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I've got a hefty grain bill of 10kg, half of which is Maris Otter. The rest is rye and a few assorted crystal malts.

After the mash and boil, the OG was above 1.10. I pitched a Wyeast American ale at the start, then pitched Wyeast English ale 24 hours later. The fermenter was bubbling like an crazy for about 5 days, then just went dead. The average temperature is about 22°c, and I have agitated the hell out of it several times since the yeast first seemed suss.

Any ideas? I've given the fermenter another wake up call with no luck. What should I do?

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    You need to measure the specific gravity of the beer, if you haven't. It's the only reliable method for showing whether fermentation is done or not. There's a good chance you're shaking around a fully-fermented beer. – Franklin P Combs Jun 17 '16 at 15:04
  • I second that what is your current gravity reading of it is around 1020 then likely you are fermented out. – Mr_road Jun 17 '16 at 15:58
  • Also include your mash temp as it will effect what your lowest gravity can be. – Evil Zymurgist Jun 17 '16 at 17:18
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OK with no gravity reading this is just general advise. Regarding gravity if you were starting at 1100 with those yeasts you should be getting down to around 1020-1030 depending on the temp of your mash. The lower your mash temp the lower your final gravity should be.

For such a big beer/barley wine, I would usually give it a double pitch of yeast as you have done, but I would also shake in some extra air on about day 2 as the yeast will need to grow more to get the job done.

Then about a week to 10 days in I give it a good shake with the lid on to re-suspend the yeast; then leave it a further 2 weeks. I like to give it time to get through everything about 4 weeks start to bottling. The last 1100 Barley Wine I made finished at 1020, but I did use some US-05 to get it a bit dryer than normally you would.

  • Hey thanks. So at the time I posted this, the gravity was down to 1026 from an initial gravity of 1112. I've done all of the above, and the gravity still wasn't moving until yesterday it was down to 1018. Foolishly, I pitched a 3rd round of yeast before taking the reading. So it may not have been needed at all, but it's there now. I just hope that it doesn't kill the flavour profile or worse my beer. Yeasts are as follows: Wyeast America Ale, Wyeast English Ale, White Labs San Diego Super. I tried starting out with the American Ale to make the body less dry. Theoretically. :-) – kevinpwns Jun 21 '16 at 7:10
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    I've accepted this as correct with the caveat that it also requires more patience on the part of the brewer. ;-) – kevinpwns Jun 21 '16 at 7:11

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