Dickel-barrel Barleywine Project

>> Sunday, June 30, 2019

Today I'm brewing a Barleywine for a club barrel project. This is recipe is based on a medal-winning recipe from Mike Hahn, one of the very talented Homebrewers in the ZZHOPS homebrewing club. This beer will be going into a Dickel Bourbon barrel for aging and should be ready just in time for winter. Here's the recipe as I'm brewing it today for 5 gallons:

18# Maris Otter Crisp
2# Crisp Dark Crystal
2# Cristp Medium Crystal
1# Dingmanns Aromatic
1# Weyermann Melanoidin
1# Dingmanns Biscuit
6ml Hopshot (60 min)
28g EKG (20 min)
28g EKG (2 min)
Imperial House
Wyeast Nutrient

Mash 155F, 90min boil, ferment at 62F

Brewing Notes
No issues during this session.  Post-boil gravity came in at 1.115 according to my Tilt Hydrometer. That's a little higher than I was anticipating. I'm hoping everyone else's contribution is a bit lower gravity than mine, or this is going to be a huge beer.

First runnings off mash
Update 7/1/2019
I was a little concerned whether my yeast starter was big enough for this beer. I was very much relieved this morning when I could see it was showing active signs of fermentation. Gravity is down to about  1.101 tonight.

Update 7/7/2019
Gravity is down to 1.036. The published alcohol tolerance for this yeast is 10%, and it's currently sitting at 10.8%. I'm not sure how much further it will go, but it seems like it's still working on the sugars, as it's dropped four points since yesterday.

Update 7/9/2019
Gravity is down to 1.032 today, so things are slowing down, but the yeast still seem to be "working".

Update 7/12/2019
Gravity is down to 1.031, and has been holding there for about 48 hours. I'm still seeing some positive pressure, but I think that's just off-gassing residual CO2, so I suspect I won't see any additional gravity drop. I'm fairly sure there are still unfermented sugars present, it's just that we've reached the alcohol tolerance limit for this yeast. I think there's a really good chance we'll see some fermentation activity in the barrel since some of the other batches had lower OGs. Once they're all blended and the alcohol level from my contribution is diluted, the residual yeast will most likely chew up additional sugars.

Update 7/16/2019
Gravity is now reading 1.030. We're planning on filling the barrel on 7/28, so I'll be transferring this to keg soon.