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Wyeast West Yorkshire in an English Barleywine?

I was wondering about how this would work in an English Barleywine. I love it for the typical bitters and ESBs. According to Wyeast, it should be alcohol tolerant to around 9%, which is the area I am shooting for. Anyone have any experience with this in an English Barleywine?

Honestly haven’t used that yeast for anything above 5% but it should work if you feel like experimenting. It’s attenuation is a little lower than I would prefer for a bigger beer so you would have to make sure you have a very fermentable wort. Also the flocculation is rated as high so you might want to make sure to swirl your carboy a few times a day to keep the yeast suspended long enough to do the job required of them for a high ABV beer. Now that I think about all that I would stick to the London Ale Wyeast for a Barleywine but you could always go for it. That’s the nature of homebrewing.

With a lower attenuating yeast in a big beer, you could start it with a moderately high gravity grain-only wort, let it ferment a couple days, then add the sugar.

According to Wyeast’s website, the West Yorkshire yeast has an attenuation of 68-72% the same range as London ESB 1968. The 1968 is one of the recommended yeasts for a English Barleywine. 1098 and 1099 are in roughly the same ball park. A couple of the English Ale strains reach 77% but that is about as high as they go.

I think I am going to give it a try and see what happens. I kept the caramunich and caramel malt at about 7.5% of the grist. If it turns out a little on the sweet side, it won’t be the worst thing in the world.

I’ve made a barleywine with this yeast, and it is fantastic. It was a 3 gallon batch that I pitched half a cake from a bitter into. I got something like 78-80% attenuation, which I get quite a bit with 1469. So, I wouldn’t worry about attenuation, and it is certainly a delicious beer.

Thanks. I am going to pitch it onto a yeast cake from a bitter as well.

  • 1 Even with high attenuating yeast it is a good practice overall with very high SG’s or temperamental strains to prevent overstress and accelerate yeast performance.
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