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Stuck Barleywine

So it seems I have my first stalled/stuck fermentation. OG = 1.097

I have been at 1.032 for a week now.

4 weeks on in the primary. Never got below 63 F ambient temp of the basement.

Pitched 2 packs of US-05 and took off nicely.

I really don’t want to bottle this beer (FG #-wise) AND I really don’t want a keg of BW either.

So… what would the downfall/harm be of getting a WL 001 2L starter going and pitching it in at high krausen?

The beer will have plenty of time to settle out and I am not opposed to even doing a tertiary.

All input is welcome. Thanks.

How do you know its not done? Is this an extract batch or AG, and whats the recipe? You got 67% attenuation, not great but not that unusual for a big beer. Not saying your yeast didn’t poop out on you, but its possible that its about done. And its exceedingly difficult to restart a beer like this. Is it cloyingly sweet as it is? Might be OK to bottle.

Check out Fred Bonjour’s Big Beer page, he has tips on ways to make a big beer with a gravity in the 1.02X range if that what you’re after. Things like using a portion of sugar in the recipe, and letting the temp rise after the peak of fermentation and rousing yeast daily will help things finish as dry as they can.

Actually I don’t know that it isn’t done. :lol:

Last year when I brewed this it finished lower. FG=1.028. I guess I was looking for a similar number.

It is AG and it’s essentially Denny’s Old Stoner only with the addition of 1 lb corn sugar to the boil.

Grain bill is 20 # Pale Ale / 5 # Munich / 2 # CL60 / 0.50 # Biscuit / 1 # corn sugar.

Hop additions are my own and shouldn’t have any consequence.

I have not tasted it.

About two months ago I brewed pretty much the same thing; the Old Stoner with a pound of corn sugar. I had poor efficiency and was worried about it finishing high so I added a pound of corn sugar at high krausen and it fermented down to 1.019 putting me at 12.9% ABV. After two weeks at 62* I moved it upstairs to warmer conditions and swirled the carboy lightly about three times a day for another two weeks. Oh, and I pitched onto a very fresh yeast cake from a low gravity Red Ale.

What were you’re mash temps? I did mine lower, I think around 150*. If yours were higher that could account for some of it.
A friend of mine had a stalled big beer around 1.03ish and they pitched a starter to it with minimal success. It think it dropped at most five points.

Any interest in trying to bottle from the keg?

I mashed right around 152 F.

I hadn’t even thought of bottling from the keg quite frankly.

Have you warmed it into the 70s and roused the yeast? If so, and you want a lower FG, you could add a couple lbs of sugar and let them ferment out (one lb sugar = 0.002 lower FG). I recall that this is a sweeter BW though, so maybe it’s just where it’s supposed to be?

You have your best chance of restarting a stalled high ABV beer, if you pitched a yeast cake rather than a starter. At least then the yeast would be acclimated to some amount of alcohol. I don’t think you generally get a second shot on these things though. You have to have a good plan to begin with and execute it on time.

I don’t see where bottling from keg changes anything, if its not done then it will continue to ferment in the bottle anyway and that’ll be on top of the carbonation you put in it from kegging.

I was afraid of the fact that restarting things wasn’t a really solid idea.

I guess I’ll let it sit for a few months in a secondary and decide then what exactly I want to do with it.

Oh well, first time I have had this issue in 174 batches.

Next year, 3 packs of US-05! 8)



So a few months ago I kegged the stuck BW. It was definitely stuck. First time for me. Cloy, sweet. I had dry hopped with Apollo/Columbus as an added experiment. It was “unique” but passable. However, I wasn’t really looking forward to slowly drinking 5 gallons of it. :? I then had the idea to brew up a small, 2.5 ~ 3.0 gallon batch of non-descript dry, higher IBU beer and blend it with the kegged BW.

So, 3 lbs Extra Light DME, 1 ounce of 9% Ultra hops at 60 minutes and 1 ounce of Glacier at 15 minutes fermented with 1 pack of US -05 gave me a little over 2 gallons of 73.9 IBU beer which finished at 1.008 (FG).

Opened the keg after drinking down 2 gallons of the stuck BW, racked the blender right on top and resealed for carbonation.


I’ll be brewing this, the BW, again before winter and with any luck, won’t have to redeploy this technique. :slight_smile:

Good Luck

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