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SMaSH Barleywine

So I’m thinking of making a small (1.5-2Gallon) batch of Barleywine. I might do a few “big” beers this way and bottle them right out of the primary and leave them sit until winter.
Anyways, I was thinking about just straight up Maris Ottor with Target hops. Just two ingredients. I guess three counting the London Ale yeast I’m planning on using. Due to it’s ABV and simplicity I want to call it the Big Simple.

Anyone have good results from big SMaSH beers like this?

Sounds like you’d be shooting for an English barley wine, but you’d need caramel malts to truly make it a barley wine. Barley wines should be sweet and malty. You won’t get enough color or maltiness form just MO malt. But that’s not to say you couldn’t brew a smash with just MO and Target hops. May still make a good beer… just don’t expect a true barley wine.

Yeah, I was thinking English. So maybe adding in 5-10% caramel 60 alongside the MO?

Sounds about right. I’d even consider a darker crystal like maybe C-120 or a mix of 60 and 120… but then you’d be getting away from simple though. Here’s the BJCP description:

Flavor: Medium to high malt character with a luscious malt complexity, often with nutty, caramelly and/or molasses-like flavors. Light chocolate or roasted malt flavors are optional, but should never be prominent. Balance is often malty-sweet, but may be well hopped (the impression of bitterness often depends on amount of aging). Moderate to high fruity esters are common, and may take on a dried-fruit or vinous character. The finish may vary from dry to somewhat sweet. Extended aging may contribute oxidative flavors similar to a fine old Sherry, Port or Madeira. Alcoholic strength should be evident, though not overwhelming. Diacetyl low to none. Some wood-aged or blended versions may have a lactic or Brettanomyces character; but this is optional and should not be too strong (enter as a specialty beer if it is).

I would say stick with your original concept, what’s the harm in trying out a small batch? Maybe you’ll like it. You can also try a longer boil and higher mash temps. Will it be true to an English style? Who cares if it tastes good.

Alright; thought about it and I need to run to the store anyways to get a working thermometer since the digital one I use stopped reading correctly so I’m going to pick up a bit of Crystal for this go round. I really hadn’t thought much about it prior to posting here and was mostly just thinking about what I had on hand but because I need to make the trip anyways I might as well get a bit more grain.

a smash american barleywine is a good idea.

you got me thinking. tons of MO, and Columbus sounds awesome. then LOTS of Safale 05. maybe ill make one before i leave for England for 3 months

[quote=“S.Scoggin”] tons of MO, and Columbus sounds awesome. then LOTS of Safale 05.[/quote]Sounds good to me! :cheers:

Well, it’s officially no longer a SMaSH. I added about 5% cyrstal, it’s in the bag mashing now.

Next time, definitely do ttry making the SMaSH version…you may like it.

I do it that way for about half of the BW batches I make, and they turn out plenty malty. It’s all in how you mash, how you hop, and factoring in proper aging.

Like many brews, they can be made very simply and still taste phenomenal.


Like many brews, they can be made very simply and still taste phenomenal.[/quote]

I think most beers “were” initially made simple. When we try to clone or imitate them, we mimic flavors by throwing ingredients at them to get a quick solution to what mash temps, boil times and age did.

I agree. To me, a British barleywine should be brown, or close to it.

I’m actually going to work on something similar here pretty soon, but I’m going to partigyle it and do a smaller SMaSH … going to use bramling cross hops. Lots of 'em.

I plan on calling them Hulk and Banner.

So I normally don’t do this but do you think my beer is done fermenting?

I went from 1.086 down to 1.024 giving me 8.2% ABV and 73% apparent attenuation with the London Ale Wyeast. I was honestly hoping for a little more but I did do 10% Crystal malt along with the MO base. It was stove top BIAB so the mash fluctuated a tad but was between 150-154 I’d say the whole hour. The gravity reading did taste pretty decent with a good malty body and some pungent hop flavor from the Target that should settle down.

Could be done. How long has it been in the fermenter? Take another reading in 5 days. If its the same, I’d assume it is done

I like to give my big beers a month in the primary

It can be.
But it doesn’t have to be.
Like all styles, Barleywine (British, American, or whatever) is and always has been open to individual interpretation. In other words, there’s no official rulebook.

If I’m going for a “traditional” Burton, I’ll definitely go slightly darker.
But some of my barleywines (especially the simpler ones consisting of only a shritload of pale malt, some brewing sugar, and a single hop variety) trend more towards deep amber. On the palate (which is where it counts), it’s still a barleywine.

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