I'm starting to think about brewing a spiced beer for the holidays (something similar to Harpoon Winter Warmer). I've also been wanting to try out the technique of pulling off some of the first runnings, boiling it down to a syrup, then adding it back to the boil. I figure this would be a good style of beer to try it with. I had a few questions about how I should go about this.
I found an old clone recipe from BYO with the following grain bill:
9.33 lb 2-row
2 lb C-90
0.5 lb Carapils
OG=1.056 / 5 gallon recipe
I'm thinking I would want to cut the crystal malt down by quite a bit, since I would be getting a lot of the caramel flavor from the reduced syrup. Any idea by how much? Also, how much should I pull off to boil down to a syrup?
I typically do a full-volume mash with no sparge. Am I better off doing a batch sparge instead to get more concentrated first runnings?