Make brewing 10 Gallons of a Big Beer with a Big Grain Bill Easy


This past weekend I made my Dreaded English Barleywine.  This is the second time I have made this beer and I wanted to do use all grain for the base malt.  The first time I made it I substituted 7 pound of DME to make the mash easier.   Do not get me wrong as the beer turned out great but I had no control over how the 7 pounds of DME was made from a mouth feel perspective.

So here is the grain bill for the 100% all-grain version of this mammoth beer (1.105 OG)

  • 44 pounds of Pale Malt (2-row)
  • 2 pounds of Munich Malt
  • 1 pound of Crystal 80
  • .008 pound of Chocolate Malt

There are a few problems with mashing over 47 pounds of grain in a 15 gallon keg.

  1. Your efficiencies drop like a rock
  2. Your arms feel like they are going to fall off by the end of them mash
  3. It is very hard to control the mash temperature with that much mass in your mash

So I decided to do separate mashes to overcome the problems above.  So the next decision is what do I do with the mash?  How do I split it up?

MASH 1 – Base Malt

I made the decision to split the base malt down the middle which made 1 mash 22 pounds of base malt.   My temperature I shout for was 156 degrees to give this barleywine the mouth feel I was shooting for from past comments from judging.   Usually I mash for 90 minutes no matter what but with the long brew day ahead (my Barleywine and Josanna’s RIS – Same issue with grain bill) I only mashed for 60 minutes at 156.   Everything converted and I was very happy with the turnout.  Now how much of the wort do it take with the sparge?  I decided to take 6 gallons (1/2 of my total pre-boil volume).   When I stopped the sparge I was sill pulling a 16 brix (at 1.064 OG) beer.  I left the wort to rest in the boil kettle for round 2.

Mash 2 – Specialty and Base Malt

As above in Mash 1 I had 22 pound of base malt but I made the decision to keep all the specialty grains in a single mash.  I did this based on I wanted to make sure I get the equal extraction of the specialty grains in one mash.  I went through the same process in Mash 1 with a very successful mash 2.  Again I stopped pulling wort from sparge when I reached my pre-boil volume of 12 gallons as was still pulling a 16 brix (1.064 OG) beer.

The rest of the brew was the normal boil, hops additions, chilling and pitching yeast.  I did get an original gravity of 1.108.  The flavor of the beer was spot on for the specialty malts and the mouth feel was what I was looking to get for a unfermented wort.

My only regret is I did not have the time or the energy (as Josanna did the same above process for her 10 gallon RIS) to take the spent grain and do a second runnings.  I think that could have been a nice beer.

I hope this helps you make a Big 10 Gallon Beer easier for you the next time you do it.  I will be posting my “Dreaded English Barleywine” recipe for you to try.

Brew Hard!
Dave’s Dreaded

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