Author Topic: Bulk aging barleywine, do I need to re-pitch yeast?  (Read 3292 times)

Offline ewpert

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Bulk aging barleywine, do I need to re-pitch yeast?
« on: February 24, 2012, 06:46:05 AM »
I am brewing a barleywine this weekend, with a target OG of 1.110-1.130, and I'm considering bulk aging in a secondary for 3-6 months.  What I'm wondering is how will I know when I move to bottle it whether or not to re-pitch some yeast?  I would hate to not have enough yeast to carb up the beer, but I would also hate to have 5 gallons worth of explosive beer bottles if I pitch unnecessarily.

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

Offline jamminbrew

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Re: Bulk aging barleywine, do I need to re-pitch yeast?
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2012, 06:55:49 AM »
Unless you add too much priming sugar when bottling, I doubt that you'll have any issue with bottle bombs, especially after 3-6 months in secondary.  It wouldn't hurt anything to add 1 or 2 grams of dry yeast at bottling time for insurance. There are others who use a whole packet of US-05 at bottling, with no ill effects that I've read...
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Bulk aging barleywine, do I need to re-pitch yeast?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2012, 07:24:34 AM »
Yes, you'll need more yeast after that long bulk aging.  I typically use any dry yeast such as US-05 as theantipunk suggested, but I don't even use a whole pack -- just sprinkle maybe 1/4 of a pack and that's good enough for priming/carbonation purposes.  Don't be surprised if it takes 3 or 4 weeks to carbonate, slowly but surely.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Bulk aging barleywine, do I need to re-pitch yeast?
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2012, 07:33:08 AM »
Yes, you'll need more yeast after that long bulk aging.  I typically use any dry yeast such as US-05 as theantipunk suggested, but I don't even use a whole pack -- just sprinkle maybe 1/4 of a pack and that's good enough for priming/carbonation purposes.  Don't be surprised if it takes 3 or 4 weeks to carbonate, slowly but surely.
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Offline seajellie

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Re: Bulk aging barleywine, do I need to re-pitch yeast?
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2012, 08:15:35 AM »
Along these lines - since the OP question has been answered - what are the opinions of the value of bulk ageing big boy beers like this in secondary, versus bottling after an extended period in primary (such as 5 or 6 weeks in primary)?

I know the dominant opinion is no secondary, ever, excep for fruit and hops. Are there any contrary opinions out there for beers 1.080 and up? Does secondary with bulk ageing make a huge difference vs. extra time in primary and bottle?

Offline nateo

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Re: Bulk aging barleywine, do I need to re-pitch yeast?
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2012, 08:37:21 AM »
I know the dominant opinion is no secondary, ever, excep for fruit and hops. Are there any contrary opinions out there for beers 1.080 and up? Does secondary with bulk ageing make a huge difference vs. extra time in primary and bottle?

I sometimes bulk age, sometimes bottle and age, depending on how many bottles or carboys I have free at any point. Haven't noticed a difference really, but I haven't done any controlled experiments either.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Bulk aging barleywine, do I need to re-pitch yeast?
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2012, 08:52:08 AM »
Along these lines - since the OP question has been answered - what are the opinions of the value of bulk ageing big boy beers like this in secondary, versus bottling after an extended period in primary (such as 5 or 6 weeks in primary)?

I know the dominant opinion is no secondary, ever, excep for fruit and hops. Are there any contrary opinions out there for beers 1.080 and up? Does secondary with bulk ageing make a huge difference vs. extra time in primary and bottle?

I don't know if it is no secondary ever rule, just that it is not really needed most of the time and carries a risk of causing issues. bulk ageing of a big beer can be a really good idea. the flavour melding and development happens differently in each sample so if you only have 1 sample (bulk ageing) you get a more consistant profile, at least in theory. I don't usually have room to store a carboy full of beer anywhere for that long so I bottle and can stash it here and there. But I do try to give it a good long time on the yeast.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Bulk aging barleywine, do I need to re-pitch yeast?
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2012, 08:53:40 AM »
Good question, and one which I struggle with as well.  I've had some mighty good lagers that were lagered directly in the bottles instead of bulk aging.  I've also had some really nice beers that sat in primary or secondary fermenters for 3 or 4 months.  So it makes me wonder if it really matters at all.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 08:56:06 AM by dmtaylor »
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Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Bulk aging barleywine, do I need to re-pitch yeast?
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2012, 08:58:28 AM »
Good question, and one which I struggle with as well.  I've had some mighty good lagers that were lagered directly in the bottles instead of bulk aging.  I've also had some really nice beers that sat in primary or secondary fermenters for 3 or 4 months.  So it makes me wonder if it really matters at all.

I would think as long as sanitation is consistent it wouldn't matter. I think the issue arises when people get lazy cleaning that 40th bottle, as opposed to just cleaning 1 carboy.  ;)
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Bulk aging barleywine, do I need to re-pitch yeast?
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2012, 09:22:18 AM »
I'll be bulk aging my old ale in secondary carboys as I have plenty of carboys and my kegs are full.

But on that note, does kegging count as bulk aging?  If so, I suppose I bulk age most of my beers.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Bulk aging barleywine, do I need to re-pitch yeast?
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2012, 09:51:19 AM »
I'll be bulk aging my old ale in secondary carboys as I have plenty of carboys and my kegs are full.

But on that note, does kegging count as bulk aging?  If so, I suppose I bulk age most of my beers.

if there are any benefits to bulk ageing I would think you would get them in the keg as well.

old ale might actually make sense to secondary for a while. the style expects a little oxidation to really hit that sweet spot (pun not intended). That little sherry sweetness makes the style in my opinion.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Bulk aging barleywine, do I need to re-pitch yeast?
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2012, 10:36:42 AM »
I'll be bulk aging my old ale in secondary carboys as I have plenty of carboys and my kegs are full.

But on that note, does kegging count as bulk aging?  If so, I suppose I bulk age most of my beers.

I think it does.

...and this is how I condition my barleywines.
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Offline dbarber

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Re: Bulk aging barleywine, do I need to re-pitch yeast?
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2012, 11:30:01 AM »
I'll be bulk aging my old ale in secondary carboys as I have plenty of carboys and my kegs are full.

But on that note, does kegging count as bulk aging?  If so, I suppose I bulk age most of my beers.

I think it does.

...and this is how I condition my barleywines.

+1

I now condition by barleywines in kegs.  I had an am. barleywine that never carbonated and an en. barleywine that was a little overcarbonated.  Now, I dial in the carbonation and bottle off the keg.
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