Stone Old Guardian Clone Recipe

Stone Brewing Company’s Old Guardian is an epic barleywine. This 12% abv monster is released every February.

The recipe is given in the book The Craft of Stone Brewing, which I was given permission to reprint.

So here it is. I’m going to brew it later this month and then give it a long sleep in the cellar until next winter. Enjoy!

Old Guardian Recipe

5 gallons (about fifty-four 12-ounce bottles or thirty 22-ounce bottles)
Starting gravity 1.103 (24.5 Plato)
Final gravity 1.016 (4 Plato)
Ferment at 72°F

  • 21 pounds, 9.6 ounces crushed North American two-row pale malt
  • 14.4 ounces crushed 60L crystal malt
  • About 10 gallons plus 8 cups water
  • 1.69 ounces Warrior hops (15.0% alpha acid)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Irish moss
  • 1.94 ounces Crystal hops (3.5% alpha acid)
  • 1 (35 ml) package White Labs WLP007 Dry 
English Ale Yeast or WLP002 English Ale Yeast
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons light dried malt extract

I can’t stress it enough: clean and sanitize everything.

Mashing
In a 10-gallon brew kettle, combine the crushed malts with 7 gallons plus 1 cup of 161°F water. The water should cool slightly when mixed with the grain. Cover and hold the mash at 148°F for 90 minutes.

For safety’s sake, set up your propane burner outside. Set the brew kettle of mash on top and heat to 160°F, stirring frequently to avoid scorching. Turn off the heat. The mash will continue to increase in temperature to about 165°F.

Lautering and Sparging
Lauter the mash according to the instructions on page 159. Once the liquid is lower than the level of the grain, begin to slowly sprinkle 3 gallons plus 7 cups of 168°F water over the grains to start the sparge. Continue sparging as instructed on page 159.

The Boil
Set the brew kettle of wort on your outdoor propane burner and add water to bring the wort level up to 7 gallons, if needed. Bring the wort to a rapid, rolling boil. As it begins to come to a boil, a layer of foam and scum may develop at the surface. Skim it off and discard. Once the wort is at a full boil, put a hops bag containing the Warrior hops in the kettle and set a timer for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Stir the wort frequently during the boil, and be watchful to avoid boilovers.

At 15 minutes before the end of the boil, stir in the Irish moss. When the boiling time is over, turn off the heat and put a hops bag containing the Crystal hops in the kettle. Cover the kettle and immediately begin cooling the wort quickly.

Pitching the Yeast and Fermentation
Once the wort has cooled to 72°F, discard the spent hops and check the specific gravity of the wort with a hydro-meter. The target starting gravity is 1.103 (24.5 Plato).
Transfer the wort to the primary fermentation bucket. Pitch the yeast (or prepare a yeast starter).

Allow the wort to ferment through primary and secondary fermentation at 72°F until it reaches a specific gravity of 1.016 (4 Plato).

Bottling
When you’re ready to bottle, clean and sanitize the bottles, caps, and bottling equipment. Put the dried malt extract in a medium saucepan and stir in just enough water to dissolve it. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat, cover, and let cool slightly. Proceed with bottling.

Advanced

96.0% crushed North American two-row pale malt
4.0% crushed 60L crystal malt
Conversion temperature 148°F [90 minutes]
Mash out 165°F

0.653 lb/bbl Warrior hops (15.0% alpha acid) 
[1 hour and 45 minutes]
0.75 lb/bbl Crystal hops (3.5% alpha acid) 
[0 minutes]

White Labs WLP007 Dry English Ale Yeast or WLP002 English Ale Yeast
Pitch rate 25 to 30

“Reprinted with permission from The Craft of Stone Brewing Co.: Liquid Lore, Epic Recipes, and Unabashed Arrogance. Copyright 2011 by Stone Brewing Co. and Randy Clemens. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. Photo credit: John Schulz Photography.”

About Billy Broas


He is the founder of The Homebrew Academy, a BJCP beer judge, and the homebrewing expert on the Rocky Mountain PBS television show Colorado Brews. He lives in the fine beer town of Denver, Colorado.

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