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Barley Wine lead time

I would like to brew the NB Barley Wine for next Christmas. from your experience is it better to bottle condition it for 2 or 3 months, or brew it in March? Thanks!
PS Feedback on names.
1, Bad Elf Barley Wine.
2, dang! The Mayan’s were right end of the world Barley Wine.
3, Mayan’s were wrong Barley Wine.

If I were you I would brew it ASAP. Bulk age in a secondary if you can, and for as long as you can. Bottle it up next fall.

I brewed one last February and entered it a contest in August. It won the Strong Ale category but was knocked out of the Best of Show round for being too young. The head brewer at Gordon Biersh loved it though :slight_smile:

I bulk aged it in a keg and forced carbed and bottled with a beer gun a few weeks before the contest. (which just reminded me I still have half a keg left) I’d bulk age it and reyeast and bottle sometime towards the end of summer.

I concur. For a Christmas brew, make it it now and bulk age it until November.
That’s pretty much how I’ve done it every year for last 21 years at least. Some years, due to work related travel I didn’t brew it until April…but never later than that. This time around, I actually managed to make next year’s batch a few weeks ago.

I’ll sometimes do another batch of Barleywine during the year, but it’s that Christmas one which gets a little something extra: each year I save up to a gallon of the current brew to add to the following year’s brew. As a result the current year’s brew always contains a trace amount of every annual batch, going back to 1991.

Not to highjack but… I plan on making a Barley Wine late next month. My wife is due with our first child March 1st. So my thought was to brew a barley wine and age it till next year and have the first one on my child’s first birthday and continue to age them and have one or two each year… if I can hold off that long. Anyway, i was planning on doing a 1month primary, 3 months secondary, bottling and aging in the bottles. But it seems like most on here would recommend to bulk age and bottle sometime next fall. Is there are reason to bulk age rather than bottle age?

If you want hop aroma to last a little longer, bulk age for 9+ months and wait to dryhop until a couple weeks before bottling.

Depends on your set up and, to a degree, your personal preference.
I bulk age (cold) to drop the beer bright and then keg and carbonate (with very mild carbonation). I’ll bottle the finished, aged beer from the keg to give to those on my ‘gift list’ each year.

If you want hop aroma to last a little longer, bulk age for 9+ months and wait to dryhop until a couple weeks before bottling.[/quote]

This sounds like a plan. I can’t bulk age cold because my fermentation fridge only holds one fermentor. So 1 month primary, secondary 10 months (dry-hopping the final 4 weeks), bottle 1 month.

clarification: Bulk age /secondary are the same thing? When you secondary for an extended period of time do you do anything besides keeping the air lock from drying out or do you replace the air lock with something else?
Can you dry hop with the hops I will be hopefully growing and harvesting this year? I would like to grow some English hops like my ancestors did in the 1840’s.
PS No feedback on the names? My Christmas beer this year was “Cousin Eddies Shi**ers Full Winter Warmer” was a hit with family and friends.

[quote=“flytyer”]clarification: Bulk age /secondary are the same thing? When you secondary for an extended period of time do you do anything besides keeping the air lock from drying out or do you replace the air lock with something else?
Can you dry hop with the hops I will be hopefully growing and harvesting this year? I would like to grow some English hops like my ancestors did in the 1840’s.
PS No feedback on the names? My Christmas beer this year was “Cousin Eddies Shi**ers Full Winter Warmer” was a hit with family and friends.[/quote]

Yes bulk age / secondary are pretty much the same thing. I wouldn’t age anything in a primary for too long. For bulk aging I would rack to a secondary and then let 'er sit for a while. But just because you rack to secondary doesn’t mean you’re aging. A secondary can be used for whatever time you want. Maybe just a week or two to drop out some yeast and clarify or maybe dryhop.

Sure you can dryhop with your home grown hops. You’d want to dry them out I think.

Your beer names… eh… kinda long. You need something shorter like The End Barley Wine or 12.12.12. Barley Wine

Agree with bulk aging and getting it brewed ASAP.

[quote=“flytyer”]clarification: Bulk age /secondary are the same thing? When you secondary for an extended period of time do you do anything besides keeping the air lock from drying out or do you replace the air lock with something else?
Can you dry hop with the hops I will be hopefully growing and harvesting this year? I would like to grow some English hops like my ancestors did in the 1840’s.
PS No feedback on the names? My Christmas beer this year was “Cousin Eddies Shi**ers Full Winter Warmer” was a hit with family and friends.[/quote]

I have only just kept my airlocks on. I don’t think there is much of a need for airlock though once all fermentation is done. I doubt there would be a problem with putting in a solid stopper, or better yet a carboy hood/cap.

As far as the names go, I can’t say I’m a fan of any of them. the 2nd and 3rd are just too long. The 1st is OK, but reminds of a beer name that is already out there.
Perhaps…a shorter version of your world ending theme.

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