Mmm, Smoked Barleywine
I got this crazy idea in my head that I'd like to make a smoked English barleywine. The last few recipes I've done have been low to medium gravity beers with a fairly simply grain bills because I think you can get pretty complex flavors from 3 or 4 ingredients, but I decided to try going all out on this one. Take a look and let me know what you think!
5 Gallon Batch:
Malt & Fermentables
53% 10lb Warminster Floor-Malted Maris Otter
16% 3lb Munich Liquid Malt Extract (late boil)
16% 3lb Smoked Malt
5% 1lb Candi Sugar, Amber (Homemade - late boil)
5% 1lb Golden Naked Oats
3% 8oz Special B Malt
3% 8oz Gambrinus Honey Malt
boil 90 min 1 Yakima Magnum ~ pellet 13.0 » 36.0 IBU
boil 20 min 1 Northern Brewer ~ pellet 8.5 » 13.3 IBU
boil 5 min 2 US Golding ~ pellet 5.5 » 5.7 IBU
post-boil 1 min 1 Northern Brewer ~ pellet 8.5 » 0.0 IBU
Safale S-04 Dry Yeast
1 tsp Irish Moss 15 minutes
1 oz Port Soaked Oak Chips 45 days
1.102 OG (70% Mash Efficiency)
1.027 FG (73% Attenuation)
Color: 24° SRM
Bitterness: 55.0 IBU
Alcohol: 10.0% ABV
Mash at 149*F for 60 minutes
Primary ferment at 65*F for 60 days
Cold crash at 32*F for 2 days
Bottle and condition for at least 6 months (could you put a little bit of oak in each bottle to really emulate that barrel-aged flavor?)
Here is my line of thinking:
I wanted a complex fruity flavor, so I have three really unique caramel malts and will be using port soaked oak chips in the primary fermenter. Since there will be an oak flavor, it might as well be a smoky oak flavor. I think this should actually go pretty well with the dark fruit flavors from the special b. I added Munich LME because I will be maxing out my tun space at 15 lbs of grain and a water to grist ratio of 1.5 qts/lb, but I wanted to get the ABV up to about 10%. Is munich a good addition to this grist bill, or will I just end up making the flavor too muddied?
I like the recipe a lot. The only thing I would consider changing is using something other than Northern Brewer hops. NB is, to me, a very neutral hop that is good for bittering purposes. It might be fun to use something like Pacifica or comparable NZ hops. For a more traditional flavor, try more Goldings or Fuggles.
FWIW, you've inspired me to start designing a new barley wine of my own for the winter.
Hercher, that's a really good thought. I've never used NZ hops, so I just spent a few minutes on Midwest Supplies' site looking at the different characteristics of the NZ hops. They sound fantastic, I don't know why I haven't tried a few 1 gallon samplers of NZ hops yet!
After looking around a bit, I think Pacific Gem sounds like a really interesting addition to this recipe. The only question I have is whether the tropical fruits that seem to be common among the NZ hops would pair well with the smoky dark fruit flavor I am shooting for with the rest of the recipe. It might be delicious, I'm just having a hard time picturing the combination in my mind. I am not enough of a chef to do that one as a mental exercise! I have about a month before I plan to brew this one, so this will be rattling around in my head for a while and I might just have to try getting a bottle of port and throwing a bit of melon or tangerine into a glass.
Good luck with your barleywine recipe.
What do you mean specifically by smoked malt? I know NB sells a cherrywood smoked malt that is quite mild, there's Rauchmalt... Then there's peat smoked malt. 3 lbs of PSM in a 5 gallon batch will kill man.
The cherrywood malt sounded really good, but the one that I was looking at was the Rauchmalt. NB sells it as Weyermann Smoked Malt and says it can be used for up to 100% of the grist. I am looking for a little smoky complexity in the aroma and flavor, but I don't want it to overpower the other flavors. No real reason for picking rauchmalt over cherrywood other than saving a buck or two - at 15% and sitting in bottles for several months do you think there would be any noticeable difference in smoky flavor between the two? That makes me wonder, the smoke flavor and aroma dissipates with time, so what percentage would be needed to be able to get a nice background note after a year or so?
I agree about the peat smoked malt, although maybe 3 lbs in a 5 gallon batch could be marketed as a beer version of nicotine gum. That beer would have such a ridiculously smoky flavor that I wouldn't even want to be around a campfire for the next year!
I made a smoked porter, it had 6 ounces of PSM (too much). After a year it had mellowed but you could still smell smoke wafting out of the glass. I know it would dissipate some, but not drastically. I think using 10% Rauch would be a pretty good place to start.
I think 3 lbs of rauchmalt or peat malt is going to be too much, the more I think about. I'd reduce it to a pound, and add a couple lbs of Munich or Vienna.
I like the idea of Pacific Gem hops in this beer -- the citrusy nose of those hops will nicely counter the smokiness.
Ok, with 2 votes two reduce the rauch, I'll drop it down from 3 lbs to 2 lbs (about 10% of the grist). I've already got 3 lbs of Munich LME in the recipe, do you think more would be worthwhile. I could always buy the 1 quart (6 lb) container of Munich LME instead. After removing the pound of rauch, I could add up to two more pounds to my tun but that wouldn't leave a lot of room for stirring.
If it were me I would plan on letting this one bulk age on the port soaked oak in the secondary for a while.
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