JM “Big Pig” Ale (a 14% ABV Barleywine)

Josephoartigasia_BW

Drawing by Nobu Tamura, from Wikipedia, used under GNU Free License.

This is a big barleywine — with a projected ABV of 14% — that uses “feeding” to reach its high alcoholic content. I am presenting this recipe as an example to go with the article on “feeding” that I posted at the end of April. I should point out that this is an example recipe — I haven’t actually brewed it. However, I have used the technique — exactly as described in the recipe — to boost a 12% ABV lager to a 14% ABV lager. (The lager, which I brewed once, was similar to Krampus Claws, which I’ve brewed three times.) This recipe is basically a higher alcohol version of my American barleywine recipe, which I’ve brewed a couple times.

The procedures are designed to make brewday as easy as possible. Malt extract is used to boost the ABV of the wort collected from the grain bed, and I specify four packages of dried yeast instead of the very large yeast starter that would be required. (I would recommend rehydrating the yeast before pitching.) Feel free to adapt the recipe to suit your situation.

As with any beer of this size, the primary things that will determine your success or failure will be producing a wort with a reasonably high level of fermentability and running a good fermentation.

The fermentation is “fed” with simple sugar. This should ferment completely and bump up the alcohol level, but not increase the final gravity (FG) of the beer.

Using this recipe as an example, you should be able to adjust any recipe with a high alcohol content, to a recipe with a slightly higher alcohol content. This takes extra effort. And, if you don’t pitch enough yeast or monitor the fermentation closely, it runs more of a risk compared to a “simple” big beer. However, if you succeed — and you should if you scrupulously follow the instructions, especially with regards to pitching rate, aeration, and fermentation temperature — you will be rewarded with a strong, but deceptively drinkable barleywine.

JM Ale

I’ve named this ale after Josephoartigasia monesi, the largest rodent that ever lived. You can think of this extinct species as something like a huge guinea pig. (Technically, it was a caviomorph rodent, and we all know how important it is to be technically correct when thinking up silly beer names.) It probably looked at least somewhat similar to a capybara, the largest living rodent today. Josephoartigasia monesi lived 2–4 million years ago — after the dinosaurs (except for birds) were gone, but before modern humans — and weighed up to ton.

JM (Josephoartigasia monesi) Ale

(AKA Big Pig Barleywine — 14% ABV)

Grain and Extract, English units

INGREDIENTS (for 5 gallons)

Malt and Other Fermentables

(initially 4.5 gallons at OG 1.126, assuming 75% extract efficiency, SRM 13)

(after feedings, virtually 5.0 gallons at 1.136, SRM 12)

11.0 lb. pale malt

5.0 oz. crystal malt (40 °L)

3.0 oz. crystal malt (60 °L)

6.0 lb. light dried malt extract

2.5 lb. cane sugar (for “feeding”)

Hops (for 88 IBUs total)

Magnum hops (50 IBUs)

1.25 oz. (at 12% alpha acids), boiled for 75 minutes

Simcoe hops (22 IBUs)

0.50 oz. (at 13% alpha acids), boiled for 75 minutes

Summit hops (15 IBUs)

0.25 oz. (at 18% alpha acids), boiled for 75 minutes

Chinook hops (0 IBUs)

0.25 oz., added at knockout

Centennial hops (0 IBUs)

0.50 oz., added at knockout

Amarillo hops (0 IBUs)

0.75 oz., added at knockout

Cascade hops (0 IBUs)

1.25 oz., added at knockout

1.0 oz. Cascade dry hops

0.50 oz. Centennial dry hops

0.50 oz. Amarillo dry hops

Yeast (for an FG of 1.028 and 14% ABV)

four 11.5 g packages of Fermentis US-05 dried yeast

Other

1 tsp. Irish moss (last 15 minutes of boil)

yeast nutrients (for main batch — one dose, equal to half the recommended amount for a 5.0-gallon batch, last 15 minutes of boil)

yeast nutrients (for “feeding” — two doses, each equalling 1/20 of the recommended amount for a 5.0-gallon batch.)

PROCEDURES

Mash grains at 150 °F in 14.5 quarts of water. Mash for 60 minutes, and do not raise the temperature for a mash out. Pour the dried malt extract into your kettle. Recirculate the wort in the mash tun, then begin the runoff. Stir wort into malt extract as it flows into the kettle. (This will allow the enzymes in the wort to act on the malt extract, potentially raising the fermentability of the wort slightly.) Sparge with 170 °F water. Once the malt extract is completely dissolved, begin heating kettle. (This is while you are still collecting wort.) Collect about 7.0 gallons of wort and bring to a boil. Boil wort hard until the volume is reduced to 4.5 gallons, at least 2 hours. Add hops, Irish moss, and yeast nutrients at the times indicated in the recipe. Chill wort to 68 °F, then transfer to fermenter. Aerate thoroughly and pitch yeast. About 8 hours later, before high kräusen, aerate the wort a second time. Ferment beer at 68 °F.

When high kräusen has passed, but while the fermentation is still active, mix half of the cane sugar in the recipe with enough water to make 1 quart. Heat the mixture to 170 °F and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. (This will take awhile.) Add a yeast nutrient at a rate of 1/20 the amount recommended for a 5.0-gallon batch. Cool sugar mixture to 68 °F and add to fermenter. Stir fermenter gently to mix in sugar. Do not aerate.

When the renewed fermentation slows down, repeat the previous step with the remaining sugar. This should bring your volume to 5.0 gallons (and allow you to reach 14% ABV, assuming the final gravity hit 1.028).

When the fermentation slows to a crawl after the second feeding, allow the temperature to rise to 72 °F, and swirl the fermenter once to rouse the yeast. Then let the fermentation complete at 72 °F. Once airlock activity ceases, let the beer sit on the yeast for 7–10 days before transferring to a keg. (This will allow it to clear a bit and for the yeast to clean up excess fermentation byproducts.) Transfer to a keg (that contains the dry hops) and age for 10 days before removing dry hops.

JM (Josephoartigasia monesi) Ale

(AKA Big Pig Barleywine — 14% ABV)

Grain and Extract, metric units

INGREDIENTS (for 19 L)

Malt and Other Fermentables

(initially 17 L at OG 1.126, assuming 75% extract efficiency, SRM 13)

(after feedings, virtually 19 L at OG 1.136, SRM 12)

5.0 kg pale malt

140 g crystal malt (40 °L)

85 g crystal malt (60 °L)

2.7 kg light dried malt extract

1.1 kg cane sugar (for “feeding”)

Hops (for 88 IBUs total)

Magnum hops (50 IBUs)

35 g (at 12% alpha acids), boiled for 75 minutes

Simcoe hops (22 IBUs)

14 g (at 13% alpha acids), boiled for 75 minutes

Summit hops (15 IBUs)

7.1 g (at 18% alpha acids), boiled for 75 minutes

Chinook hops (0 IBUs)

7.1 g, added at knockout

Centennial hops (0 IBUs)

14 g, added at knockout

Amarillo hops (0 IBUs)

21 g, added at knockout

Cascade hops (0 IBUs)

35 g, added at knockout

28 g Cascade dry hops

14 g Centennial dry hops

14 g Amarillo dry hops

Yeast (for an FG of 1.028 and 14% ABV)

four 11.5 g packages of Fermentis US-05 dried yeast

Other

1 tsp. Irish moss (last 15 minutes of boil)

yeast nutrients (for main batch — one dose, equal to half the recommended amount for a 19-L batch, last 15 minutes of boil)

yeast nutrients (for “feeding” — two doses, each equalling 1/20 of the recommended amount for a 19-L batch.)

PROCEDURES

Mash grains at 66 °C in 13.7 L of water. Mash for 60 minutes, and do not raise the temperature for a mash out. Pour the dried malt extract into your kettle. Recirculate the wort in the mash tun, then begin the runoff. Stir wort into malt extract as it flows into the kettle. (This will allow the enzymes in the wort to act on the malt extract, potentially raising the fermentability of the wort slightly.) Sparge with 77 °C water. Once the malt extract is completely dissolved, begin heating kettle. (This is while you are still collecting wort.) Collect about 26 L of wort and bring to a boil. Boil wort hard until the volume is reduced to 17 L, at least 2 hours. Add hops, Irish moss, and yeast nutrients at the times indicated in the recipe. Chill wort to 20 °C, then transfer to fermenter. Aerate thoroughly and pitch yeast. About 8 hours later, before high kräusen, aerate the wort a second time. Ferment beer at 20 °C.

When high kräusen has passed, but while the fermentation is still active, mix half of the cane sugar in the recipe with enough water to make 1 L. Heat the mixture to 77 °C and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. (This will take awhile.) Add a yeast nutrient at a rate of 1/20 the amount recommended for a 19-L batch. Cool sugar mixture to 20 °C and add to fermenter. Stir fermenter gently to mix in sugar. Do not aerate.

When the renewed fermentation slows down, repeat the previous step with the remaining sugar. This should bring your volume to 19 L (and allow you to reach 14% ABV, assuming the final gravity hit 1.028).

When the fermentation slows to a crawl after the second feeding, allow the temperature to rise to 22 °C, and swirl the fermenter once to rouse the yeast. Then let the fermentation complete at 22 °C. Once airlock activity ceases, let the beer sit on the yeast for 7–10 days before transferring to a keg. (This will allow it to clear a bit and for the yeast to clean up excess fermentation byproducts.) Transfer to a keg (that contains the dry hops) and age for 10 days before removing dry hops. 

Related Articles

Hero Barleywine

Briggs-Haldane Barleywine

Comments

  1. Brandon says:

    What if I added extract instead of simple sugar? Obviously not working whether the final gravity goes up.

    • Chris Colby says:

      That works, too, in the sense that it will ferment. The final gravity (FG) will go up, though, and that is likely to make the beer worse (too sweet), not better.

Speak Your Mind

*