Saturday, July 14, 2012

Double Brew for Shegogue

Well,  I finally got my butt out of bed to embark on what was my most ambiguous day in the Brewery to date.  I made two beers, Parti-gyle style.  Parti-gyle brewing was a standard brewing procedure many years ago, and still is utilized at breweries today such as Fuller's in the UK.  The concept is to take the first runnings of a mash to obtain the highest gravity wort.  This wort will be used to brew a big beer, generally over 8% ABV.  Additional runnings are fed to other kettles.  The gravity of the wort in these kettles will be significantly less and be used to make common session beers style beers

I used the first runnings for my Russian Imperial Stout which I am predicting to be around 10% abv.  I was going to cap off the mash (add grain) so the second runnings would make a beer about 1.050, but I had an issue and we will get to that later.

Brewday started around 8am.  This was the first time I have ever tried to utilize my 52 qt Coleman Xtreme mash tun to capacity.  I usually only make 5 gallon batches, but to obtain enough wort from the first runnings the mash tun needed to be filled more as if it was a 10 gallon batch.  I weighed out my 24 lbs of malt using my sweet new Ultraship scale! And then started to hand mill... thats right hand mill :(  I unfortunately had lent my drill to a family member early this week and completely forgot about.  That was a pain in the...arm!  (Note to self, need to start hitting the gym)

I almost had a disastrous moment as I emptied my entire strike volume into my mash tun.  I was almost about to start doughing in the the grain when my brew angel started screaming "Shegogue... NOOOOO!" Quickly I realized why I could not proceed.  I had forgotten to place my manifold in the mash tun!  This could have been a horrific problem had it not been caught.  I was able to runoff all the water back into my kettle, install the manifold and only lose about 15 minutes.

I collected my first runnings of 7 gallons of about 1.077 gravity and started my boil.  I added 3 ounces of 15.8% AA Warrior hops to the kettle at 60 minutes and when about milling my additional 3lbs of grain for the second beer.  I was using a great calculator from Brukaiser's website to approximate the gravity of my remaining runnings.

Unfortunately, as I was chilling down the wort from the Imperial Stout, my mash tun decided to fall over!  Presenting hot stick wort ALL over the garage floor and my feet, ouch!  I think I see a designated brewstand build in my future as that trash can clearly isn't cutting it.  After salvaging what I could, and then cleaning up the mess, I was able to draw off about 3.5 gallons of 1.031 wort for a 2.5 gallon batch.

Anyways, it was about an 9 hour messy brew day.  but I will get two different beers out of it, so well worth it.  The two beers are happily fermenting in around 66 degrees with Safale S-05.