AG#32 – Old Dawg American Barleywine


This is a re-brew of the American barleywine which I did last year.

Recipe Specifications

Boil Size: 27.92 l
Post Boil Volume: 23.92 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 19.00 l
Bottling Volume: 17.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.090 SG
Estimated Color: 25.9 EBC
Estimated IBU: 137.1 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 77.8 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes


1.00 tsp Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins Water Agent
5.600 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter (5.9 EBC), 71.8 %
0.400 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt – 40L (78.8 EBC), 5.1 %
0.200 kg Wheat Malt, Ger (3.9 EBC), 2.6 %
0.150 kg Biscuit Malt (45.3 EBC), 1.9 %
0.050 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (236.4 EBC), 0.6 %
0.050 kg Pale Chocolate Malt (591.0 EBC), 0.6 %
1.000 kg Light Dry Extract (15.8 EBC), 12.8 %
22 g Chinook [11.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min, 30.8 IBUs
30 g Centennial [11.00 %] – Boil 30.0 min, 21.5 IBUs
0.350 kg Corn Sugar (Dextrose) [Boil for 20 min], 4.5 %
75 g Cascade [7.80 %] – Boil 15.0 min, 18.1 IBUs
50 g Summit [17.70 %] – Boil 15.0 min, 30.1 IBUs
0.50 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins)
60 g Cascade [7.80 %] – Steep/Whirlpool  20.0 Hop, 11.4 IBUs
25 g Chinook [13.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool  20.0 Hop, 8.7 IBUs
25 g Summit [17.70 %] – Steep/Whirlpool  20.0 Hop, 11.8 IBUs
16 g Centennial [11.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool, 4.7 IBUs
1.0 pkg Safale American  (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) (450ml yeast slurry from Big Dawg)

Mash Schedule: Bubbles’ Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 7.800 kg

Mash In           Add 18.06 l of water at 74.6 C          68.0 C        60 min
Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun , 16.82l) of 77.0 C water

Mash Day 24/04/2015 – Mashed in at around 75C which I though might be a bit hot, but with the large volume of grain, the lash temperature settled out at 67-68. A little higher than I wanted for this barleywine, but happy enough. Run-off was fairly slow. I also realised that I didn’t have the full kilo of DME that I thought I had!

Brew Day 25/04/2015 – Got an OG of 1.088 – 1.090, so pretty much on target given the large gravity. I was short about 140g of regular DME, so I used some wheat spraymalt I had. It won’t make an difference. I made some last minute additions to the hop bill, based on what I had open in the fridge. I had a small bit of Centennial which I decided to use as a mid-boil addition and then use the rest at flameout. The Chinook I had smelled so good that I had to use a little of that along with the Cascade and Summit. Run off from boiler was an absolute nightmare, despite using my hop bags for the flameout additions. The fermenter is full of cold break and pellet hops. Pitched the yeast slurry and will try to ferment as cold as I can for a few days.

27/04/2015 – Fermentation underway after less than 12 hours. Going like a machine gun now.

17/05/2015 – Aimed for 16.5 litres of bottled beer. Got 18 x 330ml and 21 x 500ml bottles from the batch. primed with 115g of corn sugar (16.5 litres at 2.6 vol). Happy with the bottling session. I opted not to reseed the yeast (out of laziness) and I hope I’m not going to regreat that decision. But I think the carbonation problems I had with the last brew of this beer was mostly due to using carbonation drops and also due to lack of patience. I just need to leave this at conditioning temperature for 2 or 3 weeks. Anyway, the smell from the beer was amazing. It’s so hoppy that there was a very visibile layer of hop oil on top of the beer. A couple of days ago I was alarmed that I wasn’t getting much hop aroma out of the fermenter, but that was due to the blanket of CO2 on the beer. I literally hadn’t touched the fermenter since the wort went in. Can’t wait to sample this. And I’m happy to get at least some of this beer into 330ml bottles. 500ml bottles really are too big for a beer of this strength and intensity.

19/07/2015 – I opened a bottle of this because I was concerned about the carbonation level. I’m happy to say the carbonation is great this time around. The alcohol and hop bitterness are still a little overwhelming, so I’m hoping the hop and malt flavours will be more in focus when fully conditioned. I drank it all, which is probably a good sign.

01/12/2015 – This has improved a lot. I can taste more of the malt and hops. The bitterness is still very assertive, probably still a little bit too much. For a beer that’s almost 10%, it’s quite dry and drinkable. I think another 3 months aging on this will make a huge difference. Lovely hop flavours. Big caramel. Alcohol is quite smooth. Very nice.

16/01/2016 – Lovely head retention, quite hazy but still looks the part. Very nice aroma, citrus hops and dark caramel. So far so good. Flavour is great, big ass hops. Fourth beet of the evening, so probably not detecting any hot alcohols. Bitterness is still very prominent. Could probably use another couple of months aging.

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