Cats Meow 3
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Classification: barleywine, strong ale, all-grain

Source: Spencer Thomas (, HBD Issue #1819, August 31, 1995

Here's a BW I made recently. It hasn't been entered in competition because I think it's still too young, but friends who tasted it think it's pretty good. This is my third or fourth try at this style with this basic method. I haven't decided yet whether I like this one better than the previous effort, but it's close, anyway.

Final result has medium-low carbonation and a complex malt-hops nose. The malty sweetness is balanced by the agressive hopping level, and high hop flavor.

You could probably pump up the gravity of this another 8-10 points (and thus the alcohol by another 1% or so) by adding a pound of sugar, with no deleterious flavor effects.



Mash schedule:
Mash-in with 10qts @ 42C for a strike temp of 39C
20 minute beta-glucan rest
Add 10 qts at 100C (boiling) to raise to 62C (aiming for 60C),
30 min. beta-amylase rest
Add 6 quarts @ 100C to raise to 67C (aiming for 70C)
1:15 alpha-amylase rest

Take first runnings (drain all liquid from mash tun without adding any further sparge water(*)) to get about 4-4.5 gallons @ 1.080. Boiling down to 3 gallons will give an OG of 1.105 - 1.120.

Whirlpool, let settle for 15 minutes and siphon through counterflow chiller with aerating cane on end.

Pitch yeast slurry from a previous batch of Mild (probably YeastLab London Ale (it's a long story)). (By the way, this is my favorite way to pitch *enough* yeast for a barleywine.) Fermentation was active in 2 hours. Primary was about 2 months @ 65-70F, and dropped from 1.105 to 1.038.

Rack into secondary and add 1 oz of EKG plugs for dry hopping.

Bottle about 1 month later. Added new yeast, but no priming sugar.

(*) You can (I did) add more hot water to the remaining mash, and sparge out about 7 gallons more wort to make a Bitter at about 1.045.