from here. Calculated 9.8% ABV and 60% attenuation, so aside from the obvious alcohol tolerance limitations I'm wondering if anything else might be possible to drive the beer below 1.030 as it is still pretty sweet. Thoughts?

Primary: Barleywine
Secondary: Second Runnings Smoked English Ale
On Tap: ESB, Helles, IPA, Frankenstein Cider


Well-Known Member
Sep 7, 2008
Reaction score
Be patient, wait another couple of weeks (to a month) and see where the re-pitch takes you. If you're stalled at 1.040, perform a fermentation test: pull off a pint or two of the beer into your starter flask, add half a packet of Nottingham yeast to it and see if the gravity drops to an acceptable level. If it does, there are still enough fermentables in the beer to finish it properly, so pitch in a few packets of rehydrated Notty with some nutrient and things should be good. If the fermentation test is stuck, your beer is out of fermentables. The only thing you can do in that case is add some amylase (either in the form of 5-10 crushed up Beano pills or the pure enzyme from white labs). I've heard Palmer mention that lager yeast can process maltotriose (unfermentable by ale yeast) sugars, but I'm doubtful that a lager yeast is going to bring down your 9.8% beer by 20 points.