Parti-Gyle Brewing

Sometimes you just have to change up what you’re doing with your brewing to keep things interesting.  One way that I keep things interesting is to brew the occasional Parti-Gyle.

Parti-Gyle is an old technique that still gets used today when brewers wish to make two beers from one mash.  I usually do this when I have ingredients that I want to use up and have plenty of open fermenter space.  It allows me to brew twice as much or more beer in one brewing session in about the same amount of time as my standard 5 gallon batch.

This past Sunday, I looked at the ingredients that I had left.  I had just over 30 lbs. of NW Pale Malt and 14 ounces of Sonnet hops.  I didn’t have any other grains or hops.  I wanted to use up the NW Pale Malt and the amount of hops that I had would do nicely for a 15 gallon batch.

When Parti-gyle brewing you have options.  You can make a 5 gallon larger beer (for example; 1.070 – 1.085 OG range) with your first runnings.  Then you can make a smaller beer or beers by running more water through your mash.  There are many styles combinations that you can make with this technique.

Here is a list from Brewtoad’s article (link below).

  • Weizenbock / Dunkelweizen
  • Dopplebock / Dunkel
  • Imperial Pilsner / CAP
  • Tripel / Pils
  • Tripel / Belgian Pale
  • Belgian Strong Golden / Kolsch (both low mash temp)
  • Old Ale / Dark Mild
  • Bock / Munich Dunkel
  • IPA/ Ordinary Bitter
  • Scotch Ale/ Scottish Ale
  • Barley Wine/ Pale Ale
  • Belgian Strong Dark / Belgian Abby Ale
  • Helles Bock/ anything pils based
  • Maibock/ Belgian Pale
  • Imperial Stout / Foreign Extra or Dry Stout


Here are two links that I’ve used to help me learn about the technique and apply it to my brewing.

Brewtoad’s article about Parti-Gyle brewing.

Randy Moshers link about Parti-gyle brewing.

When you read through the articles, you can see that there are different combinations that you can use.  You can split the total wort 1/2 – 1/2 or split the wort 1/3 – 2/3.  In the past, I’ve always split the wort 1/2 – 1/2.  For this past Sundays brew session, I split the wort 1/3 – 2/3.

First Beer

I made a 5 gallon batch of a SMaSH Barley Wine.  I mashed in 27 pounds of grain at 156F.  I ended up with an OG wort of 1.094.  Since it’s a Barleywine without any specialty grains, I decided to use some carmelization techniques to make the beer more complex.  I used a decoction mash out.

Decoction Mash Out

This is basically, pulling out grain at the end of the mash with a colander and bringing it to a boil (like boiling oatmeal).  You have to constantly stir it to keep it from scorching.  I let it boil slowly for 10 minutes.  This provides some carmelization and darkens it up.  Then I put that back into my mash tun and stirred it really well, shut the lid and let it sit for 15 minutes.  The temperature of the mash during this 15 minutes had settled perfectly at 168F!  I then lauter and drain as usually, then batch sparge.

I collected 8.44 gallons of wort for this Barley Wine.  I then proceeded to boil for 2 hours.  The reason for the long boil is to get even more complexity and carmelization.  I’ve found that long boils on my SMaSH brews seem to create more complex beers, than the shorter 1 hour boils.

Since Sonnet Hops are very similar to EKG hops, it should have a nice English Barleywine flavor!

Second Beer

I then capped the 27 lbs of spent grain with the remaining 3.684 lbs. that I had.  I heated up water and filled my mash tun to full, and hit 152F.  I wanted a slightly more fermentable wort, because I planned on pitching Abbey style “wild” yeasts into the 10 gallon second batch.  I let this mash during the entire boil time of my first batch.  Once the first batch was finished boiling and my boil kettle was available, I pulled wort out and heated it up to about 195F and then put it back into the mash tun.  This brought my mash up to 170F (close enough).  After 15 minutes, I lautered and drained, as usual, and then batch sparged to collect about 12.75 gallons of wort.  This wort ended up being a low 1.032.  I put in just enough corn sugar to bring it up to an OG of 1.040.  I proceeded with a 1 hour boil, using the remaining sonnet hops to create an English IPA.  I then split the batch into two 5 gallon batches.  I pitched “wild” honey Abbey yeast into one and “wild” Russian Sage Abbey yeast into the other.

So, in summary, I had one brew session that yielded 15 gallons of beer and three different flavors.  At the same time, I’m able to run a side by side comparison of the two wild yeasts that I have in my yeast bank and compare the flavors.

Brewing a lot of beer and learning at the same time.

Does it get any better than that?

Please comment if you liked this article!


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