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Old 01-22-2010, 02:18 PM   #1
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Default Barleywine - english or american? plus other questions

Please bare with my questions - I've never approached a barleywine before this week.....

I had Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot Barleywine for the first time this week, and I am inspired to brew up a big barleywine for next winter. I have a pound of cascade and a pound each of target and EKG, but I can't decide which way to go, or whether to just combine all three plus the simcoe and magnum I have in smaller doses and go hop crazy with it.....I know by next winter the bitterness will have mellowed considerably.

what do you think? is an all english Barleywine any good? even given that i would like to bitter it to around 80-100 IBU's?

here's the grain bill I came up with, BTW. is it too complicated? Oh, and I'll be oaking it....I think that added a really nice finishing touch to Bigfoot.

Est Original Gravity: 1.097 SG

15.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (3.0 SRM) Grain 74.1 %
3.00 lb Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 14.8 %
1.00 lb Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) Grain 4.9 %
1.00 lb Wheat Malt, Dark (9.0 SRM) Grain 4.9 %
0.25 lb Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain 1.2 %

as always, thanks so much for your advice.

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Old 01-22-2010, 03:32 PM   #2
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Excerpts from the BJCP style guidelines on English and American Barleywines.

Quote:
Comments: The American version of the Barleywine tends to have a greater emphasis on hop bitterness, flavor and aroma than the English Barleywine, and often features American hop varieties.
Quote:
Comments: Although often a hoppy beer, the English Barleywine places less emphasis on hop character than the American Barleywine and features English hops. English versions can be darker, maltier, fruitier, and feature richer specialty malt flavors than American Barleywines.
It seems to me that if you're going up the IBUs anyways, you're making an American Barleywine even if you start with an English Barleywine base recipe.
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Old 01-22-2010, 04:08 PM   #3
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For me, the distinction between English and American is almost completely based on hop variety and IBU. If you can detect any American hop aroma or flavor, especially citrusy/piney stuff like Simcoe, it's American. If that American hopped BW isn't super hoppy, it's just an underhopped American BW. If you want it to be English, stick with noble hops and keep it under 80 calculated IBU.

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Old 01-22-2010, 04:36 PM   #4
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I guess I want to know if an english barleywine is good, as in worth brewing and sitting on for a year to find out.....

I suppose I should brew up something I know I will enjoy and go with the American BW......how's this then?

Nor'wester barleywine

Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 5.00 gal

Ingredients

15.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (3.0 SRM) Grain 77.9 %
3.00 lb Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 15.6 %
1.00 lb Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) Grain 5.2 %
0.25 lb Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain 1.3 %
1.00 oz Magnum [14.00%] (90 min) (First Wort Hop) Hops 43.1 IBU
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50%] (90 min) (First Wort Hop) Hops 16.9 IBU
0.50 oz Simcoe [12.90%] (30 min) Hops 13.0 IBU
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50%] (30 min) Hops 11.1 IBU
0.75 oz Northern Brewer [7.80%] (15 min) Hops 7.6 IBU
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50%] (10 min) Hops 5.2 IBU
0.25 oz Simcoe [12.90%] (0 min) Hops -
0.50 oz Simcoe [12.90%] (Dry Hop 10 days) Hops -
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50%] (0 min) Hops -
1.50 oz Cascade [5.50%] (Dry Hop 10 days) Hops -

....and I'll be dumping this onto an S-05 cake from an american brown....and oaking in secondary (how long do people typically let beer sit on oak chips?) Does this sound good?

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Old 01-22-2010, 04:38 PM   #5
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I used 1oz of steamed, then bourbon soaked chips for one month.

English barleywine is very malt focused so if you prefer hops, go as you've planned.

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Old 01-22-2010, 04:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
I used 1oz of steamed, then bourbon soaked chips for one month.

English barleywine is very malt focused so if you prefer hops, go as you've planned.
I'm really more into balanced beers, but I like american hop flavor (if not bitterness), and I'm really into bigfoot because it's got a 1-2-3 punch going on....first to hit you is the up front hop flavor/aroma, then the completely delicious oak-y malt backbone washes that out, and finally the after-bittering from the hops mixed with the warming of the alcohol.....it's a wonderful beer!

Barleywine seems like one of those styles where you either get it right, or it's just all wrong.....sorta like a Weizenbock.
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Old 01-22-2010, 04:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
For me, the distinction between English and American is almost completely based on hop variety and IBU. If you can detect any American hop aroma or flavor, especially citrusy/piney stuff like Simcoe, it's American. If that American hopped BW isn't super hoppy, it's just an underhopped American BW. If you want it to be English, stick with noble hops and keep it under 80 calculated IBU.
So, is Brew Pastors's Water into Barleywine recipe an American BW (95 IBU w no nobles), or English BW, or Strong Ale? It is in the Strong Ale recipes here at HBT, but I believe it was submitted by Brew Pastor to a comp as American BW and did well in regional finals... I made this intially it was quite hoppy, but it certainly fits as an English after a year and a half.. quite tasty. Just curious about the semantics of subjective criteria... I guess you just put it in the category where it where it fits at its current age
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Old 01-22-2010, 04:55 PM   #8
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semantically speaking, all barlywines - be they english, american or eastern mongolian, fall under the strong ale category - at least according to the bjcp and the layout of Brewing Classic Styles, as well as of this site.

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Old 01-22-2010, 05:01 PM   #9
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For some reason, I was swapping Old Ale and Strong Ale in my head without looking... 19 is Strong Ale; 19A is Old Ale.... as you said , either way it is a Strong Ale... so that answers that question..

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Old 01-22-2010, 05:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxhavoc View Post
So, is Brew Pastors's Water into Barleywine recipe an American BW (95 IBU w no nobles), or English BW, or Strong Ale? It is in the Strong Ale recipes here at HBT, but I believe it was submitted by Brew Pastor to a comp as American BW and did well in regional finals... I made this intially it was quite hoppy, but it certainly fits as an English after a year and a half.. quite tasty. Just curious about the semantics of subjective criteria... I guess you just put it in the category where it where it fits at its current age
Well, BP's recipe is a fusion just like mine is but I'd say it's more American than English. However, Northern Brewer isn't a very distinctively American flavor/aroma and the IBU is on the low side for an American BW with an OG over 1.100 (BU:GU ration plays a big part in English/US BW). IOW, that one would likely do decently in either category.
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