Barleywine is too big. OG above 40 plato, at 22 plato.

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Brewer #46979, May 8, 2015.

  1. Brewer #46979

    Brewer #46979 New Member

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    I tried a partigyle and the first gyle was to be a Barleywine. Originally I aimed for a gravity in the 1.100 range, but to make a long story short, it condensed more than expected in a long boil. I had just bought a refractometer and used it after the boil to get a reading but there was nothing, all white. I just thought i was using it wrong and i was too preoccupied with the second gyle to worry about it. I wasnt exactly worried about it because i knew it had to be atleast close to as big as I wanted it to be. So after fermenting a couple days, I read up about my new refractometer and test its calibration with water and it was perfect. So I test my fermenting barleywine and it reads off the chart, a thin blue line. After another week It dropped another couple points and over the last couple weeks its been dropping but has really slowed down and now its at 22 plato. Ive been agitating the yeast, added super high gravity yeast a week ago and bought a oxygenating kit, but ive read mixed advice on aerating this late in the fermentation.

    What I'm looking for is some advice on what more i can do, if anything. Should i dilute with sanitary water to lower the gravity and alcohol so the yeast can fully attenuate. Really i wanted to do that and oxygenate for a minute and add honey the get the yeast kick started.
    What can i expect if i choose to leave the beer at 22 plato?
    Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. UgliestLemming

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    Refractometers need quite a bit of calibration prior to deployment. There is a wort correction factor that needs to be figured out, and then applied - there is a calculator for this. Also, when alcohol is present, another equation needs to be applied to get the correct gravity reading.
    Finding your wort correction factor
    Blog post about refractometers
    It's hard to say how much it's attenuated since you didn't have anything to go off of prior to fermentation but you almost definitely don't want a 22 plato beer. Diluting may be the best course of action.
     
  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    This far into fermentation, all you'll get from additional oxygen is staling. The first refractometer reading you mentioned was "all white." That's reading off the scale. My refractometer is scaled for both beer and wine but initially, I get effectively no difference between its reading and my hydrometer. So I'm thinking your first reading was correct, especially since you mention that it calibrated perfectly. An OG above 40 would indicate a specific gravity of 1.120, waaaayyy big. I'm guessing it should ferment out into the high 20's, about 7 Plato. Your fermentation is stuck and you have effectively nothing but wort.

    How much yeast did you pitch? You'd need a lot for this big of a beer. Did you oxygenate immediately after pitching, then supplement 12 hours later? What was your wort temperature at pitch? It's possible if it were too warm that you killed off a lot of your yeast. Were the yeast viable? There are any number of things that could cause the beer to stall immediately, almost all of them involve yeast health. I doubt this beer is salvageable, particularly with the late oxygenation you mention but to try, create a honking big starter and repitch while the starter is still fermenting (don't wait for it to floculate). And good luck with it.
     
  4. Brewer #46979

    Brewer #46979 New Member

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    I haven't oxygenated it besides the initial carboy shake and one other shake I did at high krausen. The kit I bought just came in.

    It was only 3 gallons of wort. I pitch two activator packs of American II. And then when I realized the situation I pitched a vial of San Diego and a vial of Super High Gravity after shaking it again. I didn't use a yeast starter at any point. Oh and I racked it to secondary before adding the second two vials.

    I know that the high gravity yeast works very slowly and like yall said I have no indication as to what the actually abv is or if the yeast has reached its tolerance.

    Diluting is a must I think, but will the fermentation come unstuck once the environment is less hostile? Or should dilute and bottle now? I tasted it and the 120 ibus covers any sweetness I expected to be overbearing. Right now it it tastes like drinking a rodeo clown on jupiter. The gravity is crushing.

    Live and learn lol.
     
  5. Brewer #46979

    Brewer #46979 New Member

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    Also how does Final Gravity affect carbonation?

    Another idea I have is to oxygenate the dilution water before adding to prevent staling. Any comment on that.
    As you can see I don't like to give up.
     

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