6 August 2005

posted by benjy edwards

I’d been planning to brew a beer similar to Palmer’s Bitter (low-gravity session bitter from a brewery in Dorset, England), so today I made twenty gallons of it by doing one mash of twice the malt I would use for ten gallons, then sparging with 26 gallons of hot liquor instead of 13, and collecting the wort in two kegs, both with Bazooka tubes for filtering out the hops.  Both kettles were to be hopped the same way, but due to some miscommunication between the head brewer and myself, twice the amount of bittering hops were added to the boil of the first kettle (what I’d intended for both kettles together), resulting in a beer of 1.040 gravity with a calculated IBU of 86.  That should make for an interesting beer!  Thankfully, we’re both hopheads, so it’s a happy accident.  The gravity of the other kettle turned out to be 1.042.  The brew day turned out to be less than an hour longer than when brewing ten gallons, so it’s a very effective way of increasing production.  Because of the size contraint of the mash tun, however, brewing twenty gallons is limited to recipes with an original gravity of about 1.045 or less.  If I were to do it often, I think I’d invest in another half-barrel kettle and another burner, just to streamline the process further.

In addition to producing twenty gallons, I managed to get the ten gallons from last weekend racked to a firkin, and then Sunday I also kegged five gallons of the Sierra Nevada clone and cask the remaining five gallons of the Two Hearted Ale clone.  Both were dry-hopped, of course, the Two Hearted with Centennial and the SNPA with Cascade.

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