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Schnockered to Comfortably Numb Barleywine

Brewed: 12/30/2013   Kegged: 01/26/2014

schnockered1.jpgIn 2013, I made it SheppyBrew's mission to have brewed at least one all-grain batch in each of the 23 beer categories (see SheppyBrew Styles). By December, I had done every category except Category 19. Strong Ale. Of the 3 styles in the Strong Ale category, 19C. American Barleywine seemed the most logical for me to brew.

To design the recipe, I started with the "Old Monster" recipe in Brewing Classic Styles. I reduced the grain bill and thus the OG and targeted ABV a little knowing that I am fine with a slightly smaller beer. Even so, the specs on this beer are still pretty much in the middle.

The hops I chose were ones I had in my freezer, and I decided to first wort hop them all.

I am not 100% sure where the name "Schnockered to Comfortably Numb" came from. Quite often when watching a movie or listening to a podcast or just living my everyday life, I will hear something that makes me think "hey ... that would make a good beer name". I will usually put it in a list on my smart phone to use later.

"Schnockered to Comfortably Numb", was in my phone and I that it would make a great name for a beer. But, I don't remember exactly where I heard the term. I have a vague relocation that I was listening to The Session on The Brewing Network, but I am not sure that is right.

I assume the "Comfortably Numb" part refers to the Pink Floyd song, but that could be wrong. I did google  "Schnockered to Comfortably Numb" and that didn't give me a clue.


Regardless, I think it is a good name for a Barelywine, and I'm using it. If you might have heard the same thing I did and know about it, let me know in the comments or the Contact Us form on this website or even tweet me @esheppy.

The resulting beer should be a middle of the road American Barelywine. Big and malty with high alcohol and significant American hop character. This beer is meant to be aged. Hopefully I will be patient enough with it.

If you would like to read about this beer on my blog, see Sheppy's Blog: Schnockered

Schnockered to Comfortably Numb --- Batch 1

American Barleywine
Batch Size
5.50 gal
All Grain
Boil Size   7.76 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency   70.00   Boil Time   90 minutes

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity
1.093 SG
Estimated FG
1.017 SG
Recipe Bitterness
87.9 IBUs (Rager)
Alcohol by Volume
10.1 %
BU : GU   0.947        
Recipe Color
16.5 SRM
Measured OG:    1.093   Measured FG:    1.018
ADF:    78   Measured ABV:    10


Amt Name Type # %/IBU
12.00 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 1 -
18 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 88.9 %
14.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 3 4.3 %
14.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 4 4.3 %
4.0 oz Pale Chocolate Malt (200.0 SRM) Grain 5 1.2 %
4.0 oz Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain 6 1.2 %
0.750 oz Amarillo Gold [8.70 %] - First Wort 90.0 min Hop 7 24.9 IBUs
0.750 oz Cascade [5.00 %] - First Wort 90.0 min Hop 8 14.3 IBUs
0.625 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [16.00 %] - First Wort 90.0 min Hop 9 38.2 IBUs
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 10 -
5.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 mins) Other 11 -
1.000 oz Amarillo Gold [10.10 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 10.0 min Hop 12 4.4 IBUs
1.000 oz Centennial [10.70 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 10.0 min Hop 13 4.6 IBUs
0.250 oz Amarillo Gold [8.70 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 10.0 min Hop 14 0.9 IBUs
0.250 oz Cascade [5.00 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 10.0 min Hop 15 0.5 IBUs
1.0 pkg San Diego Super Yeast (White Labs #WLP090) [35.49 ml] Yeast 16 -

Mash Profile

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 25.31 qt of water at 159.1 F 148.0 F 75 min

Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun , 3.88gal) of 168.0 F water

Recipe Notes

Make a 4 liter starter a week before brew day (intermittent shaking). Give yeast enough time to settle out.
Gypsum addition of 12g is based on getting Dever Water (as taken in Beer Smith) close to "Hoppy Bitter" from
Final: Ca=105,Mg=11,Na=21,SO4=237,Cl=23,HCO3=104
Follow mashing steps per recipe. Remember the first wort hops.
Boil as directed.
For "Whirlpool" hops, add in hop sacks at flame out and let the wort sit for 10 minutes before starting to chill.
Chill to 60F. Decant liquid from starter and pitch. Aerate well.
Ferment with blow-off tube. Keep under 65 for first couple days. Let rise to 70 after that.
Allow 2 to 3 weeks fermentation. Move to secondary if desired.
Keg and let age at least a couple months. Taste to determine serving date.

Brewing Record

Brew Date:
Strike Temp:   170
Mash Temps:
 148 to 150 for 2 hours
Pre-boil OG   1.068 (1.075 SG)   Pre-boil Vol   8 (7.76 gal)
Actual Mash Efficiency
Pitch Temp    64
Day 1: Down to 62. Quickly active.
Day 2: 63ish glad I had a blow-off tube. 
Day ... 

Brewing Notes:
12/27/2013 esheppy
Bought ingredients today. The grain bag is considerably heavier than my usual purchase. Need to get that starter going.
12/28/2013 esheppy
Played with the recipe a bit. Added the gypsum to bring in line with a hoppy beer water profile. Also, added in the late hops. This is my first time trying to use the new whirlpool addition from Beer Smith.
12/28/2013 esheppy
Made the starter. 12 cups water. 3 cups dme.
12/30/2013 esheppy
Brew day today. My pre-boil gravity was much lower than I wanted, so I added about 1.5 pounds of DME. Made an error in judgement thinking that the hot water from the chiller output would melt ice in the hose. Ended up busting the outlet of the chiller. Still chilled, but had to be careful not to get water into the pot. Think it worked well. Ended up with 5.75 gallons at 1.093. Will certainly need a blow-off tube.
12/31/2013 esheppy
Lots of kraussen this morning. Added some fermcap. We will see how that does. Temp was down to 62 this morning.
01/01/2014 esheppy
Still lots of foam, so I don't think the Ferm-cap did anything. There has been some blow-off, so I am glad I had the tube in there. Very active. Temp still in the 62 to 64 range.
01/03/2014 esheppy
Took out the blow-off tube and put in an airlock. Fermentation still very active, but the foamy kraussen has gone down. Temp 66 yesterday. 67 or 68 today.
01/04/2014 esheppy
68 still going pretty strong, although certainly slowing down.
01/05/2014 esheppy
Still bubbling away, but slowing down. 70.
01/09/2014 esheppy
Bubble once every 15 seconds or so.70 degrees now but got up to 72 over the past couple days.
01/11/2014 esheppy
Moving to secondary today. Took a sample and the gravity is at 1.020. I think it may drop another point or two, but maybe not. I am fine either way. Currently, this is a 9.7 ABV beer.
01/25/2014 esheppy
Took a sample. Nice clear amber. Very hoppy. 1.018 FG puts it at 10 abv.
01/27/2014 esheppy
Kegged yesterday and filled 6 12oz bottles; 5 bombers; and 1 PET liter bottle. Looks good. Tastes good. The beer gun tip fell into one of the bombers. Getting it out mixed up the oxygen into the beer. Labeled this bottle "O2".
02/16/2014 esheppy
The PET bottle took much longer to firm up than I'm used to. I was actually thinking that maybe I under primed this bottle. When I checked it today, it was much harder, though. Not sure if this is because of such high alcohol or just colder conditioning temps.
02/20/2014 esheppy
Well, I just tried one of the bombers. No carbonation at all. Nice malt and hops, but very flat. Not sure if I should attempt to fix the other bottles somehow or just let them sit longer.
02/26/2014 esheppy
Put the keg under 30psi at room temperature.I have few enough bottles in my beer fridge that maybe I will put the keg in there soon.
03/08/2014 esheppy
Had the litter pet bottle over several hours on a Friday afternoon-evening. Carbonation was really good. Very happy with a huge wine-like malt bill. Think it needs some age to mellow out the his, but I am pretty pleased with this beer so far.
04/20/2014 esheppy
Bomber on Easter Sunday. Still very hop-forward, but really much more balanced. Raised my untappd rating to 4. Very good.
05/01/2014 esheppy
First drink from the keg. A bit too carbonated. Still very hoppy. But really good.
05/22/2014 esheppy
Another mug from the keg. Beer is coming along. I figure this should continue to get better for several months if not years. Carbonation is perfect.
09/07/2014 esheppy
Still getting better and better. Less hop character. More malt.
12/11/2014 esheppy
Tried a bomber. Very flat. Very fruity. Tastes good, but I wish it had carbonation.
12/27/2014 esheppy
Served some small samples to in-laws last night. Big-Jer really claimed to like it.
01/25/2015 esheppy
Had one of bottles tonight. This is the best this beer has tasted.
02/21/2015 esheppy
Becoming dangerously smooth. The hop bitterness has mellowed out into wine-like fruitiness. Yummy. Can't drink a whole lot of this without getting ... Well ... Schnockered.
02/23/2015 esheppy
As of Saturday, this is in the keggerator. Fun to have from a "real" tap.
04/26/2015 esheppy
Back in the fridge. Continues to meld nicely. Still a fair amount of hop flavor.
09/18/2015 esheppy
Had a glass last night while watching the Broncos Game. Really tasting good. Think it might do well in competition.
11/13/2015 esheppy
Getting close to the end of the keg. Been blending more than drinking this by itself. Nice to give some kick to some of my low-alcohol beers.
12/06/2015 esheppy
Delicious. Sure seems like the keg is practically empty. Need to finish this up so I can fill keg with X-Mas Ale.
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