Need advice, please; a mishap that led to a big blunder

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Friday night I started mashing for a triple-batch partigyle, and after
beginning my mash I broke my hydrometer (note to self: buy TWO next time
so that I'll have a backup). Anyway, since I couldn't check my gravity,
I forgot that I was still probably going to have to find some way to
make some adjustments in the gravity of my batches, and having
forgotten, I just boiled each batch with whatever runnings I drew from
the tun. Looking back, that can only have been a huge mistake on my part
because the first runnings would, of necessity, be a much higher gravity
than the regular recipe without a partigyle.

Specifically, I was attempting to make a "Big Foot" clone from the first
runnings; the regular recipe called for 16 pounds of 2-row for a
5-gallon batch, and I put 26 pounds in the tun. I planned on a regular
beer from second runnings (batch-sparge first time), and probably a
fairly weak light beer from the third runnings (batch-sparge second
time). Now I don't know WHAT I have in any of my three fermenters.

Anyway, if the yeasties don't quit on me early in the high gravity
carboy and will adequately finish the fermentation, I can blend some of
it with the weakest carboy, and put some of the weakest beer back into
it, etc.  That will be extra trouble but something that is better than
nothing.  And of course, the fact that the gravity of my first runnings
was no doubt much higher than planned, this probably affected hop
utilization, although I don't know how dramatically.  And if the yeast
don't finish the job due to high alcohol, I suppose I can blend the
first and third carboys into two secondaries and either let the yeast in
the weak beer resume fermentation of remaining sugars from the high
alcohol carboy, or add a bit of new yeast if needed. I have some wine
yeast available, but I don't want to use it to finish fermenting the
first runnings for fear that I'll dry it out and end up with so much
alcohol that it will remove paint.

Well, I'm sure I'll get drinkable beer out of this one way or the other,
and it's a lesson learned the hard way. Meanwhile, it anyone can think
of any other possible solutions, I'm all ears.

Thanks.

Bill Velek -- My 'Grow-Hops' Yahoo group now has 82 members; it is
_exclusively_ for the discussion of hop gardening and related issues
such as trellis design, diseases, harvesting and storage, etc.

Re: Need advice, please; a mishap that led to a big blunder


If U have used this same equipment and recipe in the past I will be very
surprised if these results don't mimic previous ones and U shoild be able to
guess close if there are slight differences.

--
Thanks
Hank



Re: Need advice, please; a mishap that led to a big blunder


hankus wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thanks for the reply, Hankus.  I've used the same equipment for years,
but this is the first time for this particular recipe, and worse, the
first time that I can recall ever doing a _triple_ partigyle; I've done
several doubles -- two batches from one mash -- but can't remember a
triple.  I brew so much, often doing two batches in the same session,
... and occasionally even a marathon of three _different_ batches
(different mashes) ... that I can't really remember what I've done in
the past.  I'm not a very organized or disciplined homebrewer insofar as
keeping records are concerned, so this is teaching me a lesson that I
really do need to keep a journal or log book of some sort.  In fact, I
usually don't even bother keeping the recipes except lately I've kept
the ones I've created using software (BeerToolsPro).

Anyway, at this point perhaps the simplist and safest thing to do is to
just mix the 1st and 3rd batches together before the primary finishes; I
may decide to do that tomorrow.

Thanks.

Bill Velek -- Grow hops? Join http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Grow-Hops

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