Thursday, March 27, 2014

Double Experiment

Queensland State Archives 1638 Industrial High School Brisbane Science Class April 1951
By Agriculture And Stock Department,
Publicity Branch [Public domain],
  via Wikimedia Commons
I've got something planned. Actually two things.

But I will do them simultaneously. And, weather permitting, I'll try them tomorrow.

The first is Smash beer. Smash (or SMaSH) stands for Single Malt and Single Hop. What that means is just what it says, my recipe contains only one malted grain, and one hop variety. While there are relatively few beers that you can make successfully using SMaSH brewing, it is a unique way to truly understand what characteristics a particular hop or malt adds to the equation. With only one malt and one hop variant, you can understand the exact flavors that come from those varieties.

The other experiment that I am going to do is to split the batch and use two yeast strains. So basically, I will end up with two different beers, but with some very similar characteristics.

I've been interested in parti-gyle brewing (an experiment for a later day) wherein the first runnings are used to make one big beer and the remainder is used to make a second beer (perhaps even with a second mash), but that requires two boils and I am not sure that I have the time for that tomorrow.

So instead, I'm doing a single mash (with one grain) and then doing a single boil (with one hop variant) and then splitting the wort. Since I make 10 gallon batches, it should nicely give me 5 or so gallons of each.

What am I making? A Kolsch (at the high end of its OG range) and a Belgian Pale (just below the low end of its OG range).

The grain bill? 22.5 lbs of Pilsner malt
The hops? 2 additions of Czech Saaz
The yeast? Wyeast Kolsch and Wyeast Belgian Ardennes

That's it.

My guess is I will end up with two pretty bad beers from an overall perspective (but hopefully still drinkable) but a solid knowledge of what each ingredient brings to the table.

And, highly likely, I will be live tweeting the brewday over at The Twittersss

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