Batch 03: Oxford barleywine

This was a one gallon pilot batch to test out my ability to make an English barleywine that suits my tastes. Minimal bitterness and big toffee notes which would hopefully give way to more fruitiness over time.

It was both a success and a failure. It tasted great at bottling, and 4 weeks later when I opened one in haste it was simply awesome – had lots of toffee, gentle carbonation, just wonderful. Harshness kicked in as it warmed but hey, it’s a month old. Then when I opened a second one a few weeks later, disaster. Gusher. The remaining bottles are all gushers. I’m not sure what happened – i have triple checked my sugar addition and it’s right. Bottling day must have breathed new life into the yeast causing them to knock the SG down a couple more points.

Brew Date: May 24, 2015

Bottling Date: July 11, 2015


85% Maris Otter, 10% Rye, 5% Brown sugar

Hopped to 35 IBU with Fuggles @ 60 min

Mash at 158F for 65 mins, boil 150 min

Remove 2 qts and reduce until thickened, add back to boil

Fermented with WLP002 at 67F

OG: 1.100    FG: 1.027   IBU: 35



Tasting Notes: 

Nov 9, 2015: Tastes a lot more like a Belgian quad than a barleywine due to the carbonation issues (and perhaps other things). Slow gusher. Lots of red and dark fruits that are slightly cloying. Some caramel / molasses.  Has good qualities but not a great beer as is.  Interestingly, I poured it into the cylinder and shook the carbonation out, and it reads a SG of 1.018!  Almost 10 points lower than at bottling. No wonder I had to keep venting carbonation off.