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Thursday, 25 October 2012

Second Runnings Sour

This will never work.

‘Sparging’ is the act of rinsing grain with hot water to remove as much of its natural sugar as you can. It’s standard brewing practice and fits neatly between things you might’ve heard called ‘mashing’ and ‘boiling’.

Sparging takes time. It’s an effective way to use malted barley, but it takes time. When the total cost of the malt in your batch of beer is less than a fiver, it makes sense to forget the sparging and just take the hit on efficiency. At least to me it does. I never sparge.

Well, almost never.

The product of a sparge (kinda) is the second runnings - water sweetened by the sugar that’s rinsed off the malted barley in the mash. What if you take this solution, add a pinch or two of old hops, pasteurise it by heating almost to the point of boiling, cool, rack into a fermenter and then pitch the dregs from a bottle of commercial sour beer?

Here’s how it looked after a couple of days:

My second runnings were taken from a batch of IPA. That’s a grist of pale malt, pale crystal malt, carapils and Munich malt. The hops were some ancient East Kent Goldings that I’ve had knocking about forever. The commercial sour beer was Cantillon Rose de Gamrbrinus.

Thou shalt henceforth be known as: "The Afterthought".

Why will this never work?