Large Batch of American Beer - Brewer's Friend
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Large Batch of American Beer

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Brewed an 11 gallon batch of my Blitz Weinhard Clone. This is close to what Blitz probably tasted like originally (not the watered down stuff they produce today). Doing an 11 gallon batch is great. It generates twice as much beer in the same amount of time! It also gives the opportunity to try two different types of yeast on the same exact wort. Contrasting the differences in the finished product will be fun and educational.

The recipe is loaded into the Brewer’s Friend Recipe Builder:

blitz wienhard clone

10 gallon batch beer mash

This batch pushed capacity limits of my 15 gallon kettle and 48 quart mash lauter tun. I am not convinced my 15 gallon kettle actually holds 15 gallons. It is more like 14, sort of like how a 2×4 is not really two inches by four inches… At least this kettle is enough for an 11 gallon batch.

In the picture there is a little over 13 gallons in the kettle which still leaves room for the boil. The actual batch volume is 11 gallons. That way there is room for trub losses. The plan is to keg this directly from the primary fermentor after the yeast completely fall out.

When draining to the fermentors, I took a staggered approach. 2.5 gallons into the first one, then 2.5 into the next, and so on until both were full. That way, if there was any stratification going on in the kettle it was mitigated. In one fermentor Safale-05 American Ale is being used. In the other it is Wyeast 1272 American Ale II.

10 gallon batch beer

11 gallon batch beer mash

american beer home brew

The plan is to do a blind taste test and see if we can tell them apart. Liquid yeast is more expensive than the dry yeast (yet ironically the dry yeast has more cells). For this sort of run of the mill beer, if the liquid yeast doesn’t wow me, I’ll stick with the dry yeast for future batches. Nottingham is another yeast I have used here with success, and it imparted a nice bready flavor.

  1. 8 Responses to “Large Batch of American Beer”

  2. I love splitting batches for playing around with different strains. That 1272 has a bit more fruity esters than the US-05.

    Actually, there are significantly more viable yeast cells in a Wyeast pack than your typical dry yeast pack.

    A pack of US-05 has 6 Billion cells per gram (at 11.5 grams in a pack, that’s 69 billion viable cells at the time of packaging).

    A Wyeast Activator pack has 1.2 Billion cells per mL, in a 125 mL slurry. That runs out to be around 150 Billion cells. After accounting for the potential loss of viability in shipping, it runs out to Wyeast’s advertised 100 billion cells per pack.

    By Gabe on Jan 28, 2012

  3. Indeed the Safale website reports 6 Billion per gram for dry yeast, but others online, including Mr.Malty report the number closer to 20 Billion. Quoting the manufacturer as Gabe has done is the correct route. Thanks for the clarification! For more on the subject:

    I always make a starter for lagers, and have started making starters for most ales.

    Both strains fermented down in 14 days. The Safale was at 1.011 (~73% attenuation) and the 1272 American Ale II was at 1.009 (~78% attenuation).

    By Larry on Jan 28, 2012

  4. Larry, why did you use ale yeasts for a lager? Was it because you had knowledge of how the Blitz Weinhard was originally made or was it because you only had ale yeasts on hand at the brewing time? The recipe looks interesting and I’d like to brew it but I’d like to know wether ale or lager yeast was used originally.

    By daveg on Feb 25, 2012

  5. I went with Ale yeast just to get done faster. This beer was ready to drink in just over 3 weeks. I have no idea what yeast Henry’s was original done with. When an ale yeast is fermented colder it gives a crisper profile. Sure, it won’t be the same thing, but it is close enough for me. Lagers can take months to be ready to drink, and they are usually totally worth it. I had some empty kegs I needed to fill, so I went with the ale yeast.

    The results are in on this beer! My advice – go with the Wyeast 1272 American Ale II. The Safale US-05 tastes watered down and thin compared to the American Ale II. We did a little tasting party with these two. Everybody (novice and experienced drinkers alike), resoundingly preferred the batch fermented with American Ale II. Damn this is a great beer!

    By Larry on Feb 25, 2012

  6. By the way, in the recipe tool, you can copy it and scale it down to a 5.5 gallon batch, or do whatever with it.

    By Larry on Feb 25, 2012

  7. Where do I get buckets like that? Opaque with measuring lines! I’ve never seen them.

    By Scott Charles on Jun 14, 2012

  8. The one on the left is a brewcraft bucket, got it at my local home brew store (LHBS). The other one is a food safe bucket from another LHBS, and those marks are with a sharpie.

    By Larry on Jun 15, 2012

  9. Larry: thanks.

    By Scott Charles on Jun 16, 2012

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