Sunday, November 2, 2014

#35/36 Parti-gyle English Ales - Brewday

Recipe     -     Barleywine     -     Tasting
Recipe     -     Bitter     -     Tasting

Yeast Starter:
I used the Irish yeast for this beer that I've been reculturing all summer.  I finally bought a graduated cylinder to accurately measure slurry volumes so I can get better control of my pitch rate.  I ended up pitching 260ml of slurry into 1 gal of 1.043 starter wort split into .6 gal for the barleywine and .4 for the bitter (cell counts estimated w yeast calc).  The yeast took off, putting up a nice foam in only several hours.  It seems like the yeast have worked more quickly with each generation, fermenting out in a little over a day, and dropping clear in another day or two.

Parti-gyle Setup:
Since I glossed over the subject in the recipe posts, I thought it would be good to go into the technical details of the parti-gyle mash here.  I initially drew up two recipes--as posted in the barleywine and bitter recipe posts--for the two beers on their own.  Then I compiled a third recipe for the mash as a whole.  As I mentioned before, parti-gyle brewing doesn't increase mash efficiency so much as facilitate high gravity beers without a drop in efficiency by using weaker runnings for a second beer.  The combined recipe contained the total grist and total volume for the two beers using my standard efficiency (65%).

Parti-gyle Full Mash
Batch Size (fermenter): 10.50 gal
Estimated ABV: 7.0 %
Estimated OG: 1.070 SG
Estimated FG: 1.018 SG
Estimated Color: 5.5 SRM
Estimated IBU: 0.0 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 65.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt        Name                                     %/IBU
30 lbs     Pale Malt, Maris Otter (2.6 SRM)         100.0 %

Mash Schedule: A-Single Infusion, No Mash Out, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 30 lbs
Estimated Cost: $43.50

From there I plugged the mash parameters into Braukaiser's parti-gyle calculator to estimate the strength and volume of each of the runnings.  The size of my mash tun (10 gal) limited me to small batch sparges, but it turned out that the 1st and 2nd runnings would be close to the volume and strength for the barleywine, while the third and fourth would be perfect for the bitter.

Looking back on this, the volumes were a little off since I didn't adjust for the increased boil-off of using two pots, but it turned out this was the least of my worries...

Brewday 11/2/14:
Worst brewday ever.

Ok, maybe not, I survived without shattering a carboy, cutting my finger open, or losing anything into the wort, but that's about the only positive news.  What started as a long day, with a 90 minute mash and 90 minute boils, stretched into an eternity after I experienced my first stuck mash.  I opened the ball valve to start the first lauter but nothing came out.  I tried restirring and blowing air back through the outlet to clear the blockage, but nothing helped.  I ended up scooping the entire mash into a BIAB bag in the brew kettle, draining that into the aluminum pot, lifting the grain back into the brew kettle, then recirculating the grain over the top of that to filter it.  It turns out the source all the trouble was a piece of the PVC manifold at the bottom of the mash tun that came loose.  Malt husks flowed in behind it and plugged the narrow outlet tube.

With the mash tun fixed, the rest of the day proceeded relatively smoothly.  I lost some of the first runnings in all the madness, so i had to make adjustments.  My volumes for both beers were a little low, but the gravity on the bitter came in a little high, so I changed that one to a 60 min boil to end up just about right.  I also reduced the bittering hops from 3 oz to 2.5 oz on the barleywine to bring the IBU back in line after deceased volume.

After all that, I ended up pretty close to my targets with 4.5 gal at SG 1.042 for the bitter and 5.3 gal at 1.104 for the barleywine.  I wanted to make sure the bitter came as close to the target as possible, so I stole half a gallon from the barleywine to bring it to 5 gal at 1.048.

Bitter Fermentation:
30 sec O2, yeast pitched at 60F, placed in fridge at 64F.

1 Day:  Ambient temp holding steady at 64F, beer temp at 67F.  Yeast is taking off nicely.

4 Days:  Power went out, so we lost temperature control over night and the temp dropped to 62F, beer to 64F.  Heaters are back on now though.

7 Days:  Ok I lied, looks like the heater didn't come back on.  It looks like the yeast has settled out, hopefully it was actually done.  Temp up to 72 and I gave it a quick swirl.

13 Days:  Racked to secondary after 24hr cold crash at 35F.  It's down to 1.010 so it seems fine.  We'll see for sure once it's carbonated and I can get a good taste.

Barleywine Fermentation:
1 min O2, yeast pitched at 66F, placed in fridge at 64F.

1 Day:  Man, this yeast went to town!  We already have a pretty solid blow off after only 24 hrs.  Ambient temp is 64F, beer temp is 68F.

4 Days:  Power went out, so we lost temperature control over night and the temp dropped to 62F, beer to 66F.  Heaters are back on now though.

7 Days:  Ok I lied, looks like the heater didn't come back on.  The foam has dropped, but there is still yeast is still in suspension.  Who knows where this is at.  Temp up to 72 and I gave it a quick swirl.

13 Days:  Racked to secondary after 24hr cold crash at 35F.  It's only down to 1.042, so with the heat going out, the yeast didn't get the job done.  I added a bit of healthy yeast harvested from the bitter to hopefully restart fermentation.

4 Months:  Bottled w target of 2.1 vol.  SG has dropped to 1.036, so it tastes less sweet, but hopefully the carbonation lightens it up a bit more (without bursting the bottles like the stout).  It's surprisingly clear, I hope there is still enough yeast left to actually carbonate

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