Australian Barleywine

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tubbsy

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Does anyone here have much experience with Barleywines? I'm planning the attached Australian Barleywine but would love some feed back on it.

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I'm using Nottingham yeast as I will soon have the trub from a faux Australian lager to use. NZ malts are included because 1 - it's what I have and 2 - I'm keeping up the Australian tradition of claiming NZ stuff as our own.
 

MHB

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I guess it will be educational. If it’s your first barley wine don’t be surprised if you don’t get quite as much extract as you expect, 83% is a big call for a big beer.

Sparge really slowly (>1 hour), that will help with your efficiency, just remember that there will be a lot of your sugars tied up in the grist and it takes time to get it out.

Depending on how long you are planning on maturing the beer (over a year is best) the late hops might be redundant as they tend to fade especially if you are storing for a long time.

Aerating the wort well would help, even with a big pitch, or as you have a big slab of yeast, it’s still a lot of sugars for the yeast to chew through. Your sugar (Sucrose) addition is small, probably won’t matter but if it were a larger fraction of your gravity, it would be a good idea to add it part way through the ferment, rather than as a kettle adjunct. If you come up a bit short on your gravity you can add sugar later rather than pile more into the kettle. Worth having a bit extra Sugar or DME on hand so you can compensate at need.
Mark
 

tubbsy

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Thanks Mark.

I've been hitting 85-87% brewhouse efficiency on all brews recently, but they haven't been higher than 1.054. My pre-boil gravity is estimated to only be 1.063 so I hope it's not too much of a stretch. I might start the mash at 66C then let it rest overnight - has ended up around 56-58C by the next morning.

Have you tried roasted oats in a Barleywine? Have seen it mentioned somewhere and am curious how it'll work.

I like the idea of adding the sugar to the ferment. It's similar to what some of the rum guys do to not shock the yeast too much at the start. Will make sure I have some to add later if I fall short on the gravity.

Another issue, which I'll cross when the time comes, is I'll need to bottle it then let it sit until my birthday in May next year.
 

MHB

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I would be a little leery of overnight mashing. After about 120 minutes most of the enzymes aren’t going to be doing much.
Bacteria on the other hand can and will be going great. Your chances of picking up some off flavours would be too high to my mind.
You would be better mashing at 62-64oC for 30 minutes then using some boiling water to bring the temp up to 65-67oC for 60-90 minutes, then mashing out and getting on with your sparge.
Mark
 

Brewman_

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I'm struggling with waiting a few weeks for my first homebrew to bottle condition for a few weeks. How could anyone wait a year for a beer?
Yeah it's a while. I have a 4 year old RIS that I am looking forward to.
 

philrob

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4 years can be done.
I had a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, which was at its best at about 4 years.
 

sp0rk

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I've been thinking about doing something similar for a while now, only using some Nelson so it'll be an ANZAC Barleywine
 

tubbsy

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I'm struggling with waiting a few weeks for my first homebrew to bottle condition for a few weeks. How could anyone wait a year for a beer?
Normally I couldn't either, but I've got ~150L of different beers already kegged or fermenting and I managed to get a "spare" weekend. I've already got the ingredients, so figured I'd give it a crack!
 

tubbsy

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So I did brew this 10 days ago and it's fermenting nicely. Gravity is currently 1.035 (down from 1.100) and still falling. Brewfather says I should expect 1.016 but that might be a bit of a reach - I'll be happy if it makes it to 1.025.

Didn't end up using any oats, and my efficiency was only 70% so I added a bit extra dark sugar and LDME. But otherwise, brew day was going OK until a couple mates came over. Many beers were had, I had an accidental nap during the boil and it went for 4.5 hours instead of 3. Added some water back in and bought it back to the boil and added my 15 and 5 minute hop additions.

Once I reach a stable FG, what is the regular process? I read that I should transfer off the yeast and let sit (cold storage?) for a month before bottling. And when bottling, should I add some EC-1118 for carbonation? How much per 750mL bottle?
 

MHB

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Really going to depend on the yeast you are using.
If you used Nottingham as per the recipe in post #1 about 80% apparent attenuation would put you at an FG of 1.020 (+/-), that’s an alcohol content of ~10.7%.
Nottingham will go to 12% if you are patient, so it should be OK for bottling.
Barley wine is usually fairly softly carbonated, if you wanted say 3.5g/L of CO2 and you brewed at ~20oC. I get ~2.8g of sugar per 750mL bottle, roughly 3g of Dextrose.
I would avoid EC-1118, I find it’s not all that tasty and the amount of Fizz you get is a little unpredictable.
Good idea to keep the conditioning sugar on the low side as beers stored for a long time tend to pick up a bit of extra fizz over time.

Mark
 

tubbsy

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Seems it has finished after 3 weeks with a stable FG of 1.019. It currently cold crashing and I'll bottle it sometime next week.

Has anyone put an oak chip or two in each bottle to add a bit extra to the beer? I wouldn't add too much so they don't get over-oaked, but surely only a few chips should be OK?
 

yankinoz

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I would be a little leery of overnight mashing. After about 120 minutes most of the enzymes aren’t going to be doing much.
Bacteria on the other hand can and will be going great. Your chances of picking up some off flavours would be too high to my mind.

Mark-

Yes, as tubbsy describes his procedure, bacteria would abound at the end of mashing and then multiply at rates dependent on temperature.

On the other hand, on occasion and for varied reasons I (along with others on brewboards) have mashed the day before, heated the wort >85 in a closed container, kept the container closed and either left it under shelter outside in cool weather or put it in the fridge after it cooled. No problems other than wasting energy reheating the wort.

Dan
 

MHB

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Sure heating to >85oC will kill most bacteria, not necessarily all the spores and there are some odd bugs that can squeak through and take off when conditions change.
You might get away with overnight mashing, but I doubt there are any benefits to the beers flavour. Sure sometimes things happen and you just have to walk away from a brew, but it isn’t how I would plan my brew day. Not best practice

Here is a good overview of Beer Spoilers Part 1 and Beer Spoilers part 2
Just skimmed through the links to refresh the memory and it’s actually a really, really good read!
Mark
 

yankinoz

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Nice overview sources, thanks.

Actually most overnighters' comments I've read bring the wort to boiling, keep it cold overnight with the lid on and start the boil in the morning. No one claims the beer is improved, but it would take some very opportunistic microorganisms to do damage in that time before the boil and under those conditions. I was more concerned with hot-side aeration.

The reasons for the practice are logistical, as mine were when I did it, and quite different from the logistics of a brewery.
 
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