Thursday, December 1, 2011

English Barleywine, v1 review

It has been a few weeks since I bottled my 1st go at brewing an english barleywine recipe that i composed myself. The recipe was as follows:

  • 10 lb marris otter
  • 1 lb caramel 40
  • 1/2 lb flaked wheat
  • 1/2 lb vienna
  • 1.75 oz East Kent Goldings (EKG) 60 mins
  • 1/4 oz EKG 45 mins
  • 1/4 oz EKG 30 mins
  • 1/4 oz EKG 15 mins
  • 1/4 oz EKG 1 min
  • Yeast = Wyeast British ale 2 (1335)
  • Batch size 3 gal
  • Boil time = 90 minutes

After reviewing the recipe post-tasting, I am planning on making the following changes to the recipe:
  • Use a higher lovibond caramel malt (thinking 80) at the same quantity
    • Not only for a bit more sweetness, but I hope to get a darker color w/ the final product
  • Do away w/ the wheat
  • Be more attentive to the final volume (I believe I kept too much wort)
  • I am considering using a bit of rye to provide a bit more spice
    • 'A bit' = 1/4 - 1/2 lb
  • Considering using a bit of special B (1/4 lb)

The barleywine was not a complete wash. I did like a few things about it: 
  • It had great lacing
  • The carbonation was great
  • The head did subside but it never completely left
  • I liked the amount of hop bitterness the beer had

In summary, for a 1st rev I am happy w/ it. I did not kid myself into believing it would be a great barleywine the 1st time around. I have high hopes for the next iteration, and I think a few equipment upgrades & additions would help a great deal. For example, a false bottom, ball valve, a separate boil kettle, and a greater understanding of how to improve my efficiency (which is a continuing issue). 

If any of you have any suggestions for improving my barleywine, please let me know. I am open to all suggestions.

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