Tuesday, September 4, 2012

There's a Party in my Gyle! (3 beers in 1)

On August 12th  Señor Brew™  finally had some time to get a brewday together.  To make efficient use of that time, he decided to make 3 beers out of one mash, one strong beer (you could call it a barleywine), and two medium ones, an Oktoberfest and what he likes to call PseudOfest.

He did this by using different runnings from the mash to brew the different beers.  This is known as parti-gyle brewing, as Randy Mosher, author of Radical Brewing and Tasting Beer, describes so well in the linked article.

The whole point of the brewday was to have an Oktoberfest ready by at least the second weekend of the official Oktoberfest festival, which happens to coincide with Senor Brew's birthday.  Since  Señor Brew™  is out of his award winning barleywine, he thought it would be a good idea to have a strong beer on hand as well.  Of  course an Oktoberfest, being a lager, needs extra time to ferment, and even a longer time to lager to give it that smooth lager finish.  And a barleywine should be aged for many months to really mature into it's flavor profile.   Señor Brew™  can be impatient, so he decided to split the later runnings, post-boil into two different carboys, one with the Oktoberfest yeast, for the Oktoberfest, and one with an ale yeast that would be ready much sooner, the PseudOfest, which is already kegged and delightfully quaffable.  The first runnings  of course were used for the barleywine.

The brewday actually went quite smoothly, unlike most where at least something seems to go wrong.   Señor Brew™  had his old propane turkey fryer burner going to boil 3 gallons of wort for the barleywine, while at the same time, the big natural gas burner was used to boil about another 9 gallons of wort for the O'fest and PseudOfest.

I've exported the recipes for the Oktoberfest and Barleywine from my brew app into separate posts, Barleywine and Oktoberfest.  (Hey I've got to hit my quota to average at least one post per week through the end of the year somehow.) The efficiency is set very low to reflect that only part of the sugars from the mash were used in each brew.  The total efficiency would have been in  Señor Brew™ 's normal range for his setup.  Purists will note a couple things--one, the barleywine's grain bill is not typical, but this is because it was an after thought to the Oktoberfest, which the grain bill is more appropriate for.  I'm going to call it German Barleywine, due to the Munich and Vienna malts.  Also, there was no decoction mash for the Oktoberfest, just a single infusion with some melanoiden malt thrown in to approximate one, even though those same purists will say it's a poor substitute.  Señor Brew™  doesn't care, it makes a fine tasty Oktoberfest.

Señor Brew™ also got a little kooky with an extra ingredient.  We had a package of wheat pasta in Casa del Brew™  lying around, which was not likely to be consumed-- Señora Brew™  is gluten intolerant, and  Señor Brew™  saves his daily carbohydrate allocation for homebrew.  So we grind it up, and into the mash it goes!  There's no entry for it in the brew app I use, so it got listed as wheat DME (dry malt extract).  Close enough for homebrew.

Finally the PseudOfest recipe is not included, because it would be redundant.  Just substitute your favorite fast fermenting ale yeast for the Oktoberfest, ferment warmer (upper 60s to low 70s), and let her rip!  No need to lager it either.


  1. I've never done a partigyle before, but I'd love to try one. I've got an old pot I used for extract batches that might be able to handle 2 - 2.5 gallons of wort. Hmmm. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. So I've thought about it some more. Have you ever done a partigyle where the first runnings are used to brew a strong golden belgian ale (e.g. Duvel) and the second are used to brew a pilsner?

    I think I will try it out.

  3. I used a box of un-frosted mini wheat cereal once to the same end. Since it's not malted, I put it in as flaked wheat.

  4. Do you mesh the first batch as you would a normal mesh, that is 60 minutes? How long do you mesh the 2nd and 3rd runnings?