When it comes to barley wine, the American way is to balance all that rich malt and alcoholic warmth with an invigorating dose of hops. Here is a recipe for a partial mash extract that you can drink fresh or lay down for months.
To compare and contrast this with a more British-inspired setting, check out our recipe for English style Olde Wagon barley wine. For more information on extract brewing a great barley wine, see No breaks for the bad guys: Barleywine, Done Briskly.
Lot size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%
MALT / GRAIN BILL
14 lb (6.4 kg) light colored liquid malt extract (LME)
1 lb (454 g) win
1 pound (454 g) grape sugar
8 oz (227 g) crystal 120L
HOPS & SUPPLEMENTS SCHEDULE
2.5 oz (71 g) warrior at 60 minutes [49 IBUs]
2 oz (57 g) Centennial at 15 minutes [13 IBUs]
14 g Chinook after 15 minutes [4 IBUs]
1 Whirlfloc tablet after 15 minutes
1 teaspoon (5 ml) yeast nutrient after 10 minutes
2 oz (57 g) cascade at 5 minutes [3 IBUs]
2 oz (57 g) Chinook in the event of flame failure
2 bags of Fermentis SafAle US-05
Grind the grains and put them in a mesh grain bag. Soak in 1 gallon (3.8 liters) of 152 ° F (67 ° C) water for 30 minutes, then raise the temperature to 168 ° F (76 ° C). Remove the bag, rinse the kernels, and add another 5 gallons (19 liters) of water to your kettle, then bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the malt extract in portions, being careful not to burn it. Return the heat and achieve a rolling simmer. Cook for 75 minutes, add hops, whirlfloc and yeast nutrients according to schedule. Cool the wort to 17 ° C, ventilate well and put the yeast on. Let the fermentation continue for at least 2 weeks. When the final weight is reached, pack and carbonate. Let the beer condition for at least 2 months.
To give barrel-aged or spirit character, soak roasted American oak chips in your favorite spirit on the day of brewing. Place the chips in the fermenter about 5-7 days before packing.
Annie Johnson is a seasoned R&D brewer, IT specialist, and national beer judge. Her awards include the 2013 American Homebrewer of the Year awards.