Looking for a Good English Barleywine/Old Ale Recipe

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by OddNotion, May 14, 2012.

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  1. SeanGC

    SeanGC Initiate (0) Mar 15, 2011 New York

    So should I instead focus on the longer boil times? I would like more of a pronounce malt flavor. Additionally, I'd also like some of that raisin finish popular in many Old ales.
  2. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (516) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    I suspect that the flavour you're describing is most likely to come from No. 3 invert sugar.
  3. yinzer

    yinzer Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Is this D-90 from Candi Syrups Inc close to this? No. 3 invert sugar is 80L and I'm assuming that product is invert sugar.

    edit: from there site

    Is Simplicity just clear inverted sugar?

    No. Unlike competing neutral syrup products, (that are in fact just clear invert sugar), Simplicity is a true blonde syrup that undergoes multiple stages to develop its unique flavor. It is superior in both flavor and fermentability to competing products.

    So what are they saying? That it's a special invert sugar? Is this more of a marketing statement? I do like their products but am just curios as to what it is.

    Here's a good read:
  4. Homebrew42

    Homebrew42 Initiate (0) Dec 20, 2006 New York

    I suspect that there are very few if any beers available in the US that are brewed with No. 3 invert sugar, and its likely that SeanGC has never even tasted one.
  5. Homebrew42

    Homebrew42 Initiate (0) Dec 20, 2006 New York

    For starters, what does your recipe look like?
  6. SeanGC

    SeanGC Initiate (0) Mar 15, 2011 New York

    Here's my recipe so far

    Old School Ale
    19-A Old Ale

    Size: 11.0 gal

    Original Gravity: 1.074 (1.060 - 1.090)
    Terminal Gravity: 1.018 (1.015 - 1.022)
    Color: 18.59 (10.0 - 22.0)
    Alcohol: 7.32% (6.0% - 9.0%)
    Bitterness: 34.7 (30.0 - 60.0)

    20.0 lb Maris Otter Pale Ale Malt (69%)
    4.0 lb Munich TYPE I (13.8%)
    2.0 lb Caramel Malt 60L (6.9%)
    1.0 lb Special B - Caramel malt (3.4%)
    1.0 lb Barley Flaked (3.4%)
    1.0 lb Molasses (3.4%)
    4.0 oz East Kent Goldings (5.0%) - added during boil, boiled 60 m
    2.0 oz East Kent Goldings (5.0%) - added during boil, boiled 1.0 m
    1.0 ea White Labs WLP004 Irish Stout

    154F for 90 mins (decided to knock down the time to a 90 min boil if I'm just boiling off first runnings)
  7. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (516) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    My mistake. I was confused by the word English in the title.
  8. barfdiggs

    barfdiggs Initiate (0) Mar 22, 2011 California

    It happens all the time. Wee Heavies and Barleywines seem to be the beers that get incorrectly marked off for diacetyl. I think some of it comes from inexperienced judges that don't have a good sense of what diacetyl tastes like and mistake it for kettle caramelization. The remaining incorrect calls seem to be the judges that don't look at the beer as a whole and just try to pick up faults and score down for it, almost predisposing themselves to sensing off flavors.
    premierpro likes this.
  9. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (732) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    I'd sub Treacle for the molasses...although similar...it is a little smoother and worth the difference in price, IMHO.

    Personally, I've tasted a few barleywines, OAs and RISs that have a little diacetyl (or something similar) and it's not the deal breaker that it would be in a lighter style.
  10. Homebrew42

    Homebrew42 Initiate (0) Dec 20, 2006 New York

    With that grain bill you won't even notice the effects of boiling down the first runnings. The subtle character that you pick up from this technique will be clobbered by 2 lbs of caramel malt, 1 lb of special B, and 1 lb of molassess. I generally do this with beers that are 100% base malt (maris otter, golden promise, etc), or 95% basemalt/5% crystal. With a large percentage of powerful specialty malts it's a waste of time and fuel IMO.
  11. SeanGC

    SeanGC Initiate (0) Mar 15, 2011 New York

    Will I lose out on that old ale character by supplementing the carmelization of the first runnings with specialty malts?
  12. yinzer

    yinzer Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I have a question. When we use sugar adjuncts like treacle, molasses, invert sugar, etc. how traditional is this? Or even a lot of specialty malts. Are we taking short cuts to try and reproduce in part what aging does? It's seems that old ales are just normal beers stored and then server or blended with new beers. But not a new grist separate from stock ales, milds, etc.

    Historians? I know that there are various thoughts.
  13. pwrf12

    pwrf12 Initiate (0) Jan 26, 2008 Virginia

    I've done this with good success in the past - this style is best when it's kept simple.

    95% Maris Otter
    5% English Dark Crystal

    2 hour boil

    60 min - high alpha bittering hop to 50 IBU
    OG: 1.100

  14. yinzer

    yinzer Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I agree w/HB42 and I'd like to add in my perspective. It's just an opinion so I'll welcome comments.

    The only time that I got what I called raisin flavors I took some first runnings and boiled them down to less than a quarter of the volume. It might of been closed to an eight. It was a long process and the boil was reduced to a thick dark syrup. I boiled down to where you can see that liquid changes state. I believe that this is Caramelization and not just milliard reactions.

    I've also taken first runnings and just boiled them down to about a quarter. This is when I got something that could be mistaken for butter flavors. I do think that this goes more towards replicating a long strong boil. I've gone from stove top to a cheap gas burner to a Blichmann w/a good pot. With my current set up I can get a boil like I never could before. Which seems to be close what I've seen to production Breweries. So if you're on a stove top or a cheap propane burned it might be necessary/helpful to do some aggressive boiling of the first runnings to replicate this type of a strong boil.

    Basically I think that one can achieve these caramel/toffee flavors with a simple malt bill and one of the above methods and or the use of inverted sugars (I think that point got lost). It's just based on your perception of these flavors and your system.
  15. SeanGC

    SeanGC Initiate (0) Mar 15, 2011 New York

    Alright so I think I'm going to stick with my recipe with just a 90 min boil. I'll try boiling the first runnings and using a simpler grain bill for my English Barley Wine I plan on brewing in a few months. The amount of advice and knowledge in this thread has been extremely helpful (especially Homebrew42's advice).
  16. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (516) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    Depends which period you're talking about. 1800 to 1890, Mild and Stock Ales had the same grist. Old Ales were just Stock Ales. The only difference between a Mild and a Stock Ale was the level of hopping. After 1880 the use of invert sugar was very common. Depending on the beer, either No. 2 or No. 3 invert. Often caramel for colour, too. In the 20th century, the grists of Stock and Mild Ales grew apart at larger breweries. But you wouldn't find much in the way of special malts other than crystal and maybe a touch of chocolate or black malt for colour. Almost no-one would have brewed an Old Ale all malt after 1880.

    Boiling down the first runnings to a syrup isn't a technique I've ever come across in my collection of over 15,000 photographs of old brewing records.
  17. SeanGC

    SeanGC Initiate (0) Mar 15, 2011 New York

    I know this thread has been dead for half a year. However, I figured I'd mention how the old ale came out.

    In my opinion, the beer came out GREAT. Brewed in Late August, Tapped in December, Kicked at the end of January. The Mollasses really added a nice sweet finish to the beer, and the Special B provided a tiny bit of raisny character that complimented the forward malty/sweet character of the beer. Below is my recipe for anyone interested in trying it out.

    Old Hickory Ale
    19-A Old Ale
    Author: Sean Torres
    Date: 1/2/12

    Size: 6.0 gal
    Efficiency: 80.0%
    Attenuation: 73.0%
    Calories: 254.62 kcal per 12.0 fl oz

    Original Gravity: 1.076 (1.060 - 1.090)
    Terminal Gravity: 1.020 (1.015 - 1.022)
    Color: 17.38 (10.0 - 22.0)
    Alcohol: 7.3% (6.0% - 9.0%)
    Bitterness: 43.7 (30.0 - 60.0)

    12.0 lb (73.8%) Maris Otter Pale Ale Malt - added during mash
    2.0 lb (12.3%) Munich TYPE I - added during mash
    1.0 lb (6.2%) Caramel Malt 60L - added during mash
    .5 lb (3.1%) Special B - Caramel malt - added during mash
    .5 lb (3.1%) Barley Flaked - added during mash
    .25 lb (1.5%) Molasses - added after boil, steeped 10.0 m
    2.0 oz (50.0%) East Kent Goldings (5.0%) - added during boil, boiled 90.0 m
    2.0 oz (50.0%) East Kent Goldings (5.0%) - added during boil, boiled 10.0 m
    1.0 ea WYeast 1318 London Ale III™

    Single Infusion - Rest: 90 m; 154.0 °F

    London All III Yeast:
    Flocculation: high
    Attenuation: 71-75%
    Temperature Range: 64-74° F (18-23° C)

    BU:GU = .58

    Water Treatment (adjust) pre-boil volume of 8.5gals:

    Total Alkalinity to 100-120 ppm (as 5 grams of Calcium Carbonate, CaCO3 TO MASH)
    Calcium to 60-120 ppm (as 8 grams Gypsum, Calcium Sulfate, CaSO4*2H2O)
    Magnesium to 8 ppm (as 2 grams Epsom Salt, Magnesium Sulfate, MgSO4)
    Sulfate to 165-300 ppm (aquired from Epsom Salt and Gympsum Additions)

    Results generated by BeerTools Pro 1.5.23

    If I had to change anything, it'd be more munich. Maybe split MO/Munich as the base. The competing sweetness from c60/Special B/Molasses downplay the malt flavor. Otherwise, I loved it. If anyone else takes a crack at it, let me know how it comes out.
    Naugled and OddNotion like this.
  18. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (516) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    One point worth noting: Hardy Ale was fermented very hot, over 80 F. The lager malt is correct and if I remember correctly it was No. 2 invert sugar.
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