Searching for the line between "hobby" and "obsession"

Mutt and the parti gyle

As I was reaching my initial wort volume in the boil kettle last weekend for the SaiSon of a Bitch batch, I realized there was a substantial amount of liquid left in the mash tun (which I now sort of regret not bringing into the main kettle, as I came up short volume-wise after the main boil, but with an OG of 1.068 or something high like that). Since I thought I had maybe 7 gal. in the main kettle, I decided to do a parti gyle and get a second batch out of this brew day. A party gyle is an old English brewing practice where, after the wort volume for a strong beer was collected, additional water was circulated through the grain bed to obtain a weaker version of the wort for the production of what could be described as a “table beer” or a beer for local peasants. Here’s a more detailed analysis of the practice.

Since the opportunity was presenting itself to make another batch (and since I had open fermenters I could use) I went for it. I’m going to call this brew “Mutt” because it’s just a mix of some random stuff and kind of an experiment. Here’s what I ended up doing:

Base, Specialty: Last runnings from SaiSon of a Bitch’s grist plus 1.5 C Pilzen DME I had on hand for making yeast starters
Extras: 1 C Brown Sugar for good luck
Hops: 1/2 oz. Challenger hops (7%) unused from the Scootin’ Scottie brew day last month
Yeast: Fermentis SafAle S-04 dry yeast that came free with some previous batch
My pre-boil OG = 1.032
My post-boil OG = 1.022 (5.5 Brix)

Post boil, I maybe had two gal. of volume so I added about 1.33 gal. of spring water to bring up the volume a bit. I’m starting fermentation at 1.022. This will be an “extreme” session beer once finished. If commercially produced, this beer would be weak enough to be sold in grocery stores or gas stations here in Minnesota (where all beer sold outside liquor stores or bars must be 3.2% ABW or less). This is shaping up to be a fun little experiment and I guess you could call Mutt my first original recipe.

Next up: a little fermentation blunder… Have you ever cleaned beer off the ceiling at 5:30am? I have.


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