Recipe: Old Wagon Train American-Style Barleywine

When it comes to barleywine, the American way is to balance all that rich malt and alcoholic warmth with a bracing dose of hops. Here’s a partial-mash extract recipe for one you can drink fresh or lay down for months.

Annie Johnson Jun 19, 2021 - 3 min read

Recipe: Old Wagon Train American-Style Barleywine Primary Image

Photo: Matt Graves/

All Access Subscribers can download the Beersmith and BeerXML version of this recipe. Subscribe today.

To compare and contrast this with a more British-inspired take, see our recipe for Olde Wagon English-Style Barleywine. For more on extract-brewing a great barleywine, see No Rests for the Wicked: Barleywine, Done Briskly.


Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%
OG: 1.117
FG: 1.026
IBUs: 69
ABV: 12.4%

14 lb (6.4 kg) pale liquid malt extract (LME)
1 lb (454 g) Victory
1 lb (454 g) dextrose
8 oz (227 g) Crystal 120L


2.5 oz (71 g) Warrior at 60 minutes [49 IBUs]
2 oz (57 g) Centennial at 15 minutes [13 IBUs]
0.5 oz (14 g) Chinook at 15 minutes [4 IBUs]
1 Whirlfloc tablet at 15 minutes
1 tsp (5 ml) yeast nutrient at 10 minutes
2 oz (57 g) Cascade at 5 minutes [3 IBUs]
2 oz (57 g) Chinook at flameout

2 sachets Fermentis SafAle US-05

Mill the grains and place them in a mesh grain bag. Steep in 1 gallon (3.8 liters) of 152°F (67°C) water for 30 minutes, then raise the temperature to 168°F (76°C). Remove the bag, rinse the grains, and add 5 more gallons (19 liters) of water to your kettle, then bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the malt extract in batches, being careful not to scorch. Return the heat and achieve a rolling boil. Boil for 75 minutes, adding hops, Whirlfloc, and yeast nutrient according to the schedule. Chill the wort to 62°F (17°C), aerate well, and pitch the yeast. Allow fermentation to continue for at least 2 weeks. When final gravity is reached, package and carbonate. Allow the beer to condition for at least 2 months.

To add barrel-aged or spirits character, start soaking toasted American oak chips in your favorite spirit on brew day. Add the chips to the fermentor about 5–7 days before packaging.

Annie Johnson is an experienced R&D brewer, IT specialist, and national beer judge. Her awards include 2013 American Homebrewer of the Year honors.