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Old 08-23-2012, 12:59 PM   #1
lateknightucd
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Default First AG batch - American Barleywine

Good morning all. I'm preparing for the transition to all-grain brewing and having done some research last night after purchasing a copy of BeerSmith, I have a Barleywine design that I would love some input on. This will be my first AG batch but my brother-in-law (experienced in home/commercial brewer) will be assisting. Given that I don't know what my efficiency will be, I shot for the middle of the ranges with regards to the style characteristics. The recipe assumes an efficiency of 75% which results in an OG of 1.111 so if I undershoot that a bit it should be okay. I tend to really enjoy beers with rye characteristics so I wanted to include rye malt in the grain bill. Without further ado, here's the recipe, please feel free to comment:

Mash:
16 lbs US 2 row - 72.7%
3.5 lbs Rye Malt - 15.9%
2 lbs Crystal 60 - 9.1%
4 oz Cara-pils - 1.1%
4 oz wheat malt - 1.1%

60 minute mash @ 152F
Batch sparge with 168F water

Boil:
75 minutes

Hops:
2 oz Chinook @ 75
1 oz Centennial @ 45
1 oz Cascade @ 30
0.5 oz Cascade @ 5
0.5 oz Centennial @ 5
0.5 oz each of Cascade, Centennial and Chinook dry hopped in secondary for 2 weeks

Fermentation:
Pitch two slap packs of Wyeast 1056 (American Ale)
Primary fermentation ~ 1 week
Secondary fermentation ~ 2 weeks
Bottle and age for approximately a year (shooting to open for Christmas 2013)

Estimated values:
Original Gravity: 1.111
Final Gravity: 1.024
ABV: approximately 11.5 (not in front of BeerSmith right now)
IBU: approximately 85
SRM: approximately 16

The basis for the recipe was clones of Old Foghorn and Bigfoot, both favorites of mine when I lived in California.

So what say you? I realize that a higher gravity beer as my first AG may be ambitious but I'm confident that with a little help from my brother-in-law I can pull it off. Thanks in advance!

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Old 08-23-2012, 01:45 PM   #2
inhousebrew
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Honestly I'd say don't do it. Take a while to dial in your system, your assistant may have brewing experience but everyone's system works a bit differently so do a few regular batches first. Really work on figuring out your efficiency and then drop it. 15% is a bit of Rye too and could cause a stuck sparge which would really suck with that much grain in there.

Not sure what equipment you have but I think 75% is ambitious, I'd lower to at least 70% and I actually drop mine to 60% but more normal brewhouse efficiency is 72%.

Also, this is just me but drop the wheat and carapils. Not going to make it bad but also not going to do anything you need in in that small quantity.

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Old 08-23-2012, 05:13 PM   #3
BradleyBrew
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Honestly in my opinion would not use rye malt in a barleywine. Barleywines are suppose to be about huge malt and in american versions huge hops. I dont think rye would play well in this scenario. Of course that is the beauty of homebrewing so you can do as you please. Also, I would increase the hop bill as well. My last barleywine was 2.5oz of Chinook @ 60 .5oz at 30 and 2oz of cascade & centennial @ 15 & 5. I did a 90 minute boil because of the large amount of sparge water. Two smack packs is way underpitching this beer. You would be much better going with a large starter or two packs of S-05. Lastly, 3 weeks total is not enough to mellow this beer. In my opinion it will age much better on the yeast cake. It probably will not even hit its FG @ 1 week so do not rack to a secondary until this happens. I would age 4 weeks in the primary and a few months in the secondary. This is just me .02. Good Luck!

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Old 08-23-2012, 05:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BradleyBrew View Post
Two smack packs is way underpitching this beer. You would be much better going with a large starter or two packs of S-05. Lastly, 3 weeks total is not enough to mellow this beer. In my opinion it will age much better on the yeast cake. It probably will not even hit its FG @ 1 week so do not rack to a secondary until this happens. I would age 4 weeks in the primary and a few months in the secondary. This is just me .02. Good Luck!
Wow, honestly I didn't even notice that. Wait, wait and then wait some more on these big beers. Check this for the right amount of yeast to use:

http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

Also, if you decide to go ahead with this read up about big beer brewing because it is a whole different ballgame which is why I still recommend waiting:

http://beersmith.com/blog/2010/05/09...gravity-beers/
http://www.maltosefalcons.com/tech/t...wing-big-beers

If you don't believe me just do a search on this forum and see how many new brewers have ruined a big barleywine because they didn't know what to do.
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:23 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input guys.

Holding off until I have a better handle on my equipment and efficiency seems wise. No sense in wasting $50 of grain and hops for something that turns out terrible. I suppose since I have a lifetime of brewing ahead of me, a barleywine can wait a while. Now to figure out what to make instead...

Thanks again...this is the reason I asked here.

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Old 08-23-2012, 06:37 PM   #6
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For starters I think hoppy beers are good because if you mess something up in your process that has a negative affect on the taste the hops can mask it a bit. Otherwise, a lot of people recommend brown ales or smaller porters. It's the really crisp, clean beers that are actually tough to make because if something goes wrong there is nothing there to hide it. Read up on Barleywines a bit, do a handful of batches first and then if you go ahead with it I always keep a bunch of DME on hand just in case I need to make an addition to pick up the gravity.

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