Barley wine in secondary

So this is my 6th batch of beer (extract Brewer) and I want to do a barley wine. It’s a kit from NB with an OG of 0.086. I plan on using a 2000 ml starter. I’m concerned about the head space in my 5 gallon carboy for the secondary. 6 months is a long time. Do I need to purge with c02 every now and then?

Any other advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks

I wouldn’t be worried about that. Most of the headspace will be filled. In addition, BW will benefit from a little oxidation. It will meld the flavors and provide flavors of sherry, which can be desirable in BW.

With a big beer like this I am concerned about your pitching rate. The pitching rate calculator ( MrMalty) says 3.1 yeast packs of dry yeast or a 4.8 liter starter for one liquid yeast package.

I wouldn’t worry about 6 months in the secondary your brewing technique and sanitation are up to par . My own BW’s spend twice that amount of time (or more) in secondary in 5gal carboys, and there’s never been a problem with oxidation or any other off flavors.

I recently brewed the NB Barley Wine kit and let it sit in a 5 gallon carboy for 6 months untouched. The batch turned out fantastic, very happy with it. I followed the directions exactly, so you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

I have done the recommended 6 month secondary without adding any CO2. Turned out fine although improved after time. Currently have 1 case that has been bottled for 2 years. One case of 1 year old Lord Fatbottom as well as a BW I bottled this summer.

I used 2 packets of Neo Britannia for the BWs and 2 packs of US-05 for the Lord Fatbottom.

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Did you use a starter with the two packets? And, I have heard that adding yeast before you bottle helps with carbonation. Any sense to that?

That’s true. A 1/2 pack of rehydrated dry yeast added at bottling will insure that you have enough yeast to carb.
May not be needed, but it won’t hurt anything to add it.

I sometimes use 2 yeast packets on big beers because I have small children and it’s difficult for me to ensure that a given day is a brew day. Planning starters can be a bit tricky at the moment.

The Lord Fatbottom barley wine is such a big beer that I figured 2 packets of US-05 would get the job done much quicker. I believe the OG was 1.11 or something close.

I typically add yeast prior to bottling a big beer and/or something that has had a long secondary. I have had a few beers that did not carbonate and would rather not risk it. I typically don’t keg my big beers because they may sit for a couple of years before hitting their prime.

Ok so I’m using a stater with 1098 wyeast British ale, 1300 ml built up twice, I think this is going to be a beaster of a ferment, just keeping you updated on the process, thank man!

Maybe as you git done chill in’ it, add yer monster yeast starter and give it 24 hours before you bring the final temp down to 7* below ferment temp… Allow yer yeast to absorb some of the enzymes to make and divide its self…. Just an idea… Sneezles61