It's decided then: an English barley wine. Of a sort.
Here's the basic concept, specifics to be decided depending on factors described below, as well as a bit of good old whimsy.
The idea is a big, solid, but stately barely wine. 1.100 to 1.110 OG (24-26°P), aiming at 11% ABV (1.026 FG / 6.5°P).
Malt bill would be mostly pale, with a bit of wheat and/or oats for smoother mouthfeel. I reckon 1.026 would be suffient so as not not need crystal/caramel malts for additional body. The caramelised raisins should be sufficient beef up the caramel flavours by themselves, and the rum will give a kick to the booziness, both in strength and in flavour.
Given the size restrictions of my mash tun, I'm going to partigyle this. Bear with me.
Target OG for the master brew is 1.070.
Say 95% pale, 5% oats.
This should yield 10 liters of 1.090 (B#1)and 20 liters of 1.045 (B#2).
B#1 is the barley wine which will receive additional DME till it reaches the desired OG (1.110).
Bitterness will be on the low end: 30-40 IBU. EKG or similar, although I'm tempted to give Bullion a shot here.
A fruity English or Scottish yeast with medium attenuation.
Rum-soaked raisins + wort-caramelised raisins in secondary.
Maybe a whiff of dryhops just before bottling to liven it all up.
B#2: my buddy wants a summer beer, and I thought to use the second runnings for that.
I brewed a ginger-hibuscus saison
last year which was 90% pale and 10% wheat; which is close enough to what the second runnings would yield here to try something similar. 1.045 is light enough, and the ginger/hibiscus combo will compensate for the loss of malt-deepness the second running will intrinsically experience.
3711 French Saison will keep it dry and feisty.
25 IBU with something light and summery (maybe good ol' Citra). Hibuscus will provide color and tang. I'd like the ginger to be somewhat hot, which I've not been able to accomplish yet: ginger juice tends to turn lemonadey in beer. Maybe just boil diced ginger root for the last 5'?
Alternatively, B#2 could also become a simple English bitter. Sprinkle a bit of crystal on top before sparging the second runnings et voila.
Any thoughts on this plan? Planned this for the end of april, which means B#2 will be ready by summer and B#1 will be just about approachable by midwinter.