barleywine advice

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IsonAd

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So my barleywine seems to have fermented out in under a week. It went from 1.103 to 1.020 and the yeast appears to have cleaned itself up pretty well (almost like a 2 week pale ferment). So is there any benefit to keeping it on the yeast or am I ok to transfer to secondary to oak and age or is there added benefit from letting it go a little while longer on the yeast? I really expected to have to ferment for at least 2-3 weeks but the US05 yeast cake from a 4.2% pale smashed through it
 

Dunkelbrau

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Did you rinse the yeast cake before pitching?

If it was me, I would wait another week or so at the minimum just to let it clear a bit first before I racked it for bulk aging.
 

JDW81

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IsonAd said:
So my barleywine seems to have fermented out in under a week. It went from 1.103 to 1.020 and the yeast appears to have cleaned itself up pretty well (almost like a 2 week pale ferment). So is there any benefit to keeping it on the yeast or am I ok to transfer to secondary to oak and age or is there added benefit from letting it go a little while longer on the yeast? I really expected to have to ferment for at least 2-3 weeks but the US05 yeast cake from a 4.2% pale smashed through it
If you pitch an appropriate amount of yeast there is no reason it should have finished in that time, however just because fermentation may have "finished" it doesn't mean the yeast still don't have important work to do. Give it another week on the yeast cake to clean up a bit, then you can think about your ageing process.

IMHO there is almost always added benefit for letting a beer sit on the yeast for a bit longer (within reason).

JD
 

IsonAd

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Thanks guys. I didn't rinse the yeast cake just transferred it from the fermenter. I'll keep it going for another week or so even though it looks freakishly clear right now.
 

big78sam

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Resurrecting an old thread rather than starting a new one...

I brewed a barleywine 10 days ago. Og 1095. Pitched 2 packets if rehydrated us05. Gave it 2 minutes of o2 on pitching and another minute 16 hours later per the yeast book advice. Primary fermentation was at 17.5 degrees and i ramped up to 20 after a week. It was at 1023 after a week and is at 1018 now. Thats about my expected fg.

It tastes ok but has some quite hot alcohol, which i expected at this point. It wasnt that noticible 3 days ago but after 3 days at 20 degrees its more pronounced.

I will be away for a week so what do i do with it. I plan to leave on the yeast for another week, but at what temp? Leave at 20 or drop back to 18? I don't want any more hot alchohol. If its not quite finished will i stall fermentation if i drop it to 18?

This will be kegged and left until next winter. Do people rack to secondary if they are kegging? Ive heard there is benefit from bulk conditioning (ie not in bottles) but as ill be kegging it will get that anyway.
 

homebrewnewb

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Fusels (if that's what you're tasting) should age out. Depends though. I've had unpleasant esters age out into great beers. I think you'll find if you keg it, it will diminish but not go away. If i were you i would persevere but you'll be waiting a few months. Can you spare the keg?
 

big78sam

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Yes. Ill be kegging it and putting aside for a year. Tastes like hot fusels to me rather than fruity esters

Ive set at 19 for the moment.
 

pimpsqueak

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I had the same thing with a barley wine I did nearly 5 years ago. Took great care pitching the correct amount of yeast and controlling the temp. I gradually fed in the additional sugars in several lots and gave it a lengthy diacetyl rest. It was reminiscent of nail polish remover, but way more harsh.

It took around 9 months in the bottle to calm down and come together. Lovely drop now, though a bit oxidised.
 

Lyrebird_Cycles

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IIt was reminiscent of nail polish remover, but way more harsh.

It took around 9 months in the bottle to calm down and come together.
Sounds like high volatile acidity (VA) due to stressed yeast, a common problem with high alcohol ferments. This often shows as ethyl acetate early on and can lessen with time due to de-esterification to ethanol and acetic acid.

If you are really concerned you can get a VA test done for about $35 by any wine lab. Note that the test is for acetic acid so it will usually under represent the problem if ethyl is present.
 

homebrewnewb

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full disclosure, never brewed a barleywine before, however i have done a few ris' @ around 10 percent or so.
a year might be a bit much. you could try bottling some if the yeast has full attenuated for the three six and nine month marks, and track it that way, though i am sure out of the keg will be fine, but testing at those intervals you can track it then tap it when it's optimal.
i get the feeling twelve might be a bit much. i think if you let it sit though, you might have a pleasant surprise, good luck with it.
 
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