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Old 10-09-2008, 10:58 PM   #1
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Default My personal Everest... Am I ready for the final ascent?

Or should I spend some more time at basecamp?

Okay, I LOVES me some American Barleywine. Anytime is a good time. I love SN Bigfoot and Rock Arts Vermonster. Smuttynose Wheat wine is quite good too. Have not had too many others that stand out. It is my goal brew to brew a GOOD, delicious, celestial, fortifying Barley Wine. I want to do it right. I want to have the skills to brew something that big, well. I know there is always the just brew and brew 'til you get it right. However I have reverence for this brew. I want to be worthy to tackle it.

How do you know when you are ready? I have brewed a few big beers over the last year (OG in the 70's 80's) and have had okay results. Some under attenuation issues (old ale stopped at 1.025) Some hot fusel alcohols though I did keep the fermentation temp in check. I suppose they just need some additional aging. Still working on that. I have also been dabbling in meads and braggots in small batches. I have yet to taste the end result of any of those. Though I did have some band-aid like flavors when tasting gravity sample of very young ones. Hopefully that will pass.

What I have been dreaming of is doing a party-gyle batch with 5 gallons of barleywine and 10 gallons of bitter. Very simple recipe. 1.090's or so for OG and nice and bold American hoppy-ness.

I finally have the gear tackle such a brew but am I ready?

Give me some encouragement, or tips, or patience...



Or send me some Barleywine!





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Old 10-09-2008, 11:02 PM   #2
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You are ready. Just remember that you will be aging this badboy for awhile and you should look into some form of temperature control while it is waiting in secondary as well.

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Old 10-09-2008, 11:05 PM   #3
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Aging will be the hard part but I can do it. Got lots of other beer stocked up.

As far as temp control... Cool or warm? I have a fermentation cooler box but in the winter I am more in need of a warmer so I use a water bath and aquarium heater. Only have one so if it is warmth I will need guess it is time to replace my second broken heater.

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Old 10-09-2008, 11:30 PM   #4
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I'd suggest making a 5 gallon starter with some Blonde or Pale Ale first and pitch on the cake.

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Old 10-10-2008, 01:36 AM   #5
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I made my first BIG beer: an AG Imperial Stout and hit 1.113 OG.

Do it!

And, Listen to Mr. Petty: "the waaaaaiting is the hardest part"

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Old 10-10-2008, 01:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
I'd suggest making a 5 gallon starter with some Blonde or Pale Ale first and pitch on the cake.
I had been planning to use 2 packs of dry yeast (US-05) but I suppose that would be a better plan.

I guess I should lay out what I have planned to get some feedback.

I am having a bit of trouble with the whole parti-gyle plan. I am using the spreadsheet for figuring it out but I cannot quite make it work with my system. Regardless here is the basic recipe for the Barleyewine part anyway.

For 5 gallons
70% Efficicency

OG 1.091
IBU 88

17 # of MO
1 # of Crystal 60L
.50 # Carared
1 # 10 oz. (approx. 1 quart) Grade B Maple Syrup ( to dry it out a bit and to give it that local flavor )

Hops
45 g Millenium15.5% @ 60 minutes
14 g Centennial 8.5% @ 20
21 g Cascade 4.5% @ 10
14 g Centennial 8.5% @ 5
14 g Cascade 4.5% @ flameout
28 g Amarillo 5% Dry hopped

US-05 yeast (either multiple packs or yeast cake)

90 Minute boil

I have an aquarium pump but not an airstone. Usually I just shake and I have my special aeration siphon tip I made (part venturi tube part splash/spray cone) I thought perhaps I could just use a regular aquarium airstone just once and toss it after to use for additional aeration?

Ferment in initial carboy for 1 month @ 66F then transfer to either second carboy or 5 gallon corney keg and add dry hops for 2 weeks. Transfer again and age for 12 mos. then transfer to new clean keg. I was thinking of using kegs for the dry-hopping/clearing/aging vessels so that transfers could be done without too much oxygen introduction. Not sure what temp I should age it at.

If I can figure it out I would love to make a batch of ordinary bitter around about 1.035 OG as my other batch. Cannot seem to manipulate things though to figure it.

I cannot think of anything else right now but I have been obsessed with this for some time so there must be something else... If I recall any other details of my plan I post them later. Should probably go get some work done.

Any more thoughts or advice? Party-gyle help?
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Old 10-10-2008, 03:30 PM   #7
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Go for it. One thing you should change is dry hopping. It seems somewhat counter productive to dry hop, then age for a year. I'd dry hop closer to the end of aging, or even in the keg.

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Old 10-10-2008, 05:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edcculus View Post
Go for it. One thing you should change is dry hopping. It seems somewhat counter productive to dry hop, then age for a year. I'd dry hop closer to the end of aging, or even in the keg.
hmmm. Interesting point. Barleywines are aggressively hopped for that reason... the hops fade. I wonder if I am hopping aggressively enough to begin with? Suppose I could add the hops to the aging tank a couple weeks before transferring to the serving keg.
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Old 10-11-2008, 09:06 PM   #9
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The reason for dry hopping is simply aroma and some flavor. Your hop schedule in the boil will help offset the malt sweetness. If you want some hop aroma in the final beer, dry hop. I think it sounds pretty good.

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Old 10-12-2008, 12:25 AM   #10
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I would follow Bobby's suggestion of making a starter. Also if you have a stone and oxygenate the wort before pitching that would help. Finally, you may want to consider a technique for restarting fermentation when it poops out the first time. I like using a secondary yeast strain that gives little flaor but consumes more sugar and works will in the higher alcohol environment when the original pitch can't do it.

Making the barley wine isn't harder in terms of making the wort. A lot of guys have good recipes on here and that will take you a long way. The hard part is keeping the yeast operating when it hits 6-7% abv. So pole aroudn the forums and learn more about yeast.

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