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First shot at a barley wine, suggestions encouraged

Barley Wine - 3 gallons

60.9% Pilsen
4.3% Crystal 120
4.3% Crystal 60
2.2% Biscuit
8.7% Flaked Oats

Mash 90 mins @ 148 F

17.4% Clear Belgian Candi added at boil after 45 mins

FWH 1 oz Tettnang
60 mins 2 oz Tettnang
30 min 1 oz Saaz
15 min .5 oz Kent Goldings
Dry Hop 5 days 1 oz Styrian Goldings

Yeast Starter: White Labs Belgian Abbey Ale or Belgian Strong Ale


OG 1.104
FG: 1.023
ABV 10.7%
Color 21L
IBU 53

Secondary: 5 months

When racking into secondary I thought about using Safale US-05 as a yeast starter if it needs more yeast then rack it again once the second round of yeast did its work.

How do I determine priming sugar amount? Could not find saturation numbers for barley wine so do I use saturation for abbey ales for calculations?

Just a few quick thoughts. I’d use a pale malt instead of Pilsen. I’d probably go with Maris Otter to get a deeper malt backbone. I’d save some money and skip the Belgian candy sugar. Use something cheaper like cane sugar. I purchase 5lb bags of organic cane sugar specifically for brewing. Way cheaper than the Belgian stuff. I’d also up the IBU’s to balance out all that malt.

You also shouldn’t need to add more yeast when racking to secondary. Maybe this is a practice, but nothing I ever heard of. You should pitch a huge starter of a yeast that can hold up against those high ABV levels. Make sure to keep the temps down so fermentation doesn’t run away on you. This one should take a little longer to ferment out than your average beer. Let the beer tell you how long you should secondary it. I brewed a big barley wine 2 years ago for my sons birth. It didn’t start coming around for almost a year. I’m excited to pop another bottle open in a month for his 2nd birthday.

PS: the recipe suggestions are just my opinions. You should brew the beer how you like it. The process suggests are also my opinion, but I’d argue they are more factual and less opinion.

I’m curious why you’re using flaked oats in a barley wine? I’m not saying you shouldn’t. Just curious what the reason is.

I’ll probably use two-row or a mix of that and Maris Otter but I am going to use cane sugar instead of candi. The price difference is insane.

As for the oats, I want a smoother mouth feel and texture so just throwing some in to help.

This doesn’t seem like a barleywine at all to me. Seems like some sort of belgian dark strong, although the oats are out of place for that.

True, just noticed the yeast choice. That would make it some sort of Belgian strong ale. Decide if you are going for an English or American Barley Wine and choose an appropriate yeast.



Very good point. I didn’t even look at the yeast that was named in the recipe. Makes a huge difference.

Going over my notes I was making a Belgian dark strong, BUT, my friend wants barley wine so that is what I am going to make. Also, what C02 saturation volume would I be looking for when I go to bottle?

Here is the updated recipe:

39% Maris Otter
29.3% 2-Row
7.3% Crystal 60
4.9% Crystal 120

mash @ 148F for 90 mins

19.5% Cane Sugar (added in boil after 45 mins)

FWH 1 oz Tettnanger
60 min 2 oz Tettnanger
30 min 2 oz Saaz
15 min 1oz Kent Goldings

Dry Hop 5 days 1 oz Styrian Goldings

Yeast: Wyeast London Ale III with yeast starter

OG: 1.102
FG: 1.027
ABV: 9.7%
Color: 19L
IBU: 70

Secondary: estimated 5 months

Looks better. Close to 20% cane sugar is high. I’d stick closer to 15%. Save your dry hops. Good barley wines mature with age I have one that was bottled a year ago that is now just tasting great!

Well huh. You think by now I would know barley wine has to age so dry hopping wouldn’t do anything. I had a complete brain fart on this recipe and still don’t know what saturation numbers to figure out the priming sugar amount. But anyways, thanks for putting me on the correct path.

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