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Style of the Week: Barleywine!

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November 27, 2015 by fhsteinbart


Barleywine style

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

Probably the most transcendent beer ever invented, this style is simply the strongest version of what is considered the iconic beer of the craft beer scene: Pale Ales. So if you think of a Barleywine as a strong Pale Ale, then the formulation becomes instantly recognizable: Pale Ale Malt, Crystal Malt, Hops, and Yeast. Historically, the first usage comes from the British brewery Bass, who in 1903 came out with their iconic No. 1 Bass Pale Ale, which was named Barley Wine on the label to assuage the merits of their beer to wine drinker’s and ensure the health benefits from a barley based beverage. Strong beers have always been made, but with the more clearly defined style as this one we can make our own interpretations of this style quite easily. While there are no known upper limits of the beer, there is a lower limit of 8% ABV, which shows the respective differences between Barleywines, and Old, or Stock Ales, which preceded them time-wise. Below is a recipe of mine which I made to commemorate the life of Edgar Allen Poe (the American Rival to Thomas Hardy – both in literature, and in brewing!) who enjoyed such beers as well. Tawny Brown with a hint of ruby highlights sporting an off white foam stand this beer is definitely what you’d call a winter warmer that Poe would have also enjoyed. If you can’t get the original gravity required because of your mash tun size, all grain brewer’s can add some malt extract to make up the difference as such a small amount of extract won’t detract from the overall flavor, aroma, and finish of this beer.

Extract:

  • 10 lbs. Light DME
  • 1 lb. Crystal 120
  • 4 oz. Goldings Hops (Bittering)
  • 4 oz. Willamette or Fuggles Hops (Flavor)
  • 4 oz. Goldings Hops (Aroma)
  • ¼ oz. Brewing (Burton) Salts in the boil
  • Wyeast 1028, White labs WLP013, Imperial Sovereign, or Danstar Nottingham Dry Yeast

Instructions:

  • Heat ¾ gallons of water to 155°F.
  • Turn off heat and add steeping grains, and steep for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the steeping grains, adding the malt extract and stirring until fully dissolved, then add water to volume.
  • Return to heat, bring to boil for 10 min. then add bittering hops. (Goldings, 60 min).
  • At 20 minutes remaining in the boil, add the flavor hops.
  • At 15 minutes remaining in the boil, add a Whirfloc tablet.
  • At the end of the boil, add the aroma hops.
  • After boil has finished, turn off heat and cool wort by placing kettle in an ice bath or use a wort chiller (0 min).
  • Add mixture to fermenter, removing hops, and bring total volume to 5 gallons using non-distilled bottled water or filtered tap water.
  • Aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well).
  • Pitch yeast and ferment at 68° F until completed (about a week).
  • Allow to age an additional four to six weeks before packaging up as usual.

All Grain:

  • 14 lbs. Pale Ale Malt
  • 1 lb. Crystal 120
  • 4 oz. Goldings Hops (Bittering)
  • 4 oz. Willamette or Fuggles Hops (Flavor)
  • 4 oz. Goldings Hops (Aroma)
  • ¼ oz. Brewing (Burton) Salts in the mash and in the boil
  • Wyeast 1028, White labs WLP013, Imperial Sovereign, or Danstar Nottingham Dry Yeast

Procedure:

Infusion mash at 148°F for 1 hour. Sparge to 6.5 gallons of wort, and bring to a roiling boil. Add the bittering hops 10 minutes into the boil. Add the flavor hops at 20 minutes remaining in the boil. Continue boiling for 10 more minutes, then add a Whirlfloc tablet or Irish moss. At the end of the boil, add the aroma hops and cool the mixture by placing kettle in an ice bath or using a wort chiller. Add mixture to fermenter, removing hops, and aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well). Pitch yeast and ferment at 68°F. Gravity may vary depending on system efficiency, so adjust accordingly, using malt extract if needed.

Package up as usual; bottled versions should use 90 gms. corn sugar (approx. 2/3 cup), or kegged to 15 psig, and allow two weeks to come into condition. Serve at 55°~60°F in a Brandy snifter mug, 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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