I added champagne yeast to a big barely wine hoping it would help finish the fermentation. It didn’t seem to help. I and thinking if there is a way to kill that yeast i could use a super high gravity yeast cake from another brew to try and finish the fermentation.
Not really, but it probably isn’t necessary. Champagne yeast didn’t help because it can only ferment simple sugars but not more complex ones like maltose. It’s useful for bottling since it will ferment the priming sugar, but it won’t finish the fermentation of a barley wine. I’d go ahead and rack it over the WLP-099 cake, chances are the champagne yeast is dead anyways from being pitched into a high-alcohol environment without any sugars it can metabolize. And even if it isn’t dead, it won’t have any affect on your barley wine.
Why tease us and not tell us the OG and original yeast. What besides base malts did you use? I agree with Porkchop. I have an imperial stout and it’s sweet and never finished low, it is what it is and it will mess you up.
You could add Brett to finish but you might have to build it up out side and wait another month.
Beer was a barely wine that i attempted to make even bigger. OG was 1.132. The gravity right now is around 1.041. So depending on which calculation you use, around 12%. Its really sweet for my taste. I was shooting for 15% but the fermentation died around here. I made a WLP-099 yeast starter and added that, but it didn’t seem to budge. Made the mistake of adding champagne yeast to try and help, which i didn’t know would kill all other yeast.
Not all champagne yeasts are killer strains, but even if the one you used is, the fact that it was pitched into a high alcohol environment without a source of energy might have killed it. At the least, it’ll be inactive, so shouldn’t affect other yeasts in there.
If I can suggest another approach… it’s also pretty tough for a starter, even a pretty big one, to get going when the ABV is already up around 12%. If it were my batch, I’d get another pitch of WLP099 and make a smaller beer with it (5-6% ABV) and let it ferment out. Rack it off the yeast cake, and dump the barley wine onto it.
You MIGHT consider oxygenating it. I’m not saying you should, but I would think really hard about doing it. WLP099 should be able to get up to 15-16% without extreme measures. Getting it north of 20% ABV requires step feeding and heavy oxygenation during fermentation. I’m not sure what would happen if you oxygenate at this point, whether it would oxidize the beer or if the yeast would scrub it. Maybe see if it starts fermenting first? Just thinking out loud. Either way, it’ll proceed very slowly, but it should scrub off quite a few gravity points.
Another thing to consider is brett. Brux can survive up to 15-16% ABV, and could probably handle direct pitching. It’ll also take awhile, and I wouldn’t consider bottling it for at least 6 months if you got that route. The wyeast brux strain would probably be awesome in a barley wine, though.
I think you are right Pork Chop, do a small batch though… 1 gallon… Dr could do a couple batches, increasing ABV little bit… Then when you got close to a pint of slurry, I’d do a small starter, 1.040 and add a heaping teaspoon of nutrient… let it get set for a day then put the Barley wine on top of the yeast… IF you then see some action I would be cautious but give it a shot of O2…
If it sat for a year you may also lose some points too… I would not be able too wait… Sneezles61
1.04 is just a tad high for a Barley wine. The truth is you are most likely never going to get it lower. It’s for this reason that I stopped making imperial stouts. I agree with @porkchop but if you do not like Brett then you may really not like a Brett Barley wine. Even building up a tolerance to alcohol Brett might not do the job to 15%.
If you look at Omega’s “All The Bretts” where they put all their brett strains together they only rate it at 11%.
Your best bet might be to blend it with a 100% Brut(Glucoamylase) beer at 9%. Now that I’m saying that dump a couple of packets of Glucoamylase enzyme in your Barley wine and see what happens. The Brut i just made doing so finished at .985 FG