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Style of the Week: Barleywines!

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December 26, 2014 by fhsteinbart


One of the few beer styles with a distinct and clear point of creation is the style referred to as Barleywine. In 1900, to commemorate the Queen’s Jubilee, Bass came out with a beer simply named Number 1, and declared on the label that it was a Barleywine. Makes you wonder what they would have called it had Edward VII been the ruling monarch at that time, but I digress. Made to a higher than usual Original Gravity, and lower than usual Terminal Gravity, the resulting alcohol came in at around 10~12%. What differentiated this beer from others was the unusually light color as compared to similar products which were quite dark. I like them both, but prefer the lighter colored ones as they are still technically considered Pale Ales, and so should be paler in color. Below is a recipe of mine that makes a nice, dry, easy drinking and balanced Barleywine:

Typical glass of a classic Barleywine style beer served for those cold Winter nights when only one beer will do!

Typical glass of a classic Barleywine style beer served for those cold Winter nights when only one beer will do!

Extract version:

OG: 1.090 FG: 1.015

10 lbs. Light DME

½ lb. Crystal 15L

½ lb. Crystal 40L

15 AAU’s Magnum hops for 60~90 minutes

15 AAU’s Golding’s hops for 20 minutes

1 Whirlfloc Tablet or ½ tsp. Irish Moss at last 15 minutes

15 AAU’s Willamette or Fuggles hops for 7 minutes

¾ gm. Calcium Chloride Salts per gallon (~3.75 gms. or 1 level tsp.) in boil

Wyeast 1028, WLP007, or Windsor Dry Ale Yeast (make a BIG starter, or use 4 packages liquid yeast, or 2 packages dry yeast)

Procedure:

  • Heat 2-5 gallons of water to 165°F.
  • Add steeping grains to kettle and steep for 30 minutes.
  • Turn off heat and add malt extract, stirring until fully dissolved.
  • Return to Heat, bring to boil for 5 min. then add bittering hops.
  • At 20 minutes remaining, add the flavor hops.
  • At 15 minutes remaining, add the Whirlfloc tablet or Irish Moss.
  • At 7 minutes remaining, add the aroma hops.
  • At knockout (0 minutes), turn off the heat, cool the mixture by placing kettle in an ice bath or use a wort chiller. Add the mixture to the fermenter, removing the hops, and bring total volume to 5 gallons using distilled, bottled, or filtered tap water.
  • Aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well).
  • Pitch yeast and ferment at 64°F to 68°F for up to two to three weeks.
  • Allow to age an additional three to four weeks before packaging up as usual.

All Grain version:

OG: 1.090 FG: 1.015

16 lbs. British Pale Ale or ESB Malt

½ lb. Crystal 15L

½ lb. Crystal 40L

15 AAU’s Magnum hops for 60~90 minutes

15 AAU’s Golding’s hops for 20 minutes

1 Whirlfloc Tablet or ½ tsp. Irish Moss at last 15 minutes

15 AAU’s Willamette hops for 7 minutes

¾ gm. Calcium Chloride Salts per gallon (~3.75 gms. or 1 level tsp.) in boil

Wyeast 1028, WLP007, or Windsor Dry Ale Yeast (make a BIG starter, or use 4 packages liquid yeast, or 2 packages dry yeast)

¾ gm. Calcium Chloride Salts per gallon (~3.75 gms. or 1 level tsp.) in both mash and boil

Procedure:

  • Infusion mash at 149°F for 90 min with the Brewing Salts.
  • Sparge until 6~6½ gal wort has been obtained.
  • Add the rest of the salts after the boil commences.
  • Boil for 1 to 1½ hours total time.
  • Add the bittering hops after 15 minutes boiling and continue to boil for 60 more minutes.
  • Add the flavor hops at 20 minutes remaining to the boil.
  • Add Whirlfloc or Irish Moss at last 15 minutes.
  • Add the aroma hops at 7 minutes remaining to the boil.
  • Gravity may vary depending on system efficiency, so adjust accordingly.

Package up as usual; bottled versions should use 100 gms. corn sugar (approx. ¾ cup), or kegged to 15 psig, and allow two weeks to come into condition. Serve at 50~55°F in a Brandy snifter glass, share and enjoy! This beer will continue to evolve and change over the coming months, so make enough to last you through your next brew.

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