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Double batch AG time saver

Ok, so I have ordered my Barley Crusher, totes to store grain, a pond pump to pump ice water during the wort cooling. I am getting ready to pull the trigger on some base grains and specialty grain based on what I plan to brew in the next few months.

With extract and PM, I started brewing two batches in a brew session for a couple reasons. To build up my pipeline and because doing a second batch only takes an hour more form me than doing a single batch. I have to really hustle to accomplish that but, to me, an extra hour one night clearly bets 3-4 on another night.

So, Here is my question:

Is it possible to brew double batches by mashing a larger quantity of base grains in a large cooler and then separately brewing the specialty grains for each of the two batches in different containers at the same time? I guess you would have to make sure the gravities of both batches were very close but here is what I am thinking: Just looking at the recipes for Lakefront IBA and Lakefront Fixed Gear as examples, both have OG’s of 1.065. Both use 11 to 11.25 lbs of 2 Row malt.

Mash about 10-11 gallons (I am rounding numbers here) of 2 Row and then do a brew in bag for each of the extra two lbs of specialty grains for each batch, adding the balance of the spare water. One could be done simultaneous with the base malt mashing and sparging and the other could follow during the first batch’s boil. Mix the base malt and specialty malts together and start the boil.

Now that I have typed that all out, I am thinking that it would be easier to have a second group of equipment, but that is space and money (and spousal aggravation).

Has anyone tried something like this?

Did that a month or so ago with Lake Front BIPA and Fixed gear. I mashed and batched sparged 22lbs of 2 row and collected it into one kettle then moved 1/2 of that liquid to a 2nd kettle. I steeped the specialty grains for each beer and boiled. Worked out great. The beers are sitting in a 2ndary right now waiting for me to keg them this weekend. Early test samples tasted good, but it’s 1st time I’ve done either so I don’t know how close it will be to Lakefronts. The only problem I had was the 2nd boil kettle had more evaporation than my normal boil kettle so I had to top off some water at the end.

I got the idea from Gordon Strongs books or The Brewing Network (can’t recall) where they talked about not needing or really wanting to mash specialty grains.

If you follow the recipe, I would think you would need to mash the specialty grains in order to hit the OG, no?

Big question, did it save you time?

You get very little points from specialty grains it’s mainly color and flavor. I think according to ProMash just mashing the 2 row left me 6 or 8 point short of the estimated OG, so i just added more 2- row to make up the difference. I might of mashed 24lbs I would have to check at home. The brew day was roughly an 1 hour more, mainly because I couldn’t chill both batches at the same time and I had to actually clean my hot liquor tank instead of just letting it dry out. I used my hot liquor tank as the 2nd boil kettle.
I think it was a great time saver. 2 different beers on tap and only an hour extra of time.

If you only have one kettle and your MT can handle all the grain for two batches, then what you’re proposing would work fine. Once you drain half the first runnings for the first batch, you might want to boost the temp in the MT to 170F in order to denature the enzymes since it’ll be sitting while the first batch boils and chills - you could bring the specialty grain part of the wort to a boil and add it to the MT to get the temp up.

I took my first runnings for a barleywine. I took my second runnings and added honey for a honey pale ale.

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