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American Barleywine recipe help

I’m working on my first barleywine recipe and was looking for some input:

5 gal batch
2.5 gal boil
Est OG = 1.111
Est FG = 1.030
SRM = 20
95 IBUs
BU:GU = .86
ABV = 10.8%

63% - 9lbs 14oz Light/Pale Malt Extract Syrup - late addition (5 min)
21% - 3lbs 5oz Light/Pale Malt Extract Syrup
5% - 12oz Corn Sugar
5% - 12oz Crystal 80L
3% - 8oz Crystal 10L
3% - 8oz Special B

60 min - 2 oz Magnum
5 min - 1 oz Amarillo
5 min - 1 oz Centennial
5 min - 1 oz Chinook

10 min - Wyeast yeast nutrient

pitch 3 packs US-05

I’m going for a balanced malt and hop forward taste that ages well while trying to avoid it ending up either syrupy sweet or having an alcohol bite.

Appreciate all the input and feedback in advance!

Warning #1: I’m not much the expert brewing big beers with extract but off the top of my head I like that bigger late addition of malt extract extract. I also think the corn sugar should help thin it out a bit because based on my experience a few years ago of brewing an extract barleywine it finished way high and was undrinkably sweet.
Not sure about the Special B; seems to me like an odd addition. Not saying it can’t work but I’ve never tried it in a beer like this.

Warning #2: My knowledge of hop usage is probably my weakest area but won’t a lot of the late additions fade overtime so if you’re planning on aging for an extended period couldn’t you cut down in the late additions and then just dry hop to get a fresher taste/smell if that is what you’re looking for. I only ask because this is something I’m curious about for aging beers and the barleywines I’ve brewed have been front loaded on hops.

What are you’re plans for holding fermentation temp down? These big boys crap out a ton of heat right off the bat.

Trying to touch on all your points:

  • With regards to the recipe, I based it off Jamil’s American Barleywine in Brewing Classic Styles. I scaled it down from a 7 gal boil trying to keep the same ingredient proportions while dropping a Chocolate Malt addition and tweaking the hop additions.
  • I’ve actually done the late extract addition with a few other big beers that turned out really well so I think it’ll work well with an even bigger barleywine.
  • Doing a late extract addition ramped up the IBUs. Extended aging should mellow any late hop addition aromas so I’m still toying with moving up the late additions and/or dry hopping.
  • I’m usually able to hold temps pretty steady where I store my fermenters. If things look like they’re getting too warm, I’ll move the fermenter to a cool water bath or wrap it in a damp towel. Plus, I’m guessing a blow off tube would be a good idea for the first few days.

Just wanted to give this a bump to see if anyone had any thoughts or suggestions on the recipe. Thanks again everyone for your help!

Looks good. I’d be hestitant to include that much Special B. But, I say brew it, and then adjust when you brew it again next year.

Would you suggest dropping the addition to something along the lines of 4oz?

Also, the initial recipe called for Chocolate Malt. Would a 2-4oz addition do much here or would it start to get a little messy flavorwise?


Looks like a good baseline recipe. Take notes and refer back to them on the next round.


Looks like a good baseline recipe. Take notes and refer back to them on the next round.[/quote]

Looks good to me too. The second part of bluesman’s reply is very significant and is the way to better brewing in general: take good notes!!!

With the yeast you’re using, I don’t think you’ll have any worries about it finishing too sweet, though some sweetness is desirable, even in the so called “American” barleywine. When you taste the finished product, just bear in mind that it will mellow over time. Beers like this are almost always much, much better when they’re a 6 to 12 months old or more (assuming your sanitation is everything it should be).
Honestly…the only major mistake I’ve ever made with beers like this is not doing another batch right away. :mrgreen:

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