I work as a server with a ton of nerds. We all love beer, we all love making our own consumables and the four of us have been wanting to start a brew-group. I am the only one in the group with any experience brewing and i've done about 7 brews previously. So monday we decided to do it. We started water at 8am on labor day. Here was the idea:
We wanted to brew both a sessionable easy drinking beer for those who haven't acquired the taste for hops, or for hot Oklahoma days (A homebrewed beer makes the best reward after doing yardwork, or to sustain a man doing any manor of physical task). And we wanted to brew a high gravity beer for enjoying with dinner, after dinner or any other time the occasion calls for a decent amount of delicious malt beverage. So after work we got together at our after-work-watering-hole to discuss potential recipes. I came up with the idea of brewing both beers from the same mash so as to maximize our time on brew day and just to experiment and further my brewing experience. We knew we wanted the higher gravity beer to be around 8% ABV and the lower gravity beer to be arond 4%. It's still too warm in Oklahoma to really brew an ale (even inside can be tricky without help), so we decided to make them a pair of saisons.
So i did some calculations:
ABV = (dGrav) * F.
(dGrav is the change in gravity (OG-FG), the factor F changes depending on the gravity of the beer, but i used 133 because it was in the middle for both).
for the big beer:
sub in 8% = dGrav * 133; dGrav = .060.
for the small beer:
4% = dGrav * 133; dGrav = .030.
We wanted both to ferment out fairly dry like a saison, say between 1.005 and 1.010.
We would be brewing 5.5gallons to the fermentor, so that means for the big beer we would need a starting grav of 1.010 + .060 = 1.070, and assuming a little more attenuation (FG = 1.007) for the little brother 1.037. This means we would need (70 * 5.5) gravity points for bigger brother (385) and (37 * 5.5) grav points for little brother (204), for a sum total of 590 gravity points.
Now for recipe design, we went with:
10% Caramel 10L
We aimed for lower than optimal efficiency of 65%
So to get total lbs of grain:
Yields: 2-row, car10L, Vienna
590pts = (.65) * (X lbs) * (.8(36pts/lb) + .1(33pts/lb) + .1(36pts/lb))
X = 25(ish)lbs
meaning .8*25 = 20lbs 2-row,
.1*25 = 2.5lbs each of vienna and Car10L
Now for hops (which was quite a bit less scientific, and i did it in beersmith).
we wanted the Bigger brother to be a hoppier beer so we did
.5oz Centennial @ 60m
.5oz Centennial @ 45m
.5oz Willamette @ 30m
.50z Willamette @ 15m
the little brother we decided to do a "One Hop Wonder" with US Fuggle:
.75oz US Fuggle @ 60m
.25oz US Fuggle @ 10m
And here was the last idea i had about this beer: what if we turned them into twins? A good twin and an evil twin; doppelgangers, Cain and Able, Jeckyll and Hyde, Bruce Banner and The Hulk!
so we planned to steep 1/2lb of black patent and caramel 120L in the Evil Twin to give it a twisted appearance.
At this point you might say, "well how'd all that math work out for ya funny man?"
pretty well altogether, but not perfect.
We mashed all 25lbs of grain in a cooler @ 151 F for 1:45hrs @ 1.25qts/lb ~ 7.75gallons,
first runnings were 4.33 gallons of 1.092 wort = 398pts.
sparged with another 7.75 gallons @ 170, continuously by siphoning it all across the grain bed and collecting simultaneously.
second runnings were 7.25 gallons of (what i thought was) 1.044 wort (319pts). I broke the tip of my hydrometer and it was no longer calibrated.
This was higher than expected (a total of 717pts is equivalent to about 80% mash efficiency) so we poured 1.25 gallons of second runnings into the Evil Twin (Evil Twin: 398pts + 49pts = 447pts, Good Twin: 319 - 49 = 270pts).
boil went as planned, hop additions, specialty grains added/steeped at 160 F etc.
cooled, aerated, pitched.
Final gravities (after recalibrating my hydrometer by dropping half a dozen staples into the bottom of it) were:
(1.081) 1.080 and (1.049) 1.036
The discrepancy in the final gravity of the smaller beer was due to my clumsiness and the breaking of the hydrometer and not testing its calibration after, but if it ferments out nice and dry we should still have a good sessionable beer, though it will be far from style. in retrospect we could have stood to collect less second runnings and instead substitute in some first runnings for the little beer then just top up the bigger beer with water because we had sugar to spare.
will repost with pics later.