Friday, February 20, 2004


2/20/04 - This year's Barleywine is a showcase for the subtlety of the S-hops: Simcoe and Santiam. These hops were featured in all the additions except for the dry hops, where we used Horizons. You gotta love the smoothness of the bittering character of those Simcoes, even at 90 IBUs, which by the way was a slight drop from last years 100 IBUs. We loved the malt profile from last year so that hasn't changed. The biggest difference is of course that we have finally moved into bottle conditioning. This is the first stab at this practice here at Smuttynose and my first venture into this realm since my homebrewing days. Back then it was a matter of necessity, but now I'm really only looking to scavenge any remaining oxygen from the headspace of the bottle as we fill them. The first batch actually went fairly smoothly but then we became too smart for our own good and tried to bottle at a warmer temperature and weren't able to keep enough CO2 in solution and so ended up with a beer slightly less lively. The first batch was bottled at 45°F while the second was at 50°F. The bottle conditioning process was right out of homebrew practice with a small amount of yeast (3 gallons for 30 BBL's) and an appropriate amount of white cane sugar (dissolved in hot water) added right before bottling. That night I had a recurrence of the old nightmare (you know the one) where your couple cases of homebrew are slowly exploding in the back of the closet but you're deep into your fermentatively induced dreams and think it's your neighbor (you know the one) who wears the hunting cap, with flaps, year round taking pot shots at your right front tire. Now multiply this nightmare by the fact that it's not 2 cases but upwards of 500, sloooowly exploooding all night long. Alas this never happened and I've managed to keep my job through another seat of the pants experience.

The beer itself pours with a beautiful orangey white head and has an aroma of tangerines and citrus that fades into pine. The bitterness is resiny yet smooth with the malt body holding it's end up nicely. I'm getting a bunch of citrus notes with a hint of vanilla. It's definitely still hot right now but don't worry it's bottle conditioned so lay it down for six months or so at least. Enjoy.

Pilsner Malt
Belgian Pale Ale Malt
Aromatic Malt
Special B
Brown Sugar

SG 22.5°P
TG 4.2°P

IBU - 90
Simcoe - Bittering
Santiam & Cascade - Flavoring
Santiam - Aroma
Horizon - Dry Hopping