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Barleywine Questions?

So we are set on making a American Barleywine this weekend based off of Midwest Supplies Bigfoot Barleywine and pitching it onto a yeast cake from a lighter beer we have finishing up here. First off, our tastes like higher ABV and our efficiency is normally kinda low (around 65% which I guess will lower further for a bigger beer) so we were thinking of upping the recipe a bit. It already calls for 19lbs of grain so we don’t want to go any higher in our mashtun leaving us with the option of pitching malt extract or some kind of sugar. I was wondering what people would recommend.

I know sugar ferments out near to completion leaving a high ABV and lighter body. Will about a pound or two of brown sugar lighten the body to much? If so should I go with some extract instead. Just wondering what other people would suggest from experience.

Also curious for input on any suggested mash temp/times for a bigger beer like this. I read somewhere that if you have a cooler mashtun that a decoction mash increased from 149* to 156* to 168* creates a good fermentable wort for big beers but that seems like a lot of work. Would it be worth it because we don’t have room for hot water infusions? Or just stick to a single infusion?

Just for a reference here is the original recipe. Another question about the champagne yeast pitched 7-14 days later into the fermentation: is this just for finishing up any left over fermentable sugar and for bottling? I have never done a late yeast addition but that is what is says on the kit info.

Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
18 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 94.7 %
8.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 2.6 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 3 2.6 %
1.50 oz Chinook [13.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 4 67.8 IBUs
0.50 oz Chinook [13.00 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 5 17.4 IBUs
1.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 6 17.2 IBUs
2.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 2.0 min Hop 7 3.2 IBUs
American Ale Yeast Cake (Wyeast Labs #1272) [124.21 ml]
1.0 pkg Champagne Yeast pitched 7-14 days into fermentation

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.083 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.016 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 8.8 %
Bitterness: 105.6 IBUs
Est Color: 8.6 SRM

For a BW, I’d go with DME instead of sugar.

  • 1
    Big beers make lots of heat during fermentation. Do you have a way to control it? Even placing the fermenter into a sink or tub of water will help a lot.

I haven’t done anything bigger than 1.070, so I’m just throwing this out there, but is there a reason you couldn’t do two mashes, then combine in the boil, or carboy?

I’d skip the champagne yeast. A fresh cake of 1272 will be fine for that – I’ve brewed something pretty similar, and it came out great.

[quote=“cam0083”]So we are set on making a American Barleywine this weekend based off of Midwest Supplies Bigfoot Barleywine and pitching it onto a yeast cake from a lighter beer we have finishing up here. First off, our tastes like higher ABV and our efficiency is normally kinda low (around 65% which I guess will lower further for a bigger beer) so we were thinking of upping the recipe a bit. It already calls for 19lbs of grain so we don’t want to go any higher in our mashtun leaving us with the option of pitching malt extract or some kind of sugar. I was wondering what people would recommend.

I know sugar ferments out near to completion leaving a high ABV and lighter body. Will about a pound or two of brown sugar lighten the body to much? If so should I go with some extract instead. Just wondering what other people would suggest from experience.

Also curious for input on any suggested mash temp/times for a bigger beer like this. I read somewhere that if you have a cooler mashtun that a decoction mash increased from 149* to 156* to 168* creates a good fermentable wort for big beers but that seems like a lot of work. Would it be worth it because we don’t have room for hot water infusions? Or just stick to a single infusion?[/quote]

I’d go with extract. The first barleywine I ever made had brown sugar in it. I didn’t figure out why I wasn’t happy with it until I brewed it without the brown sugar.

If you want to brew an American style Barleywine, you can’t do better in my opinion than Denny’s Old Stoner. Do a search on this website and you should find a link to the recipe. 26 lbs of grain and six ounces of hops, but no need for DME or sugar. For me the most difficult part was acheiving an even mash temperature with that much grain in my cooler.

You can do that.

As long as ABV is 8% or above, it is still within the Style of BarleyWine. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the kind words!

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