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So I want to do a massive barleywine, roughly based on this recipe: http://beersmithrecipes.com/viewrecipe/199/imperial-barleywine-63-d....
Looking at doing a 15L batch. What I thought I might try is entering my batch size in beersmith as 27L, brew those 27L to 1.080 and put 12L at 1.080 into my fermenter. I then plan to boil the remaining 15L down to 3L giving a gravity of ~1.400 and gradually at this 500ml at a time to the fermenter as the gravity drops to maintain it around 1.080. The result by my calculations would be 16.3%ABV with an FG of 1.023.
How this would work is I would cool the 1.080 wort, which would be more than 27L due to losses left in the pot, drain the 12L into the fermenter and then drain another 15L into another pot to bring back to the boil (leaving behind all the hops etc)
Has anyone tried a similar method?
What affect will boiling down that 15L have on unfermentables and bitterness? I imagine the bitterness won't be too much of a problem due to the maximum solubility of alpha acids in high gravity wort but will the extra boiling add much more unfermentable sugars from caramelization or will it be minimal?
Cheers for the reply. I would get the same ABV if I boiled the whole thing down to 1.144. Is fermenting 1.144 wort doable without pure O2? I will be pitching lots of dry yeast and liquid yeast slurry. I was thinking of doing a staggered nutrient addition like mead/wine brewers do if that helps, I'm not exactly sure how much though, I use white labs yeast nutrient. How low do you mash, lower than 64C?
What high ABV yeast do you use? What kind of fg do you get with that mash schedule?
Great, thanks for answering my questions. The recipe I posted above just uses Nottingham and Wyeast1272, I wonder if I could get by with using those two without WLP099 or the likes for 16-17% abv. Do you make a big starter of 099 and pitch the slurry and add it when fermentation stops?