October 23, 2018

Brew Day Notes: Old Golden and Special Bitter

What's better than ten gallons of homebrew?
Not much.

Ah, but what if there were some way to achieve two different kinds of beer from one batch? Pitch two different yeasts, you say? True. But I was thinking of parti-gyle.



Floor-malted Warminster Maris Otter - which you've heard about in other posts on this blog - is in stock for the fall at Northern Brewer, and I bought what I think was the first sack we sold (I like it a lot). Add a couple days of staycation and a 1945 slurry and I was well on the way to laying in a barleywine and a bitter.

Parti-gyle brewing is an old technique of brewing successively weaker (lower-gravity) worts with the same grist. Basically it's batch-sparging but instead of blending the runnings they're kept separate. Mash and recirculate as normal, then run off to the boiler without sparging - that high-gravity wort becomes Beer Alpha. Now add more mashout-temp water and run that off into a different vessel - this is low-gravity Beer Omega. The handy parti-gyle gravity chart in The Brewer's Companion takes the guesswork out of anticipating your two divergent OGs.

My vision: a small amount of very strong, very 100% Maris Otter, golden English barleywine. Then cap the mash (another old parti-gyle technique that you can read about in Radical Brewing) with English 55L Crystal and a modicum of Pale Chocolate malt for a larger amount of a session bitter. All East Kent Goldings all the time, and NeoBritannia yeast for both.

The grist:

  •  20 lbs Warminster Maris Otter

 First mash:

  •   150 F for 75 minutes

Beer Alpha: Old Golden

  • 3 oz EKG pellets @ 90"

Yield 3.5 gallons @ 1.108

     The krausen ... the krausen ...


    Second "mash":

    • infuse w/ 170 F H20

    Beer Omega: DSB

    • 1 lb Simpson's Medium Crystal
    • 1 oz Fawcett Pale Chocolate
    • 0.5 lbs Blonde candi sugar
    • 1.5 oz EKG @ 60"
    • 0.5 oz EKG @ 15"
    • 1 oz EKG @ shutdown

    Yield 6 gallons @ 1.040

    DSB fermented quasi-open in a stainless stockpot for 3 days before hitting a racking gravity of 1.014. Warminster MO + NeoBritannia = bready. Overlaid with a nice Goldings hop punch ... this one will be tasty. Skimmed the yeast and saved it for the next batch - a brown ale for fall.

    As of Day 4, Old Golden still has a solid 8" of foam on the top and a fairly active airlock. NeoBritannia's nominal abv tolerance is 10%; in a few days we'll see if it can't be coaxed higher.


    DSB in a quasi-open fermentation in a 10 gallon s/s stockpot. This is just after the first skimming