In between the many travels of late, I managed to squeeze in a brew day with a new development for me – split batches. As I’m interested in brewing more, perfecting my Black Ale recipe and play with other things, with no space to store that much beer, the idea to split batches came to mind. I got another 10l fermentation bucket, and made my Black Ale as before, but split the batch at the end to 2 fermentations: Black Ale (5.2l) to continue as before, and a Coffee Porter (6.2l) that I added more sugar to it and will soak coffee beans in later on.
The brewing itself used the same process as last time, but this time I started the wort with boiling water, and kept it over 100C throughout the cooking (60 mins), I had one minor boil over at 11 minutes, but it was easily controlled and with constant stirring it was an easy brewing round.
3 changes compared to last time:
1. Keeping the wort over 100c – resulted in a thicker and more stable wort, so hopefully better fermentation.
3. At the end of the cooling process I split the batch – keeping half as before to get a round of dry hoping in a week or so, and the other half got and extra liter of water with 20g more of dextrose. In a week I plan on soaking 50g of decaffeinated coffee beans and add another 2g yeast and 10g dextrose to get another fermentation round.
I hope to this time get a good result with the Black Ale, and have 4-5% ABV and deeper flavour. Also, experimenting with the porter and playing with a second fermentation is very exciting, just to see how it works.
With 2 fermentation containers, the brewery is slightly expending, now taking over the second shower in the flat and so making it into the last unused space in the house to now be designated to something. A couple of pictures below to show the space is indeed a premium, but it is still doable to make beer at home, so no excuses!