Author Topic: I think I under pitched my barley wine - help  (Read 915 times)

Offline Chronospa

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I think I under pitched my barley wine - help
« on: August 09, 2016, 08:19:50 PM »
I brewed a barley wine for the first time 10 days ago. I realized a couple days after I had put into the primary that I should have doubled the 2L starter I used (Wyeast 1968 London ESB) but it was chugging away merrily and I didn't want to mess with it. I had also aerated the heck out of it (best you can do without an aeration stone). I expect this to age for close to a year so I upped the IBUs significantly to counter the sweetness.

At this point all visible fermentation has stopped with no airlock activity. Yeast has fallen out and beer is looking clear (i.e. no suspended yeast that I can see and a good size cake on the bottom). SG was 1.100 and current gravity is 1.052.  I searched for related posts and it seems fairly split between just shaking it and letting it go vs. adding more yeast.

My recipe had called for adding 2lbs of sugar after 2 weeks in the primary to get the OG up to 1.125. So is it okay to do another 2L starter and add it at high krausen (with some yeast nutrient) when I add the additional sugar?

Anyone have advice? I'd greatly appreciate it.

Jerry

My recipe is:

Targets: OG 1.125 FG 1.036 IBUs 104
14 lbs Maris otter
10oz Crystal Malt (60L)
1.65 oz Jarylo (bittering hop @ 60m)
2 oz EKG (45 mins)
1 oz Fuggles (30 m)
3.5 lbs Light DME (30m)
1 oz EKG (15m)
1 oz Fuggles (flameout)
2 L Wyeast 1968 London ESB Starter
2 lbs sugar (after 2 weeks in primary)



Offline denny

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Re: I think I under pitched my barley wine - help
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2016, 08:27:43 PM »
Yep, should be no problem.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: I think I under pitched my barley wine - help
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2016, 08:36:47 PM »
WY 1968 is notorious for dropping out of suspension pretty quickly. I think as Denny stated you have the right idea. Make up another active starter (with some yeast nutrient) and pitch it when it is at high krausen. Be sure to select a more attenuative strain so your fermentation can finish out fully.  Once that yeast starts to work again (hopefully it will) for a few days you can add your remaining dissolved sugar. Although you may want to add it in two stages so as not to overwhelm the yeast. But others may have different opinions on this.

Offline Chronospa

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Re: I think I under pitched my barley wine - help
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2016, 09:17:07 PM »
Thank you gents. I'll plan on doing it in 2 stages.

What confuses me is why Wyest 1968 is recommended for barley wines if it falls out so quickly. Or is it that I would have been fine if I had just pitched the right amount? It's a nice benefit for it to get clear so quickly ... if I had hit my target.

Sorry if these are basic questions but I'm new to all grain, liquid yeast, and high grav beers. So of course a barley wine was a great one to brew as my 4th all grain batch. :-)

Offline denny

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Re: I think I under pitched my barley wine - help
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2016, 09:23:00 PM »
Thank you gents. I'll plan on doing it in 2 stages.

What confuses me is why Wyest 1968 is recommended for barley wines if it falls out so quickly. Or is it that I would have been fine if I had just pitched the right amount? It's a nice benefit for it to get clear so quickly ... if I had hit my target.

Sorry if these are basic questions but I'm new to all grain, liquid yeast, and high grav beers. So of course a barley wine was a great one to brew as my 4th all grain batch. :-)

Hey, I didn't recommend it!  ;)  You need to keep rousing it for best results.  If I was you, I'd make a big starter of 1056 and use that for the second pitch.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: I think I under pitched my barley wine - help
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2016, 10:03:52 PM »
1968 is recommended for barleywine because it's a British strain and ,if done right, would be an obvious match for English barleywine. Guys here use it for barleywine with success. But being so highly flocculant (it's one of the most flocculant strains out there), it tends to do its job and drop like a stone. In the case of this barleywine, it could drop out and leave you with a high FG if you don't manage your fermentation. As fermentation starts to slow down, it's best to bump the temp up a couple degrees F/day (up to 75F-ish) and gently rouse the yeast, to spur the yeast to stay active and keep eating sugars. This will work fine, or you could use a British strain like WY1098 that won't give you the flocculation/stalling concerns and is a beast of a strain.
Jon H.

Offline Chronospa

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Re: I think I under pitched my barley wine - help
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2016, 11:32:00 PM »
Got it. Thank you. Next time I'll know better. Too late I think at this point.

Appreciate everyone's feed back.

1968 is recommended for barleywine because it's a British strain and ,if done right, would be an obvious match for English barleywine. Guys here use it for barleywine with success. But being so highly flocculant (it's one of the most flocculant strains out there), it tends to do its job and drop like a stone. In the case of this barleywine, it could drop out and leave you with a high FG if you don't manage your fermentation. As fermentation starts to slow down, it's best to bump the temp up a couple degrees F/day (up to 75F-ish) and gently rouse the yeast, to spur the yeast to stay active and keep eating sugars. This will work fine, or you could use a British strain like WY1098 that won't give you the flocculation/stalling concerns and is a beast of a strain.

Offline zwiller

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Re: I think I under pitched my barley wine - help
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2016, 01:45:46 PM »
Late to the party but for a beer of that magnitude I would forgo a starter and just rack it onto the cake of a previously brewed standard gravity ale.   That is my MO once I go beyond 1.080ish. 
Sam
Sandusky, OH

Offline natebrews

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Re: I think I under pitched my barley wine - help
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2016, 09:10:55 PM »
I had something similar happen with 1968 (which I use all the time) and I fixed it by using my racking cane to vacuum up lot of the yeast from the bottom of the carboy into a flask and then added some wort to that to get it back up to high krausen.  Once it was active again, back in it went and then I kept creeping the temperature up every day and it finished out fine.   

Did you have a temperature dip or something?  I haven't had too many issues with it dropping prematurely unless the temperature drops for some reason.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: I think I under pitched my barley wine - help
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2016, 10:39:16 PM »
I had something similar happen with 1968 (which I use all the time) and I fixed it by using my racking cane to vacuum up lot of the yeast from the bottom of the carboy into a flask and then added some wort to that to get it back up to high krausen.  Once it was active again, back in it went and then I kept creeping the temperature up every day and it finished out fine.   

From the same stalled fermentation? Interesting approach. Glad to know it worked for you.

Offline natebrews

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Re: I think I under pitched my barley wine - help
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2016, 10:50:14 PM »
Yeah, it was the yeast from the original pitch (and whatever grew).  I think the temperature had dropped due to a heater that failed, and that caused them to say it was time to go to sleep.  After harvesting them out of the bottom, the starter wort I put them in woke them right up.  Essentially just normal repitching, only it was back into the same beer. 

As a side note, I've done the same thing with a lager where I harvested the yeast from the bottom of the carboy and then put some into a starter wort to get them going again and pitched it into the keg to fix a diacetyl problem I had.  Worked like a charm (I believe it is similar to the Krausening technique used in some german brewing).
Risk of failure should be no deterrent to trying.