January 16, 2012

Blending for consistency

Every year I brew my famous assorted porters which generally include coffee porter, vanilla porter and the base robust porter, additionally, I decided to try some caramel porter this year but that was a resounding failure as i was not able to get the caramel to stay in solution. Because so many people are always wanting some of this beer I decided this year to do a double batch which meant I would have to blend both batches without causing any oxidation or off flavors in the process.

To do this I modified my boil kettle to be a dual use combination/ blending tank and kettle. I split some 3/4 inch vacuum tubing for cars down the middle and placed it on the lip of the kettle. Then i used clamps for woodworking to hold the lid on tight, I put a small hole in the lid so i could purge the entire vessel with C02 and I was good to go.

After the initial fitting of the components We broke down the valve and sight glass cleaned and sanitized everything, rebuilt the vessel, purged with C02 and started racking beer into it. I was able to rack beer i had in corny kegs (not carbed) and from my conical fermentor into the blending tank then back out into corny kegs while only loosing a couple of pints of beer.
Some people think that its unnecessary to blend two batches of the same recipe, especially for homebrew. But I really want to get a consistent product, and i feel like blending separate batches or separate carboys is the way to go. Additionally with my second batch of porter I missed my initial boil volume so blending the two batches was the way to go. Also I have been known to blend two beers if I brew a beer with a flaw so this could be a good method for that too.

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