May 4, 2010
After 18 days of fermentation, I have moved my barleywine to a secondary fermenter. Fermentation activity was pretty much done, so I decided to make the transfer and add the four ounces of dry hops. 🙂 I was pretty surprised to see the fermentation went more nuts than I expected. The original gravity of 1.100 dropped to 1.016, so an 84% attenuation rate, which is higher than I’ve ever achieved with this standard American ale yeast (US-56). That means that A) this beer will be just over 11% alcohol by volume, and B) it will be lighter bodied and thus easier to drink, which could be dangerous for a beer this strong.
The sample I tasted had a very raw flavor, but also tons of potential. The alcohol was very noticeable with a solid warming effect. The body was heavy, but not nearly as heavy as some other barleywines I’ve tried. There was a moderate citrus/grapefruit hop presence in the flavor and aroma (as I intended), with two ounces of Amarillo hops and two ounces of Cascade hops being thrown in today to enhance the hop experience. The intention now is to let it sit in the secondary fermenter for a couple of months in the basement then either keg it or bottle it and seet it aside for some large amount of time. I’ll probably bottle it and put it away so I can try it over the course of multiple years as it ages.