When doing all-grain mash, I usually do a Parti-Gyle technique, where the initial runnings from the malt make a strong beer (in this case a Belgian style Dubbel) and the secondary runnings make a weaker table beer (a Black English style Ale). Start time was around 10:00am, but we had a bit of organizing and prep work before dough-in at about 12:00.
|Brian Grinding Grain|
|Jim stirring the first Decoction|
While Jim was delicately cooking the mash, Brian was off to the kitchen to make 5 lbs of Belgian Candy sugar. This is a very common ingredient in certain Belgian beer recipes and is very expensive to buy off the shelf, but pretty easy to make. It's essentially inverted sugar, which is made by heating up table sugar and a little acid (like citric acid or lemon juice) along with a little water until a hard crack. This process caramelizes the sugar and breaks down the Sucrose (table sugar) into Glucose and Fructose, which make a much better product in brewing.
|Jim Stirring Wort|
|Trub - this stuff is yuck|
When the second batch finally approached a boil I happened to look at the clock and realized I'd be up til 4am. That one sat until the next day and my daughter and I did all the cleanup work while that was going. Next time around I think I'll split the process into two days - the first day for the mash and the second for the boil process. I also need to consider another stockpot given the amount of waiting time on heating up the liquids.
The pigs feasted on the spent mash over the next couple days and my goodness what a reaction they had. For days after, every time I would walk by the pens they would squeal like a three year old on Christmas morning. What a great way to use waste.