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Author Topic: Split batch, half spruce... thoughts?  (Read 430 times)

Offline chumley

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Split batch, half spruce... thoughts?
« on: May 28, 2024, 09:02:07 pm »
So I have been scratching my head the past year how to brew a spruce beer with some Colorado blue spruce tips I picked last year and vacuumed sealed and froze.I bewed a beer with spruce tips that I really liked many years ago. Problem is, now I brew 10 gallon batches, split between 2 fermenters. I would like one to be a spruce ale, the other just an amber ale, as I don't really want 10 gallons of spruce beer. Just 5.

So I just came up with an idea. Brew 10 gallons of mild. Chill the wort. Put 5 gallons of wort into a fermenter, pitch an ale yeast to make 5 gallons of mild.

Meanwhile, draw 1.5 gallons of wort, boil with spruce tips, return that boiled 1.5 gallons after 10 minutes back to the brew kettle, then run the chiller again and put 5 gallons of spruce beer into the second fermenter.

Seems like a lot of work with double handling, which is why I am posting. Welcome to hear better ideas.

Offline dbeechum

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Re: Split batch, half spruce... thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2024, 11:44:52 pm »
Any reason not to pull the 1.5 gallons to boil the spruce tips before the chill? Pull, start the boil on it, add the spruce tips to make your spruce liquor, chill the remaining 8.5 gallons. Pull the 5 of mild off to the fermenter, dose the remainder with the spruce liquor and then chill if you need to or run it off to the fermenter
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Split batch, half spruce... thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2024, 09:39:04 am »
Drew's approach seems easier, but maybe there's a reason why you need to chill the wort first?
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Offline chumley

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Re: Split batch, half spruce... thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2024, 09:43:49 am »
Yes, Drew's approach is better than mine. Thanks!

Offline Drewch

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Re: Split batch, half spruce... thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2024, 11:50:02 am »
Why not pull the wort for the spruce at the beginning of the boil and have it go completely in parallel with the main boil? That small a volume could simmer in pot in the kitchen.
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: Split batch, half spruce... thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2024, 12:49:57 pm »
Why not pull the wort for the spruce at the beginning of the boil and have it go completely in parallel with the main boil? That small a volume could simmer in pot in the kitchen.

I assumed the goal was to keep the two beers as similar as possible and therefore keep the wort as one volume for as long as possible.
Drew Beechum - Maltosefalcons.com / ExperimentalBrew.com
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Burbling:
Falconsclaws Helles

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CDJK Mild
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Offline Drewch

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Re: Split batch, half spruce... thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2024, 06:15:48 pm »

I assumed the goal was to keep the two beers as similar as possible and therefore keep the wort as one volume for as long as possible.

A perfectly rational assumption — my approach would change the IBUs in one batch.  Is OP's goal to have two beers that are identical but for the sprucing, or just to get two beers from one brew day?

And if it's the latter, I guess — to take my approach a step further — one could ask, "why pull any wort at all?" Why not make a spruce tea and add it to one fermenter?

The Other Drew

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Offline chumley

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Re: Split batch, half spruce... thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2024, 12:00:03 pm »
My plan is to start with one wort, add the bittering hops, boil, then draw off the 1.5 gallons to boil the spruce tips. The remaining 8.5 gallons will continue to boil, and I will add a small charge of favoring hops (thinking this will be a mild). After chilling and drawing off the first five gallons, I will add the 1.5 gallons of spruced wort back to the BK, more chilling if necessary, before drawing off 5 gallons of spruce wort.

So, two beers with the same hops/IBUs, one with spruce flavor as well.

Skeptical on a tea, as I don't want to lower the OG.