Monday, June 9, 2008

The Double Batch Mash

Yesterday may have been one of the most intensive brew days yet. A couple of new friends wanted to brew a double batch to cut down on the time and cost of brewing two batches on different days.

Recently, I met Michael as he was serving pints of great beer (Alpha King, Half Acre Lager, Red Seal, etc...) at the Heartland Cafe in Rogers Park. We talked about beer, and about homebrewing. Turns out a friend tried his hand at brewing with a simple extract kit. Both of them were interested in trying out an all-grain batch. So once again, I had the mashtun working at full capacity to produce enough wort for two full batches.

One of the beers was an IPA, and 6.25 gallons of wort was collect from the main mash to make a 5 gallon batch. It was boiled in an eight gallon pot by itself. This beer was brought to a boil first, and hop additions were added on schedule. The hops were provided by Christian. They came in a tightly vacuum sealed, one pound package. The freshest Cascade hops I've ever smelled. Absolutely wonderful! He bought them through
Hops Direct, last year when they were only $38/lb. I'll have to check them out when they have more that just Perle for $57/lb.

The second batch was a smoked amber ale. This batch only received 5 gallons from the main mash Another 1.75 gallons came from a mini-mash with German smoked malt, dark crystal, and a little peat smoked malt. These smoked malts were strung up in two cheese cloth bags with a decent conversion in about 30 minutes. The mini-mash wort was allowed to boil by itself, so we could smell the smokiness on its own, and ended up boiling off a gallon to concentrate the smoke flavors and color. This beer was hopped much more conservatively with Hallertau, again provided by Christian.

The amber ale wasn't coming to a good boil because almost half a pot was hanging off the stove's edge. Yes, a little dangerous, but the whole volume wouldn't fit in the other 6 gallon kettle. This resulted in a staggered finish close to one hour.

It was a challenging brewday, and both Michael & Christian did extremely well. They learned about the entire process of brewing beer from scratch. Christian's hops were superior in quality, and I'm sure these beers will turn out great. Thanks guys, it was a lot of fun!

Below is the recipe for the main mash grain bill. Please click on these links to read about both beers. Cascade IPA & Smoked Amber Ale

The Double Batch Main Mash

14 lbs. Organic 2-Row Pale Malt
.8 lbs. Crystal 40L (5oz. Faucett Crystal 40)
.8 lbs. Faucett Crystal 60L
.8 lbs. CaraPils
.4 lbs. Belgian Biscuit

Main Mash Stats

Brewed: 6/8/08

Water Adjustment:
Strike...1.75 tsp Gypsum, .25 tsp CaCl, 1.5 tsp Acid Blend
2nd Sparge...1.75 tsp Gypsum, .25 tsp CaCl

H2O/Grain Ratio: 1.25
Mash Ph: 5.2
Sacch. Rest Temp/Time: 154°F/1hr
Mash Out Temp: 171°F
1st Batch SG: 1.060

2nd Batch Sparge Vol/H2OTemp/MashTemp: 5.5gal/174°F/167°F
2nd Batch SG: 1.030

Mash Efficiency: approx. 76%
Color/SRM: Deep Gold/9-11

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