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Old 10-14-2009, 10:13 PM   #1
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Default Should a barleywine feel "hot" going down your pipe?

I brewed a barleywine back on June 4th and transfered to a secondary on June 30th. I took a hydro reading today and it was 1.032. I started off at 1.110. So, I am at about 70% attenuation with a ABV of 10.26%. I tasted the hydro sample and while it tasted good it had that burning alcohol feeling going down. Is this normal for a higher alcohol beer? If so, will the "hotness" fade over time?

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Old 10-14-2009, 10:22 PM   #2
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Sounds like it needs more conditioning time to settle down that warmth. I have a RIS that is a little over 8 months old and it is just getting there.

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Old 10-14-2009, 10:25 PM   #3
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Should not be hot but warm.

19B. English Barleywine

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A smooth warmth from aged alcohol should be present, and should not be hot or harsh.
19C. American Barleywine

Quote:
Alcohol warmth should be present, but not be excessively hot.
http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style19.php
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:27 PM   #4
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Just curious... What temp did you ferment at?
Did you have active temperature control?

I understand that barley wines are aged to mellow out the hot alcohol flavors. Try to keep the beer in the bottles/keg and let it age.

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Old 10-14-2009, 10:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason.mundy View Post
Just curious... What temp did you ferment at?
Did you have active temperature control?

I understand that barley wines are aged to mellow out the hot alcohol flavors. Try to keep the beer in the bottles/keg and let it age.
I fermented it around 70F. But, I am sure that it got a bit hotter during the initial fermentation. I did not use a swamp cooler back then. I do plan to bottle it in a couple of weeks and let it set for at least 6-8 months.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:05 PM   #6
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Yeah, it's WAY too early to judge. 8 months minimum, and that hotness will fade a lot. Give it a year and it'll be unbelievable.

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Old 10-14-2009, 11:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q2XL View Post
I tasted the hydro sample and while it tasted good it had that burning alcohol feeling going down.
Uh, your hydro sample was room temp right? Warm beer brings out hot alcohol flavors, so of course it tasted hot. I've found that with strong commercial beers like an IIPA that are super well balanced when served at a proper chilled temperature, if you drink them at room temp they can have almost disgusting hot alcohol burn.

So just a warm hydro sample alone isn't going to tell you whether the beer is good.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:58 PM   #8
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The hotness will go away the more you drink.

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Old 10-15-2009, 12:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agusus View Post
Uh, your hydro sample was room temp right? Warm beer brings out hot alcohol flavors, so of course it tasted hot. I've found that with strong commercial beers like an IIPA that are super well balanced when served at a proper chilled temperature, if you drink them at room temp they can have almost disgusting hot alcohol burn.

So just a warm hydro sample alone isn't going to tell you whether the beer is good.
I like to drink barleywines at around 60 degrees. A good beer should not have a burn.

I think your temps will produce a bit more harsh alcohol, but with time they will mellow a bit. You really have to be careful with bigger beers, because the fermentations can get out of hand.
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:09 AM   #10
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If it's only since June???

You betcha it will taste hot...

When people think of Barleywines they thing in terms of a year for mellowing, or at least several months.....like 6-8 minimum.

My 1.090 Belgian strong took 6 months before it stopped tasting like rocket fuel....

You absolutely NEED to give it more time to mellow....


Lazy Llama came up with a great chart to help us all know when something is ready...



I wouldn't touch a barleywine I made til it was a year old....

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