Monday, December 30, 2013

The Making of a Parti-Gyle Style Beer


On Saturday, 28 December, 2013, I racked and bottled a “parti-gyle” style of beer that I brewed back on 15 September, 2013. Parti-gyle is an method that produces two or more beers, the second and all of the following beers are less gravity and therefore less alcohol than the original. Each of the subsequent beer after the first are made from the sugars that are left after the initial sparging has taken place. From an initial “big” beer, usually up to 2 more beers can be made.

The beer that was the original “big” beer was an imperial porter that was being made at Saugatuck Brewing Company. The original beer was a double mash beer, in which the brewers mashed into the mashtun once, lightly sparged to get gravity of the wort that they desired, racked out, and mashed in again to fill the kettle with the rest of the wort, again at the desired gravity. The pre-boil gravity that brewers were shooting for was 21.1°P (1.088 SG).


After sparging was complete on the first mash, I took 7.5 gallons of the running that was left in the mash to make my beer. The wort that was taken from the first mash had a pre-boil gravity of 15.4°P (1.063 SG). Once the wort started to boil in my kettle, I added 0.75 ounces of Northern Brewer (10.6% AA) hops to the kettle. With 20 minutes and 15 minutes left in the boil I added 1.00 ounce of Fuggle (2.5% AA) hops to the kettle. Also at 15 minutes left I added to the boil 0.25 tablespoon of Irish moss, to help clear the beer, and 5.00 ounces of cocoa nibs. A teaspoon of yeast nutrient was added to the kettle with 10 minutes left in the boil. The rest of the hops that I added were 1.00 ounce of Fuggle (2.5% AA) at 5 minutes, 1.00 ounce of Fuggle (2.5 % AA) at 0 minutes, and 0.75 ounce of Willamette (5.5 % AA) at 0 mintes left in the boil. I ended up with a total post-boil volume of 4.5 gallons.

At this point, I took a sample and began to super cool the wort with a immersion heat exchanger. Once in the fermenter, I added WLP-001 Cal Ale Yeast from White Labs. A original gravity of 21.4°P (1.091 SG) was read from the hydrometer and from obtaining this, I was able to back construct a grain bill:

5.5# Brewers 2-Row Malt (29.5%)
5# Pale Malt (27%)
3# Marris Otter (16%)
1# Caramel/Crystal 120L (5.5%)
1# Roasted Barley (5.5%)
1# Rye Malt (5.5%)
0.75# Caramel/Crystal 10L (4%)
0.66# Chocolate Malt (3.5%)
0.66# Midnight Wheat (3.5%)

This beer differed from the imperial porter that was being brewed at Saugatuck Brewing Company in a few ways. First, even though that this beer was still fairly high gravity, it was not as massive as the imperial stout that brewery made (23.6°P or 1.100 SG). Secondly, though similar, my hops were different than the imperial porter that was brewed at the brewery. Finally, I used cocoa nibs as another bittering agent in my beer.

After two months in the fermenter, I was able to make time to bottle the beer that I made. As a primer for the yeast, I boiled 3.4 ounces of corn sugar in 1 cup of water. I then pour this into a sanitized bottling bucket and transferred the beer over it. I also added a packet of US-05 to make up for the yeast that were not alcohol tolerant or died because of all the time in the fermenter. I lost around 0.5 gallons after the transfer. From this volume, I was able to bottle 39 12-ounce bottles.


I cannot wait to taste this fully carbonated, because un-carbonated, it was pretty good (though I may have a slight bias). Currently, I have yet in fermenters the Beligian Quad and a sour that I brewed in December of 2012. I have plans to brew robust porter relatively soon with my new Blichmann kettle that I received as a gift for xmas. You would think that working in a brewery would have a negative affect on the amount of homebrewing that I want to do, but so far so good!

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