Author Topic: Fermentation time for barley wine  (Read 1459 times)

Offline imperialstout

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Fermentation time for barley wine
« on: February 06, 2013, 05:33:25 PM »
Thinking of brewing a barley wine. Two questions are are how long a fermentation time required and is a pound of corn sugar a common ingredient? Most recipes figure on a 2 to 4 month fermentation schedule and a pound of corn sugar. Would be interested in the barley wine recipe you use.

Offline a10t2

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Re: Fermentation time for barley wine
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2013, 06:23:09 PM »
General rule of thumb for a properly-pitched ale is 2°P of attenuation per day. So roughly 7-12 days for a barley wine. Definitely allow for extra time though.

A little sugar is a common addition to increase attenuation. If you want you can add it in the fermenter to reduce the osmotic pressure on the yeast at pitching.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Fermentation time for barley wine
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2013, 09:18:13 AM »
I generally allow at least 4 weeks for a BW. but I also am not in a rush to get it done as it will still have to condition and age a bit.

I keep it simple with 100% pale or munich grist. I will sometimes add some sugar, 1 lb sounds good. I did a wheat wine with coconut sugar that came out nice. that was 2 lb for 21 liters and I aged it in a rum barrel so it's got a lot going on.
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Fermentation time for barley wine
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2013, 01:08:55 PM »
I keep it simple with 100% pale or munich grist. I will sometimes add some sugar, 1 lb sounds good. I did a wheat wine with coconut sugar that came out nice. that was 2 lb for 21 liters and I aged it in a rum barrel so it's got a lot going on.
That sounds good
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Fermentation time for barley wine
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2013, 04:05:05 PM »
I keep it simple with 100% pale or munich grist. I will sometimes add some sugar, 1 lb sounds good. I did a wheat wine with coconut sugar that came out nice. that was 2 lb for 21 liters and I aged it in a rum barrel so it's got a lot going on.
That sounds good

It's getting there for sure.
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Offline brewmichigan

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Re: Fermentation time for barley wine
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2013, 09:34:12 AM »
One of my favorite barleywine recipes is Marris Otter with a a pound or 2 of Melanoidin and just boil the hell out of it. Boil it for a good 3 hours and you'll get some great flavors and some ectra color.

Make sure you have plenty of yeast and pitch cooler. You don't want this getting out of control or you'll have a fusel bomb on your hands.
Mike --- Flint, Michigan

Offline imperialstout

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Re: Fermentation time for barley wine
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2013, 07:07:04 AM »
Thanks. Fermenting for 14 days or so sounds about right. My question about the long fermentation time (2 to 4 months) in some recipes may be because some authors include aging and/or bottle conditioning in fermentation time. I can't imaging having a beer fermenting in a bucket for 4 months, bottle it and then age it. I typically make big beers, primary for 14 days, secondary for 7 days and dry hop if needed, bottle and condition for 28 days, all in a temp controlled fermentation chamber, then age at room temp for at least 28 days. Big beers do get better the longer they age though. Just wondering if anyone really FERMENTS barleywines for 2 to 4 months and then bottle or keg it.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Fermentation time for barley wine
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2013, 07:14:57 AM »
If you are good to the yeast, a big beer can be finished in less time than many think. I have had a 1.100 barleywine finish quickly and be ready to drink at < 3 months. Sierra Nevada brews Bigfoot after they are done brewing Celebration (the new harvest hops go into Celebration), and Bigfoot is in the stores in January. Saying that the beers can be ready to drink, but of course you can age to your liking.
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Fermentation time for barley wine
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2013, 07:20:57 AM »
I think that barleywines that actually take months to finish fermenting (not aging) have bad yeast management. I fermented a Russian Imperial Stout at 66 degrees and fermentation was done in about 1 week. I let it sit for a few more and bottled it.
 
A warning, that RIS filled 1 gallon of headspace, a blowoff tube, and a 2 quart pitcher with krausen and left ~ 1/2 gallon of beer on the floor.  :'(   Make sure you've got plenty of headspace in your fermenter.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Fermentation time for barley wine
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2013, 10:55:39 AM »
Actual fermentation should be done within weeks and maybe a few extra weeks to clean up fermentation byproducts. You could bottle at that point but it's probably going to be a hot mess without some additional aging.

I just brewed a barleywine a couple weeks ago. It fermented out in about ten days. I'm going to let it sit at room temperature for the remainder of five weeks just to clean up any byproducts. (I used S-04 which will throw a lot of diacetyl that needs to clear up.) Then I am going to lager it for a couple weeks and then return it to room temperature for extended aging until late October/early-November. Then I will hit it with some dry hops and bottle with expected first tasting early December. So it will age in bulk in total for about eight and a half months plus a month in the bottle. Should be nice and smooth by then.
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