Briggs-Haldane Barleywine (Stovetop Extract Version)


The Michaelis-Menten curve? What’s that doing here?

Here is an English-style barleywine with a complex malt character. The blend of English 2-row pale ale malt with Munich malt gives this ale a rich, malty character. A little bit of wheat malt and a very small amount of biscuit malt add some bready and cracker-like notes. The beer is full-bodied, but not overly sweet — and with less caramel flavor than is found in some English barleywines. The complex malt character and body is balanced by the hop bitterness (46 IBUs) and the “earthy” character of Fuggles hops. This is not the strongest English-style barleywine ever, but it really is flavorful and nicely balanced. (It’s also delicious, in my opinion.)

The procedures were designed to work well for stovetop extract brewers. In order to do a full-strength, full-wort boil, the wort is made in two shifts. In each shift, the brewer uses roughly half the ingredients and yields 2.5 gallons (9.5 L) of wort. This helps with the hop utilization, but also allows for the small amount of wort darkening that a barleywine should undergo in the kettle. (If you can can boil a full wort, just brew this normally. Double the size of the yeast starter, though.)

Why I named this beer Briggs-Haldane Barleywine is not hard to derive, but I won’t bore you with the details.

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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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