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Old 01-07-2010, 09:09 PM   #1
Jun 2009
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I'm thinking about making a barleywine and I can't really figure out the difference between a barleywine and a strong beer. I've done a search and didn't really find a concrete answer on the forum. Can anybody give me a good explanation?

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Old 01-07-2010, 09:26 PM   #2
May 2007
San Diego, CA
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They're one in the same. It is just called a barleywine because it is made from barley and closer to the strength of wine.

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Old 01-07-2010, 11:34 PM   #3
Stratotankard's Avatar
Dec 2007
Little Rock, AR
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I think it's partially the residual sweetness and strong maltiness that is present in most barleywines. Even in an American Barleywine (vs. English) there should be some sweetness and a definite balance towards the malt. BJCP says "rich and strongly [or intensely] malty." Its not an Imperial IPA because of this, though the extremes of the two styles can be similar. IIPAs should finish drier.

Just adding more alcohol to a beer style won't make it a barleywine, just an "imperial" whatever style...

Use some Crystal 40-60 malts to accentuate the sweet maltiness, but in general you get most of the color/sweetness from a longer boil and a higher mash temp. Lots of wort, boiled down for a long time. My last barleywine boiled for nearly 2.5 hours (I also way overshot my OG due to calculation errors in my recipe).

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Old 01-08-2010, 12:36 AM   #4
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Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
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Compared to a Strong Ale, a Barleywine will be darker, sweeter and a little more bitter.

English-Style Barley Wine Ale
English style barley wines range from tawny copper to dark brown in color and have a full body and high residual malty
sweetness. Complexity of alcohols and fruity-ester characters are often high and counterbalanced by the perception of low to
medium bitterness and extraordinary alcohol content. Hop aroma and flavor may be minimal to medium. English type hops are often
used but not necessary for this style. Low levels of diacetyl may be acceptable. Caramel and some characters indicating oxidation,
such as vinous (sometimes sherry like) aromas and/or flavors, may be considered positive. Chill haze is allowable at cold
Original Gravity (šPlato):
1.085-1.120 (21.5-28 šPlato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (šPlato):
1.024-1.032 (6-8 šPlato)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume):
6.7-9.6% (8.4-12%)
Bitterness (IBU): 40-60
Color SRM (EBC): 14-22 (28-44 EBC)

Strong Ale
Light amber to mid-range brown in color, strong ales are medium to full bodied with a malty sweetness. Hop aroma should be
minimal and flavor can vary from none to medium in character intensity. Fruity-ester flavors and aromas can contribute to the
character of this ale. Bitterness should be minimal but evident and balanced with malt and/or caramel like sweetness. Alcohol types
can be varied and complex. A rich, often sweet and complex estery character may be evident. Very low levels of diacetyl are
acceptable. Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures. (This style may often be split into two categories, strong and very strong.)
Original Gravity (šPlato):
1.060-1.125 (15-31.5 šPlato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (šPlato):
1.014-1.040 (3.5-10 šPlato)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume):
5.5-8.9% (7-11%)
Bitterness (IBU): 30-65
Color SRM (EBC): 8-21 (16-42 EBC)
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:25 AM   #5
Jun 2009
Posts: 142
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Ok, I'm not trying to get technical, but when brewing thats what I do. I read through the basic definition and I see Fruity, high alcohol, medium bitterness. What seperates Barleywines from belgian dubbels and quads. Is it just the candy sugar????????

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Old 01-08-2010, 05:06 AM   #6
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Belgian yeast.
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