Bonus Brew Day: Parti-gyle Mystery Ale

So yesterday’s Barley Wine did not go as planned. There were … errors.

I ended up sparging way too fast, so the OG of my wort was very low (around 1.060 instead of 1.106). I knew I could get the gravity up with the long boil, but I still sort of panicked, put too much wort in my brewpot, boiled it too hot, and in addition to the nearly 2 gallon boil over I had, I also boiled off another two gallons.

When it was all done, I had just around three gallons of … wait for it … 1.103 wort. I could have just fermented that and probably would have done well, but I’d made a 2L starter, so I panicked again and topped it up to 5 gallons. Which dropped the OG to around 1.065ish. Stupid, Wheaton. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Brewing Mystery Ale It’s currently fermenting in my office, and I’m really glad I put a blowoff tube on it because it looks like it’s going to explode, and the tube is full of kreusen.

It seemed like a shame to just take 22 pounds of grist and throw it into the compost bin, so I did a second mash, which I added to about 2 gallons of high gravity wort I had left over from the barley wine. I did some calculations in Beersmith, and concluded that I couldĀ probably end up with a very light pale ale, maybe in the 1.050 range if I get lucky. I have a ton of hops in my fridge, so I decided to do the following:

Roughly 6.5 gallons of second runnings from the barley wine grist.

1oz Simcoe at 60

1oz Willamette at 15

1oz Willamette at 5

Ferment with 1056 or US-05, depending on how I feel in about 2 hours.

I have no idea what will happen with this, but it’s a fun experiment that doesn’t cost me anything except time, and since I got up early this morning specifically to do this brew, I think I’m still coming out ahead.

Post-boil update: Everything went well, and I ended up with a nice pale ale, OG around 1.039. I suppose it’s sort of on the line between an English Pale and a Bitter, and will likely finish around 5%. I’m sticking with Mystery for the name, because reasons.

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