Advice on Barley wine Kit recipe

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Xendelaar, Oct 20, 2017.

  1. Xendelaar

    Xendelaar New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2017
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    #1 Xendelaar, Oct 20, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
    Dear brewers,

    I recently ordered a pre hopped LMA kit from MUNTONS. It’s supposed to make a Barley Wine. While reading the instruction I noticed the alcohol content of this brew will be around 7 to 8 vol%. The batch size should be around 13 liters (or 3.4 gallons).
    To my knowledge, this alcohol concentration is way too low for a barly wine. For me, an English Barley Wine should at least contain 10% alcohol.

    So in short, I’m afraid this kit will be a letdown and I’ve been thinking of tinkering with the recipe to enhance the flavors. I would love to know what you guys think of my alterations:

    The first step would be reducing the batch size from 13 liters (3.4 gallons) to 10 liters (2.6 gallons)
    With help from the Brewer’s friend calculator I calculated that doing this would result in:

    3.4 gal | OG: 1.060 | FG: 1.008 | 7.15 vol% alc
    2.6 gal | OG: 1.082 | FG: 1.010 | 9.29 vol% alc

    Besides that, I will add an additional amount of (1 lb) light DME and (0.5 lb) Sugar to increase the body and alcohol content. According to Brewer’s friend calculator this will yield in:

    2.6 gal | OG: 1.106 | FG: 1.014 | 12.06 vol% alc

    I’ll use the yeast which is provided with the kit and also add a package of white labs WLP001 (California Ale Yeast).

    During fermentation, I’m planning to add the sugar after several days, trying to keep the yeast cells more active. This is 2.5 lbs in total (2 lbs from the original recipe and 0,5 lbs from my addition).


    “Enhanced” Recipe summary:

    • 3.2 lb ( 1,45 kg) Muntons pre- hopped barley wine liquid malt extract
    • 1 lb ( 0,5 kg) dried malt extract (light)
    • 2.65 lb ( 1,2 kg) table sugar ( added after primary fermentation)
    • 1 unknown Muntons yeast package
    • 1 WLP001 yeast package from White labs
    My questions:

    • Will this “enhanced” recipe make a beer worth drinking?
    • The FG from the brewer’s friends calculator (1.008-1.014) are rather low for a barley wine, which should be around 1.020 – 1.030.. are these calculated low FG’s realistic?
    • When adding more malt, should I also add more hops to increase the bitterness? Or is this more or less countered by reducing the batch size.
    • Are two packages of dry yeast enough to produce 2.6 gal of beer with >10% alcohol?

    • SUPER EXTRA SPECIAL BONUS QUESTION: would it be interesting to add whiskey drained medium burnt oak chips (2 g/l) for 3 weeks enhance the taste even more? Or shouldn’t I be tinkering that much with a given recipe. :)

      I hope you guys can help :)
     
  2. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,457
    Likes Received:
    1,947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Rosedale, MD
    Be careful adding so much sugar, it might thin it out too much. That might also be why the FG is low, all that sugar is 100% fermentable.
    Your oak chips would probably be good, maybe do that to half the batch?
    This beer should also age for a bit to help meld things together, a whichever recipe you end up going with
    Fwiw, a brewery near here does a session Barleywine at around 8%. And another one does an imperial session beer or something. Both were good. I wouldn't let the specific style guidelines worry you too much
    Good luck!
     
    Xendelaar likes this.
  3. Xendelaar

    Xendelaar New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2017
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Thanks for the reply @jmcnamara

    According to Muntons’ original recipe, I’m supposed to add 2 lb of table sugar. I found that baffling myself! That’s 40 w-% sugar! For a barley wine?
    I also agree I shouldn’t get carried away by styles guidelines, but I want to make a thick, malt heavy, strong ale and not a Belgian brown ale. I’m sorry, it’s hard for me to explain this, since English isn’t my first language. :)

    So that’s why I want to add 1 lb of DME to increase the body of the beer. Maybe I could scratch the extra 0,65 lb of table sugar of the list? It would drop the ABV by 1% or so, which is fine by me.
    Or maybe I should replace all sugar from the original recipe by DME (light) and top things off with some sugar to get the right alcohol concentration?

    So many choices! Hehe.. I love this hobby :D

    It’s a great idea to split the brew up in two batches! That way I can experiment a bit and mix if the oak flavor is getting too heavy.

    Any other tips are highly appreciated! :)

    If anybody is interested in the online recipe: please click this link (it's still work in progress though :))
     
  4. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,457
    Likes Received:
    1,947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Rosedale, MD
    I'd go with your second option, use DME for the boil and less sugar later
    Not familiar with the muntons kits, but that does sound odd.
    I think you had a great idea a out reducing batch size too. That'll definitely help get you to your goal
     
  5. Xendelaar

    Xendelaar New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2017
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    @jmcnamara I will go for the second option.:D

    I also found the IBU value of the original recipe! It's 33-47 IBU...
    If I alter the recipe, do I need to increase this as well? I did some calculating (by trail and error) and if I use less water, the bitterness will be around 53.
    Should I buy some extra hops or is this enough to still be tasty. :)
     
  6. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    9,466
    Likes Received:
    9,552
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Pest control tech
    Location:
    Palmwoods QLD
    2nd Jmcnamara on the sugar if you want thick and syrupy that ain't going to be achieved by throwing plenty of sugar at it. That will only thin out them complex malty flavours. 2nd the DME as preferred gravity booster for this brew. I've never Brewerd a barley wine but I'm guessing it's crammed full of complex specialty malts like special B, roasted or chocolate malt caramel crystal malts at higher percentages than your usual porter/stout. For more thicker mouthfeel maybe go some unmalted barley and mash on the high side like 67-68c that will give you more dextrins and a thicker mouthfeel. Also I hear oats are good for a slick creamy mouthfeel. Good luck with it.
     
    Xendelaar likes this.
  7. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,457
    Likes Received:
    1,947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Rosedale, MD
    6 IBU isn't that big of a difference. A Barleywine does need a bit of hops to counter the tons of malt. My recent Barleywine had about 46 IBU. Not saying you should follow my lead, but I think yours will be fine.
    Have You seen the BU/GU stat when you make a recipe? It's the ratio of IBU to gravity points. By no means is it the only stat to use, but it gives you an idea if it'll be maltier (number closer to 0) or hoppier (numbers close to or over 1). Yet another thing to keep in mind when creating a recipe!
     
  8. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    9,466
    Likes Received:
    9,552
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Pest control tech
    Location:
    Palmwoods QLD
    Jmcnamara the hops are pretty much just for bitterness too right? As this beer is ment to be aged some before consumption so any aroma will most likely have faded by the time it's ready to drink. Ive read to dry hop a week or so before your ready to drink if you want some aroma in there.
     
    Xendelaar likes this.
  9. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,457
    Likes Received:
    1,947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Rosedale, MD
    That's my understanding too. Barleywines are complex enough as it is
    I've never heard of dry hopping a Barleywine. Id assume you could only do this if you're kegging or bulk aging it? But even bulk aging, you won't get a lot of carbonation when you drink it
     
  10. Xendelaar

    Xendelaar New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2017
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    i will definitely replace the 2 lb of sugar with DME, but i was planning to go with some lighter version. would a darker malt extract be better?

    iI'm still planning to add 1 lb of sugar because i heard that going all malt (at 1.100 sg) almost makes the beer chewable [emoji4] or isn't that bad for a barley wine?

    the current Bu/gu ratio is 0.45. is that ok?
     
  11. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,457
    Likes Received:
    1,947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Rosedale, MD
    Light or dark, your choice.
    That ratio should be fine. Keep in mind its only a general reference, your ingredient choices and other factors will also influence the malt and hop flavors

    Now quit thinking and start brewing! :)
     
  12. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2,255
    Likes Received:
    2,456
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Back in the mountains
    https://www.bjcp.org/docs/2015_Guidelines_Beer.pdf
    If you are concerned about staying in the guidelines here they are.
    As a home brewer you have the option of brewing the beer the way you like it
    or as the judges like it.
    17d: English Barleywine
    22c: American Barleywine
     
    Xendelaar and jmcnamara like this.
  13. Myndflyte

    Myndflyte Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2016
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    28
    It's totally up to you if you want to add sugar but I don't think I would. I feel like it should be a bit chewy, like you said. I think you have a good plan going forward though. Just be patient with this one though. It'll take a while (like a year+) to really start tasting good.
     
  14. Xendelaar

    Xendelaar New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2017
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    interesting idea! would you add all malt extract in one go during the boiling fase? or would you add a portion of the extract during the second fermentation stage?


    I've also been looking for a way to calculate the yeast required for a proper fermentation process. according to this sites calculator, i need a starter of 0.5 gal (OG 1.036) in order to get enough healthy cells. that kind of feels a bit much... but this will be my first starter so I have zero experience in the matter. :) is this correct?

    thanks in advance

    ps. i was already planning to stop thinking and start brewing[emoji5] but the last post made me start think/doubt again .. hehe..
     
  15. Myndflyte

    Myndflyte Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2016
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    28
    #15 Myndflyte, Oct 23, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
    I'd add all the extract during the boil phase. It's just easier and the less tinkering you do with it after fermentation starts, the better. Especially if you make a starter, then your yeast are primed to start working. As for a starter, that's easy. I made my first 0.5 gallon starter the other week.

    I had a smack pack and was planning on brewing Saturday. I smacked it Tuesday night and let it swell for 24 hours. Then Wed night I took 0.5 gallons of water, boiled it, and added 0.5 lb of DME and let it boil for 10 min. Once I cooled it, I transferred to a 1 gal glass jug, threw in the yeast and just rubber banded some saran wrap on the top. I just left that on the kitchen counter and every once in a while would give it a little swirl. I let it go until Friday morning and then put it in the fridge to cold crash it. Saturday was brew day so I took it out of the fridge, poured about half of the liquid off and then let it warm up while I brewed. Once it came time to pitch, I swirled up the yeast and dumped it in.

    For reference, I made this starter for a 1.053 stout and it ripped through it in like 2 days so it definitely helped. I think for a big beer like this, a starter is really the way to go. Plus it's pretty easy to do.
     
    Xendelaar, Trialben and jmcnamara like this.
  16. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,457
    Likes Received:
    1,947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Rosedale, MD
    What he said. The hardest part is remembering to do it a few days before brew day
     
  17. Xendelaar

    Xendelaar New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2017
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    thanks for the advice @Myndflyte and @jmcnamara ! I made this a complete SOP (standard operating procedure) in excel so I should be good onces I start...
    Actually, I did already start last weekend :D.... BEHOLD:

    [​IMG]
    Figure 1: here are the mildly toasted wood chips for my brew. Man... baking that stuff sure smells great!

    [​IMG]
    Figure 2: extrating the nasty flavours out of the wood in a mixture of spirits.

    Last weekend I put 30 grams of French medium toasted wood chips in a mixture of wodka and (stro)rum (80%) to remove the tannins and to sterilize the material. I’m planning to add the chips at the beginning of the secondary fermentation, without the liquid substance.

    I also made some final adjustments to my recipe and came up with this:

    1.45 kg (40%) Pre hopped Liquid Malt Extract - Amber
    1.50 kg (41%) Dry Malt Extract - Light
    0.50 kg (14%) American - Caramel / Crystal 60L
    0.20 kg (5.5%) Cane Sugar
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    3.65 kg (100%) beerstuff


    Before I start, I have one last question:
    I was wondering if the grain bill of 14% Caramel 60L isn’t a bit too much? I’ve been checking other recipe’s and never found any recipe with more than 5% in its grain bill…

    On one hand, I want a simple, fool proof recipe, but on the other hand I want nice and complex flavours...

    Sorry for my silly questions. I just want to be sure before I start brewing something that has to age a year. :) It’s quite an investment and I want to do it good in one try.

    What would you guys recommend? Go with it? Or is this a recipe for desaster?
     
  18. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,457
    Likes Received:
    1,947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Rosedale, MD
    i think the general recommendation is to not go over 10% with the stuff, but i think you can push it a bit more with this style. if i remember correctly, you were on the higher side for IBU (around 50?), which should help to counteract any residual sweetness
     

Share This Page

arrow_white