I brewed a barleywine(Old Stoner) recently that started out at 1.100. It seems to be all done sitting at 1.050. Its been two months since it was brewed. On the yeast the whole time, and I even gave it a warm up at one point and a swirl or two. Im pretty sure thats really high to be truly finished(Its weird though cause it still tastes really good. But thats not the point). Yeast is not a problem. I pitched a huge fresh slurry from some stepped up starter I’d done, and added yeast nutrient.
My first guess is that I had a super unfermentable wort. That leads me to think of two main potential causes.
The first is mash ph. I dont typically adjust for ph too much. Aside from a teaspoon of gypsum for hoppy stuff and chalk for malty stuff.
The second is mash temperature. I have not calibrated my thermometer because I havent had problems with unfermentable worts before. This is one of the handful of times my beer has finished high. Should I just buy a digital one?
Anybody know which might be more likely? Any thoughts would be helpful. Thanks
Starter Size: Not sure how to answer in terms of how many yeast cells. 2000 ml flask. I made two of these. So I pitched yeast into 2000 ml of wort. Let it ferment out. Decanted. Made another batch of wort. Pitched yeast into that. Stir plate till brew day which was 3 days.
Starter Type: Not sure what you mean…I used a stir plate.
Aeration method: Mixstir. Those plastic drill attachment things. Did that for a full minute.
Fermentation Temp: Ambient temp was kept at 56 for two weeks. Moved ambient up to 62 degrees after primary and its stayed theresince then.
That’s a pretty low fermentation temp. I would think mid - 60s is more like what things should be.
I don’t know that specific yeast and it’s charactersitics, but that may be something.
Also, that’s (obviously) a really high OG. I wonder if the yeast can handle that kind of alcohol.
Another thought may be to pitch another batch of yeast, preferably a high-alcohol tolerance variety.
I use 1272 when I make it and have never had any problems with it. Your fermentation temp was a bit low, though. If there’s a brewpub nearby, you could see if you can get a qt. or so of slurry and pitch that. If that doesn’t work, then I’d suspect the thermometer.