Ten Pin Barley Wine
One of my personal goals this year is to break free of my usual routines and perceptions, and take chances on new things. Sometimes this involves revisiting and questioning my long-standing viewpoints. Brewing Ten Pin Barley Wine is one part of that effort.
A Bit About Barley Wine
Barley wine is a strong ale with alcohol levels between 8% and 15%, bringing it close to wine in strength. A little research into recipes and brewing techniques reveals that, though it’s roots are in England, there is an American style of barley wine as well. American barley wines are usually much hoppier and ferment on the higher end of the ABV range. English barley wines typically have less alcohol and a more balanced malt to hop flavor. Sometimes barley wine is referred to as old ale.
I’m Never Doing That Again
Many years ago I tried barley wine and had a lovely time with it. Or so I thought until the following morning where I spent a lot of time on the couch waiting for the roaring headache to go away. Since then I have stayed far away it. For me barley wine became the tequila of beers. You remember that one time you had tequila and you haven’t touched the stuff since?
So, when it comes to home brewing, barley wine has always been off of the table. Why would I brew gallons of a beer that gives me a headache just looking at it? The part of me that enjoys brewing new and interesting beers has always had to take a back seat to a long-standing viewpoint based on one bad experience. In keeping with this year’s theme of personal change, I thought I should revisit my view of barley wine.
Time To Do It Again
The first step in re-examining barley wine was simple: try it again. Over the past few months my trips to the local hop shop have included one or two bottles of barley wine. My most recent trips brought home Howe Sound Woolly Bugger, Scuttlebutt Old No. 1, and Swan Lake Brewing’s Samurai Barley Ale. All three of the beers were wonderful and as a result my mind was opened to the concept of brewing barley wine.
I threw some numbers into The Recipator and came up with the recipe below. I leaned toward the English style, using Fuggles and Kent Goldings hops with WYeast’s 1028 London Ale. The brewing process went smoothly and swiftly since I was only making a 2.5 gallon batch.
Ten Pin Barley Wine is named for the troublesome corner pin that haunts every right-handed bowler’s dreams. My philosophy for a Ten Pin in the glass will be similar to my philosophy for a ten pin on the lanes. One or two on occasion is fine, too many will give you a headache. Just go slow and steady or you may end up in the gutter.
Ten Pin Barley Wine
4 oz. American Crystal 40L
2 oz. Belgian CaraVienne
1 oz. Black patent
6 lb. Light DME
1 oz. Fuggles 6.3% AA @ 60 mins.
1 oz. Fuggles 6.3% AA @ 20 mins.
1 oz. Kent Goldings 5.7% AA @ 15 mins.
1 oz. Kent Goldings 5.7% AA @ 10 mins.
1/2 Campden tablet
1 tsp. Irish moss @ 10 mins.
2 oz. maltodextrin @ 10 mins.
WYeast 1028 London Ale