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-   -   Maple Bourbon Barrel-Aged Barleywine (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f74/maple-bourbon-barrel-aged-barleywine-373512/)

smiller 12-11-2012 04:34 PM

Maple Bourbon Barrel-Aged Barleywine
Boil Size: 5.6 gal
Bottling Volume: 4.5 gal
Estimated ABV: 13% (accounting for bourbon)
Est Mash Efficiency: 68 %

Grain Bill
2-Row, 23%, 5.17lbs
Crystal (20L), 12%, 2.94lbs
Chocolate, 0.75%, 0.22lbs
Flaked barley, 8%, 1.80lbs

Pale DME, 46.25%, 5.65lbs
Maple Syrup (grade A, medium amber), 10%, 1.83lbs (flameout)

Hop Schedule
Columbus, 2.0oz, 90min
Columbus, 1.0oz, 25min
Cascade, 1.0oz, flameout
Willamette, 2.0oz, dry-hop 1 week before bottling/kegging

Mash 148F, 75 mins
Total Grain Weight: 10.13 lb

Soak 3oz medium plus toast American oak CUBES in 4oz. bourbon (I used Knob Creek) for ~3 weeks (plan to add them in secondary). I know this is debatable, but soaking them in bourbon sanitized them sufficiently.

Primary for 15 days at 65-68F on 0.5oz light American oak CHIPS. Before I added them to the wort, I put them in a small sauce pan with enough water to cover them, brought it to a boil, covered it, and steamed them for 2-3 minutes. I repeated this 3 times to sanitize. Then I added the oak chips plus the water (since it now contains a lot of oak essence) to the chilled wort in the carboy.

Rack off of oak chips into secondary onto the 3oz oak cubes plus the bourbon they were soaking in. Before adding the bourbon, though, I put it through a coffee filter to filter out most of the carbon dust. I like forward bourbon presence in my barrel-aged beers, so I ended up adding the rest of the pint that I bought. I would recommend starting with the cubes and the bourbon they were soaking in and tasting it every 2 weeks, adding a few ounces of bourbon at a time until you are happy. Bulk age for 2-3 months total in secondary at around 65-68F (I aged for 2 months).

If you are bottling, prime with brown sugar (treat it like table sugar when calculating the amount).

The FG was a little low for a barleywine IMO, as I was shooting for around 1.018. I would recommend mashing a little above 150F to correct this.

I added the maple syrup at flameout, but if I do it again, I will probably add it with 10 mins left in the boil to make sure it is blended a bit better.

The medium plus oak cubes imparted a touch of a smokey, savory flavor, which I personally wasn't a huge fan of. If you like that great, but if not, try using medium toast.

The 0.5oz light oak chips in primary added a very subtle oak foundation, but hardly noticeable. You have to be careful with oak chips, as too much can be overwhelming, but next time I will probably increase that oak addition to 0.75-1.0oz.

Karmawar 01-07-2013 03:58 PM

I was wondering as to how much the Maple comes through? is it a very discernible flavour in the finished beer?

CBMbrewer 01-07-2013 04:03 PM

Dying Hops?

deuce40 01-07-2013 04:12 PM

Making this in about a month. Looking foward to the process, never made a beer quiet this big before. It sounds delicious though, I'm really going to have to be patient for this one.

smiller 01-08-2013 03:07 PM


Originally Posted by Karmawar (Post 4756730)
I was wondering as to how much the Maple comes through? is it a very discernible flavour in the finished beer?

It certainly isn't overbearing, and as I've been drinking them lately I've been debating using the syrup if I brew it again. However, I've decided that it is a valuable part of this beer, because the syrup does lend a subtle character in the middle of the flavor profile, and I think it blends nicely with the rest of the profile.


Originally Posted by CBMbrewer (Post 4756753)
Dying Hops?

Yeah, that earthy, slightly cloying flavor that highly-hopped beers get once they've aged for a while. Instead of a prominent, crisp, bitter hop punch, it's more of a layered flavor contribution.


Originally Posted by deuce40 (Post 4756787)
I'm really going to have to be patient for this one.

Patience is key, as my bottles took several months to carb. It'll be hard, but I would recommend not even sampling inside of 4 months in the bottles. Rousing the bottles every week or 2 will help the process along a bit. Good luck!

deuce40 01-17-2013 10:57 PM

About to take this one on in a few week and I realized that I've never made a beer of this gravity before and want to make sure I know what I'm getting into. I've heard that you need to aerate the crap out of high gravity wort and even sometimes aerate during the early stages of fermentation. I'm also using and old yeast cake of us 05. Will this be ok with this beer? I don't have any fancy aeration equipment I just move the wort between two buckets to aerate. Will this work for this beer also? Thanks for the time

smiller 01-18-2013 03:26 PM

US-05 will work perfectly well for this one! Really, any clean American Ale strain would suit. I would definitely recommend aerating a lot, and like you I don't have an aerator right now either. You can move it between buckets if you want, but to minimize the risk for infection I do something else. I sanitize a piece of foil and hold it over the mouth of the carboy. Then I swirl and shake the carboy vigorously for a few minutes. This always does the trick for me, as I never have attenuation problems. Let me know how it turns out for you!

deuce40 02-11-2013 02:24 AM

So I have this fermenting for the last 9 day and got a gravity reading of 1.020 already hoping that it stays put. The sample gases great and I can't wait to have a glass of this when its done. I'm kind of scared to see what happens during bottling time. This is my first big beer and I'm scared it won't carb up. Should I be worried? I was thinking of pitching a mother pack of us 05 while bottling

smiller 02-11-2013 03:50 AM

That yeast did some work! What did your OG end up being? What was your mash temp? You could either pitch more US-05 or I think they make a dry bottling yeast. It's sole purpose is to pitch into big beers at bottling, and therefore has a high alcohol tolerance. I can't personally attest to either, as I have never pitched more at bottling, so I'm honestly not sure what pitching rate you would want to use. Maybe someone else could jump in there.

Mine took months to carb, and some of the bottles I open still aren't carbed after nearly a year. I try to rouse the yeast whenever I remember, and I think this is key to naturally carbing a big beer.

deuce40 02-17-2013 12:44 AM

Yeah they did some work! The beer was moved in the oak cubes today with the little bourbon that was left. The cubes soaked it all up. I mashed at 150 to see if I could get it to stay at 1.020 like you suggested but it ended up at 1.016 . I got crazy attenuation but I believe it's because I pitched this on top of a entire yeast cake from a previous batch. It tastes hot right now and that's all I really get but I'm excited for the end product.

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