Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Partigyle Brewing: Sea Symphony Barleywine and Ralph Bitter

A nice, healthy dose of Chinook for the SSBW
Hey readers!  I just realized that I had completely neglected to tell you all about my most recent brewing adventures, which are definitely quite exciting.  Last week, I was able to crank out an American barleywine and bitter over the course of a couple days using partigyle methods, which included setting the mash one afternoon, going to an evening class, coming back, collecting the first runnings (the barleywine), boiling the first runnings and getting them into the fermenter, sparging and collecting the second runnings (the bitter), going to sleep, waking up and going to class, then doing the boil when I got home later in the afternoon.  The crazy thing is, I realized when the second gyle wort was almost at a boil that I was out of propane, so I had to move my six gallons of nearly-boiling wort up to the kitchen stove (whose BTU are not quite up to snuff with the turkey fryer) and employ every resource necessary to get the thing to a boil and keep it there.  Whew, what a session it was.  I did, however, get two beers out of it, so that leaves me with a big smile on my face.  You may be wondering about the names of the beers.  Well, I used a proprietary hop blend for the barleywine (which admittedly toes the line of imperial IPA) that is known as Falconer's Flight Seven Seas (7Cs), and knowing full well that this ale will be a symphony of flavor, I am referring to it as the Sea Symphony Barleywine (in homage to the amazing work of Ralph Vaughan Williams).  At that point, I thought it would be awesome to refer to the second runnings bitter as Ralph (which, for all you non-music kids out there, is pronounced "Raif"). Here are the recipes that I created for just such a brew session:

Sea Symphony Barleywine(/Imperial IPA maybe??):
OG: 1.105 (Measured, will translate to about a 10.2% ABV--boom shakalaka)
IBU: 90 
Color: 14°L (beautiful dark amber)
23 lbs Maris Otter
1 lb Munton's Dark Crystal 85°L

3 oz Chinook (whole, 13.9% AA) @60
2 oz FF Seven Seas (pellet, 11.5% AA) @10
2 oz FF Seven Seas @0, 10 minute steep

2 oz Falconer's Flight (pellet, 11.4% AA) dry-hop
1 oz FF Seven Seas dry-hop

White Labs 250 Rebel Brewer American Pub Ale (yeast cake from JuniorSenior Amarillo Rye)

Ralph "American Bitter":
OG: 1.049
IBU: ~35
Color: ~8°L

[Same grain bill, second runnings]

0.6 oz Chinook (whole, 13.9%AA) @60
1 oz Falconer's Flight (pellet, 11.4% AA) @5
1 oz Falconer's Flight @0, 10 minute steep

1 oz Falconer's Flight dry-hop
.4 oz Chinook dry-hop

WLP250 harvested from same yeast cake (I was really all about bang for my buck here)

So here's the lowdown: 
  • the bitter will be ready to drink really soon, once we've dry-hopped it a little bit and thrown it in a keg...I'm definitely excited to drink it, because I feel like it will be similar to 21st Amendment's Bitter American, which I just had for the first time last night
  • if we treat the barleywine as a barleywine, it will really be best in about a year or so, or at least several months down the road--it will be bottled and savoured over time
  • if I sample a taste of the Sea Symphony and it's too good to pass up, I'll go on ahead with the dry-hopping right away and we'll drink it as an Imperial IPA (but still save some bottles so that it can also be experienced as an American barleywine, particularly if it is really boozy)
  • both of these brews are going to be hoppy, delicious American delights, and I don't really give a damn what you call them because they're going to be tasty as hell
I love reusing yeast...saves a great deal of money!  WLP250 is going to be a "house" strain of mine :)

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