Tuesday, May 5, 2009

1st Parti-Gyle

On May Day, I tried my hand at a true parti-gyle technique. It's something I've wanted to do for quite a long time. This is an old/traditional style of brewing that not only rinses just about every last molecule of sugar out of the mash, but it makes 2 or more styles of beer with different levels of alcoholic strength. I found this article, written by Randy Mosher, to be very interesting and a great description of the technique as it applies to home brewers.

I decided to make one super strong Imperial IPA from the first runnings, and then a low gravity small beer with the rest. The mash and sparge was just a little more complex, especially because my system can't handle the volume being pushed through it. I used both fly and batch sparging techniques, and utilized buckets for holding hot water while filling both pots. It was also cool to research my own notes, about first sparge gravities, to calculate what the SG of the first running would be, and it turned out to be very close! And it was fun having Felipe over to help out.

The first sparge (for the Wayward IIPA) began without any mashout because the mashtun wouldn't accept any more liquid. I knew I'd get about 4.3 gallons, so a fly sparge setup was used to collect an additional 1.2 gallons. This put the pre-boil volume at 5.5 gallons and SG at 1.071, for a 4.5 gallon batch of super strong beer.

After the IIPA volume was collected, a second batch sparge was added to the drained mash. Along with this hot water, in order to add a touch more color and sweetness, 1 additional pound of both American & UK Crystal malts 20-40L was thrown into the mash. Draining all of this provided me with 7.25 gallons of pre-boil wort at 1.022, for a super light Small Beer.

The IIPA finished boiling first. I'm glad, because we were able to get the hop-complex beer out of the way. The Small Beer had only one bittering hop addition, and it was nice to relax a bit at that point. While these worts were chilled/chilling, we kegged and bottled the Hooded Sterling APA to expose the Wyeast American Ale yeast cakes in both fermenters.

Main Mash Grain Bill

19. lbs. Organic 2-Row Pale
.75 lbs. Amer. Crystal 20L
.75 lbs. UK Crystal 20L
.25 lbs. Belg. Aromatic
.25 lbs. Belg. Biscuit
.25 lbs. CaraPils

Small Beer Crystal Booster Blend:

.25 lb. Amer. Crystal 20L
.25 lb. UK Crystal 20L
.25 lb. Amer. Crystal 40L
.25 lb. UK Crystal 40L


Jesse said...

I've been considering a parti-gyle myself - what size is your mash tun? I've been using a cylindrical 5 gallon beverage cooler, but I'm wondering if I should switch to a larger rectangular cooler to accommodate the high volume of grains.

Ted Danyluk said...

Jesse, I've used a 10 gallon orange rubbermaid cooler for several years, and it's worked great. Until recently have I been brewing near capacity, with 8-10 gallon batches at around 2.8-5.5 abv strength beers. With about 16-20 pounds of grain, there isn't much room for water. The strike water fits in, but the mash out is super close and sometimes doesn't all fit in. Fly sparging is best when running at capacity.

So, if you plan on doing BIG batches (10+ gallons) or larger split batches, then a larger rectangular tun might fit your needs better.

I wont switch until I get larger kettles. I've even considered a tiered system on our large/wide stairs at the back of our building. Anyways. Thanks for writing in.