Saturday, November 30 marked the culmination of seven months’ of work to produce an epic barleywine. On that day, several club members gathered at President Will Trail’s home to bottle two versions of “Hopaholics Barleywine” that had been stored cold for four months in a keezer.
According to Will, the original brewing took place at the Brew Hut’s National Homebrew Day event on May 4. “We started with 21 gallons of two-row only wort purchased from Dry Dock, then steeped the other grains for 60 min and started to boil down the large volume until we had about nine gallons left at a OG of 1.110,” he said. The other grains included four pounds of Caramel/Crystal 80L, two pounds of Cara-Pils/Dextrine, one pound of Caravienne Malt, as well as six pounds of Muntons LME. The barleywine finished around 11% ABV.
The wort was fermented normally, and four ounces of medium toasted oak chips was added to half the batch. Both varieties were then kegged and placed into cold storage.
Armed with a beer gun and two cappers, the group processed just under seven gallons – around 68 equivalent bottles – less an unspecified amount used for quality control purposes.
Will and Bob G have each entered both varieties (oaked and regular) in the upcoming Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines competition, scheduled for January 9-11, 2020 at the Beaver Run Resort in Breckenridge. Results should be available sometime next month. It will be interesting to see how the same beers are rated by different judges.
The bulk of the batch will be distributed to paid club members at the club’s annual holiday party, which has been scheduled for January 11. More information on that event will be sent to club members in the near future.
And, finally, the recipe for Hopaholics Barleywine has been posted to the Recipes section in the “Forums” portion of the website.