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#Homebrew question: I'm making a barley wine. My boil gravity should be 1.106. Hydrometer reads 1.042, and at 140* the adjusted SG comes out to more like 1.06. Iodine test says I have all the sugars out.

I mashed 22 pounds at 148 for 90 minutes, just like the book said. I have collected just about 6 gallons.

Did I sparge too fast? Do I put the wort back into the mash tun and keep it there for X minutes or something? Am I going to have to put LME or DME into the boil?

I will be very unhappy if I fucked this up beyond salvaging. Any help you can give me would be much appreciated.
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136 comments
 
No knowledge here sadly, but best luck! Sad to see a batch go off.
 
I can't advise but 'sparge' is now my new favorite word.
 
What was the temp of your sparge water? At this point, just add DME to compensate, unfortunately.
 
All grain? Poor crush with grain maybe
 
First, RDWHAHB. Second, I've only ever gone over on pre-boil gravity (though I'm still new to this). My understanding is that you can do a more vigorous boil/boil for a longer period of time to help your O.G. but you'll end up with less beer. You could add fermentables to your boil to increase your O.G. also...No matter what you are going to have beer!
 
I am by far no expert and more of a beginner so take this with a grain of salt but the mash temp seems a little low to me and the lower the mash temp the lower the F.G.
Josh Farr
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Single or multiple batch sparges?  If multiple, stir thoroughly & remeasure - wort density could be "stratified".  Other options - do an additional sparge to collect additional wort & boil longer to reduce extra wort down to target volume.  Or add DME/LME near end of boil to raise gravity.  For such a high gravity brew, you might want to save some of your sugar addition for high krausen during primary anyway so you don't stress the yeast so much and have a better shot at attenuation.
 
Test your hydrometer in plain water to verify its working correctly.
 
Never brewed a barleywine myself, but most advice online seems to say for homebrewing to either increase your boil time or add LME/DME, or both.

This link had a good excerpt of info, not sure what you can do with it though:

http://www.byo.com/component/resource/article/Indices/11-Beer%20Styles/282-brewing-barleywine-tips-from-the-pros

"To hit our extract targets, we mash twice and run-off short in order to fill up one of our small fermenters. We utilize very long boil times to both concentrate our extract and to develop flavor and color. "
 
+Chris Holland  lower mash temp is to produce more simple sugars, resulting in a more-fermentable wort.
 
It's possible that you didn't thoroughly stir your grain. With that much grain in a common 10 gallon mash tun, dough balls are much more frequent. This means you'll get "full conversion" (a passed iodine test), but not all of the grain touched the proper amount of water. 
 
I think you need to reverse the polarity, Mr. Crusher.

But seriously, maybe you didn't sparge at a high enough temp.
 
Gotta agree with Josh and Tyler -- I think regardless of cause, you might just need to adjust with extract. I am curious how you calculated target gravity, and did you take into account your system's normal efficiency (for most mortals it is 75% or less) and things like size of mashtun/grist ratio/etc.? Lots of things can alter your output.
 
Increasing efficiency from your mash tun is a never ending quest and I certainly can't go into all of the variables here.  Efficiency will be an even bigger problem with big beers like barley wines.  Personally, one of the most important things I've found is to get your mash temp up to 167 before you start sparging, that helps liquefy all of the sugars.

The iodine test only tells you that the sugars have been converted, not that you've gotten them all into your wort.  

Basically, you have a couple of options.  You can sparge more water to get additional sugars and increase your boil time to get your final volume down to 5 gallons or so (you can continue to sparge until your runnings get down to about a 1.010 without too much risk of astringency).  Your second option is to just change your beer recipe.  Instead of making a barley wine, just make a lower gravity beer.  Just make sure to adjust your hopping rate to make sure you don't end up overly bitter.

I'll be happy to help more if I can.  Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
 
Hi, Wil - Adam at Austin Homebrew, I'm digging into this right now.
 
Bad efficiency due to poor crush. Try a double crush next time(put it through the mill twice) I do this for almost all batches now to get good efficiency. 
 
If it's converted (and at 90 min, it definitely should be), putting back in won't do anything. 
Couple things to check out, mostly for next time:
1. Check and calibrate your thermometer. I've been through too many crappy, cheap thermometers and they've screwed me too many times. I now use a Thermapen and love it.
2. Check your crush. That can really hose efficiency.

If you're determined to have a big ol' bwine, then you're going to have to add in LME/DME. Personally, I really hate doing that, so I'd just adjust the recipe (hops-wise) and make it a smaller beer. Maybe a IPA or Pale. 

Sorry to hear things didn't go as planned. Brewing somehow loves to remind us that we don't know what we're doing just when we think we've figured things out...
 
You could add DME or if you have it, I prefer to use pure corn sugar
 
+Josh Farr Single. I think I may have made a stupid mistake and confused two recipes. This is a 1h45m boil, so the gravity will definitely climb. The pre-boil TG I was looking at was for extract. #derp  
 
They told me there would be no math.
 
That is a big difference. Check the crush. Maybe mashed a bit on the low side. Possible sparge too quick. Are you sure the hydrometer is calibrated correct?

To adjust gravity in a five gallon batch quick rule of thumb:

To increase .001 add 1.75 ounces of DME

To decrease .001 add .5 quarts of boiled water.

Also what was your grain bill? Mostly 2 row?
 
Couple of things: You can stir you mash up, remash for 45 and then boil longer. Its possible not all the grain got wet. You can use your wort as mash liquid if you want but with a longer boil you will want more liquid, it wont make a huge difference on a barley wine and you will get a Maiyard (sp?) reaction to give carmel flavors.  Sparge rate should be right around a pint per minute but the slower you go the better your extraction rate will be.  

You could also try stirring the mash and sparging again.

It is not that uncommon to get significatly reduced effiectly with a big beer  but 1.060 with over 20 pounds of grain is pretty bad.
 
Are you using enzymes in your mash?  For large batches I like to use amylase.  What kind of grains are you using, out of curiosity?  2-row / 6-row / some blend of that?
 
So many things it could be... I've been working through the same problem. 

Things to looks for: 
1. Thermometer is calibrated correctly. 
2. Consistency in the mash. Test the temp every 15 minutes or so and stir the grain during mash. 
3. The mill of the grain (worth picking up your own mill so you have finer control). 
4. Mash for at least 45 minutes, and sparge slowly (30 minutes to an hour). 

My biggest problem was a busted thermometer. I was mashing ~10 degrees too low.
 
I was struck by how familiar the terminology in the question was to what I know of running a bioreactor.  In retrospect this shouldn't really surprise me since that is essentially what it is.
 
Relax. Have a  home brew. If you boil the wort for 90 plus minutes and get it to 5 gals you will end up at about 1.07 SG. (http://www.brewersfriend.com/dilution-and-boiloff-gravity-calculator/)
Then you can add DME: 65.46 ozor LME: 80 oz (http://ahomebrewlog.com/gravity_adjustment/)
I also like to keep some Rice Sugar solids around for just this purpose as they add gravity but not body.
It will  take a few batches to figure out your whole grain efficiency. All kinds of things can effect it, but I always have to go with about 15 % more grain than recipe calls for Why? Course grain grind? I don't know, and I stopped worrying about it. 2 more pounds of grain is  small $. My first few all grains all needed extract
Either way , don't sweat it it will be good brew
 
How fast did you sparge?  Was it at least 30 minutes?  What are you using for mash recirculation?  Sparging too quickly is usually what causes low gravity for me.  The gravity being off by a bit isn't going to ruin the beer, though. I bet it turns out fine.
 
I sparged a bit (7-8 degrees C) hot recently (read recipe wrong, and overheated), the resulting beer came out with a lower than target ABV, but a fantastic flavour... I'm considering sparging a bit hot on future batches, or doing a partial sparge at 5-10 degrees above.
This doesn't help your barley wine... which needs the high gravity, but it's good to keep in mind if your looking for a fuller flavor. 
 
There could be any number of things that would impact your mash efficiency.  Was this a batch sparge or a fly sparge?  If it was a batch sparge you could do as +Josh Farr  suggested and sparge another batch. I would suggest that if you do check the specific gravity of the wort from the mash tun before adding it to your boil kettle to see if it is worth putting it in the boil. If you do you can always extend the boil to reduce the volume and increase your OG.

The beer is not ruined by any means.  You can always boost it with extract in the boil to get to the gravity you want.  I had this problem with a Russian Imperial Stout a while back and in the end it turned out to be a great beer that scored very well is several competitions. I doubt you have anything to worry about.
 
Most likely is a poor crush of the grain, not exposing enough of the good stuff. Only thing to do at this point is bring up to target OG with DME.  By the way, that probably won't impact quality too much - you likely got plenty of character on the original sparge.
 
It's not ruined, it will just be a lower alcohol than you intended. There probably wasn't enough sugars in your product to start with. You can always add a substitute to increase the sugar content next time. Just treat this as a first attempt- you probably made a light beer that the ladies will love. Serve it in a fancy glass.

I'm not sure about adjusting late in the game. But here is a forum post from some guys trying to adjust with LME/DME. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/when-add-lme-dme-304923/
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problem #1 it's barley wine..  ><
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I was told there would be no math.
 
I just asked someone who is very familiar.  HE feels that you mashed too low.  Should be closer to 155 for 60.

Since I am unfamiliar, I just did the nod and smile.  But he is very proficient at brewing.

Hope this helps...

BTW:  Love you in Big Bang Theory
 
I know it's like 40 minutes later and you've probably already figured it out, but stir vigorously and test again.

It's usually the wort not being mixed very well, especially after it's probably been sitting waiting to cool. I almost always measure OG post boil.
 
I've found the biggest help in improving my efficiency has been to mill the grain more aggressively. As I figure it, your efficiency is around 44%. That's way low (obviously). Calibrate your hydrometer with tap water to make sure it reads 1.000. If it's correct, looks like you're going to have to add extract today or boil longer and have less beer.
 
I don't know a thing about what your doing but have you tried looking on the net for the information your looking for? I imagine you have it's like finding a needle in a haystack but I'm sure there is a site where those interested in this sort of thing hang out and help each other with problems like this. You might even think of setting up your own website to do just that.
 
First, I wouldn't trust the initial reading that you used to get the adjusted reading of 1.06 - 140 is probably 2x what your hydrometer is calibrated to measure at so it's going to be pretty inaccurate, in addition to needing to be adjusted for temperature.

Second, like you've said, you're boiling the crap out of it! All that boil-off is going to really drive up the gravity. If you're still a little low at the end, and you're not happy about it, add some extract to get your gravity where you want it.
 
Make sure you give your wort a good long stir before pulling a gravity sample.  We've been fooled by heavy wort staying low in the pot even after a cursory stir. This happens more  frequently with a batch sparge. Are you doing a traditional sparge or a batch sparge ? Did you run a vorlauf  to set up a filter bed and prevent channeling ? How fast was your run off ?
 
Oh, how I wish I could help you, Wil. But alas, all I can do is post about how unhelpful I am with regard to (real life) brewing. Good luck, though!
 
You shouldn't trust hydrometer calculators over 90* anyways, your best bet is just to cool the sample. Increasing the boil for 45 minutes won't bring you to your desired OG either, unless you're boiling like a mad man. For larger beers, your efficiency will decline as your OG goes up, so if your typically at 80% for a normal (1.050) beer, its not unreasonable to see a drop of 20% efficiency since 5 gallons is a tiny batch size. At this point you can add some extract or boil for even longer and end up with less beer in the end. The longer boil could also carmalize the suagra more leaving you with a different product than you were going for.
 
Nothing can be too fucked up beyond salvaging. If animals can get drunk on fermented fruit on the ground, you can't go too wrong sticking it in a barrel. 
 
in the words of "the joy of home-brewing" Relax and have a homebrew.
 
I'm I the only person who came in on the third paragraph and just assumed you were making up lingo-sounding phrases. Honestly, like someone who had never seen Star Trek trying to sound like a Star Trek engineer and failing miserably.
 
I had a similar situation regularly when I started all grain.  I found out that I was vorlaufing too much and sparging too fast.  Here is what I did to correct it and start hitting my target gravities.

First of all, what are you doing for sparging, batch or fly sparge?  for clarification i fly sparge

vorlauf : I would suggest starting your drain at a drip rate that will barely allow a constant stream out of it, collect the first quart or two quarts and carefully put back into the top of the mash tun.  

Sparging : keep the drain rate as slow as you patiently can.  I initially just let her rip and had the ball valve wide open since I had never gotten a stuck sparge.  When I finally found out that it should take 45 mins to an hour to completely drain.
 
Try an inverse tachyon pulse. 
 
I would have to agree with previous comments about either poor crush size or a too fast sparge rate is likely. What you do from here is pretty much add DME and relax. I wouldn't recommend resparging or anything like that. 
 
Proxy advice from my friend Ari :

"1) Taste the wort - at 1.06 should be just a little sweet (standard) wort not cloyingly sweet like a 1.16
2) Taste the spent grains - properly converted and sparged should be not very sweet at all.

Assuming that you used the right malt (not unmalted barley or something), I would be prone to add the wort back and run a mash at 67C (152F) for about 30 min.  Failing that, either make a non barleywine ale or dump in some DME LME etc."
 
It'll be great beer regardless.

If you've got a big boiler, heat up some more sparge water (maybe hotter than usual if the goods have cooled), stir the mash really well after you add the water. You'll have a lot more wort, so you'll need to boil forever. 22 lbs is a huge amount of grain, even at high efficiency you need to sparge much more than the usual 5-6 gallons to get a decent amount of fermentables into the pot.
 
Will best of luck with your homebrew. The homebrew I know about has to do with software...#derp
 
I suddenly realise what non-techies must hear when I start babbling about programming ><
 
Check out the following website about "Batch Sparging" a less hassle much more foolproof method of doing all grain. I found Denny's page and went to this method 10 years ago and have brewed hundreds -(thousands?) of gallons of beer, taught many others the method and always had good results.

http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/

I also wrote a free android app that you can get on the play store (or amazon) to do all the calculations for you

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=appBrewers.mashVolCalc

I recommend it highly. The only issue is a slight hit on efficiency, but it is worth the reduced work and worry IMHO
 
Wil you are scaring me. I got a complete kit to brew American Pale Ale for Christmas and your experience here is a bit unsettling. Hope you figure it out!
 
I don't want to be a dick about this, but I'm confused, do people here read the comments before they give their feedback?  There are about 20 people who all gave the same advice... 
 
+Silas Rioux a lot will depend on how you are interacting with Google+ as to whether you can easily review the whole stream.
 
Ahhhh pre boil sg. Missed that. Sg will change anfter boil. Same amount sugar. Less water. Also how big is mash tun? +Shawn Broadhead. Had good points
 
it's been years since I home brewed, but I do recall one major lesson, no two major lessons - #1, Remember to clean off the splatter from the ceiling after every brew, and #2 - worrying about a difference in SG between say 1.041 and 1.043 is like worrying about peace in the middle east.  There's so very little you can do about it.  The little yeasties are going to do what they do, focus on the environment, not the absolute specifics.  Cleanliness beats perfection in mixture.  Ok, 3 lessons.
 
The problem is that this will probably turn out to be the best beer you've ever brewed and YOU'LL NEVER KNOW WHY.
 
Lots of good advice already, so I'll just add a few of my own points that come from having been in a very similar place.

1) It's pretty hard to hit a preboil gravity above 1.080 in general, especially if this is one of your first full-mash beers. All that stuff about sparging and grinding and what-have-you mostly boils down to: it takes a while to get to know the way your system works and what kind of efficiency to plan for and how to make the most of things.

2) If you hold the bittering/gravity ratio the same, you can make a weaker, but pretty similar, beer. So, if it was supposed to be 100 IBU at 1.100, but you're at 1.060, target 60 IBU instead. Ray Daniels's book Designing Great Beer talks about BU:GU ratios, and it's really handy for on-the-fly adjustments. 

2a) Adding DME is also a good suggestion. If I remember right, you get about 40 ppg out of DME, so if you want to add 40 points to 6 gallons, you need 6 pounds of DME. Which is a lot.

3) Remember that your gravity will read low if you're using a floating hydrometer, and you have to adjust for the wort temperature.

4) I made all sorts of mistakes for a while when I was learning to all-grain brew. Stirring the mash, sparging speed, temperature control. Of all these things, actually getting the mash thoroughly stirred was one of my biggest problems (the other was too coarse of a grind). I had these huge balls of dry grain that stuck together inside the mash, only to be found later.

5) Finally, runoff speed is immaterial if you're either doing no-sparge or batch sparging. It only matters for fly sparging (due to the concentration gradient between the sugary mash and the clear water on top).

6) Woof, getting long. I found that my most efficient batch sparging was attained with double-rinsing. Calculator somewhere on the web, but basically, try to collect about three equal volumes of liquid in the mash, sparge1 and sparge2. 
 
1: 0.045 OG difference will be about 0.5% alcohol off. I'd leave it. It's still within style. Unless you are trying to perfect an existing recipe or cloning something, you won't be able to tell the difference between 11.5 and 12%.
2: This is the only reason that I keep DME around. I even make my starters all-grain (BIAB), but if I need to I can add Light DME.
3: You could try to add some or all of your hops 10 minutes later to compensate, but again, no real need.
 
Single sparge is the way to go for a barley wine.  You could batch sparge more and boil down but what's the point.  The bigger beers get horrible efficiency.  My imperial stout is the same way, it takes a ton of grain to get that high OG.  Best advice as others have said if you really want to get it up there is to add DME/LME or go for a smaller batch.  When I brew my Stout on my system I drop it to 4 gallons instead of my normal 5.  I am maxed out on grain in a 10 gallon cooler so that I have found is the best way to compensate without adding extracts.  I have hit an OG of 1.110 with a 4 gallon batch boiling for 90 minutes.

Feeding more sugar into the batch during fermentation is a good idea as well if you really want to boost the alcohol.  It will lessen the strain on the yeast.

Good luck with the brew!
 
Not so much because of Touchwiz on my VZW GS3 (Nova Launcher solves alot of that) but because VERIZON's messing with the phone, features, and the notification panel. Its a love hate relationship with VZW.
 
Nothing is fucked here.

At very worst, you have a lower ABV in the final beer, making it an IPA rather than a barleywine. Big grists are hard to get good efficiency on.

It's probably way too late for this advice, but if you are still light after stirring the wort and all to make sure you get a good sample, I'd suggest heating more sparge water and doing another batch sparge to get more sugar out of the mash and into your kettle. You will end up with more water in the boiler, and you will have to boil longer, but there is very likely still sugar in the tun that you can get into your fermenter.

Also, get a refractometer. They are amazing for taking in-process gravity readings like this. They don't need any conversion for temperature, and it takes like two drops of wort to get a reading.

Hydrometers are still the right tool after you pitch the yeast, though, as alcohol will mess up the reading. Yes, you can correct for it with math, but I like the ease of the hydrometer for post-ferment samples. Plus, you get to taste the samples afterward.
 
Wil, it looks like people are still posting the same advice. When you get two seconds you should update the post so people don't keep posting the same thing.
 
Remember to compensate for fluctuations in the heterodines. 
 
+Wil Wheaton If you had that much grain, I'd presume the iodine test may be inaccurate or perhaps only accurate for that specific sample, but some other parts did not convert yet. 

At full conversion, you'd have to get more than this.  But efficiency could play in here, the more grain you put into your pot the more your efficiency drops, almost.  My first bigger beer I did I only got 60% efficiency or so, and I was banking on my usual 80%, so it felt pretty low.  I topped up with sugar to fix. 

Hope it worked out for you in the end!  I'd definitely presume something in the measuring wasn't right, or you were running like a 1:1 mash ratio which might be too dry...but that would have showed on the iodine test. 
 
+Wil Wheaton What does your false bottom/manifold look like?  Maybe post a pic of it.  Also the G+ community Brew Nerds may have some answers. 
 
I would add LME or DME to bring raise my gravity. Putting it back in the mash tun might produce ill effects.  
 
Were your grains crushed at all? With such a low gravity (and a fairly normal volume) I suspect you didn't convert/extract much sugars from your grains. The number one cause of this is the crush of the grain. Anyone can get near perfect efficiency with a really fine crush (that causes other problems but I digress). 
 
I think a big part of your problem is the temperature you measured the SG at. I don't what the upper limit of that correction is, but but the highest I have on my hydrometer is 100°. Have you tried cooling the sample and re measuring? 
 
I have not brewed and grains yet but I have had my hand at making some Honey Mead...yeah old nordic style, and to my surprise I came out really well. I will have to let the fermenting process lat a bit longer though; I cracked it open after 2 months, not bad but I will wait 6 months on this next batch. 
I will have to try the home brew though it sounds good and something I am sure I will not get enough of.
 
My husband says Barleywines are hard to nail on the first try: high SG and FG's, and High alcohol. Assuming all-grain, did you ensure grains were milled properly? The mash temps seemed low for the style. Did you reference protein/sacc rest? I would try a secondary sparge to capture more sugars on the next batch.
 
+Wil Wheaton your still going get a good beer. If your doing a barley wine I would expect a little more grain in there though. I just did a 5 gal batch out of 42lbs of grain. I have the temp in the mashtun a little higher when I first put in water to compensate for it dropping over time. After 90 min. You want to sparge for about 20min then add that to your warm pot. Then add your other remaining properly heated water and continue to sparge with that until you get out enough liquid to get the appropriate end amount your seeking. A barley wine I would probably boil longer then 60min as well.
If your doing all grain, you can really make it your own. Don't worry to much about it being right on if your following a clone recipe. Clone recipes are a great way to learn and get things going, but focus more on learning the different ingrediants used in different styles and then venture into your own thing.
 
I may be missing something, but couldn't you just keep boiling it to evaporate the water? Sure, you'll have less beer, but that seems like the only way to get there if you want to stay all-grain. 

"For all-grain brewers, wort production is a bit more difficult. When brewing a normal-strength beer, an all-grain brewer mashes the grains in hot water, then rinses the grain bed with sparge water to extract the malt sugars. When brewing a high-gravity beer, a brewer must alter his usual procedures to boost the specific gravity of the wort he runs off from his grain bed. First of all, begin with a mash that is as thick as possible. The thicker the mash, the higher the gravity of the first runnings. Overly-thick mashes lead to poor conversion, however, so don’t drop below 1.25 quarts (1.2 L) of water per pound (0.45 kg) of grain. "

about 1/3 of the way down the page here: 
http://byo.com/stories/beer-styles/article/indices/11-beer-styles/1167-monster-holiday-beers
 
Wil, Wil, Wil...you OF ALL PEOPLE know that no brew is beyond salvaging...it's just the difference between what you've made and what you expected.  Besides, how many great brews may have been born from a brew gone "wrong"?
 
hey wil. awesome how engaged you got with brewing. i can relate (although I am more into fruit-wine and mead than beer) - so if you ever need help with none-cooked juices, honey and yeast let me know
 
 My tuppence Will

Barley Wine 
Thomas Hardy Ale ( Eldridge Pope Brewery Dorset UK) 


Stage   5 Gallons Original Gravity 1120 
1          14lb Crushed Pale Malt 
1           2lb Crushed Lager Malt 
1           3 Gallons water for "barley wine" 
3           2lb Invert sugar (brewers sugar)
3           8oz Goldings Hops 
4           1 oz Wine yeast 
5           1 tsp./pint White sugar 

Brewing Stages 

1. Raise the temperature of the water up to 60°C and stir in the crushed malts. Stirring continuously, raise the mash temperature up to 66°C. Leave for 1 1/2 hours occasionally returning the temperature back to this value. 

2. Contain the mashed grain in a large grain bag to retrieve the sweet wort. Using slightly hotter water than the mash slowly and gently rinse the grains to collect 31/2 gallons of extract. 

3. Boil the extract with the hops and sugar dissolved in a little water until the volume has been reduced to 3 gallons strain off and allow to cool. 

4. When cool top up to 5 galls and add a wine yeast and ferment until the vigorous activity abates. It will take months to complete the fermentation after which the ale should be racked off taking with it a minute quantity of the yeast sediment. 

5. Store and allow to mature for 18 months before sampling 


To get water for "barley wine" 
1. If you have chalky water Add one teaspoon of flaked calcium chloride or Lactic acid solution or Boil the water for a quarter of an hour and rack off the soft water for use when cool. 
2. Add one teaspoon of Gypsum and half a teaspoon of Epsom salts 


For non chalky water. Add one teaspoon of Gypsum and half a teaspoon of Epsom salts 

( from Brewing Beers Like those you Buy, David Lines , AW Press 1978)
while  waiting  mess with Fargo's bobble head ... Sorry Will could not resist ....
#Homebrew
 
Does Rosetta Stone have a program for whatever language you're speaking?  ;-)
 
Add DME or boil it down. A long boil is proiblematuc for some beers, but not Barleywine.
This is too late for this batch, but hopefully helpful next time.
 
Always count on a lower effieiency with a large grain bill, unless you sparge with more water and boil longer. That drop in efficiency seems extreme though. I fly sparge and always shoot for 1 hour. 
 
Also a hint, get a refractometer to use for pre-boil and post-boil gravity readings. Much more convenient. I still keep a hydrometer for post-fermentstion readings. 
 
A RIMS heater would really help with this. Bringing the heat up will allow better solubility of the sugar in the water. It depends on your sparge method, but if a fly sparge, you can run until the sparge gravity is 1.010. It gives you more water to boil off, but helps you to collect more of the sugars. Your mash temp looks great, contrary to what's been said above. I did one last weekend, came up short as well at 1.084 with a target of 1.100, but with a barleywine, you want it as fermentable as possible, because even if your yeast attenuates 80%, it leaves you at 1.020 from 1.100. You can add extract, and I know you're likely done with it by now, but there's always next time. You'll still have a drinkable beer, just not the one you intended to make.
 
I hope to someday join your quest for the perfect home brewed beer! Until then, gotta finish Graduate School first. There's a good reason they call us starving grad students! lolz!
 
You need another running for a nearly 2 hour boil IMO ... At ~1 gal / hr loss you should have like 8 gallons+ pre boil wort. There are still sugars in that grain, another sparge will grab more of them.

Possible poor grain crush.
 
I barley know what this post is about.

throws smoke bomb, vanishes
 
If I was you buy a back up already made, it will save any embarrassment if it all goes tits up. 
 
Don't get upset if you did mess up, some of the best homebrew I have made has been mistakes, then again some of the worst swill I have ever made has been mistakes.  Hope it is salvageable.
 
 By now it's too late, I guess, but if it was me I'd go with "sparged too fast".  I haven't brewed in awhile, but I remember figuring out that a slow runoff was key to success.  OTOH, this is how new favorites come about.  Worst case, it'll be an expensive but very tasty doppel.  Good luck.
 
+Wil Wheaton "Did I sparge too fast?" is the most awesome question ever when taken out of context. Thanks for providing this morning's juvenile giggles. :)
 
Was the recipe for a 6 gallon batch or a 5 gallon batch?
 
I'm no help, I cant even make soda stream work.  I can connect computers all over the world in any language, but beverage making seems beyond my intellect.
 
The Internet needs a picture of Wil Wheaton crushing barley. Stat. 
 
I sparged too fast once. I feel better now though.
 
What language was this written in?  Beer-ese?  I do not know wtf sparging is, but it sounds dirty.
JR Todd
 
When I brew mead, I usually go about 165 for 20 minutes, but it's probably different because I use honey.  Wish I could help.  I've never tried barley wine...yet...
 
Sure, it could be something with the mechanics of the mash itself, but with that much grain I can't imagine your OG reading is accurate. half that much grain should give you 1.06.  I think adjusting down from 140 degrees is going be tough on an accurate gravity. That's over twice what it's calibrated for. 
 
I guess that's the trouble with being famous. Given your audience, someone will know the answer and be willing to help out, but you've sure got to sift through a lot of chaff...
 
What? What? Eh, What?!?! Is this a secret language or just another form of pig-latin?
 
Wil, did you make sure your nano bot experiment wasn't near your brew?
 
Hehe these comments are still going hours afterwards...
 
"Did I sparge too fast?" -- Will Wheaton 1-16-2013
 
can;t help you with that, Wil.  I have never done all-grain brewing. 

But if you want in on a game of Pathfinder tomorrow night, there is a seat open...
 
I practice the art of Zen Brewing. I worked with the numbers the first couple times. After that, I relaxed and let the beer brew itself. The secret to a truely great beer is to drink some of your last batch while making the current one.
 
Most likely the problem is that his PH was high.  A 90 minute mash is more than enough and his temperature was correct.  22 pounds of grain should have produced a higher gravity wort.  Even if he ran his lauter tun wide open, the sparge of 6 gallons would have yielded a higher OG.  Another real possibility is a very inaccurate hydrometer.  A good test of hydrometer accuracy is to pour Orange Juice into it.  Should be about 1.070.
 
I'm 2days late here, but here's my 2cents.

Couple of possibilities here. First is your mash temp. At 148 not sure you would have gotten full conversion. Second may relate more to your equipment.

Not sure what your mash tun is, but sometimes the sparge water will only spare down the middle (fly sparging. If batch sparging, ignore next sentence) and you leave all kinds of sugar suspended in the middle sides of your mash tun.

We did 60gal of Barleywine on 1/1 to fill a Buffalo Trace barrel with, and your grain bill sounds similar to ours to scale. We came out around 1.086 post boil, and that was at 82-85% efficiency.

I would say next time try upping the temp and see if you get moar sugars.
 
Go buy some Sam Adams and chill out...
 
And now I am planning to start Barley Meade in the fall, If I can find a barley field to house my bees at. 
 
Barley is wind-pollinated, not flowering. Bees don't do barley.
 
Barley wine is nasty. Just deep six the entire thing. 
 
You're using more ridiculous terms than any Star Trek episode! I know they all mean something but when you don't know what it's hilarious! Good luck with your sparging of the wort in the mash! Hope your LME sorts out your SG!
 
Any HG beer like this has to boil forever.  6 gal to me seems a little light for such an HG brew... my last Russian Imperial started off as 8 gal, and I boiled it down to 5, after nearly two hours.  

Also: remember (as I had too) that, just because you may have screwed up a recipe, it's STILL BEER.  You may have messed up the recipe, but it's all going to be okay.

RDWHAHB.
 
Some of my work colleagues have told stories of similar recipe gaffs but were pleasently surprised with nice tasting beer. I'm told the most important part of the whole journey is the fermentation anyway. As for the specific gravity you may have boil and reduce it a bit more to get that figure you mentioned - You wouldn't want a watery beer...lol.

Let us know how you went... :)
 
Worst Case, you end up with Miluakees Best. Still drinkable, But you have to choose much worse music to drink it by
 
agree with John- my dad made lot's of wine- never lost any- none of it was really great but kept him happy. he started by looking at the recipe then figured it was just there for show....
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