Barleywine and Yeast advice
Ok, I am brewing my Scottish Barley Wine. I know there is no style for it, but the recipe is based on an English barleywine, but with a Scottish flair.
21 lb Golden Promise
1 lb Peat malt
1 lb UK Crystal 60
2 oz Magnum 120min (I know American hops, but couldn't find a good bittering UK hop)
1 oz Northdown at 60
1 oz Northdown at 30
1 oz EKG at 15
1 oz Bramlimng Cross at 5
Using Wyeast London III
1. What do you think of the recipe?
2. I made a 2L starter, is that big enough?
I will be adding yeast nutrient.
Primary for 8 weeks
Secondary 8 weeks
Bottle condition 4 months
Drink at Christmas?
peat malt is wicked strong, I'm not sure I'd use 1lb in it. why not use scottish yeast, it works pretty well in barleywines
2L starter sounds a lil small, check here to find the right size: http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html
Yeah, what he said. That pretty much sums up my initial reaction. Oxygenate well, too, in addition to using a bigger starter.
What do you expect your mash schedule to look like?
Yeah, I even use scottish ale yeast in one of my more American-style barleywines. It's great. And you need a huge starter (I always brew a smaller Scottish ale just prior to my barleywine, so I can have a nice huge yeast cake to harvest and pitch from).
I don't know that you need to Primary or secondary that long and based on the BW I bottled in October, you might want to count on 8 months for conditioning. My BW is just now drinkable and not yet great.
If you want to actually MAKE an English Barleywine, then drop the Magnum hops. You could also use Fuggles for the flavor addition, at 20 minutes (1 ounce), and shift the 15 minute EKG to 5-10 minutes. That would give you about 48 IBU (depending on the AA% of the hops you get)... You could also try using Target hops for bittering (it's included in info about the English Barleywine's)... Those have a bit more AA% in them than Northdown hops, typically. Switching to Target hops, for a 60 minute boil, would get you right about 50 IBU. Unless you have made an English Barleywine before (doesn't seem like you have yet) with more IBU that you really enjoyed, I'd aim more for the middle of a style's range for a first time.
I would try 1/2 pound of the smoked peat malt for a start. Unless you've tried an English Barleywine that you like that has ~4% of the grain bill in smoked peat malt.
I also agree that you could use a Scottish Ale yeast, like Wyeast 1728 for this. Actually probably a better idea than the London Ale III since that tuckers out around 10% ABV... You could go to 12% ABV with that recipe (and the right yeast)...
I'd also be interested in knowing your mash schedule/plan for this one...
Also, keep in mind, Scottish brews are historically LOW IBU brews. So if you want to make a Scottish Barleywine, you would want LOWER IBU's, or at least in the bottom 1/3-1/4 of the range. Not where you started...
Gor your statement (in bold above) about not finding good UK bittering hops... You couldn't have looked very hard. Beer Smith lists 8 UK hops for bittering (only) with three more that are listed as 'both' (aroma/flavoring and bittering)... I actually like Target for bittering, as well as Northdown... You COULD use EKG or Fuggles for bittering if you wanted to. You'll just need to add enough of them to make the IBU's for the style...
I would suggest running your recipe through some software so that you can actually SEE how many IBU's you're going to get with your hop selection, schedule, and amounts... Otherwise, you could make something that will make your face implode due to high bitterness... Or not even be drinkable in December, of this year... Maybe it will be in another year, or three...
As I said, this is an English Barleywine with a Scottish twist. The IBU's seem high, but with such a heavy malt presence, the perception of the IBU's is significantly reduced. So while calculations say 110 IBU, the perception is around 60-70.
I did research on the yeast, and London III is used very frequently for BW and several commercial brewers use this yeast.
While you can find a list telling you what UK hops are for bittering, the actual availability of those hops is another. Target and other bittering hops are hard to find.
I am using a single infusion Mash schedule of 60 min at 148. I have also seen some mash schedules of 30 min at 145 then step up to 152 for 60 min. I plan on keeping it simple.
BW using Pilsen
How would using a Pilsen Pale grain instead of a 2 Row Pale grain affect or effect the outcome of an American BW?
A "Scottish twist" would still mean LESS IBU's... Also, mashing that low you'll have very little body to the brew, so not much malty character at all... With that much IBU's, and mashing that low, it's more in line with an IIPA... Or, an American Barley wine with a little hint of Scotland... A very small hint at that... IF you really want your English Barleywine, then tone DOWN the IBU's and mash higher (at least get into the medium body range)... Otherwise, stop calling it an English Barleywine 'with a Scottish twist' since it's really NOT that...
As for not being able to get Target hops, you couldn't be looking very hard... MidWest has them in stock...
BTW, your original recipe has an IBU rating of 122.4... So far beyond English Barleywine it's not even funny... Almost double the max for the style (which is 70)...
I would also be concerned that the London Ale III yeast wouldn't be able to finish fermenting the brew all the way... Since even at 70% efficiency, you're looking at almost 11.5% ABV potential (OG 1.115; FG 1.029)... Mashing as low as you stated, you'll probably finish closer to 1.010, which means that you'll have plenty of potential, but not ferment to it since you picked a yeast that can't go that low... Hell, even if you have a FG of 1.020, you could have finished at 12-12.5% ABV, but not with that yeast. That is unless you plan on using another higher ABV tolerance yeast to finish it, which can be tricky...
Brew what you want, but call it what it REALLY is... Which would be more like an Imperial American Barleywine... The IBU's you're aiming for are even above the regular American Barleywine style range (tops out at 120)... At that level, you might be able to drink it (without your face imploding) two xmas's from now (so 2012) if you're lucky...
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