Sunday, January 2, 2011

Brewing with Grapes

Over the last couple of years I've seen professional craft brewers experimenting with different varieties of grapes or grape juice. A few that come to mind are Dogfish Red and White, Allagash Victor, and Victoria. A few weeks ago I had a bottle of the Stone 10.10.10 vertical epic and it was a) fantastic and b) made with a variety of white wine grapes. Despite this experimentation on the professional side of brewing, I have not found much in the way of homebrewing information on how to brew with grapes, nor seen that many people have been using grapes in their homebrew. This is somewhat odd because homebrewers usually lead the charge in all directions as far as experimental brewing goes. So it looks like it's up to me to give it a try, without the benefit of training wheels. Last week I brewed a recipe from Randy Mosher's Radical Brewing (not exactly the same but close to Randy's Mr. Boing Boing Cherry Barleywine recipe without the cherries) as a basis for brewing a barley wine that was to have merlot concentrate added to it 7 days into the primary fermentation. That beer was brewed to a gravity of approximately 1.083. A few days ago I added three pounds of merlot juice concentrate to the already fermenting beer, bringing the starting gravity to 1.097.

The following is the recipe, exported from iBrewmaster (which I just got over the Holidays and haven't figured out how to input everything correctly yet):

Barley wine wine

Style: American Barleywine
Type: Partial Mash Calories: 274
Rating: 0.0 Efficiency: 75 %
IBU's: 45.68 Boil Size: 6.50 Gal
Color: 19.0 SRM Batch Size: 5.50 Gal
Boil Time: 90 minutes
Estimated Actual
Brew Date: - 12/24/2010
OG: 1.097 1.097
FG: 1.020 -
ABV: 10.09 % - %
Serve Date: 06/29/2011 (null)

Fermentation Steps
Name Days / Temp Estimated Actual
Primary 14 days @ 68.0°F 12/24/2010 12/24/2010
Secondary 180 days @ 72.0°F 01/07/2011 12/31/2010

Grains & Adjuncts
Amount Percentage Name Gravity Color
2.00 lbs 17.68 % Melanoiden Malt 1.037 20.0
3.00 ozs 1.66 % Special B Malt 1.030 180.0
2.00 ozs 1.10 % Carafa III 1.032 525.0
3.00 lbs 26.52 % Amber Dry Extract 1.044 12.5
6.00 lbs 53.04 % Light Dry Extract 1.044 8.0

Amount IBU's Name Time AA %
1.00 ozs 20.71 Northern Brewer 90 mins 9.40
1.00 ozs 19.36 Northern Brewer 60 mins 9.40
1.00 ozs 5.61 Goldings, East Kent 20 mins 4.50
1.00 ozs 0.00 Goldings, East Kent 0 mins 4.50

Amount Name Laboratory / ID
1.0 pkg Neobritania Wyeast Labs 0000

Amount Name Time Stage
46.00 oz Merlot juice 07 days Primary

Mash Profile

Partial mashed melaniodin, special b, and carafa3 for 60 mins at 155 degrees.

This barley wine is brewed more to an English barley wine style at an og of 1.080 and then 7 days into primary added 46 ounces of merlot juice. After adding merlot juice the gravity goes to 1.097.

When the merlot juice is added you pitch one packets of us-05 yeast.

I plan to add 1 oz. of medium roast french oak during secondary. I'll keep you posted on the progress of operation barley wine wine (or Red barleyWine).

Brew something new this month. Happy Brew Year,


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