Thursday, June 10, 2010


Brewing: Novacaine
Features: deliciously dark Barleywine (11 .3% abv)
Price Range: $52.00

Overall Rating: Brewed On 12-Jun-2010

A fortuitous mistake by our Brewmaster resulted in this wonderful Barleywine that boasts 11% abv. At first taste, its dark malt complexity is overwhelmed by the numbing sensation that temporarily deadens your mouth. But once your palate is revived, the flavor explodes and warms you through to your toes!

1 Can West Coast Pale Ale HME
1 Can St. Patrick's Irish Stout HME
1 Can Golden Wheat UME
2 Cans Pale Export UME
2 Packets Dry Brewing Yeast (under lid of HMEs)
2 Packets Sterling Pellet Hops
2 Packets Northern Brewer Pellet Hops
1 Pouch Ale Liquid Yeast
2 Muslin Hop Sacks

Fermentation, Carbonation And Conditioning Times:
21 days for fermentation
21 days for carbonation
180 days minimum conditioning at 50-70F
02 days minimum in fridge

Fermentation: 12-Jun/03-Jul (68-76F)
Carbonation : 03-Jul/24-Jul (68-76F)
Conditioning: 24-Jul/18-Jan-2011 (50-70F)

Brewer's Comments:
This will be the most complicated and expensive beer I have brewed to date. This recipe includes 5 cans of extract, liquid yeast and four packets of pellet hops and cost over $50.00 to buy. I followed the instructions included in the recipe to the letter and there are a few things worth noting. The first thing to remember is to use a pot larger than the standard 3 quart pot mentioned in the instructions as this recipe calls for twice the volume of ingredients normally used in other recipes.

I let the wort ferment for 21 days at a constant 70F temperature prior to bottling it in 1 litre PET bottles. Mostly all of the krausen was gone by then with only a few small islands of foam remained at the top of the beer. There was a 3/8-1/2 inch layer of trub lying at the bottom of the 2 gallon fermenter but the fermented beer itself was very clear, thick and strong tasting. 

Bottle day sample of Novacaine

The ingredients used in this recipe require increased fermentation and carbonation time in order to allow the yeast to work. I typically allow 3 weeks for fermentation at a constant 70F.

Just as in the fermentation process your carbonation times will depend on the complexities of each recipe and the amount of additional ingredients that are added. As a general rule of thumb recipes containing many ingredients will take longer to carbonate than recipes with few ingredients.I let my bottles carbonate for at least 3 weeks before moving them down to the conditioning, or lagering room.

Conditioning, also known as Lagering the beer allows the beer's flavors to fully merge and mature in the bottle before drinking. In a basement, with a consistent year round temperature range of 50-65F, naturally brewed beer can be stored for up to 6-12 months in 1 litre PET bottles as it will be preserved by the alcohol. Prior to drinking the beer should be refrigerated for 24-48 hours and served cold in a clean glass.


  1. Wow, that is some kind of recipe. Are you really going to be able to wait so long before sampling it?

  2. I will sample it on bottling day, just to get a sense of what the final brew will be like. I use the 3-3-3 method for all my beers, 3 weeks for fermentation, 3 weeks for carbination and at least 3 weeks for conditioning the beer before drinking.

  3. At bottling time this beer tasted really clear, strong and a lot thicker than other beers I've brewed. I plan on letting this one condition out at 55-65F for at least 6 months before trying it.