Hero Barleywine and Sidekick Pale Ale


Every good hero needs a sidekick. This heroic barleywine gets a pale (ale) sidekick made from the leftover mash sugars.

Here is an all-grain, American-style barleywine, with an option to brew a second beer (a pale ale) from the leftover mash sugars. The barleywine wort is made by cutting wort collection short to collect only relatively high-gravity wort, and boiling it for 2.5–3 hours. The barleywine is strong, full-bodied and very hoppy. The leftover sugars in the grain bed can be used — along with some fresh grain — to make a pale ale. The pale ale uses the same hop varieties as the barleywine. If you get enough 1 oz. packets to brew the barleywine, the pale ale uses up most of the “leftovers.” You will also need to make a 1.25 qt. (1.25 L) yeast starter to ferment the pale ale.

You’ll need a 10-gallon (38-L) kettle to boil this wort, which is cutting things close. The directions for the pale ale differ depending on if you have a 10-gallon (38 L) or 15-gallon (57-L) mash tun. Having a second kettle and heat source to brew the pale ale is nice, but not required. Instructions for both batch sparging and continuous sparging are given. There is also an extract version of the barleywine.


Hero Barleywine and Sidekick Pale Ale

by Chris Colby

All-grain; English units



Hero Barleywine is a big, American-style barleywine. It is similar to Bigfoot in strength and bitterness (88 IBUs), but not a clone. It is fermented with American ale yeast to yield an amber ale with a final gravity (FG) of 1.021, a full body and nearly 10% alcohol by volume (ABV).

Sidekick Pale Ale is made from the uncollected wort of the barleywine, with some supplemental grains added. It is a straight-up American pale ale with the flavor and aroma of several American hop varieties.

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Barleywine (II: Extract Wort Production-II)

This is the second of two articles on extract wort production in the series of articles on barleywine. The previous article was published yesterday.


An old can of malt extract.

Making a barleywine wort using malt extract as the primary source of fermentables is straightforward — for the most part, you just dissolve the malt extract in water. However — as I discussed in the previous article on influencing the amount of trub and altering the fermentability of the wort — there are ways to tweak your wort production to make brewday easier and your beer better.

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Barleywine (II: Extract Wort Production-I)

This is the first of two articles on extract wort production in the series of articles on barleywine.


Fresh malt extract can be the base of a great barleywine.

When making a barleywine wort from malt extract, there are several things the brewer should consider. All the usual advice still applies — use fresh malt extract, boil as much volume as you can (and still maintain a vigorous boil) and add some of the malt extract late in the boil (if you are boiling less than the full wort).

In addition, some aspects of wort production are only going to apply to barleywine or other big, hoppy beers. One thing that always improves an extract beer is supplementing the extract wort with wort a partial mash. Adding some base malt to your extract recipe adds back some of the malt aroma that was lost when the malt extract was concentrated or dried. This is true for a barleywine as well, but I would recommend making a small partial mash — around 2.0–4.0 lbs. (0.91–1.8 kg) — rather than a larger one. For one thing, although some malt aroma is lost in the manufacture of malt extract, some of it is retained. In a barleywine wort, the large amount of malt extract required means that some malt aroma will be present. More importantly, in an extract barleywine, reducing the amount of trub and hop debris should be a priority. This is especially true when the brewer is boiling less than a full wort.

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