beer, cider, wine and more from your home kitchen

Bushland Barleywine

Bushland Barleywine

I’m relatively new to beer making, and in fact beer drinking. So it surprised me to find that the ones I love best aren’t the refreshing pale ales that most closely resemble the lagers of my youth; or even fruity fresh IPAs; but huge, mellow, malt bombs.

Give me your English barleywines, your doppelbocks, your massive winter beers and a big leather couch.

(I’m still working on the couch. Mine is just surviving until my kids can be trusted with actual furniture.)

This braggot, a hybrid of mead and beer, is massive, rich, caramel-malty, and lightly bittered with a clean hop (Magnum) that for the most part lets other ingredients be the star. It’s based on a recipe called ‘Valhalla’, from Greg Foley at the Crestone Brewing Company, but uses a simpler grain bill with ingredients from closer to home: rich Voodoo malt from the Riverina and caramel-spicy banksia honey from the Australian bushland.

I’ve been meaning to put some of my beer recipes up on this site for a while, but the beer making process I use is a little weird. I hope that the following recipe will make sense to brewers armed with the following information:

  • I brew in a bag, using a 10L stockpot and a 7.5L measuring stick. I start with around 8L in the pot, and top up to 7.5L with boiled water, at sparge and at the end of the boil.
  • I do a primary fermentation in a well sealed 10L bucket. If a secondary is required, and I would recommend it with this monster of a beer, I rack to a glass jug.
  • I estimate efficiency at 72%.

I’ve listed percentages below, so you can adapt this recipe for your own system.

Bushland Barleywine

For a 7.5L/2 gallon batch. 1.112OG, 35 IBUs, 15%ABV (!)


  • 1.75kg pale ale malt [46.7% of fermentables]
  • 500g Voyager Voodoo Malt [13.3% of fermentables]
  • 8.5g Magnum hops (12% alpha acids)
  • 1.5kg honey: I used banksia [40% of fermentables]
  • Whirlfloc (1/4 tablet)
  • Safale US-04, one full packet
  • Yeast nutrient (follow packet directions)

Brewing notes:

  • Mash at 65C for one hour
  • Sparge and boil for 60m, adding Magnum at 60m, and whirlfloc at 10m.
  • Cool and pitch rehydrated yeast. Ferment cool, and add honey in three or four small additions starting on around day four or five. Add nutrient additions with the honey.

Best aged at least six months, and ideally a year.

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