Author Topic: Dry Barrel Aged Barleywine  (Read 1263 times)

Offline saintpierre

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Dry Barrel Aged Barleywine
« on: June 05, 2013, 08:01:41 AM »
Our club has a 53 gallon barrel that we have filled and aged in a few times (currently holding a Flanders Red).  Our first beer was an Old Ale that although finished slightly on the dry side after some age is very pleasant.  The second beer we made and aged was an American BW.  This beer was made using the same basic recipe (OG 1.096 to 1.118) fermented separately using US-05 then racked to age in the barrel.
Once we racked to the barrel the gravity was 1.026 and tasted great.  After a day in the barrel it started to ferment again!  When we racked it to age our Flanders the beer tasted good with a nice woody flavor but has a gravity of 1.011 and is dry on the aftertaste almost astringent.  Its not that I can't enjoy a glass from time to time but did I mention I have 15 gal of this?
My question is, besides blending are their any other methods available to help back sweeten?
« Last Edit: June 05, 2013, 08:04:25 AM by saintsbrew »
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Dry Barrel Aged Barleywine
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2013, 08:55:40 AM »
You could add maltodextrin to add body back or lactose to add both body and sweetness.  I have done this a few times with very good results. 
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Offline Roger Burns

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Dry Barrel Aged Barleywine
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2013, 10:40:17 AM »
I dont mean to hijack the OP's question, but have a similar beer. How do you prepare the maltodextrin?  Do you just dump it in, or boil it with water, etc?  And any suggestion on amount?
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Dry Barrel Aged Barleywine
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2013, 12:06:12 PM »
Two methods come to mind and both are simply adding to a given amount of water - I'd be inclined to add somewhere around 4 ounces to a quart of water and boil then chill the solution.  Then take a quart or pint of the beer and add an ounce of the solution to the beer and taste.  Then add more on subsequent tastings, replacing with more beer to get back to a quart of beer each time.  At some point, you hit your ratios and extrapolate to your larger full batch.  Alternatively, you can add some solution directly to the full batch until you get it where you like it, but that involves a little more mucking around with the full batch for my personal risk tolerance.  I'm sure other ways will work, but that is how I handled adding cold pressed coffee to a stout.  Then I wrote down the ratios for future reference.
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Dry Barrel Aged Barleywine
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2013, 12:51:43 PM »
Two methods come to mind and both are simply adding to a given amount of water - I'd be inclined to add somewhere around 4 ounces to a quart of water and boil then chill the solution.  Then take a quart or pint of the beer and add an ounce of the solution to the beer and taste.  Then add more on subsequent tastings, replacing with more beer to get back to a quart of beer each time.  At some point, you hit your ratios and extrapolate to your larger full batch.  Alternatively, you can add some solution directly to the full batch until you get it where you like it, but that involves a little more mucking around with the full batch for my personal risk tolerance.  I'm sure other ways will work, but that is how I handled adding cold pressed coffee to a stout.  Then I wrote down the ratios for future reference.

I've used both methods with success.  I actually have the information somewhere as to how much maltodextrin raises the FG per added weight.  I need to dig it up.
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Offline saintpierre

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Re: Dry Barrel Aged Barleywine
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2013, 01:19:03 PM »
I dont mean to hijack the OP's question, but have a similar beer. How do you prepare the maltodextrin?  Do you just dump it in, or boil it with water, etc?  And any suggestion on amount?
No worries about hijacking. I think it was a valid question.  Thoughts on DME?
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Dry Barrel Aged Barleywine
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2013, 02:20:55 PM »
I dont mean to hijack the OP's question, but have a similar beer. How do you prepare the maltodextrin?  Do you just dump it in, or boil it with water, etc?  And any suggestion on amount?
No worries about hijacking. I think it was a valid question.  Thoughts on DME?

dme is just going to mostly ferment out. If you have picked up a wild yeast from the barrel I think that even maltodextrin or lactose will eventually ferment back out. DME though, that's just more yeast food.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Dry Barrel Aged Barleywine
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2013, 10:42:41 PM »
Don't know for sure whether it is astringent because it dried out too much or you pulled too much tannin out of the wood. If it is the latter then time will mellow the tannins. I don't think backsweetening will cure the astringency of tannins.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Dry Barrel Aged Barleywine
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2013, 05:12:05 AM »
If you have picked up a wild yeast from the barrel I think that even maltodextrin or lactose will eventually ferment back out.

^ I would assume this is true and that you have some wild yeast in your BW.

I'm not completely convinced, however, because of how fast fermentation took off. You might have just restarted an incomplete fermentation when you racked OR there could have been residual sacch. in the barrel from the first beer.

Initially assume its wild yeast. You can cheat time a bit by "back-sweetening" immediately before serving the beer. Push a few gallons into a spare keg, and add a bit of simple syrup made with maltodextrin or lactose (MD if you want more fullness/body, lactose if you want the beer to taste more sweet). I would start with a small amount and dose to taste.

If you want to determine if the barrel fermentation was sacch or wild yeast, just leave this concoction alone for a few months. If it dries up again, its wild yeast. If not, repeat with the rest of the batch.

(If it were me, and you had wild yeast going on, I would transfer 2.5 gal into a keg, add 2.5 gal fruit puree, and wait a year. Serve for special occasions.)
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