Thursday, December 31, 2009

2 Stouts, 1 Mash! (Safe For Work)

(RIS on the right, second runnings beer on the left)

In the Mild Ale post a while back I suggested that a Mild would be a great beer to try to brew in conjunction with a strong ale, as a Part-Gyle brew. Most people know what that is, but in case you don't, it's a brewing method where the mash is run off in different batches. The first runnings make a strong beer, and as the mash is sparged out with hot water, the progressively weaker runnings make more average or even "small" beers. This technique dates from when mash tuns were made of wood (since they didn't need to exposed to a flame, it was cheaper than metal and could be built bigger than the boil kettle for economy.) The multiple runnings from a large mash tun can be fermented together or separately, or combined in a number of creative ways according to the brewer's creative urges.

I decided to take this approach on a batch of Imperial Stout. It's a longer brew day, but for the modest price of an ounce or two of hops, a second beer can be made. It's kind of a no-lose situation because even if the beer isn't great, you have hardly wasted any additional resources.

Above you can see the base mash, which was about 25 pounds of grain The grain bill is a little atypical of an Imperial Stout, as I added a little German smoked malt and peated malt for a smoky complexity to blend with the roasty and caramel flavors. After doing some research, I expected the first 6 gallon batch to come in at about 1.090, and the second batch to come in at 1.050-1.060 O.G. But as you will see, the extract split was much more dramatic with that, with the beers starting at 1.101 and 1.041 respectively. I was fine and actually very happy with those results!

Here are color samples of the first beer on the left and the second beer on the right. Flavor-wise, the first wort tasted very much like an imperial stout and the second beer tasted like a nutty, toasty and fairly peaty brown beer (so not really a stout after all). The peated malt was surprisingly much more noticable in the second beer. Of course there are less sugars and other flavors to hide behind, but I would have thought that the smoke presence would have been proportionally less in the second beer too.

Here's a better color sample of the second wort, maybe it's coming in at 20+ SRM in color.

Here's the recipe. A note first on the mineral additions for this mash: I have a feeling that the water adjustment was wack on this beer. I have some serious questions about John Palmer's water addition calculator, specifically the Residual Alkalinity it suggests for stout-colored worts. I am looking into it and there is an interesting thread here on the BN forum where I am really trying to get a better understanding on mineral additions for dark beers.

"2 Stouts, 1 Mash" RIS and peated "small beer"

Base Mash:
19 lb. 2-row pale malt
1.5 lb. British Roasted Barley 575L
1.5 lb. German Rauchmalt
1 lb . Chocolate malt 400L
.5 lb. Munton's extra-dark crystal malt 200L
.5 lb. Crystal 120L
.5 lb. Crystal 70
.5 lb. peated malt

Mash in 7 gallons of water to 149 degrees for 40 minutes, then add 1 gallon boiling water to raise to 152 for 30 minutes.
Mineral additions: 10 gr. chalk, 1 gr. calcium chloride, 12 gr. baking soda

Sparge with 9 gallons H2O at 168

First Runnings RIS:
7 gallons pre-boil, 5.9 gallons post-boil
O.G. 1.101 F.G. 1.028 ABV 9.8% IBU's 91
Collect 7 gallons at 1.085 (67% of potential extract)
Boil 60 minutes on outside burner
35 gr. Chinook whole 10% AA 60 min
8 gr. Centennial whole 7% AA 60 min
8 gr. Newport whole 10% AA 60 min
5 gr. Zeus whole 14% AA 60 min
40 gr. Magnum whole 10% 30 min
Wyeast nutrient & whirlfloc at 10 min.
(This beer might get some French oak chips after fermented, depending on a flavor analysis.)

Second Runnings peaty brown beer:
7 gallons pre-boil, 5.8 gallons post-boil
O.G. 1.041 F.G. 1.010 ABV 4.1% IBU's 23
Collect 7 gallons at 1.034 (27% of potential extract)
Boil on stovetop for 90 minutes
17 gr. Horizon pellets 8.2% AA 55 min
Wyeast nutrient & whirlfloc at 10 min
14 gr. Glacier pellets 4.5% AA 5 min

Both beers were chilled to about 66 degrees with the plate chiller and fermented with Cali ale yeast. Fermentation started at 60 degrees and worked its way up to 65 in the first few days.

Racked both beers to keg on 1/18/09. Second runnings beer tastes surprisingly excellent, I guess I expected it to be compromised in flavor some way but it tastes like a great brown porter with a mellow background of smokiness. RIS is pretty hardcore, not really even remotely drinkable at this point. Very sharp, almost acrid in the roastiness and noticable alcohol, although not fuselly. It probably just needs some months to age.

Here's a quick little side project that Clarissa and I did: Irish cream. We did this internet recipe straight up, and damn, it's good! We're having some in our coffee right now. The Bushmills is pretty cheap Irish Whiskey, but it's just fine for this kind of sweet, rich cocktail. You'll never drink Bailey's again after making this yourself, and it's very easy.

Cheers, Happy New Year everyone. Be safe. Don't be a cheapskate, get a damn cab!
Sean & Clarissa


Tom E said...

Nice, I just did a parti-gyle brew today. A smoked doppelbock with the first runnings and a rauchbier with the second runnings. It's definitely a really long brew day, but I've gotten into the habit doing it once a year and it's pretty fun.

I wouldn't worry about the mineral additions too much. My understanding is that chalk doesn't dissolve that well anyway, and the baking soda addition will be nice in a dark beer. I've had great results with baking soda as the sole mineral addition in my stouts. The carbonate balances out the acidity of the roasted malts and the sodium gives you a rounder, fuller flavor - if that makes any sense.

That irish cream recipe looks outstanding. Thanks for the link. Happy new year, dudes!!!

Seanywonton said...

Happy New Year to you too, you asshat!
The doppel/rauch sounds nice. Interesting that we both went for a parti-gyle with smoke malt.

I won't worry about the minerals too much, but I do want to get a better handle on this and have better pH reading equipment so I'm not "shooting in the dark" with the mineral additions. I'd rather mash in , see where I'm at, and then adjust as necessary.

Ninth Avenue Brewing said...

Hi Sean - ErikH of the BBB here . . . your presence in the NYC scene is sorely missed! Glad to see you are making a go of things on the left coast, though.

Enjoying your blog, particularly this most recent part-gyle effort. I like this method, although it does make for a bitch of a brew day. I had good results doing a regular Saison (7%) and lighter Grisette (4.5%) with it a while back.

I found it interesting, though, that you decided to accept the differing OG's that you got for the two batches. It would seem fairly straightforward to have blended them to get back to your targets? I would assume also that you adjusted your hop quantities for each to scale them to the respective revised strengths? Just curious, and looking forward to your update on these when they are done.

Seanywonton said...

Hey Erik, Nice to hear from you. I think is was the Mosher article that suggested you would get around a 60/40 split of the total extract in your beers if you did equal sized batches. But, obviously this depends on how much grain you use (how spent the grains are by the time you start the second runnings beer).

I was really happy to be over my target on the imperial stout, and I didn't really care what the second beer turned out like, I just wanted ot keep it "au naturale". On the Imperial Stout, I took up my IBU's by 5 or so to compensate for higher OG, and on the small beer, I just tasted it and said this kind of tastes like a small brown porter with smoke, so I kept it in the low IBU range for a british brown or brown porter.

pester said...

Can you be more specific with your mash schedule? Did you really mash the first runnings with 8 gallons, and collect 7, followed by a 9 gallon sparge to collect 7 gallons for your small beer?

Seanywonton said...

Hi Pester,
Yes, those numbers are correct. I mashed with a total of 8 gallons, and sparged with a total of 9 gallons, using my typical fly sparge method. I collected a total of 14 gallons split between 2 pots.

When I had the full 7 gallons for the first beer, I continued sparging, and let the rest run off into the second kettle.

Basically, I did not let the grainbed run dry between the first and second runnings beers. I hope that helps answer your question.