Barleywine Problem

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Tar and Feather'em, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. Tar and Feather'em

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    Well I know where I went wrong so the question is more, can I fix it? Tried my first barleywine 2 weeks ago, was shooting for 3.5 gallons and a .091 OG but ended up with .079 and closer to 4 gals even though I went a full 30 mins over, I normally boil off close to a gallon an hour. I could live with that but my issue was the yeast I didn't have time for a starter and I know that was the reason but I was still hoping for better performance from the WLP099. My FG was .020 which seems awfully high to me for the OG and type of yeast. I racked it to the secondary on some oak and was going to let it sit for several months. Is there anything I can do to bring the FG down some more? I really want to hit the 9% mark if possible but do not want to take any chances either it might taste just fine the way it is.

    Thanks in advance for any help!
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    A caution: Bringing the FG down will affect both flavor and mouthfeel. Other ways: You could add some sugar, which will both increase OG (by the number of gravity points of sugar added) and decrease FG (because sugar is 100% fermentable). The trade-off is lower viscosity (thinner body or mouthfeel). The secondary yeast idea will bring down gravity as well, assuming you have left-over fermentables in the beer. The trade-off there is thinner mouthfeel again, as well as the potential for some off flavors thrown by the yeast. Champagne yeast produces champagne flavors, even when used in beer. If it were my beer, I'd accept the results rather than trying to get the beer to some target and do a thorough root cause analysis on why I missed my OG targets. It sounds like you've already hit the proximate cause, you didn't boil as much water off as you'd planned. Try to figure out why, then correct the next batch while drinking this one.
     
  4. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    yes, good point if using the champagne at room temperature is not a good idea, it would have to be at least 60 or below to be neutral in flavor
     
  5. Tar and Feather'em

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    Hmm, thanks for the advice this is really appreciated. Well keeping the temp 60 or below is not an issue my basement stays close to that and I have a fermentation chamber anyway. Having some toasted oak in there shouldn't matter? I mean wine is in oak but not toasted (I think)? But going way under 60 for a barleywine aging? I would think 60 to 65 is what to shoot for temp wise?

    But in the end I think you are right - accept the results the way they are. I wanted Thomas Hardy's and the taste from the hydrometer reading wasn't bad and mouthfeel was perfect before aging on oak so I don't want to risk the band aid just yet. Unless the Champange yeast is that simple of a fix at 60 or under?
     
  6. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    well think of it like this, any lager, champagne or wine yeast will bring the fg down at least 10 points if in fact the yeast before it just stopped "but" you still have to battle how long it ferments and go through its process, so pulling early would be no no, but letting it ride for 3 weeks and raising to temp to room temperature for 3 days would be fine letting any off flavors go away. thats only if you cant deal with the 1020 curse heaviness in mouth feel, I don't mind it my self as long as its not weak in alcohol

    but if you ferment or age a barleywine for 6 months its ashame if it doesn't wow you
     
  7. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Just for another opinion: 75% attenuation is not out of order at this point for a barleywine. I would leave it in secondary for a while, possibly at a slightly warmer fermentation temp. Give it a chance to clean up and it should drop a couple of points doing so. Good bigger beers don't happen overnight. If it is sealed with a good bubbler watch it and be patient. If working just a little give the yeast a little roust with some carboy tipping once in a while. Remember "STOP STEP AWAY FROM THE BEER! THE YEASTIES KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING!" In the meantime brew another beer to get your mind off how that one is doing!
    Don't worry if you don't make the 9% abv it may be balanced out better a little lower.
     

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