barley wine question

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alex510

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Hi to all. After a very successful beer brew with all the help of the great people here., my thoughts are on my next brew Saturday. I would like to brew an English style barley wine. I am just beginning research and I am wondering can I add some bourbon to a barley wine recipe? thank you in advance
 

IslandLizard

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Yes you can, sure!

Or what many of us do is soak wood cubes, spirals, or chips in bourbon while the beer is fermenting. Then add the bourbon potion and soaked wood to the secondary for long term aging. There are many variations on this theme, of course.

Hope you got a large stash of healthy yeast ready... And oxygen.
 
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alex510

alex510

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Yes you can, sure!

Or what many of us do is soak wood cubes, spirals, or chips in bourbon while the beer is fermenting. Then add the bourbon potion and soaked wood to the secondary for long term aging. There are many variations on this theme, of course.

Hope you got a large stash of healthy yeast ready... And oxygen.
Ah😁aa,
Thank you for your help/answer!! So with a consensus of yes it can be done. I will be doing some research on building a recipe. Can anyone point me in the right direction please?
 
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alex510

alex510

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I'm all for experimentation. Just not sure American whiskey belongs in an English-style beverage. Scotch, maybe? (I hope this will be received in the intended playful spirit.)
I'm not glue to bourbon-I would try scotch in a second. 👍
 

DuncB

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Also have a look at parti gyle brewing as you may well be able to make a small batch of lighter beer with your runnings or a mix of first and second runnings.
After all you will be waiting a while to really enjoy a barley wine at its best. Think Christmas this year or next.
 

IslandLizard

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I'm all for experimentation. Just not sure American whiskey belongs in an English-style beverage. Scotch, maybe? (I hope this will be received in the intended playful spirit.)
Of course, Scotch would be more suitable if you want to keep it more "genuine" British.

Here are the 3 (!) English Barleywines in our recipe database:

It won't hurt to cross reference with some of the (9) American Barleywine recipes, for ideas and techniques:

Coincidentally I made some Barleywine strength wort 2 days ago, by accident...
I was preparing extra strength "stock" starter wort to be frozen, then diluted before use. I aimed for 1.086. Only using 1st and second runnings to be concentrated, then frozen:

14.3# American Pilsner malt (Rahr).
4.5 gallons strike water
2 gallons first (batch) sparge
2 gallons 2nd sparge.

Everything went to plan, until about 90 minutes into the slow simmer/boil, when I took a refractometer reading... where the heck is the line???
Oh, there it is, in the very top: 1.116! :bott:
This was perfect actually, needing fewer containers for storage. ;)

The 3rd runnings were close to (regular) starter wort strength already, 1.033. Only needed a 1/2 hour slow simmer and after chilling, ready to be used as starters, which I did.
 

Sam_92

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Specifically, what are you asking? The glory of homebrewing is that you can do anything you want. Just remember, results may vary
I would like to nominate this for best answer ever. It's your beer, make it like you want to and please report back with the results. For all we know you might invent the next new thing and soon all the grocery store shelves will be stocked with bourbon barleywines and the crotchety old timers will be bemoaning that it's impossible to find a hazy, juicy, IPA anymore.
 

mashpaddled

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Sure in the early to mid 2010s when barrel aging was at its peak you could find plenty of bourbon barrel aged barleywines. Take a look at homebrewing recipes emulating barrel aging which will give you ideas about how to add bourbon and/or oak and how much. Answers are all over the map so keep in mind you can always add more but you can never take it out.
 
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alex510

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I am thinking about doing a barley wine kit as a starter. Any recommendations?
 

Miraculix

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I really like English barley wine and I really like a good whisky.

I do not think they work together in a good way. At first, I would try to manage to brew a decent English barley wine, that is already a task not everybody is able to manage. If the one I brewed would be very good, then I would taste it and see if I could improve it further and if so, how.

You might want to add a bit of whiskey to a finished barley wine to get a general idea of how well this plays together. In my imagination, this doesn't work well, but to each his own.
 

Miraculix

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I am thinking about doing a barley wine kit as a starter. Any recommendations?
Keep it very simple. Marris otter on is own already makes a very good barley wine, if executed well. I would replace 10-15% of the grist with a medium invert sugar. You can basically make it on your own.

If you can get it, use chevallier instead of mo, that one is the best thing that could ever happen to a barley wine or British beer in general.

This beer will age at least six months, so no late addition hops necessary. If you want, keep it strictly English and use Golding's for bittering. Otherwise everything neutral/noble will do. Magnum, Perle, even ctz would work.

Bring it up to 50 to 60 ibus with one 60 minute addition and you're good.

It is crucial to pitch enough yeast and to keep the temperature low for the first three days. Just place the fermenter in a bath tub with water, otherwise the temperature will rise much above room temperature due to the high gravity and yeast heating the brew on it's own.

Yeast wise, normal size batch, I would throw in two packs of us05 and one pack of verdant if dry yeast is preferred, one pack of verdant will bring in much English fruity flavour. Without the us05, it would probably be too much fruit.

Otherwise make a BIG starter with a09 pub, and on day 3 pitch an additional pack of us05 to aid the attenuation.

Mash long and low.
 
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madscientist451

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Keep it very simple. Marris otter on is own already makes a very good barley wine, if executed well. I would replace 10-15% of the grist with a medium invert sugar. You can basically make it on your own.
Apologies in advance for going :off: , but can you describe the flavor differences between invert sugar and non-inverted?
:bigmug:
 

Miraculix

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Apologies in advance for going :off: , but can you describe the flavor differences between invert sugar and non-inverted?
:bigmug:
The darker the invert, the stronger the direct difference. Honey, fruity, stone fruit, plum or burnt sugar, tobacco, licorice, depending on the colour.

Also, the inverted sugar is made of glucose and fructose. Glucose is known to boost yeast expression, while both are really easy to metabolize for the yeast, which is a good thing in a higher og brew in order to not stress the yeast too much.

So there are many reasons why inversion is a good thing.
 
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bracconiere

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if we're moving toward scotch...i'd use peated malt in the brew, and soak toasted oak chips in vodka for a month to add to the beer?

edit: or better yet, J.D. Smoking chips.... ;)
 
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bionicbelly

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Yes you can, sure!

Or what many of us do is soak wood cubes, spirals, or chips in bourbon while the beer is fermenting. Then add the bourbon potion and soaked wood to the secondary for long term aging. There are many variations on this theme, of course.

Hope you got a large stash of healthy yeast ready... And oxygen.
100% ALL of this.
For mine, I used an oak stick soaked in port wine. So f'n good.
Here is my recipe, if you want any input. I prefer to keep it simple. Let the Maris shine. IMHO, adding flavors to BW needs to be done with a light touch, but those flavors can really make the beer shine. Next year, I think I'm going to do a vanilla bourbon version.


1651661280217.png
 

Oleson M.D.

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Bourbon, or adding any other spirit, is not necessary. If the Barleywine is properly brewed, it will have a hint of bourbon-like character from the high ABV content.

My English Barleywine (10.44% ABV) is similar to taking a shot of bourbon. It has a warming effect. But that will abate somewhat with age.
 

DuncB

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@bracconiere
Always wondered about those JD and other smoking chips. What kind of quantity in 6 gallons and for how long? I've only used oak spirals in a smoked porter and an all Brett saison.
Better taste that porter its been in the keg 6 months now, trouble is we're on a heatwave here and still 68 day and 58 at night which is far too warm. Its about 8 % so a bit of a sipper by the fire I planned last October.
 

bracconiere

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@bracconiere
Always wondered about those JD and other smoking chips. What kind of quantity in 6 gallons and for how long? I've only used oak spirals in a smoked porter and an all Brett saison.
Better taste that porter its been in the keg 6 months now, trouble is we're on a heatwave here and still 68 day and 58 at night which is far too warm. Its about 8 % so a bit of a sipper by the fire I planned last October.


honestly i've only used them to make rum and whiskey, i add about 1/2-1" at the bottom of a carlo rossi bottle and fill the bottle with 65% booze, usually takes about 2 weeks.

i have used the booze in hard lemon aid with good results, i add, i believe 5lbs, of the spirit to a 5 gallon keg with the water and juice & sugar...

edit: but i seen documentaries that say scotch is made in used burbon barrels?
 
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1bottlerocket

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@alex510

I started a similar thread back in March and there were some lovely people that helped me put together a recipe.

I have it posted in this Thread

We have not made it yet, as we have 8 more brews on our schedule but it will get in there eventually. The plan is to brew the recipe as posted and in the meantime work out the water profile.
 

bwible

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Bourbon, yes. I’m not sure if I liked Scotch in a beer. You don’t really get any peat, just kind of alcohol. Same with Canadian whiskey, the flavor is not strong enough. Haven’t tried Irish whiskey but I have a feeling it might be the same. I’ve never made one with rum but had a commercial one that was pretty good. Not sure what kind of rum they used, whether it was spiced rum or dark rum or whatever. Probably not white rum. I never tried gin or vodka, I would think you really want brown spirits.

Several years ago when I was on an oak aged/wood aged/bourbon barrel aged kick I was soaking cubes in different liquors to try and I had the idea to try soaking in Jaeger - and I’m just going to say that idea belongs in the “don’t do that” forum. I never got around to trying to just mix Jaeger into a beer for flavor but I still think that might be worth exploring.
 

bwible

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honestly i've only used them to make rum and whiskey, i add about 1/2-1" at the bottom of a carlo rossi bottle and fill the bottle with 65% booze, usually takes about 2 weeks.

i have used the booze in hard lemon aid with good results, i add, i believe 5lbs, of the spirit to a 5 gallon keg with the water and juice & sugar...

edit: but i seen documentaries that say scotch is made in used burbon barrels?
Bourbon has rules. And one of them is that it must be aged in new American white oak barrels. By law, bourbon producers are not allowed to re-use the barrels.

So they created a market for them. They sell them to be used for other spirits, wine, and some other things.

Scotch does not carry any law about being aged in new barrels. Some scotch is aged in bourbon barrels. I’ve had some that were aged in used port wine casks or used sherry casks. Same with rum. And some of the companies do a combination and age in multiple casks. Some months in a port wine casks then more months in sherry casks, etc. There’s some good and creative stuff out there.
 

monkeymath

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I'm all for experimentation. Just not sure American whiskey belongs in an English-style beverage. Scotch, maybe? (I hope this will be received in the intended playful spirit.)

I kinda-sorta get your point, but to some degree it seems to me like discussing the proper sausage to add to a Bavarian Helles. Yeah, sure, geographically speaking, Scotch is closer to barleywine than Bourbon is - but from a culinary point of view, they are sort of equidistant.

Oh and, if you're curious: the proper sausage to add to a Bavarian Helles is not, as one might expect, the Münchner Weißwurst, but the humble Landjäger. Add to the kettle, coarsely chopped, with 10 minutes left in the boil.
 
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Bourbon, yes. I’m not sure if I liked Scotch in a beer. You don’t really get any peat, just kind of alcohol. Same with Canadian whiskey, the flavor is not strong enough. Haven’t tried Irish whiskey but I have a feeling it might be the same. I’ve never made one with rum but had a commercial one that was pretty good. Not sure what kind of rum they used, whether it was spiced rum or dark rum or whatever. Probably not white rum. I never tried gin or vodka, I would think you really want brown spirits.

Several years ago when I was on an oak aged/wood aged/bourbon barrel aged kick I was soaking cubes in different liquors to try and I had the idea to try soaking in Jaeger - and I’m just going to say that idea belongs in the “don’t do that” forum. I never got around to trying to just mix Jaeger into a beer for flavor but I still think that might be worth exploring.
For a stout, I used oak cubes soaked in Irish; it added more sweetness than I liked. Other people loved it, though. I'll take mine neat from now on.
 

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+1 to doing a parti-gyle. I have brewed a barleywine/American Pale Ale parti-gyle each of the past two springs. The plan is to continue doing so for some number of years so I have a broad selection of aged barley-wines to choose from. The APA is brewed from the 3rd runnings and usually just needs a pound of DME to bring up to the level I like to drink. Others could like it without as a session ale. YMMV.

One of the unique things about my recipe is I include rye in the mashbill. Although I don't think it is traditional for a barleywine, I love the little spice it adds to the barleywine, and it seems to work to provide a unique counterpoint to the malt and hops of the APA.
 

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@bracconiere
Always wondered about those JD and other smoking chips. What kind of quantity in 6 gallons and for how long?
I use the chips to add flavor to inexpensive bourbon or mid-range vodka and then add the liquor to beer/cider to taste. Just put some chips in a mason jar add some liquor and let it sit 2 weeks or more. You can dial in how much wood character you want by doing using this method. I run some bench trials before flavoring a whole batch. Using the smoking chips is much cheaper than using spirals, cubes or similar products. If you add chips or other wood products directly to the keg, you run the risk of over-oaking the beverage, which will then require blending back some un-oaked beverage to get it right.
 

Oleson M.D.

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I am going to take another track on this...if your want a good bourbon flavor, just buy a bottle of your favorite brand. Have it on the rocks.

A well made Barleywine does not require any help. The flavors are rich, textured, and deep. ABV can be in the 10+% range.

You can always do a boiler-maker.
 

Miraculix

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I am going to take another track on this...if your want a good bourbon flavor, just buy a bottle of your favorite brand. Have it on the rocks.

A well made Barleywine does not require any help. The flavors are rich, textured, and deep. ABV can be in the 10+% range.

You can always do a boiler-maker.
This!

I’m looking for these barleywine beers more when its cold outside. I can’t say I’ve had a craving for barleywine in July or August. So this is a good time to be brewing one, and it will have 5 or 6 months of age by the time its cold outside.
And this!
 

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I would like to nominate this for best answer ever. It's your beer, make it like you want to and please report back with the results. For all we know you might invent the next new thing and soon all the grocery store shelves will be stocked with bourbon barleywines and the crotchety old timers will be bemoaning that it's impossible to find a hazy, juicy, IPA anymore.

my username figuratively translates to "crotchety old timer" & I for one will be celebrating when yeast starter beers fade away into history

"hazy" I can handle. I won't touch "MURKY"
 
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alex510

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Loving this threat! I'm thinking as for my first one I will try a kit from Northern Brewer or oak barrel brewery supplies or more beer. Has anyone have any recommendations for a good kit to start with?
 

Oleson M.D.

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Our Barleywine won a Gold at a recent national competition. It was brewed with S-04 English Ale Yeast.

This is our house ale yeast.
 

1bottlerocket

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Loving this threat! I'm thinking as for my first one I will try a kit from Northern Brewer or oak barrel brewery supplies or more beer. Has anyone have any recommendations for a good kit to start with?
I have never used a kit but it seems like you could save yourself some cash by following a recipe from one of the many books published on the topic and buying your own ingredients. It took me about a week to tweak a recipe and get some sage advice from the experienced people on the HB forum. We are set to brew a barleywine in two weeks.
 
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