Light & Dark – Split Batch

Brewing a 10 gallon batch on my outdoor propane-based system is kind of a pain. From setup to cleanup, it takes around 7 hours.  I can do stuff around the house during the mash and boil, but usually I need to keep an eye on temperatures because I don’t have any automation implemented. Yes, part of that could be slimmed down by investing in additional equipment, but there will always be that tradeoff.  The 10 gallon set up does have its advantages, though. In general, I feel like the beer comes out more stable and repeatable than my 3 gallon set up. I can utilize a wort chiller rather than just adding lots of ice and cold water to chill the wort down post-boil.  I can boil hard and not be worried about boiling over onto the pavement as opposed to all over my kitchen stove. Also, you get 10 gallons of beer, not 3. Bonus.

I decided to try and split a 10 gallon batch in a different way than I normally do. There are couple standard ways to split a 10 gallon batch and create two different 5 gallon batches. Here are a couple to note:

  1. Mash, sparge, boil. Pitch the same yeast in two carboys. Lots of the same beer!
  2. Mash, sparge, boil. Pitch a different yeast in each carboy. Great way to experiment with different yeast strains.
  3. Mash, sparge. Split into two boils. Use two different hops schedules and/or two different yeasts. Makes for two (potentially) very different beers, and a great way to experiment with single hops.

I decided to do option #3, but I didn’t want the same malt bill even though I planned on doing one big mash… so I just steeped some chocolate malt on the side, and add that right at the end of the boil on half. This should create two completely different beers from a 10 gallon batch!

Base beer for mash:

  • 20 lb Maris Otter malt (Muntons)
  • 1.5 lb Biscuit malt (Dingemans)

Pale half:

  • 0.25 oz Jarrylo @ 60 min
  • 0.5 oz Equinox @ 20 min
  • 1 oz Equinox @ 10 min
  • 1 oz Equinox @ 5 min
  • 1 L starter WYeast 1056 American Ale

Dark half:

  • 1 lb Chocolate malt (Muntons)
  • 0.75 oz Challenger @ 60 min
  • 0.5 oz Kent Goldings @ 10 min
  • Slurry of Wyeast 1968 ESB yeast from Dark Mild

// Mash-in 1.4 qt/lb at 154 for 40 mins, raise to mash out. sparge to collect 13 gallons 1048 wort. Split into two 6.5 gallon kettles. Boil 60 minutes. Steep chocolate malt for 30 mins in 1 gal 155F water. Add to wort ad flameout. Pale – around 4.5 gallons 1.058, Stout – around 5 gallons 1056. //

Outside water pipe was leaking, got the pale down to 68F but had to chill inside for the stout to 80F.

// Water: 100ppm Ca – 1.5 tsp gypsum 1 tsp CaCl2 to mash, 1.75 tsp gypsum 1.25 tsp CaCl2 to sparge. //

3/11/16:  Both beers are progressing well. The pale half is my favorite. The hops are subtler than I expected, but the beer is very balanced. Awesome body and great malt flavor, with the hops being an accent. Gravity at 1016.  The dark half is appropriately roasted, but slightly burnt. Gravity at 1020. The temperature was around 68 but raised to 75 inside during a few hot days.

3/12/16:  Start crash cooling the pale half, added 1.3 oz ground Ethopian Peets coffee to the dark half.

3/16/16: Kegged both beers.

Tasting notes!

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