Originally Posted by Aunt_Ester
Running a full batch off your grains and then sparging them again for a lightly colored, tasteless, < 1.010 beer is just gonna result in a tanniny beer. Even if you top off with DME.
Agreed with this but I disagree with adding oats...i wouldn't want to add a must-mash adjunct that late, especially in a pale ale. I often add fresh crystal or only mash the base malt and steep the specialty grains for both batches on the stove so I can do 2 completely different beers.
I like the blending method over adding extract but it requires an extra kettle or at least a couple of buckets to run wort out into. The proper traditional way was to blend after boiling or in some cases after fermentation....i haven't tried that way. The way i usually do it is if i have a 1.065 big beer that needs 13lbs of grain and a 1.035 small beer that would need 7 pounds of grain, I will mash 20lbs of grain plus a lb or 2 to make up for the lost efficiency in a bigger mash. My first runnings will be in the 1.085 range, the second runnings will be in the 1.016 range (both run into seperate plastic buckets) and I will calculate the blending ratio to get 1.065 in the big beer kettle and 1.035 in the small beer kettle. (you need a refractometer and some basic math skills).
It takes a long long time if you have only one boil kettle. I bought a second turkey burner so I can boil both side by side but before I had the second burner, I would do only a half batch of the small beer on the stove and the big beer outside on the gas burner....but chilling the wort is the bottle neck as I only have 1 chiller.