Author Topic: Lbs in a barley wine...how much?  (Read 1370 times)

Offline dglucasii

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Lbs in a barley wine...how much?
« on: December 13, 2013, 04:01:00 PM »
I was considering 17 lbs of base and 1 of mixed caramel & choc. Is this overkill? It's my 1st try at it, so I wanted to check. Also, how long to ferment... Month?
Many thanks

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Lbs in a barley wine...how much?
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2013, 04:21:51 PM »
Well, first off let me say that the following recipe advice is totally a matter of opinion.

I don't think you should put ANY caramel malt in a barley wine. If you want some chocolate malt for color go ahead. This will end up plenty rich with just base malt and some character malt.

I use 2 row and munich and that's about it.

now, if 17 lbs is enough, that depends on your system and it's efficiency and the gravity you are aiming for. I aim for right around 1.100 and don't worry too much if I go over or under a bit.

How long to ferment is totally up to your beer. it might well take a month but I would give it at least a month if not two before worrying about it.

First sign it's getting there will be stable gravity readings several days apart.
Next test is how does it taste? A barley wine should taste good even before you carb it. You should want to finish your sample. then you're getting there.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Lbs in a barley wine...how much?
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2013, 04:46:43 PM »
Well, first off let me say that the following recipe advice is totally a matter of opinion.

I don't think you should put ANY caramel malt in a barley wine. If you want some chocolate malt for color go ahead. This will end up plenty rich with just base malt and some character malt.

I use 2 row and munich and that's about it.

now, if 17 lbs is enough, that depends on your system and it's efficiency and the gravity you are aiming for. I aim for right around 1.100 and don't worry too much if I go over or under a bit.

How long to ferment is totally up to your beer. it might well take a month but I would give it at least a month if not two before worrying about it.

First sign it's getting there will be stable gravity readings several days apart.
Next test is how does it taste? A barley wine should taste good even before you carb it. You should want to finish your sample. then you're getting there.
Big +1.  To the OP:
 This is Barleywine 101.  Very good advice. I mash barleywine @ ~148F with no caramel malt. I like MO and Munich usually, or MO/2 row,Munich, and a little biscuit.  Too much crystal and you run the risk of finishing too high.

« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 09:58:46 AM by HoosierBrew »
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Lbs in a barley wine...how much?
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2013, 06:40:44 PM »
I have used a small amount of crystal malt (Special B or Dark English Crystal) in Barleywines in the past for character, but when I have I've made sure to add some simple sugar in conjunction to make up for the reduced fermentability from the crystal.

For your first barleywine I'd recommend sticking with 100% of good quality base malt (100% MO, or a mix of MO with a few pounds of Vienna or Munich). If you oxygenate properly, pitch enough yeast, and manage fermentation temperature well then you will have great results. Then you can decide to tinker with the recipe from there.
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Offline dglucasii

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Re: Lbs in a barley wine...how much?
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2013, 07:10:06 PM »
Thanks for the advise...all makes since.  Yes, using the choc for a little color...caramel was on a whim. 

Offline dannyjed

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Re: Lbs in a barley wine...how much?
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2013, 08:01:39 PM »
I always use some Crystal 90 in my American Barley Wine. Last year I used half 2 row and half Maris Otter for the base with about 5% Crystal 90. I think if you keep the Caramel malt to 5% or less, it'll be fine. I've used some sugar before, but I don't anymore because I think the big difference between a DIPA and an American BW is the body and mouthfeel.
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Offline BrewingRover

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Re: Lbs in a barley wine...how much?
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2013, 09:44:50 AM »
I always use some Crystal 90 in my American Barley Wine. Last year I used half 2 row and half Maris Otter for the base with about 5% Crystal 90. I think if you keep the Caramel malt to 5% or less, it'll be fine. I've used some sugar before, but I don't anymore because I think the big difference between a DIPA and an American BW is the body and mouthfeel.
I've gone about 5-7% of a medium crystal and been happy. I've been aiming for something like either Bigfoot and Old Foghorn in my recipes and they both use it.

I usually go 3-4 weeks before racking and then bulk age for 8 or 9 months.
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Offline fmader

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Re: Lbs in a barley wine...how much?
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2013, 09:49:27 AM »
I usually go 3-4 weeks before racking and then bulk age for 8 or 9 months.

By bulk aging, what exactly is your process. In a keg? carboy? Do you carb? etc.
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Offline BrewingRover

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Re: Lbs in a barley wine...how much?
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2013, 10:23:46 AM »
I usually go 3-4 weeks before racking and then bulk age for 8 or 9 months.

By bulk aging, what exactly is your process. In a keg? carboy? Do you carb? etc.
It's in a carboy all that time. I'll add dry hops the last week or two before I bottle. I've never added yeast at bottling and have gotten carbonation just fine, but I also target lower carbonation in my barley wines.
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Offline tmsnyder

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Re: Lbs in a barley wine...how much?
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2014, 06:36:45 AM »
One of the first BW's I made had some English dark malt in it, after reading the style guidelines I decided to go toward the darker end of the range.  It wasn't my favorite,  so I'd be careful with the chocolate malt.  They are fantastic on the paler side when made with almost 100% MO, or even better Optic, or Golden Promise.  If you want to go American, Briess malt for the Bigfoot type of BW.

Crystal malt is fine in a BW.  Put yourself in the shoes of the brewers and brew with what they had available, what were the ingredients available to them 200 years ago or more that made that style of beer survive and become a classic style?  It's an English style adopted by Americans.  For an English BW, use English ingredients.  For an Am BW, use American ingredients. 

I always go to the bjcp style guideline when developing a recipe, there's an ingredients section.  Between that and the OG, color, and IBUs specs you should be able to work up a great barleywine recipe.

17 lb of base malt, a lb of crystal and you'll be at 1.090 or so.  Sounds like barleywine to me!  Keep some light DME on hand in case your mash doesn't go exactly as planned. 



I was considering 17 lbs of base and 1 of mixed caramel & choc. Is this overkill? It's my 1st try at it, so I wanted to check. Also, how long to ferment... Month?
Many thanks

Offline denny

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Re: Lbs in a barley wine...how much?
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2014, 09:20:25 AM »
I was considering 17 lbs of base and 1 of mixed caramel & choc. Is this overkill? It's my 1st try at it, so I wanted to check. Also, how long to ferment... Month?
Many thanks

I don't think you have enough base malt.  What OG are you shooting for?  How big is your mash tun?  Why the chocolate malt?  What style of BW, English or American?
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline bwana

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Re: Lbs in a barley wine...how much?
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2014, 09:18:25 AM »
For a five gallon batch I use 20-21LBS. Usualy end up at 9-10% abv.

Offline svejk

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Re: Lbs in a barley wine...how much?
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2014, 09:07:54 AM »
In addition to the great advice already given, here are a couple of points I will add:

1) Be prepared for your efficiency to drop as your OG goes up.  The reason for this is that your first runnings max out at a certain level (usually 1.080's for me), and as you sparge, the gravity decreases thus diluting the wort.  Unless you are planning for a super long boil, it is very difficult to sparge the grain to the level you are used to, so you will end up leaving a fair amount of fermentables in the mash tun.  For this reason, I don't think 17 lbs is enough for a 5 gallon batch.  My biggest barleywine had 33 lbs for 5 gallons at 1.147.

2) Yeast choice is super important.  I prefer Wyeast 1728 Scottish because it is a workhorse that has high tolerance for alcohol.  With big beers like this, you also need to pitch a lot of yeast, so I prefer to make a small beer like a Scottish 60 and then use the yeast cake from that beer to ferment the barleywine.  It also doesn't hurt to give the beer a second shot of oxygen about 12 hours after pitching to make sure your yeast are given every advantage to finish out the beer.

Offline etbrew

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Re: Lbs in a barley wine...how much?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2014, 05:35:31 PM »
I've only made one batch of barley wine so far but I did win first place in the local homebrew competition with it.  My recipe was similar to what others have said here.  Mostly 2 row. I did add a little crystal 60 but it probably didn't really need it.  I boiled for about 2 hours.

Primary for a month and secondary for another month.  I dry hopped in primary and secondary.  Total aging was about 4 months. 

During primary fermentation I shook the fermenter a couple times to get the yeast back in suspension.  One other note on yeast.  If you've never made a beer with this high of a gravity before be aware you will need a lot of yeast.  I racked onto the entire yeast cake from a batch of IPA.