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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: gogreen437 on February 05, 2013, 10:40:33 PM

Title: Pouring First Runnings Back into Mash Tun
Post by: gogreen437 on February 05, 2013, 10:40:33 PM
So I'm reading Amber, Gold & Black right now and in the barleywine section Martyn Cornell talks about an old practice where British brewers would pour the first runnings back into a mash tun to make a double beer.  Has anyone tried this before?  It seems sensible that you would extract more sugars from the same volume and create a stronger beer, I had just never read of this practice before and was intrigued. 
Title: Re: Pouring First Runnings Back into Mash Tun
Post by: morticaixavier on February 05, 2013, 10:45:07 PM
So I'm reading Amber, Gold & Black right now and in the barleywine section Martyn Cornell talks about an old practice where British brewers would pour the first runnings back into a mash tun to make a double beer.  Has anyone tried this before?  It seems sensible that you would extract more sugars from the same volume and create a stronger beer, I had just never read of this practice before and was intrigued.

double mashing, you run off, clean out the mash tun, put new grain in and use the first batch of sweet wort as mash 'water' for the second mash. It's useful if you want more or stronger beer than your mash tun allows.

If I wanted to brew 10 gallons of barley wine with my current setup I would have to do this, instead I just brew 5 gallon batches of strong beers and partigyle a small beer after.
Title: Re: Pouring First Runnings Back into Mash Tun
Post by: hopmonster on February 06, 2013, 05:23:33 PM
I have done it for the experience. The benefit you gain, after following the above procedure, is that the first runnings wort is full of enzymes that get right to work on the new grain. The end result for me was that I ended up with a sticky wort at 1.120. The end beer fermented very nicely and has been aging. The one bottle we cracked is delightfully smooth.

That said, I do not really need 10G of barley wine, or even 5, so I generally go with a first and second running strategy where I get a huge first beer and an awfully respectful second beer. Third beers are too astringent for my taste, especially since I am not blending. Example: Imp Stout pushing around 1.130 (top range of my measuring equipment) which yielded a second beer, a porter, at 1.076 which finished at 1.018. I did cap the mash for the second beer with an additional 2# of caramel malts.

The challenge for me is that I need two boil vessels, but that is a small headache given the benefit of two beers for not too much more investment.
Title: Re: Pouring First Runnings Back into Mash Tun
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on February 06, 2013, 05:54:22 PM
I have done it for the experience. The benefit you gain, after following the above procedure, is that the first runnings wort is full of enzymes that get right to work on the new grain. The end result for me was that I ended up with a sticky wort at 1.120. The end beer fermented very nicely and has been aging. The one bottle we cracked is delightfully smooth.

Do you think you create a superior beer with the double mash as opposed to a similar first-runnings beer?
Title: Re: Pouring First Runnings Back into Mash Tun
Post by: erockrph on February 06, 2013, 10:53:46 PM
Although I haven't really run into space constraints with my BIAB system yet (I've just chosen to brew smaller batches of high-gravity brews), this sounds like a neat way to get a full-capacity, super high gravity brew. You would simply dump the first batch of grains, add your bag back to the mash vessel, then add a second batch of grains. Another plus is that you could possibly squeeze enough wort out of your first bag to boil it down to a syrup to add back to the kettle, scottish ale-style.

I'm wondering if this may also get you some extra fermentability. If you do your initial mash at a higher temp to favor alpha amylase, then mash low for the second half, then you will have more Beta amylase available to chew down the initial wort.
Title: Re: Pouring First Runnings Back into Mash Tun
Post by: weithman5 on February 06, 2013, 11:22:32 PM
kind of cool concept, think i would just add some lme.
Title: Re: Pouring First Runnings Back into Mash Tun
Post by: tygo on February 07, 2013, 11:53:26 AM
I'm wondering if this may also get you some extra fermentability. If you do your initial mash at a higher temp to favor alpha amylase, then mash low for the second half, then you will have more Beta amylase available to chew down the initial wort.

That's an interesting thought.