Brewing 3 Beers From 1 Mash
By John Aitchison
We all like a variety of homebrew. But we also know that brewing takes time and effort. So on May 11, Roger Taylor, Nicolai Abramson, Chris Moon, and I decided to brew three beers on the same day.
We started out at 8 AM, and for equipment we used a 30 gallon mash tun, a 6 gallon Digiboil brewing machine, a 25 gallon HLT-Hermes kettle, and 3 separate boil kettles. Just one mash and one sparge--we just collected the wort differently. I really love Crisp Chevallier--it’s an heirloom malt that was used in the time of Queen Victoria. Rich, nutty, and intensely malty. That provided 38% of the grain bill. Another 30% came from Crisp Maris Otter, and 15% from Crisp Plumage (another Maris Otter heirloom malt). Crystal 20L. and Crystal 40L. each were about 5%, with the balance coming from assorted sugars.
The first runnings all were used for an English Barleywine. Once the wort we were collecting fell to 1.070, we then diverted the wort into another kettle. That became a Belgian Dubbel. Then it was time for the Ordinary Bitter. We collected that wort until the gravity fell to 1.012. We have lots of burners, so for 30 minutes there were four kettles going. Then it was time to adjust.
We wanted to end up with an OG of 1.100 for the Barleywine. We brought 2 pounds of dark Moscavado sugar, we knew it would add 10 gravity points in a 6 gallon batch. And we figured we’d add 10-15% gravity in the boil while losing the same amount of wort. So we started with just under 7 gallons of 1.080 wort.
Next up was the Dubbel. We wanted an OG in the high 1.060s and planned on using 1.5 pounds of dark Belgian candy sugar. Again, we were trying for 6 gallons so we started the boil with 7 gallons of 1.048 wort.
The rest went into the Bitter. It started out in the low 1.030s, we really wanted to keep it under 1.040. This was going to be our Summer lawnmower beer. We filled our 30 gallon kettle all the way.
Of course each got a different hopping schedule. The Bitter ended its boil with an OG of 1.040 and maybe 25 IBUs. I diluted my share to 1.038. Next off was the Barleywine. We got about 5.5 gallons of 1.103 OG, 45 IBU wort. Perfect, none of us love Bigfoot, the goal was an English Barleywine. The Dubbel was just for whatever was left over. Still, we got 6 gallons of 1.066 wort. And we were all done and going home by 3PM.
Both English ales got White Labs London Ale yeast. All the beer got a London water treatment. Roger and I split the Dubbel, mine got a combination of Ardennes Forest and Duvel strains. It turns out the Dubbel and the Bitter both like the same temperature fermentation. Start cool, and let it rise. Keep it under 75. I fermented them together. The Barleywine--keep it cool. I kept it south of 66 degrees for two weeks, and then never let it above 70. I can’t say I enjoy fusels.
Everything except the Barleywine has been consumed. It got added to two other batches of Barleywine, we ended up krausening and bottling it last month. 5 cases of bottles. If you come to club meetings, you’ll get some. 40+ IMO.