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Author Topic: American Barleywine, comments appreciated  (Read 6571 times)

Offline Iliff Ave

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Re: American Barleywine, comments appreciated
« Reply #60 on: August 09, 2021, 11:09:36 am »
A good reason to store them cold after they are sufficiently carbed.
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Offline denny

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Re: American Barleywine, comments appreciated
« Reply #61 on: August 09, 2021, 11:42:18 am »
   FWIW, most of the burst bottles I've had were big beers - say OGs over 1.090, and most were a year or more old when they blew. Don't know what that means, unless maybe I've done a lot of really bad stuff in this or previous lives and the Beer Gods are punishing me by wasting my best beers.

Interesting.  Do you remember the FG's for those gushers?  Did you add yeast at bottling?  I'm wondering if a big beer that "finishes" with a relatively high FG (say in the 20's) might be more prone to bottle bombs.

A high FG doesn't necessarily mean there are fermentables left.
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Online Megary

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Re: American Barleywine, comments appreciated
« Reply #62 on: August 09, 2021, 12:57:27 pm »
   FWIW, most of the burst bottles I've had were big beers - say OGs over 1.090, and most were a year or more old when they blew. Don't know what that means, unless maybe I've done a lot of really bad stuff in this or previous lives and the Beer Gods are punishing me by wasting my best beers.

Interesting.  Do you remember the FG's for those gushers?  Did you add yeast at bottling?  I'm wondering if a big beer that "finishes" with a relatively high FG (say in the 20's) might be more prone to bottle bombs.

A high FG doesn't necessarily mean there are fermentables left.

For sure. 

But...

Is it likely to **possibly** have more fermentables left in a higher FG beer (say 1.025) than a lower one (1.012)?

I guess another way to ask the question is this:  Given a calculated, proper pitch rate, are yeasties just as likely to FINISH a big beer as a standard gravity one?

Offline denny

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Re: American Barleywine, comments appreciated
« Reply #63 on: August 09, 2021, 01:41:38 pm »
   FWIW, most of the burst bottles I've had were big beers - say OGs over 1.090, and most were a year or more old when they blew. Don't know what that means, unless maybe I've done a lot of really bad stuff in this or previous lives and the Beer Gods are punishing me by wasting my best beers.

Interesting.  Do you remember the FG's for those gushers?  Did you add yeast at bottling?  I'm wondering if a big beer that "finishes" with a relatively high FG (say in the 20's) might be more prone to bottle bombs.

A high FG doesn't necessarily mean there are fermentables left.

For sure. 

But...

Is it likely to **possibly** have more fermentables left in a higher FG beer (say 1.025) than a lower one (1.012)?

I guess another way to ask the question is this:  Given a calculated, proper pitch rate, are yeasties just as likely to FINISH a big beer as a standard gravity one?

Nope, not necessarily if the same practices are followed for each.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline Visor

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Re: American Barleywine, comments appreciated
« Reply #64 on: August 10, 2021, 11:24:26 am »
   The bottles that burst were one offs, the rest of the bottles from the batch were okay, and as seems to be the case with big beers, pour with very little head. I always batch prime from the FV and the 1st bottle is usually a 500 or 750 ml bomber, the 2nd bottle is a 16 oz water bottle filled to 12 oz and all the air squeezed out so as to monitor conditioning. The 1st bottle always seems to be the one most likely to be over carbed, maybe cuz all the stuff that settles to the bottom of the conical winds up in it.
   As for your question about adding yeast, that depends. As briefly as possible, my FV's have a 750 ml collection ball which with most batches gets harvested twice to sanitized 36 oz peanut butter jars and then to the fridge. In the fridge the yeast quickly settles out with clear beer on top, usually ~ 1/3 yeast & 2/3 beer. I batch prime in the FV & other than big beers, most of the time I prime with reserved wort/spiese. The evening before bottling day I inoculate the spiese with clear beer from the top of the harvest jars. If there is good airlock activity the next morning it gets pitched to the FV, stirred well, CO2 purge the headspace and left to sit for an hour or so before bottling. I there is insufficient or no airlock activity I'll add a ~ 1T to 1/4 cup or so of harvested yeast.
  Big beers are a different animal, I've yet to devise reliable method of bottle conditioning them. The higher the ABV the more difficulty I have convincing yeast to get back to work and condition the beer, and barrel aged beers are especially problematic although I'm not sure why. For big beers I normally dissolve priming sugar & a small amount of yeast nutrient in hot H2O and cool to pitching temp. I've tried using beer and/or harvested yeast from that batch, beer and/or harvested yeast from a lower gravity batch with the same yeast, fresh yeast either rehydrated according to Mfr. instructions or sprinkled on the surface of the priming solution. With the exception of using harvest beer from that batch, the other methods almost always take off nicely until the prime is pitched to the FV, at which point the little yeasties get really lethargic and just want to take a siesta.
   Two biggies I recently bottled show how variable they can be, 1st was a BBL aged Barleywine O.G. 1.106 & F.G. 1.022. Dextrose priming sugar & WyNutrient dissolved in hot H2O, cooled, US-05 sprinkled on surface [sugar solution was 1.138]. A few hours later had good kraeusen & airlok activity, added some harvested beer,  a couple hours later still good active fermentation so I pitched it to the FV. Next morning I had upsuck in the airlock. After goofing around trying to rouse the yeast with CO2 several times over the course of a day and a half I finally said screw it and bottled the batch. Low and behold 2 days later the 2 TellTales water bottles were about 50 to 60% inflated.
   The 2nd was an Imperial Stout O.G. 1.123 F.G. 1.040 that failed to do anything when the prime was inoculated with harvest beer but took off nicely when 1 1/2T thick yeast cake was added, and kept going after pitching to the FV. That one the Telltale was 95% expanded in 2 days and the 1st sampled bottle was nicely conditioned in about 1 1/2 weeks. Some of my earlier biggies took a month or two to condition, some never really did carb up much at all.
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Online Megary

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Re: American Barleywine, comments appreciated
« Reply #65 on: August 10, 2021, 12:25:11 pm »
   The bottles that burst were one offs, the rest of the bottles from the batch were okay, and as seems to be the case with big beers, pour with very little head. I always batch prime from the FV and the 1st bottle is usually a 500 or 750 ml bomber, the 2nd bottle is a 16 oz water bottle filled to 12 oz and all the air squeezed out so as to monitor conditioning. The 1st bottle always seems to be the one most likely to be over carbed, maybe cuz all the stuff that settles to the bottom of the conical winds up in it.
   As for your question about adding yeast, that depends. As briefly as possible, my FV's have a 750 ml collection ball which with most batches gets harvested twice to sanitized 36 oz peanut butter jars and then to the fridge. In the fridge the yeast quickly settles out with clear beer on top, usually ~ 1/3 yeast & 2/3 beer. I batch prime in the FV & other than big beers, most of the time I prime with reserved wort/spiese. The evening before bottling day I inoculate the spiese with clear beer from the top of the harvest jars. If there is good airlock activity the next morning it gets pitched to the FV, stirred well, CO2 purge the headspace and left to sit for an hour or so before bottling. I there is insufficient or no airlock activity I'll add a ~ 1T to 1/4 cup or so of harvested yeast.
  Big beers are a different animal, I've yet to devise reliable method of bottle conditioning them. The higher the ABV the more difficulty I have convincing yeast to get back to work and condition the beer, and barrel aged beers are especially problematic although I'm not sure why. For big beers I normally dissolve priming sugar & a small amount of yeast nutrient in hot H2O and cool to pitching temp. I've tried using beer and/or harvested yeast from that batch, beer and/or harvested yeast from a lower gravity batch with the same yeast, fresh yeast either rehydrated according to Mfr. instructions or sprinkled on the surface of the priming solution. With the exception of using harvest beer from that batch, the other methods almost always take off nicely until the prime is pitched to the FV, at which point the little yeasties get really lethargic and just want to take a siesta.
   Two biggies I recently bottled show how variable they can be, 1st was a BBL aged Barleywine O.G. 1.106 & F.G. 1.022. Dextrose priming sugar & WyNutrient dissolved in hot H2O, cooled, US-05 sprinkled on surface [sugar solution was 1.138]. A few hours later had good kraeusen & airlok activity, added some harvested beer,  a couple hours later still good active fermentation so I pitched it to the FV. Next morning I had upsuck in the airlock. After goofing around trying to rouse the yeast with CO2 several times over the course of a day and a half I finally said screw it and bottled the batch. Low and behold 2 days later the 2 TellTales water bottles were about 50 to 60% inflated.
   The 2nd was an Imperial Stout O.G. 1.123 F.G. 1.040 that failed to do anything when the prime was inoculated with harvest beer but took off nicely when 1 1/2T thick yeast cake was added, and kept going after pitching to the FV. That one the Telltale was 95% expanded in 2 days and the 1st sampled bottle was nicely conditioned in about 1 1/2 weeks. Some of my earlier biggies took a month or two to condition, some never really did carb up much at all.

Thanks for the reply.  Some process, that.  Very impressive.  Unfortunately, my Shiftless Approach to Brewing ™ precludes me from that type of effort and care.    :)

So I tempted fate and bottled from the spigot on my Speidel FV with carbonation drops.  20 bottles took about 15 minutes, not counting cleaning and sanitizing the bottles.  My pour was a bit too careful and I feel I could have induced a nicer head.  But the beer never lost carbonation and kept a very thin layer of foam on top.  I was ok with that given all the stories I have read about foam, head retention and big beers.  What my carbonation will look like in a few months when I try another, who knows?

Offline Iliff Ave

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Re: American Barleywine, comments appreciated
« Reply #66 on: August 10, 2021, 07:36:51 pm »
Every once in a while I will bottle a few directly from my spiedel. I add 2.3g table sugar to each 12 oz bottle and it seems to work well for me.
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Offline Visor

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Re: American Barleywine, comments appreciated
« Reply #67 on: August 11, 2021, 09:35:26 am »
  The process isn't quite as bad as it sounds, and it's WAAAAY better than having a couple cases of otherwise great beer that are completely lacking carbonation. Once the crown caps are on and set, there aint fixing a lazy/dead yeast issue, best to know if you're good or not before bottling.
   As for storing cold once carbonation is complete, there a 2 problems with that. First is that doing so would require a walk-in cooler- something I have neither the cash nor space for. The second is that aging essentially stops once when beer is cold, for hoppy and lighter beers that's fine, but most of what I brew keeps improving with age.
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Offline BrewNerd

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Re: American Barleywine, comments appreciated
« Reply #68 on: August 18, 2021, 09:53:55 am »
Obvious solution is to make it more bitter.

for a long time I've had an idea that i heard early on fixed in my head.

That the human tongue can "max out" on the perceptible sensation of bitterness at about 90 IBU.

I am starting to have an inkling that this isn't true.

Any thoughts?

If there is some reliable, quantitative way to measure the flavor/ sensation of bitterness then you have a solid premise on which to build a "maximum" level of bitterness that a human can discern. It appears that IBU "measures" are based more on marketing than real data.

It makes sense that some people would have a greater or lesser ability to detect that bitterness and that ability would top out at some point. Most of what I've read deals with bitterness comparisons being meaningless within 3-5 IBUs.

Ex: Hard to tell the difference between something at 85 IBUs vs 90 IBUs.

Scant evidence aside, the current fad that's become a feature of wanting to make a weapon's grade IPA points to at least some brewers and drinkers believing that they can appreciate massive bitterness in the 100's of IBUs.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2021, 01:34:59 pm by dbeechum »

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: American Barleywine, comments appreciated
« Reply #69 on: August 18, 2021, 10:34:27 am »
I think the MIBU information supplements our earlier thinking about IBU measurement and issues associated with that earlier single level approach.  Denny brought this up in his podcast when he and Drew interviewed the science guys at Grainfather who penned the following:

https://grainfather.com/maximum-international-bitterness-units-in-beer/

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