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Old 11-03-2012, 10:48 PM   #1
Jan 2012
Posts: 29

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


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Old 11-04-2012, 12:32 AM   #2
JLem's Avatar
Jan 2009
Attleboro, MA
Posts: 3,637
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I think your plan sounds good, especially the low mash temp. I don't think it is necessary to add the sugar after the boil. I brew up a 9-10% beer every year and routinely add 5-10% sugar of some kind right into the boil with no problems.

American or English barleywine? Either way, bitter with any neutral high alpha hop. If English, use EKG for flavor an aroma. For American, I'd use cascade and/or Amarillo. For something that is going to be drunk this young, you might also consider dry hopping. For yeast, wlp001 or wlp007. Both will attenuate well.

Crazy to think that they want barleywines in that time frame. Good luck!
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:41 AM   #3
Jul 2009
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Originally Posted by JLem View Post
Crazy to think that they want barleywines in that time frame. Good luck!
my thoughts exactly. bm, go with your plan and if you want to add sugar, add it with 15 minutes left in the boil (but i wouldn't even add it). 6-7 weeks for a barleywine? what were they thinking even having it as a style to draw out of the hat?!?!?!?!?!?!?
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:33 AM   #4
Jan 2012
Posts: 29

thanks for the tips & co-signs guys.

The brewery just started the contest and are going to do it monthly, so random that the first one they pulled was Strong Ale/Barley Wine... I don't think they wanted to draw out the first competition to the point it would extend beyond the 2nd month's style, but yeah, it's a little nuts but in a way i like the challenge. There are a few barley wines that I have enjoyed relatively fresh that also aged well so I like the opportunity to push for that.

I'm going for an American Style Barley Wine - was thinking Chinook as one of the bittering hops, but have Amarillo in my sights for sure!

As my mind started running on this today, i thought it would be sweet to do a high gravity Barley Wine upwards of 12% ABV, then a 2nd Runnings beer - both 5 gallon batches - then do a blend with a couple gallons of each in the secondary and submit that as my Strong Ale. Don't think I'll be able to make that happen this go-around though.

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Old 11-04-2012, 04:50 AM   #5
Jun 2010
, Maine
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Make sure that you pitch a HUGE amount of yeast, and oxygenate if you're even thinking about a BW in 6-7 weeks.
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