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Bottling a Barleywine

In a few weeks I will be bottling a barleywine I had previously made a post on. Based on my research I decided to use 375ml Belgium bottles with Altec Corks (for carbonation purposes) and wire cages (for aesthetics purposes).

I did have a question about corking this though. Having bottled wine I know that you should store the wine on its side in order to keep the cork moist, but with beer we want to stand it upright to allow the yeast to settle. Do I have to worry about the cork drying out? Would sealing just the top of the cork with wax be helpful?

Thanks for your help.

Wax sealing it will stop it from drying out.

You can lay the bottles down. I had to do this when I got a bad batch of corks. This was the only way they would seal. The sediment just lays along the side. It will settle to the bottom if you put the bottle upright at a later time, but the beer should still pour bright. Sometimes the cork breaks off of older bottles. I have to use a cork screw to get it out. I have stopped corking so many bottles, and now just make a few to take to club meetings or special events.

Make sure you re-yeast your barley wine with fresh yeast before you bottle. It is a pain to have to go back and add yeast later if it does not carbonate.

[quote=“SA Brew”]You can lay the bottles down. I had to do this when I got a bad batch of corks. This was the only way they would seal. The sediment just lays along the side. It will settle to the bottom if you put the bottle upright at a later time, but the beer should still pour bright. Sometimes the cork breaks off of older bottles. I have to use a cork screw to get it out. I have stopped corking so many bottles, and now just make a few to take to club meetings or special events.

Make sure you re-yeast your barley wine with fresh yeast before you bottle. It is a pain to have to go back and add yeast later if it does not carbonate.[/quote]

How do I know if I need to add yeast? Just by seeing if it becomes carbonated? Why would it not carbonate like other beers?

[quote=“lmarkis”][quote=“SA Brew”]You can lay the bottles down. I had to do this when I got a bad batch of corks. This was the only way they would seal. The sediment just lays along the side. It will settle to the bottom if you put the bottle upright at a later time, but the beer should still pour bright. Sometimes the cork breaks off of older bottles. I have to use a cork screw to get it out. I have stopped corking so many bottles, and now just make a few to take to club meetings or special events.

Make sure you re-yeast your barley wine with fresh yeast before you bottle. It is a pain to have to go back and add yeast later if it does not carbonate.[/quote]

How do I know if I need to add yeast? Just by seeing if it becomes carbonated? Why would it not carbonate like other beers?[/quote]

How long since you brewed this batch. I did a barleywine (10%) last year that went three weeks in primary and nine weeks in secondary that carbed fine with no extra yeast added: S-04.

How long since you brewed this batch. I did a barleywine (10%) last year that went three weeks in primary and nine weeks in secondary that carbed fine with no extra yeast added: S-04.

The barelywine was in primary for three weeks, now its been in the secondary for about two weeks. I plan on letting it sit there for about 3-6 months based on other posts and articles I have read.

IME re-yeasting is rarely necessary. I have had lagers that have carbed up just fine after a 6 week lager period at 34* (and 3 week primary), and high gravity beers that have had enough yeast suspended to carb after a 2-3 MONTH primary.

However, adding a half pack of S-05 (or some slurry from the bottom of the fermenter) @ bottling isn’t going to hurt anything, and if you can get some peace of mind knowing there is enough in your bottles to carbonate, add some. Bottle bombs happen because there is too much sugar in solution, not because there is too much yeast. If the yeast only have the priming sugar to eat, they will just fall out of solution to the bottom of the bottle and the CO2 they make will diffuse nicely into your beer.

One thing I am curious about however, is that on beers that have been primary’d/secondary’d/both’d longer: is the yeast thats still in suspension still viable and healthy? In other words, would your beer be cleaner and have less chance of early-on acetaldehyde/diacetyl, etc. after bottling if you used some fresh yeast? Riddle me that brewers.

[quote=“Pietro”]IME re-yeasting is rarely necessary. I have had lagers that have carbed up just fine after a 6 week lager period at 34* (and 3 week primary), and high gravity beers that have had enough yeast suspended to carb after a 2-3 MONTH primary.

However, adding a half pack of S-05 (or some slurry from the bottom of the fermenter) @ bottling isn’t going to hurt anything, and if you can get some peace of mind knowing there is enough in your bottles to carbonate, add some. Bottle bombs happen because there is too much sugar in solution, not because there is too much yeast. If the yeast only have the priming sugar to eat, they will just fall out of solution to the bottom of the bottle and the CO2 they make will diffuse nicely into your beer.[quote]

Why do some people use champagne yeast over, say, the S-05 yoou stated above?

[quote=“lmarkis”]
Why do some people use champagne yeast over, say, the S-05 yoou stated above?[/quote]

It has a higher alcohol tolerance

[quote=“ipa”][quote=“lmarkis”]
Why do some people use champagne yeast over, say, the S-05 yoou stated above?[/quote]

It has a higher alcohol tolerance[/quote]

Will either the champagne yeast or S-05 impart any unwanted character/flavor to the beer if added before bottling?

[quote=“lmarkis”]Will either the champagne yeast or S-05 impart any unwanted character/flavor to the beer if added before bottling?[/quote]Not IME, and I re-yeast all my beers. Adding up to 5g of fresh, rehydrated yeast (or a little more if you don’t want to bother rehydrating), is just good practice - it ensures that you have enough yeast to get the job done (assuming you properly prime, too).

+1 Just good insurance. You don’t need to use your fermenting yeast, use a neutral, high flocculant yeast.

[quote=“Pietro”]
One thing I am curious about however, is that on beers that have been primary’d/secondary’d/both’d longer: is the yeast thats still in suspension still viable and healthy? In other words, would your beer be cleaner and have less chance of early-on acetaldehyde/diacetyl, etc. after bottling if you used some fresh yeast? Riddle me that brewers.[/quote]
Hey Pietro!
Just saw this post today, and it looks like everyone else skipped over it.
My understanding is that the acetaldehyde and diacetyl off-flavors are predominantly produced early in the fermentation process, and are (hopefully) cleaned up later, which is one reason that an extended primary fermentation is a good idea. If I’m correct in my assumption, then adding fresh yeast at bottling should not make any difference. Although, now that I think about it, I wonder if you taste off-flavors at bottling time, if you can help clean them up by adding fresh yeast. Hmmmm…
I’m thinking no, because of the low amount of yeast added.

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