Cats Meow 3
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Strong Ale

Classification: strong ale, barleywine, all-grain

Source: Rob Bradley (, HBD Issue #1098, 3/16/93

Back in December, I posted a speculative article about brewing in the traditional British "three runnings" method. To summarize, using information from Dave Line's _Big_Book_of_Brewing_ and a little algebra, it appeared that one could make:

Strong ale @ 1072
Pale Ale @ 1046
Shandy @ 1043

by using, per US gallon of final yield for each of the three, 5 pounds UK 2-row malt and 2.2 US gallons of mash water.

As a variant, I scaled the recipe up to 2 gallons and collected and brewed the first runnings according to the posted recipe. I decided to sparge afterwards and collect what amounted to the second and third runnings together. Given the desirability of a 5-gallon batch size, I figured I'd add a little water and malt extract to the kettle to stretch the brew length up to 5 gallons. (No all-malt fixation here :-)

Summary: overall success!! As I suspected, I got more yield in the first runnings than predicted from Line's figures. And that was despite cutting the mash water down to 2 gallons. I compensated by adding a little more than a pound of dry malt extract.

Ingredients: (for 9 quarts)


Mash with 2.5 gallons water at 151-154F. Mash-out at 172F. Transfer to lauter tun with 1.5 gallons foundation water at 172F. Recirculate, let settle 30 minutes. Draw off first runnings (a little more than 2.5 gallons).