Barley wine aging suggestions

Brewed an 11 gallon batch of barley wine yesterday — half for me and half for my neighbor; I know what you all are thinking! Based the recipe off of Jamil’s that I have from a book. The og measured yesterday was 1.117! It’s going to be big.

It’s nicely fermenting in the low sixties and was curious to see what everyone does with their barley wines. My plan is to let it sit in primary for 3 or 4 weeks and then rack to a carboy and let it sit in my closet for 3 or 4 months. Finally, I’d like to bottle.

What have you all done, and what have you found to really give this beer the time it deserves?



That’s fairly close to the method I’ve been using for many years. Only difference is I leave it in the secondary carboy for about 6 to 8 months (and occasionally longer); I then rack it to a keg and cold age it for another few months before force carbing it.
After that, I’ll bottle off most of the batch, and keep the rest in reserve in the keg for blending with other brews.

No rush for me on this brew, since it’s not my everyday beer. SInce I do a few batches of BW a year, I almost always have bottles on hand to enjoy that are a delicious 1 to 2 years old.

My method is clearly a bit round-about with extra steps involved that many (if not most) brewers skip…but the the end result of my 20 year force-of-habit makes it quite worthwhile (to me anyway).

I made 12 gallons of Denny’s Old Stoner for an OG of 1.136 without using any sugar. I put it in the primary for 2W and secondary for 2W and then carbed it up. I always carb up the big beers in kegs prior to botting them. That way I am assured of getting it right.

when i make big beers - I let them sit in the primary for 1 months then i rack it into a co2 purged keg for aging.

if i didn’t have kegs i would let it sit in the primary for 1+ months. then let them age in the bottle. there are lots of different opinions about aging. there’s nothing wrong with letting it age in the secondary and then bottling

For me its primary for 3 weeks, bulk age in secondary for 2-3 months, add a bit of bottling yeast and bottle in 750ml champagne bottles, then cellar for no less than 9 months.