An Experiment with Barley Wine

with Phill Turner

I’m pleased to announce that our paper on Barley Wine has been published in the March 2021 edition of Zymurgy.

Left to right: Nottingham, Scottish, Thomas Hardy, Trappist, Saison, London Ale


We brewed a large batch of English barley wine and split it into six different batches. Each batch was fermented with a different yeast. The barley wines were held at the same conditions for fermentation, then they were bottled with fresh yeast. We’ve conducted tastings at our beer circle a few months later and with some beer judges one year on from the brew day. In this paper, we present our findings.


In 2019, Phill and I brewed a barley wine. We split it into six batches and pitched the following yeasts:

  • Scottish Ale (WY1728) – the yeast we would usually use for Barley Wine
  • Nottingham (LalBrew Dry)
  • French Saison (WY3711)
  • Trappist (WY3787)
  • Thomas Hardy (WLP099)
  • London Ale (WY1028)

The paper concludes that, at least in our experiment, the Scottish Ale yeast produces the best result followed by the Thomas Hardy yeast. The Saison yeast produces a good beer but it isn’t really a Barley Wine. If anything it is a “Belgian Barley Wine”. The Nottingham yeast didn’t produce anything worth drinking.


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