Step one: Research This is a code name for drinking beer and reading about beer
Barleywine = Barley-Wine = Barley Wine = Strong Ale = Old Ale = call it what you like….. I call it delicious
This style produces beer that has many similarities to wine. Barleywine is typically found to be similar strength to wine, and it one of the most popular beers to cellar and age. Random fact, In 1903 Bass was the first brewery to market an ale as a “barley-wine”.
The term barleywine is very general and can exhibit many different flavors, colors, strengths, bitterness, ect. I could go on forever re-spewing all the information I have read on all the variations but for now I will choose to focus on my favorite style, The English Barleywine.
Commercial Examples*Taken from 2008 BJCP*: Thomas Hardy’s Ale, Burton Bridge Thomas Sykes Old Ale, J.W. Lee’s Vintage Harvest Ale, Robinson’s Old Tom, Fuller’s Golden Pride, AleSmith Old Numbskull, Young’s Old Nick (unusual in its 7.2% ABV), Whitbread Gold Label, Old Dominion Millenium, North Coast Old Stock Ale (when aged), Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot
Christmas 2009 my in laws bought me Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels. This book is like the encyclopedia of beer styles. Actually the back side of the book says The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles. When building a recipe I often start here. I am going to list what Ray Daniels says are key factors in brewing barley wine and how I plan to follow his tips. As well as other things I have read from the smart folks on my forums homebrewtalk.
- Use English pale malt = I will use 100% Maris Otter (Premium English Barley)
- Limit Specialty Malts to no more than 15% = I am using 0%
- Consider addition of yeast nutrient = I am using Wyeast Nutrient Blend
- Use high alpha acid hops for majority of IBU = I am using 10.4% Northern Brewer
- For flavor / aroma use English hopping strategy = EKG + Fuggles + Hallertauer
- Select a ale yeast with good attenuation = Wyeast 1028 London Ale 73-77% Att
- Pitch a lot of yeast = Mr.Malty says 2 vials + 1.8L starter = I did 1 vial 1.8L on my stir plate because i only have a 2L flask currently
- Aerate the wort aggressively = I intend to aerate well when pitching my yeast as well as giving it a gentle stir 18 hours into fermentation
- A bit of brown sugar can impart pineapple flavors and other esters that Thomas Hardy’s Ale is famous for = I plan to use 1# lt brown sugar
- Age in secondary for 3 months = I plan to be in primary for 30 days then a SS corny keg for 90 days, dry hopping 10 days before I package
- Mash @ 150
- Long boil creates flavors that can not be duplicate with specialty grains = 120 min boil requires me to use 12 gallons of water to end with 5.25 gallons in my primary fermentor
- Only use the first runnings, no sparging recommended = this makes things difficult because efficiency drops with the increase of the amount of grain in the mash tun. I am going to use 28-31# of grain
Step Two: I almost forgot one of my favorite parts of designing a new brew is selecting a name. On New years eve my friends, with the help of some high ABV beers, came up with this one in a cabin at Shanty Creek. We dubbed thee…………. Olde Wiener Wine
Oldwienerwine is a combination of my miniature dachshund named Barley, and many strong ales are called old somethingsuch. Now I just need an artistic friend to make a label with a dachshund peeing into or drinking from a snifter glass.
Step Three: I will post notes and pics from our brew day. Steebo is coming over to assist and will be brewing this on MLK day (1/17/11) .
Step Four: I will post my recipe, brew log, and tasting notes this summer when we finally get to taste it . I expect to wait patiently as long as i can and begin drinking OldeWienerWine on my birthday in June.