Author Topic: Brewing a Barley wine.  (Read 1491 times)

Offline mikeroni

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Brewing a Barley wine.
« on: February 04, 2013, 04:25:26 PM »
I have never attempted one and would really like to. Currently reading Barley Wine and probably going to use a recipe from the book.  Anyone have any suggestions or tips on brewing one of these.

Offline svejk

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Re: Brewing a Barley wine.
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2013, 05:00:10 PM »
Personally, I like the idea of going with an English Barleywine with super high starting gravity (1.125 or even a bit bigger).  In order to pull that off, you'll need a very long boil of at least 2 hours or longer.  The reason for the long boil is because you'll find that as you make bigger beers, your efficiency will likely drop from what you're used to, so a longer boil will let you sparge longer to collect more sugars.  On the bright side, a long boil is beneficial to this style, so it will serve to improve the final beer.

I would also recommend including a fair amount of high quality base malt (I like Maris Otter and Golden Promise), but I also stretch this with some Gambrinus 2-row to keep the cost reasonable.

As far as fermentation goes, you'll need a whole lot of yeast.  I usually will make a small beer (OG 1.040 or less) and use the entire yeast cake for the barleywine.  Lately I like the Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale yeast, and that yeast is especially convenient because a Scottish 60 makes a great starter beer.  With a beer that big, you'll need a lot of oxygen, so if you have an O2 system, it will pay off.  If you're shaking to aerate, you won't need to go to the gym for a few days.

Be careful not to let the fermentation get too hot.  It really should stay in the 60's, otherwise you run the risk of getting some hot alcohol flavors in the final beer.

My last bit of advice is to set some bottles aside.  A great barleywine can age for a really long time, so if you aren't wowed by it in the first year, give it some time and see what it does.  Your patience will be rewarded.


Online morticaixavier

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Re: Brewing a Barley wine.
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2013, 05:00:36 PM »
british or americal style?

I like british style.

My two favorite recipes right now,

%100 munich 10 L to hit 1.090~ Mash around 153 for 60 minutes
enough neutral bittering hops to get ~60IBU FWH
some classic british hops (goldings, fuggles, etc) at 30 minutes.

normal 60 minute boil, I used S-04 (two packets) last time to good effect. ferment around 64 (beer temp) but you can raise it to 68 to finish if need be. This is a big malty brew that finished around 1.020 and is tasty right away.

or...

100% pale ale malt of your choice to hit 1.100, mash at 148 for 2 hours
hops, all low alpha british types but tons! aim for 150IBU all at 120 minutes/FWH.
ferment with WLP007 for however long it takes to finish, keep the temp around 65. this one takes a bit to come into it's own but after a year or so in the bottle it really starts to develop some complexity.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

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Offline erockrph

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Re: Brewing a Barley wine.
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2013, 05:57:25 PM »
Pitch plenty of yeast, probably easiest if you start with a small beer to prop up the yeast (something like a mild for an English BW or a small Amber/APA for an American BW). Use lots of high quality base malt. And control your fermentation temps well.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline majorvices

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Brewing a Barley wine.
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2013, 08:30:15 PM »
For English styles I enjoy around 1.090ish and keep grain bill simple - as simple as 100% Maris Otter. Careful w/crystal malts, you don't want to end up with a barley wine that finished too high.
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline euge

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Re: Brewing a Barley wine.
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2013, 07:04:36 AM »
My first BW was 100% 2-row and I seem to recall boiling down 10 gallons to about five. Took about 4 hours. I still have a bottle or two after 5 years. Plenty complex.

If pressed I'd say "American" was my favorite style but I hardly ever drink them anymore. If you want real hop presence you'll need a lot of them and be forewarned that hop character fades rather quickly. You'll lose 50% probably in the first year alone.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline davidgzach

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Re: Brewing a Barley wine.
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2013, 08:11:27 AM »
My first was just made and bottled.  It was 95% 2-Row and 5% Crystal 80.  Ray Daniels said to keep the grain bill simple so I did.

It was an American version with Chinook bittering and Cascade flavor and aroma for an IBU of 112.5. 

Looking forward to trying it..........in several months.

Dave
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Offline The Professor

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Re: Brewing a Barley wine.
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2013, 03:18:17 PM »
...If pressed I'd say "American" was my favorite style but I hardly ever drink them anymore. If you want real hop presence you'll need a lot of them and be forewarned that hop character fades rather quickly. You'll lose 50% probably in the first year alone.

wow...different strokes, I guess.
I don't think a barleywine is even worth drinking until its at least a year or two old ...and preferably older!

I guess I'm just an old traditionalist (and getting older). 8)
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Offline BrewingRover

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Re: Brewing a Barley wine.
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2013, 05:28:28 PM »
...If pressed I'd say "American" was my favorite style but I hardly ever drink them anymore. If you want real hop presence you'll need a lot of them and be forewarned that hop character fades rather quickly. You'll lose 50% probably in the first year alone.

wow...different strokes, I guess.
I don't think a barleywine is even worth drinking until its at least a year or two old ...and preferably older!

I guess I'm just an old traditionalist (and getting older). 8)
I drink a bit of Bigfoot when it first comes out every year and stash more in my cellar. I love the way it changes over time. If I want a high ABV hop bomb, I'll buy a Three Floyd's DIPA like Arctic Panzer Wolf
It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.

Online morticaixavier

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Re: Brewing a Barley wine.
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2013, 09:05:11 AM »
...If pressed I'd say "American" was my favorite style but I hardly ever drink them anymore. If you want real hop presence you'll need a lot of them and be forewarned that hop character fades rather quickly. You'll lose 50% probably in the first year alone.

wow...different strokes, I guess.
I don't think a barleywine is even worth drinking until its at least a year or two old ...and preferably older!

I guess I'm just an old traditionalist (and getting older). 8)
I drink a bit of Bigfoot when it first comes out every year and stash more in my cellar. I love the way it changes over time. If I want a high ABV hop bomb, I'll buy a Three Floyd's DIPA like Arctic Panzer Wolf

I am looking forward to a vertical bigfoot expidition. Sometime this week maybe. I have 1 bottle of 2007 and then 2009-2013. It's only okay for me when fresh, but after a year or two it starts to be really amazing. I had a 2006 a couple years ago and that was AMAZING so I am really looking forward to the 2007
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

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Offline BrewingRover

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Re: Brewing a Barley wine.
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2013, 10:27:07 AM »
I am looking forward to a vertical bigfoot expidition. Sometime this week maybe. I have 1 bottle of 2007 and then 2009-2013. It's only okay for me when fresh, but after a year or two it starts to be really amazing. I had a 2006 a couple years ago and that was AMAZING so I am really looking forward to the 2007
I have 2 or 3 2008s left. The last one I had was really, really good. I'm not sure how long the rest will last ;)
It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.

Online morticaixavier

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Re: Brewing a Barley wine.
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2013, 10:31:08 AM »
I am looking forward to a vertical bigfoot expidition. Sometime this week maybe. I have 1 bottle of 2007 and then 2009-2013. It's only okay for me when fresh, but after a year or two it starts to be really amazing. I had a 2006 a couple years ago and that was AMAZING so I am really looking forward to the 2007
I have 2 or 3 2008s left. The last one I had was really, really good. I'm not sure how long the rest will last ;)

Oh man I am jealous. I was looking for a 2008 to complete the set but could not find one.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

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Offline euge

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Re: Brewing a Barley wine.
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2013, 10:33:43 AM »
Last year I ran out of the Lagunitas Gnarlywine. After three years it was pretty damn good. When I first bought the case it was nearly undrinkable.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman