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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > BarleyWine hop rates
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:47 AM   #1
gigapunk
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Default BarleyWine hop rates

I just got done adding my new 'Blue Agave Nectar Barley Wine' to the fermenter, and am a little concerned that it's under hopped per my tastes. To start off my brew day I picked up both SN Bigfoot Ale, and Anchor's Old FogHorn. I like the smoothness of the foghorn, but couldn't get enough of the hops smell/flavor that was in the Bigfoot. Are these mutually exclusive? Does the foghorn's sweet smootheness only come through because of what I percieve as lower IBUs?

The recipe


I havn't added any sucrose yet. I plan to add additional yeast and sucrose after the gravity drops below 1.040

Without the sucrose and at 4.5 gallons right now, just after pitching, my OG is 1.111 (26.1 Plato) and my IBUs are 70.8. If I go ahead with my later dilution/sugar/yeast addition I should end up with a predicted OG of 1.123 (28.6 Plato)

I just noticed that the Bigfoot has 90 IBUs and that's why I'm worried all of a sudden. The Bigfoots OG is 1.096 (23 Plato) per SN's website.

I know that in the English tradition it would be fine to have a beer as big as mine with no more than 50 IBUs, but I'm an American hop head who's about to harvest a few pounds of Cascade.

Did I undershoot the bittering hops? Will massive amounts of dry hopping help?

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Old 09-21-2010, 06:57 AM   #2
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Found this info on the 'Old Foghorn' in another thread

Looks like 90% 2-row/pale malt and 10% 55L crystal malt, 1.100 OG, 60 IBU using all cascade hops. And according to the Anchor website, apparently they only use the first runnings of the mash, which I found interesting.

Blu Agave 70.8/123 = 0.58
Old Fog Horn 60/100 = 0.60
Bigfoot 90/96 = 0.94

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Old 09-21-2010, 04:22 PM   #3
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I like to shoot for 0.9-1.0 BU:GU ratios on barley wines.... especially if they're gonna age awhile and have some bitterness drop out. Of course, I'm not a huge fan of sweet beers.

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Old 09-21-2010, 04:41 PM   #4
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Can I increase the BU:GU ratio by boiling a hop tea and adding it to the primary?

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Old 09-21-2010, 05:44 PM   #5
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Check out isoHop. It seems to be the only reliable way to up your IBUs. It is a bit expensive and you won't need much but could be fun to play with!

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Old 09-21-2010, 06:07 PM   #6
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I like your style on the Special B, I use it plenty in my Barley Wine. Also, warrior has never let me down, have faith. I used 2 oz of warrior at 60 and 2 oz of cascade split up at 15 and 5 at 70 IBUs at an OG of 1.112. The hops are noticeable and pronounced but not over bearing, the brew came out as a balanced AMERICAN Barley Wine. I think you should have a similar situation. If you really have to up your IBUs then when you do your sugar addition, boil some hops in the water with the sugar to get some bitterness out of them. Doing obscene amounts of dry hopping probably wouldn't have the desired effect.

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Old 09-21-2010, 06:56 PM   #7
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Maybe you're right. I don't normally like sweet beers, but I have to admit that the sweetness in 'Old Foghorn' is a really nice match to a Christmas Barleywine. DrinkinSurfer, did you find your American Barley Wine to be more sweet than BigFoot, or on par with Old Foghorn? That isohop is no joke at $27, but it would be fun to play with.

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Old 09-21-2010, 08:23 PM   #8
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I have not had either of those brews recently enough to make a comparison. I have had Stone's Old Guardian(the 2010 and 2009) pretty recently though, and that comes in at 95 IBUs at just over 11% ABV. The Old Guardian does have some more bitterness than mine, but I wouldn't call 70 IBUs sweet. My FG was a little high at 1.031 and with all of that residual sugar the brew still comes across a bit on the hoppy side of balanced. Not a hop bomb by any means at that FG and ABV but 70 IBUs it still a significant amount of IBUs.
I think you will be pleased with it regardless of the route you take. Just also consider your grain bill, you put effort into having a complex malt profile and that should be given a chance to shine as well.

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Old 09-21-2010, 08:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrinkinSurfer View Post
I have not had either of those brews recently enough to make a comparison. I have had Stone's Old Guardian(the 2010 and 2009) pretty recently though, and that comes in at 95 IBUs at just over 11% ABV. The Old Guardian does have some more bitterness than mine, but I wouldn't call 70 IBUs sweet. My FG was a little high at 1.031 and with all of that residual sugar the brew still comes across a bit on the hoppy side of balanced. Not a hop bomb by any means at that FG and ABV but 70 IBUs it still a significant amount of IBUs.
I think you will be pleased with it regardless of the route you take. Just also consider your grain bill, you put effort into having a complex malt profile and that should be given a chance to shine as well.


I found this chart somewhere and extended it out in photoshop to cover higher gravitys.

It puts our beers right in the middle of the 'slightly hoppy' category, which of course is more hoppy than a 'balanced' beer. Interesting. I'm starting to think you're right and I should just chill out, and enjoy what develops.

Are you suggesting that more hops might conceal the malt profile if my beer moves from the 'slightly' hoppy to the 'extra' hoppy category.
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:07 PM   #10
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I think that massive amounts of dry hopping would at least partially mask the malt profile, as would adding IBUs via hop tea or isohop. I am not saying that beers that are considered extra hoppy don't have a malt profile, just that the emphasis is put on the hop profile. From what you have said about what you want in a beer (at least my take on it) is that you will be very pleased with your brew as it is. It won't be cloying, but will have a holiday warmth to it spiced up with a quite fair amount of IBUs. This also doesn't mean you can't split the batch and go wild with hops with half of it!

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