General Category > Yeast and Fermentation

barleywine ferment issue or not?


I am currently doing a barleywine experiment. Our group split 17 gallons amongst each other from a big brew. I have 3 carboys going with 3 different yeasts.
Stats: OG 1.095, brewed 12/29/12. Fermenting at 62F.
Carboy #1: 2 gallons pitched with 1 pack Nottingham. Current SG 1.024 after 9 days. Krausen has fallen.
Carboy #2: 4.75 gal. pitched with slurry of 1056. SG 1.036 after 9 days. Still has krausen.
Carboy #3: 4.75 gal pitched with slurry of San Diego Super strain. SG 1.042. Krausen has fallen. This is the one I am concerned with...

Krausen is not something I generally keep a close eye on. I do most primaries in a bucket. These are all in glass.

I roused the yeast (swirled the carboys) every couple days. After taking gravity at 9 days and seeing that they had all settled at 62F (actual temp had balanced with ambient- they had been running 64-66 while active just as planned).

I am raising the ambient (with my low-tech but effective method of wrapping with sleeping bags and putting a space heater in the store room where they are) in hopes of keeping them active until complete.

Should I be concerned with the one with the San Diego strain? I have not used that yeast myself, but the guy in our group who brought the big jug of slurry swears by it. In his experience it ferments quicker than 1056 with slightly better attenuation. And he has had success brewing bigger OG beers than this with it. I pitched 1 cup of slurry initially. After 24 hours, when the other 2 carboys were already active and this one wasn't, I pitched another 1.5cups of slurry. I would describe that slurry as thin in comparison to the slurry of my 1056 that I pitched in the other batch.


I've never brewed with it, but I've heard a lot of mixed results with the San Diego super yeast. Some brewers swear by it, others say it takes a generation to really get going, and still others have problems with attenuation like you are seeing. Rousing and bumping up the temp seems like it would be the way to go.

By the way, what did you do for oxygenation? Since I don't have O2, I will aerate my really big beers a second time about 12 hours after pitching. Yeast are going to have some heavy oxygenation demands in a big beer like this.

I used 3 minutes of O2 at pitch. I thought about adding more at 24 or 48 hours, but did not. I would think that 10-12 days in, I should not be adding O2.

I have had barley wines take 4 weeks to finish. I am the king of under pitching yeast!


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