Reinforced with some newly acquired knowledge from reading Barley Wine from the Classic Brewing Series I decided to whip up a barleywine/dark mild partigyle for the end of winter while I study for the bar exam. The mild will get a quick fermentation, since it's a low gravity beer perfect for a quick turnaround. It will go into my party pig to test out my cask theory (yet another reason why I want to brew this partigyle batch). The barleywine, however, is going to get some long term aging with some oak and dry hops before getting bottled. Right now I plan on letting the barleywine ride out until next fall or winter but we'll see how it progresses. I'll talk a little about partigyle brewing for those unfamiliar with the process, then move on to some general nonsense about recipe formation and then I'll show the recipes and discuss the actual brew.
Since the recipe is really just about clearing out some old grains with good use I don't expect to brew the recipe again. As a result, I didn't take the time to pull the recipe out and organize it at the end of the post although the pieces are fairly clear through the post. This is more of a "show your work" kind of explanation for how partigyle can work.
|Partigyle is not a party with Guile|
With partigyle brewing you follow the same process except you don't combine all your runnings in the same beer. Often the first runnings create a single high gravity beer, such as a barleywine or scotch ale. The second runnings might make a moderate strength beer, with the third runnings making a session or table-strength beer, or the second and third runnings may be combined to make a moderate strength beer. You can combine runnings however you prefer to make different beers. You could, for example, separate your first and second runnings but then split the third runnings between the first and second to lower the gravity of each to make a stronger beer, but not quite a beer over 1.000 gravity, and a beer just above session strength. Your ability to combine runnings is limited by the number of runnings you take and your imagination. It isn't necessary to do more than one batch sparge but the more batches of runnings you have the more you can play with creating different beers.
You are also not limited to the grain you mash. Some brewers will also "cap" the runnings after the first with additional specialty malts to create different beers out of the subsequent runnings. For example, you could make a barleywine by mashing just two row grain, drain the first runnings, and then add dark specialty grains to produce a porter or stout out of the sparge-based runnings. Since specialty malts do not need to be mashed, they can be added after the mash is complete and drained. You can also boost the latter runnings in the boil kettle with extract and/or adjunct sugars like honey, table sugar, or brewing syrups. This can help flesh out very weak runnings both by boosting gravity and flavor. You may not necessarily want a 10% scotch ale and a 2% scottish ale.
|Good Fuller's Beers|
Formulating the Partigyle Brew
The grain bill I am starting with is a strange mix. It will produce a barleywine far too dark for BJCP guidelines and contains a mess of grains not common for a barleywine. It's more American in the sense that there's a lot of grains and unconventional grains at that. However, I am going to use EKG to give it more of an English feel. So maybe it's more of a trans-Atlantic barleywine. Maybe it's not even really a barleywine, more of an undefined strong ale. I'll just keep calling it a barleywine. Anyway, here's the grain bill:
4lb two row
4oz crystal 80
2oz black malt
6oz biscuit malt
1oz rye malt
Like I said, a strange mix and not at all a traditional barleywine. All but the first two ingredients are leftover odds and ends from my fridge. Under normal circumstances I'd never pair that combination together but I think it will work ok in a beer like this. The crystal malt, carahell and melanoidins from the long boil will help create a sweet beer but the black malt, rye and biscuit malt will work with the hops to keep the sweetness in check.
So now taking that grain bill and creating two beers will take some juggling. There's not a good piece of software to create a partigyle, especially this way, but one can rig different tools together to get the job done. I used Beersmith and Kai's batch sparge simulator.
I started off using the batch sparge simulator described and linked here. I input the 5.07 pounds of grain and started off assuming one gallon of mash water. According to this fantastic tool, I could expect to get back 0.4 gallons of 1.137 gravity wort. That's very potent wort and not a lot of it. Assuming a 10% boil off, which is about what I get on my stove, at 90 minutes I can use the 15% boil off calculation in the simulator to know what my post-boil gravity and volume should be. At that rate, I'd end up with a third of a gallon, less trub, of 1.165 gravity beer. Too little beer and too strong.
I realize one gallon is an extremely thick mash for a little over five gallons but by my calculations playing around with this tool I actually get better efficiency doing it this way instead of putting the first and second water additions together for the initial mash water.
|First and second runnings|
First will be the barleywine recipe. Beersmith, by way of miscalculating the mash efficiency has figured out based on the full grain bill I can reach my desired post-boil gravity of 1.107. I'm sure I could adjust some figures to make it realize it's overshooting mash efficiency but it doesn't really matter for my purposes. It just needs to match the right gravity. (The color might be a little off.)
|How the barleywine began|
I decided to add a bittering addition and a twenty minute addition to create balance and carry forward some hop flavor. I'm using exclusively East Kent Goldings, not just to create an English theme but also because I have a lot of it in my freezer. So 2.5oz of hops later I get 75 IBU good for a BU:GU ratio at 0.699.
|With hops and yeast|
Turning to the mild, that's a little trickier because I'll have to play around with the grain amounts to reach that ultra-low OG. As you can see in the picture below, if I leave the grains as they are, beersmith thinks I am making 2.5 gallons of 1.047 gravity beer. I am not.
|Mild recipe begins|
Fortunately beersmith has a neat feature that lets you adjust the gravity by selecting a new one. The result below is the new hypothetical amounts that contribute to the third runnings I'll make into the mild.
|Gravity adjusted to correct number|
The easiest way to give this beer a bump in ABV is adding sugar, so I'll do that here. To give it a little extra flavor and keep it from being a really watery version of the barleywine, I am going to add four ounces of piloncillo and four ounces of table sugar. Beersmith doesn't have piloncillo as an ingredient so I've used treacle as a substitute.
|Recipe with sugar additions|
The last thing that needs to be added is some hops. I've also used EKG here, which is a good fit for a mild. I've kept the bitterness low but added both flavor and aroma boil additions to develop some hop character. The amounts are very low but one does not need a lot of hops for a 3% beer.
The water & the heatThe water is obviously a key part of the partigyle brew (as it is every beer, really). In the way I have constructed the recipe I have an extremely thick mash which means I will probably have terrible efficiency. To combat that I plan on making the first round of sparge water the same temperature as the mash to allow for additional conversion. I realize I could have just combined these two amounts together for a thinner mash and better conversion the first time around but with a big beer it's hard to get really good conversion so I want to test double mashing the grains to see if I can improve overall efficiency. Then the second batch of water will actually hit sparge temperatures.
I am using distilled water so I will treat the water, which I have been doing very diligently for the past several batches and found it's making a big improvement in my beers. I'll stick with my usual London water profile for English-style beers. I'm only going to adjust the initial mash water for conversion purposes and for flavor to a lesser extent. I'm not concerned about the conversion for the mild portion nor am I worried about adding salts for flavor because I expect the piloncillo has enough concentrated stuff in it to make up for it. I can always make a small kettle addition if need be.
So the profile I'm looking for is:
Calcium - 52ppm
Magnesium - 32ppm
Sodium - 86ppm
Chloride - 34ppm
Sulfate - 32ppm
Alkalinity - 85ppm
I'm settling on:
Calcium - 58ppm
Magnesium - 10ppm
Sodium - 65ppm
Chloride - 59ppm
Sulfate - 42ppm
Alkalinity - 149ppm
With additions of 2 grams chalk, 1 gram calcium chloride, 2 grams epsom salt, 3 grams baking soda, 1 gram kosher salt. I don't find it necessary to get exactly dead on to a particular water supply but I do think the London profile I follow for English-style beers does a good job creating the right colors and malt/bitter balance. That's why I don't worry too much about trying to get dead on. Plus, it's really hard to try to measure under a gram on my scale with any accuracy.
Once I have all the runnings I plan on doing both boils side-by-side. The barleywine will go into the 1.5 gallon stock pot I used to use for BIAB mashes for one gallon batches. The pre-boil volume should start around 1.4 gallons and end at 1.1 gallons so I'll have to be careful with the hot break to avoid boilover. The 2.5 gallon mild will start just under three gallons pre-boil and go into the fermentor right around 2.5 gallons.
Now, the actual brew dayI hope the excessively long process of how I thought out this recipe and process was useful. Here's the actual brew process. I started a one liter starter of 1.035 wort going with some S-04. It's a voracious fermenter perfectly suited to battle the rough conditions of the barleywine and blaze through the mild so I can get it in the cask in time to be conditioned by the last day of my bar exam. I'm really liking the aroma of a couple of my yeast project strains currently in the fermentation chamber that I thought about using but since I don't know how well they will attenuate I figured a barleywine was not the right place to test that out.
|Brewing equipment -- my new refractometer|
I took this opportunity to prepare some extra ingredients. This piloncillo stuff is rock hard. I had to take a hammer to it to break it up into pieces. And not just one strike, it took several strikes to break it up. It tastes pretty good so I'll be interested in putting it to use in other beers.
|Before I beat it up|
|After I beat it up|
My combined first and second water additions are coming out at a pre-boil gravity around 1.075, which is a little lower than I was expecting but not terribly far off. It's still over 10% ABV based on pre-boil gravity so it will be a big, big beer once boiled down. The third batch of water (formerly producing the third runnings, now technically the second runnings) came in at a pre-boil gravity of 1.017 so very close to what I had anticipated for this wort.
The barleywine was boiling off much quicker than I expected so I went ahead and added some extra boiling water to the kettle around twenty minutes to refill it back to the desired volume. I know that will push the gravity lower but even if I end up with an 8-9% barleywine that's still a big enough beer. After the boil the barleywine was showing a 1.095 gravity and the mild 1.035, so not terribly far off from where I wanted to be. I ended up adding another 32 ounces of water to get back up to the desired volume. I kept adding water until I got to 1.1 gallons, which left me with a beer right around 1.070. The mild clocked in at 1.032. Not too bad. The barleywine is a little under what I was shooting for but a 8-9% barleywine is still good enough and will make a nice winter 2013 beer.
After the brew dayWell, the barleywine made a nice mess in my fermentation chamber like I feared. I thought I could get away without a blow off tube but I was wrong. Actually it wasn't too big of a mess but the airlock popped off. I've cleaned it up and I think I only lost about 6-8 ounces of beer, which I think will keep it around a gallon between blow off and trub. By day three the bubbling was slowing down but there is still plenty of visible activity in the fermentor. I will cut off the temperature control once the yeast appear to be dropping out so it can warm up for a diacetyl rest. My plan is to let it sit at ambient for several months. I am going to brew a doppelbock later in the spring so I plan on lagering both together for several weeks in the late spring and then pull both back to ambient for some long term aging. I'll give the barleywine a taste late fall to see how I want to bottle it. I am open to both oaking it and dry hopping it but if it has good flavor on its own there's no reason to doctor it up unless it seems lacking. I might split and bottle half straight and half with oak and/or dry hops if I'm feeling particularly ambitious.
The mild, on the other hand, fermented out quickly and by day three is looking at terminal gravity. I fermented these beers on a ramping temperature schedule of 63F day one, 65F day two and 67F day three. The mild is sitting at 1.004, which is about what I expected and calculates out as a 4% beer. It's about half a percentage point about what I had expected but still within a sessionable level. It is out of the fermentation chamber and sitting at ambient in the low 70s for a day before it goes into the party pig. I'll continue its story in a separate post about how the party pig works as a cask but update the flavors here.
Sorry this post is rambly, I wrote it up over the course of a few weeks while studying. I don't have time to edit it right now with the bar a couple weeks out but sometime later this year I might break this down and repost a more condense and efficient version.