Thursday, December 20, 2012

Small Batch Barleywine

Before I moved, I stumbled upon a Stone Brewing tasting at my local liquor store. Since trying this year's Old Guardian Barleywine, I've been itching to try my hand at one.  It was easily one of the best complex beers I've had in a long time.  The caramel and honey sweetness was right up front, and even though it was 11% ABV there was no alcohol "heat".
I really like the idea of having a yearly brew that is tweaked each year. Anchor brewing does this with their Christmas Ale.  The Mad Fermentationist brews a dark Saison each year.  James and Steve over at Basic Brewing used to make a yearly 1 gallon (or less) barleywine and started a vertical tasting of each year's brew, although the last few years they have diverged from that.  I'm not sure if this will become my once-a-year brew yet.  It seems awfully tasty to only have 7-8 bottles a year.  Or only 1 bottle a year if I save it for vertical tastings...

This is a very "homebrewer" recipe.  I wanted to add a variety of complexities, so I threw in a little bit of everything.  Next time, I may try a single malt barleywine.  I was also trying to use up some of my stock of malts.  I really pushed the limits of my 2 gallon mash tun for this brew. I had a little more than 5 pounds of grain.  I usually shoot for a liquor/grain ratio of 2 quarts per pound.  Using basic math, that's more than 2 gallons of water needed, so I cut back a bit.  I collected a little less than 2 gallons of wort after a 60 minute mash at 150°F.

After tasting the hydrometer sample of the finished product, I am very excited about this beer.  I saved some for my girlfriend to taste the next day, and even though it wasn't carbonated or chilled, she was under the impression it was a finished product that she really liked.

Blockpoint 2012 Barleywine
//A "blockpoint" is what they call an update to a program

Grain Bill
4lbs            American 2-row
        9oz     Maris Otter
        2 oz    Crystal 60°L
        1.5oz  Special B
          .5oz  Chocolate Malt
        4oz     Aromatic Malt

Target temperature 148°F
Starting temperature 150°F
Sparge temp 170°F
-Collected just under 2 gallons of total wort
Preboil gravity 1.057 (bigger than some of my regular brews!)

Boil (60 minutes)
15g Columbus (15.5% AA) @ 60 minutes
13g Columbus (15.5% AA) @ 15 minutes
15g Cascade (6.4%AA) @ 1 minute

~3/4 packet Safale US05
Aerated by shaking vigerously
OG 1.100
FG 1.020
ABV: 10.7%

4 weeks in primary fermenter
Priming sugar: 17g honey dissolved in 1 cup of water and boiled
Yielded 7 bottles

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...