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Aging Barleywine?

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RockfordWhite

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So, next fall I am starting up graduate school to get my PhD. and one of my ideas was to at the beginning make a barley wine and let it age and have it ready and bottled and everything for when i finally finish schooling (maybe a dopplebock so then i can call it graduator). Now i really have never aged anything before, so with a barley wine, how do you suggest i do the aging. Do i put in into a primary, then transfer it into a secondary, or do I just leave it in the secondary?

Also, i'm assuming it's best to do the aging in a glass carboy
 

sirsloop

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I'd brew the beer like normal, lets say 1 month primary, and 1 month secondary. After the second month, bottle it, put it in cases, toss it in your closet, forget about it until you graduate. It'll have plenty of time to batch age in secondary, then get it in brown glass in a closed case to hide it from the light.
 
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RockfordWhite

RockfordWhite

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That would also be more convenient if i end up moving too...
 

TexLaw

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Ferment it in the primary and clear it in the secondary without anything too special, keeping in mind what it takes to ferment a big ol' barleywine. Once it's good and clear, though, you should consider bottling it. There's nothing wrong with keeping it in the carboy, so long as you keep it dark, as cool as you can, and the airlock full. However, once you bottle, you can just relax and let the beer age. It might be easier to keep it cool, as well, as you can put the bottles in different places.


TL
 

kaj030201

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have you considered moving it to a cornelius keg? that way you could easily add/remove dry hops or oak, and being stainless steel it would absorb NO light. they are pretty cheap (usually 35 bucks for a 5 gallon)
 

avidhomebrewer

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All good suggestions. I currently have a barleywine that was made Nov. 2003, with one bottle left. That is aging in a brown bottle for a special event as well, although at this point I don't know what that event is! Yours should go for about 3.5-4 years in the bottle/keg, so it should be quite tasty once you graduate. Congrats and good luck!
 
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