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Brewing a Barley Wine as opposed to Imperial IPA

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by YCantWeNotBeSober, Feb 22, 2013.

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  1. YCantWeNotBeSober

    YCantWeNotBeSober Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2012 Michigan

    So from what I understand, and have experienced, American Barleywines are high abv ales with huge amounts of hops to balance the malt sweetness as the beer ages. So we've got a huge malt bill and a hop schedule that seems pretty similar to some of the hoppiest IPAs. Its also well known that imperial IPAs do not age well as the hops die off and the resulting beer is a rather boring version of its former self. But to me the recipes for a high abv IIPA and an American Barleywine look exactly the same! So I want to brew a hoppy barleywine around 13% to withstand the test of time and I'm shooting for something like Founders bolt cutters flavor (good hop utilization but still really sweet). But all the recipes I come up with just look like Imperial IPA recipes. How do you go about brewing a Barleywine that gets better with age as opposed to an IIPA that falls off with age? I have read that barleywines tend to have a higher FG, if this is the case how do you go about convincing your yeast to leave some residual sugars for sweetness? It just seems like those hungry bastards eat up everything.
  2. YCantWeNotBeSober

    YCantWeNotBeSober Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2012 Michigan

    Oh and if a recipe would help. Here's what I've got:

    All-Grain (3 gallon batch - limited by mash tun)

    14 lbs two-row (or Marris Otter, haven't decided)
    1 lb honey malt

    90 minutes - 0.5oz Columbus
    60 minutes - 0.5oz Columbus
    30 minutes - 1oz Cascade
    15 minutes - 1oz Cascade
    5 minutes - 1oz Cascade
    Dry Hop - 2oz Cascade

    US-05 (yeast cake, should get me close to 12-13%)

    So does this look like a good American Barleywine recipe? Or is it as I suspect, just an Imperial IPA recipe?
  3. barfdiggs

    barfdiggs Initiate (0) Mar 22, 2011 California

    American barleywines have a much bigger malt back bone than a good IIPA. Whereas a IIPA tends to have just enough clean malt to support the onslaught of hops, most american barleywines, while heavily hopped, tend to showcase a very big malt backbone. The malt in the barleywine can be biscuity, caramelly, and if desired a touch sweet (but not underattenuated)

    1 lb of honey malt is going to make your beer a bit weird, cut it down to no more than 2.5-5% of the grain bill.

    If you want some character you can add any specialty malts (Victory, Biscuit, Aromatic, etc.) and crystal malts (American or English, or German, etc.) and roasted malts (for color), however what you add depends on what you want in the final product.

    If you want the beer to be thick and chewy, since you're fermenting with a pretty attenuative yeast, mash higher (Ca. 156-158 for my barleywines, but I tend to have beers come out too dry) and include some crystal malt (Carapils if you don't want a lot of sweetness, or other crystals if you want some character), and do a longer boil to get some melanoidin formation (Some English Barleywines are litterally Marris Otter Malt and a four hour boil).

    EDIT. Your hops look fine to me.
    GreenKrusty101 likes this.
  4. fAtHanD

    fAtHanD Initiate (136) Mar 7, 2007 Michigan

    If you look at the BJCP guidelines you will see the gravity ranges for a IIPA are a lot lower than a Barleywine.

    OG 1.070 to 1.090
    FG 1.010 to 1.020

    OG 1.080 to 1.120
    FG 1.016 to 1.030

    I quickly ran your numbers with Marris Otter (because that is what I prefer for BWs) and I am getting FG 1.141; OG 1.035. So a tad high for a BW but close enough. BWs uses a lot more grain than a IIPA and so it is much sweeter, where as IIPA are dry.

    I made a BW recently where I vigorously boiled 2 gallons of my wort (10 gallon batch) separately with the intent to caramelize it.

    Also I have no personnel experience with honey malt but have read that .5 lb in a 5 gallon batch is what most people use.
  5. YCantWeNotBeSober

    YCantWeNotBeSober Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2012 Michigan

    Yeah I was thinking honey malt for a little honey like sweetness that sounded good with the recipe, But I might sub that out for some Crystal 10 or 20. As well as maybe add some aromatic or biscuit for complexity as you suggested. I'll have to research on some different specialty malts. I was hoping to keep the color pretty light, more red-orange to reflect a juicy sweet flavor. I'll also take your advice on mashing high, that should help maintain good body and leave some sweetness.

    Thanks for the help guys, you're good people.
  6. premierpro

    premierpro Aspirant (277) Mar 21, 2009 Michigan

    I do not agree with the advise of mashing at higher temps. With Barley wines you will have alot of residule sweetness no mater what your mash temp. With this high of an OG I would not mash over 151. Good luck with your Barley Wine!
  7. YCantWeNotBeSober

    YCantWeNotBeSober Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2012 Michigan

    Another valid point, maybe I'm just so easily persuaded but after thinking about it I would think that mashing around 150-152 might work out (not too high, not too low), I would like a nice chewy mouthfeel, and I feel that the hops would balance out the sweetness, so I don't necessarily want to go too low. Thanks again for the input.

    I like all the pictures of your guys' dogs too. I should change mine to a pic of my pooch too.
  8. barfdiggs

    barfdiggs Initiate (0) Mar 22, 2011 California

    I think its dependent on the brewer and their system. If I mash my barleywines at 149-150, they usually finish around 1.015-1.016, which is a touch too dry. Mashing higher doesn't necessarily mean its more sweet, as the resulting dextrins don't have much flavor.
  9. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Initiate (0) May 11, 2007 Minnesota

    DIPA should have a huge hop aroma and flavor, but I might argue that if you age a DIPA you end up with a Braleywine.

    I am currently drinking a Barleywine which only used 1/2 pound of crystal to go along with Golden Proimise (top three BW ever IMO). I believe with big beers to go light on the crystal malts as there should be plenty of sweetness left over after fermentation is done...think about the possibility of 1.035 finishing gravity mentioned above. For, this same reason I almost always mash in the 150° range for a big beer, but I prefer my beers on the dryer side anyway.
  10. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,304) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    If you think these are the same style with the same recipes, you need to study them more. Drink some side by side. Much more malt to an American BW, and while they have a lot of hops, not nearly the amount of hops or late hops or dry as a DIPA.
  11. HopNuggets

    HopNuggets Disciple (306) Oct 8, 2009 Connecticut

    My buddy and I just brewed this on Sunday: http://hopville.com/recipe/1672856
    FermCap-S save a boil over as well as the need for a blowoff tube... Best $3 spent in a while!!! Don't know if the recipe will help you but it was based on an American Barleywine recipe in BYO by Jamil Z.
  12. WickedSluggy

    WickedSluggy Devotee (400) Nov 21, 2008 Texas
    Beer Trader

    A couple things. Columbus is a good high-alpha hop for your early additions. I would add a little more - perhaps 2 or more ounces, and I would also use some in the later additions as well. It will fall out less than cascade with age. Avery uses it exclusively in Hog Heaven, a great Barleywine in my opinion. Another thing to consider in your BW is the boil. A long boil is beneficial for the style in producing some of the melanoidins and associated flavours characteristic of barleywines.
    YCantWeNotBeSober likes this.
  13. OldPenguinHunter

    OldPenguinHunter Initiate (0) Oct 13, 2010 California

    I personally think that a higher mash temp yields a better mouth feel, also a longer boil (90-150min) gets some melanoidans going and I favor larger early hop additions and very little late additions; I like the bitterness, not the aroma of the hops in barley wine, I feel that they do very little since you are aging your beer. Also, look into crystal 120 or caramunich, this with a little biscuit, or honey (sparingly) is pretty darn good. I would also get some oak chips (not really necessary) and age the beer for a while on them. Here's my recipe, I think I would have used a different yeast though, I thought it was too sweet...http://hopville.com/recipe/1685009
    utahbeerdude likes this.
  14. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    Bigfoot ale from SN is one of my top favorite barleywines. The funny thing is that it's very hoppy, almost like a DIPA. If there's overlap between the styles, this is a perfect example. Delicious stuff.
  15. OldPenguinHunter

    OldPenguinHunter Initiate (0) Oct 13, 2010 California

    They just released Barrel Aged Big Foot, you better go and get some!!
    AlCaponeJunior likes this.
  16. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (713) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    Higher # crystal malts used in moderation and good attenuation is also key for a BW.
  17. bulletrain76

    bulletrain76 Zealot (579) Nov 6, 2007 California

    I think the approach to the styles is completely different, even if they might appear similar at first on paper. American barley wines are usually much darker than DIPAs and have some darker crystal or even roasted malts for color. Bitterness is high but hop aroma is much less emphasized and most brewers don't dry hop barley wines because that character is just the first thing that will age out so it's pointless. Double IPA is all about decreasing the malt character and letting the hops come forward, so its usually as pale as possible and brew with some simple sugar to yield a drier finish.

    How you mash to get the attenuation you are looking for is very dependent on your yeast and your brewing system and only you can figure out what works by doing it. I would start with a low-moderate rest temperature like 149-51. I think barley wines tend to be to full and sweet more than too thin. To really get a thin, dry beer at that abc, you need some simple sugar and a low mash temperature. We mash our barley wines at 145, which is essentially promoting maximum fermentability, though our yeast strain is not as high of an attenuator as US-05.

    Definitely go for a 2-3 hour boil to get some color, and this will also get you better efficiency because you can sparge a bit more to collect more volume for the long boil. Also, don't shy away from some malt extract to help you hit gravity if you are maxed out in mash capacity.
    YCantWeNotBeSober likes this.
  18. YCantWeNotBeSober

    YCantWeNotBeSober Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2012 Michigan

    When I started to plan out this brew, I was shooting for something "similar" to Founders Bolt-cutter or DFH Olde School. Both very hoppy, and lighter colored Barleywines IMO. While I expect my recipe to fall short of these expectations (especially in the abv department), I was hoping to highlight some of that grilled pineapple, brown-sugar like sweetness with solid hop bitterness. I also read on the bolt-cutter, which I am actually a huge fan of, and Founders happened to dry hop with "a Mountain of Cascade Hops", so that's kinda where I'm going with on that, maybe even throw in a half-ounce of maple-crown royale-soaked oak chips towards the end of secondary. I think I'll go with the pound of lighter crystal malt (20 or so), and rely on a 2-hour boil to get some more color.

    As far as the description of a high abv, dark, malt-forward barleywine, I consider to fit the description of an old-ale. Maybe the terms (English) Barleywine and Olde-ale are interchangeable, but that's typically how i distinguish between hoppy barleywines and darker, sweeter "barleywines".
  19. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,304) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Glad someone liked Boltcutter. :wink:
    barfdiggs likes this.
  20. YCantWeNotBeSober

    YCantWeNotBeSober Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2012 Michigan

    haha, I know, I'm the minority there, but I don't understand all the hate revolving around it. Maybe it didn't hold up to the standard of being a backstage series (although more so than FMB), and it might not be worth $23 a bomber, but I really thought it had great drinkability for 15%, had a ton of flavor, and was overall pretty complex. Still have a bottle in the cellar, can't wait to see how it ages. But then again, I haven't had too many barleywines so not much to compare it to (other than DFH olde school, which I also loved)
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