Recipe: Olympia American Barleywine

For a winter warmer that can lay down and improve for many months—brew it now and try it at the New Year, and the next one—here’s an American-style barleywine that gets a clean profile from the use of lager yeast.

Josh Weikert Oct 21, 2022 - 3 min read

Recipe: Olympia American Barleywine Primary Image

Photo: Matt Graves

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Fair warning: American barleywine is a challenging style. If this is one of your first, say, 10 beers you’ve ever brewed, move on and come back in about six months. Come to think of it, “come back in about six months” is also good advice after you brew it...

For more advice on brewing the style, see Make Your Best American Barleywine.


Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%
OG: 1.111
FG: 1.030
IBUs: 67
ABV: 10.6%


10 lb (4.5 kg) Maris Otter
10 lb (4.5 kg) Vienna
1 lb (454 g) crystal 60L
8 oz (227 g) crystal 80L

8 oz (227 g) cane sugar at first wort
1.75 oz (50 g) German Magnum at 60 minutes [52 IBUs]
2 oz (57 g) Amarillo at 5 minutes [8 IBUs]
2 oz (57 g) Northern Brewer at 5 minutes [7 IBUs]

Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager

Mill the grains and mash at 149°F (65°C) for 90 minutes. Recirculate until the runnings are clear, then run off into the kettle, adding sugar to dissolve. Sparge and top up as necessary to get about 6.5 gallons (25 liters) of wort, depending on your evaporation rate. Boil for 90 minutes, adding hops according to the schedule. After the boil, chill to about 50°F (10°C), aerate thoroughly, and pitch plenty of healthy yeast. Ferment at 52°F (11°C) for about 6 weeks. When fermentation is complete and gravity has stabilized, crash to 35°F (2°C), then package and carbonate to about 2 volumes of CO2. Age at least 6 months.

Replace the Maris Otter and Vienna with 16.6 lb (7.5 kg, or 5 cans) of Muntons Maris Otter Light liquid malt extract (LME). Mill and steep the crystal malts in a mesh bag at 160°F (71°C) for 30 minutes, then remove the bag and allow it to drain into the wort. Add the LME and sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Top up as necessary to get about 6.5 gallons (25 liters) of wort, then continue as above.