Brewed a big beer last night...

Many years ago I brewed a Barleywine. At the time I didn't really know much about brewing such a big beer so I asked somebody from a local homebrew shop how to make one. I still have a few bottles left and I enjoy it immensely, probably more than anybody else and probably, because I made it. Its only many years later that I can form a more objective opinion.

A few things stand out as lessons learned and perhaps a change in tastes. So, this first attempt was an extreme American style barleywine with a ton of hops. I realize now that more is not necessarily better and balance is important. Also, I used champagne yeast in the secondary to dry it out. I wasn't really aware of what I was doing. I was just following directions. In the end it turned out a bit too dry and exposed lots of hot alcohol. Don't light a match around this stuff ;-) As it sits in the bottle over the years, it seems to be mellowing a bit. Time will probably change this a bit more before its all gone.

This time I'll let the pedulum swing all the way back to something with less hops and no champagne yeast in the secondary. Is it a barleywine? I don't know. Its more like the closest I could get to something like a barleywine with the ingredients I have.
  • 12 lbs pale liquid malt extract
  • Briess caramel 10L
  • Belgian Caravienne
  • Belgian Caramunich
  • Belgian Special B (tiny bit)
  • Northdown Hops
  • Safale 33 (yeast cake from my recent English Pale Ale brew)

With all that Belgian specialty malt it might be a quad or something. So I feel like I know more than I did during that first run at a big beer. Hey, I made this recipe myself and didn't make the same mistakes as before. Maybe different ones this time.

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