I'm entering my first Homebrew competition. A local brewery here did a random drawing of beer styles for the competition and Strong Ale/Barley Wine was selected. They've acknowledged the obvious that these beers prefer aging, but they want it submitted in about 6-7 weeks. In an effort to brew something up that will do well with aging but also still taste well young, here's what I'm thinking:
-The recipe I've mocked up has me at 1.088 OG and just shy of 9% ABV.
-I'm going to do my first yeast starter to get healthy and active yeast before I pitch
-Mash around 148-149 for at least 60 minutes, perhaps 75 or 90 minutes. My understanding is that the lower temperature, and longer mash contribute to more fermentable sugars - so they'll ferment out a bit better/quicker and dry up the ale a little bit (thus help with younger drinkability)
-Originally was going to put 1 pound of sugar into the boil... might instead add it to the primary a couple days after fermentation so that the yeast can do some heavy lifting with my wort, then more easily take care of the sugar afterwards.
Do those last two points make sense, or do I understand that wrong?
I'm planning on a 90 minute boil. Any suggestions on which yeasts are going to to best in this style, and what kind of hop additions to use for a Barley Wine? I'm gonna push for 80+ IBUs, so I'll probably end up with 4-5 ounces of hops in this baby.
K, no more thinking out loud, taking whatever advice y'all have to offer