Barley Wine experiment

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Barley Wine experiment

Postby JJJ » Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:24 pm

The first brew on the docket for my new system is an IPA that I plan on brewing this weekend. The plan is to then put a barley wine on the yeast cake after I rack the IPA into secondary.

I'm trying to plan out the recipe a bit and wanted to get some feedback about some ingredients I'm thinking of using.

I prefer the American style barley wines to the british (I love hops) but I still want the malts to impart their flavor as well. What has been peoples experience with maintaining this balance.

I was also thinking of aging it with some sherry or port soaked oak chips. I know that as the barleywine ages some of these flavors will develop naturally so I'm wondering if this will be a little bit of overkill? Anyone done this before? I don't really want to use whiskey on this beer but may opt to just age on plain oak.
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Postby Witch Doctor Dale » Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:15 pm

Schlaffley's barleywine last fall was on plain oak, very tasty. My preference is to leave the "flavorings" out, age will get you those flavors, if you can let it set that long, and if you can't, then obviously you made a good one! Best of luck with your plan, I have on deck an ESB with a brown ale on that yeast cake followed by an English Barleywine, if it clears up a little, I'll start brewing this afternoon.
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Postby Konertjm » Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:00 pm

If you want to add the oakiness, you could get some of the oak chips or sticks that are available for the home wine maker.
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Postby drewseslu » Tue Jun 26, 2007 5:35 pm

I like to use Munich malt in Barleywines and Imperial stouts to up their malt whallop.
You can use it for up to 1/3 of the base without it being overpowering.
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Postby blksabbath » Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:59 pm

You can use it for up to 1/3 of the base without it being overpowering.


Hmm...
I just did a ~1.052 pale ale with almost 50% munich and it wasn't nearly as malty as I'd thought. Fresh bag too! Why so much munich in a pale? Because I can! Like Drew said, it really does balance out the hops nicely.

I'd say a critical aspect of a BW is the yeast choice and making sure you get a nicely attenuated beer with it. Make sure to pitch a healthy amount and aerate/oxygenate well.

As far as my personal preference between british and Am, I think I'm leaning towards the british simply because there tends to be a more complex malt and ferm character...well, at least you can taste it more than behind all the hops in most Am BW's. Don't get me wrong, I do like hoppy beers, but I think they sometimes can hide lots of other fun flavors and aromas in big beers. This damn belgium kick is making me hop wuss.
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Postby drewseslu » Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:44 am

blksabbath wrote:
You can use it for up to 1/3 of the base without it being overpowering.

As far as my personal preference between british and Am, I think I'm leaning towards the british simply because there tends to be a more complex malt and ferm character...well, at least you can taste it more than behind all the hops in most Am BW's. wuss.

Interesting you mention this. I just bottled up 5 gallons of the 30 Gallon Barleywine brew at Gary's in April and despite my insane hopping levels (21oz for 10 gallons) our grist and my yeast choice (Scottish) gave it a staggering amount of malt and ferm complexity. This one could be really interesting with some carbonation and another 1/2 to 8 years on it.
That said, I've got 10 gallons of English style on the same yeast in primary right now.
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Postby JJJ » Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:46 pm

I've got the barleywine going. Fermenting well, but through a few miscalculations I severely overshot my target OG... Isn't that the way a barleywine is suppose to be? I got the OG up to 1.128 well above the 1.111 target. I put this on a yeast cake of US-05 from a an IPA that I racked to secondary and I also pitched a fresh pack. My only concern is that this yeast might not be able to do all that I want it to. Has anyone been able to get this yeast to do 13% ? If worse comes to worse I guess I can pitch some champagne yeast to dry it out...


This is a BIG one!
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Postby JE » Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:07 am

I did 5 gallons of an ABW late winter / early fall this year (it was an extract batch)...and I used ONE packet of Wyeast 1056 and it went nuts! Granted, mine was only a 10.4%, but still getting that much action out of a yeast that I did not do a starter on, nor did I aerate properly...a little scary!

I sure hope you have a blow-off tube on that puppy!!!! :shock:
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Postby JJJ » Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:06 am

Around 6 gallons in a 15 gallon demijohn... No blowoff needed...
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Postby JE » Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:35 am

Yeah, you ought to be safe with that...
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Blow off

Postby Bob Brews » Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:10 pm

Yeah - I had 5 gallons of a barley wine in a 6.5 gallon carboy. Lost about 1.25 gallons in blow off. And mine was only a 1.098.
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Postby blksabbath » Tue Jul 24, 2007 6:12 pm

I don't think you'll have to worry about blowoff with about 9 gallons of extra space. But, after the primary is thru and the yeast drops, you may want to move it to a smaller vessel with less potential headspce to avoid too much oxidation. If you never opened the demijohn after fermentation, of course that wouldn't be a problem, but then you are sitting on a shjtload of yeast that may add a bit of firestone tire after a year or so. Just a though.

In other news, I'm drink a 10% BW that gary, drew, kevin and myself made right now to cope with a job transition. It works great!!
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Postby drewseslu » Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:42 pm

S-05 should handle that no problem. I've had it go over with 11% with no coaxing necessary.
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Postby JJJ » Fri Jul 27, 2007 7:34 am

I managed to find a website that said S-05 has a tolerance of 12%... Guess I'm going to be testing that out... That was a suprisingly hard number to find.
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Postby JJJ » Tue Aug 07, 2007 10:37 pm

Well, I recently racked to secondary... The beer has already reached a lower gravity than I thought it would. Given that the fermentation has completely stopped at 1.025 (over 13%) I'm wondering if there is going to be any benefit to leaving it in secondary? I think I am just exposing it to oxygen for a prolonged time. Seems like it could its aging in the bottle? Any opinions?
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