Snozzleberry Griffin is unique for a number of reasons. Not only does it incorporate some really cool non traditional brewing ingredients that impart an amazing color and some great unexpected flavors, but it also marks the second time we practiced "salvaging wort" in Elk Rapids. As you know, we bottle a ton of great beers in Elk Rapids that span a wide range of beer styles. Some of these styles focus on big malt and hop flavors that require us to increase the malt bill of certain beers by two times the average grain recipe. Beers like The Wizard: Barleywine and Awww Jeah: Double Huma, are perfect examples of beers that get their enormous flavors by having twice as much grain as the regular batch brewed in Elk Rapids. Seeing as we are using twice as much grain, but only extracting the same volume of wort normally needed to fill the kettle, there is inevitably some fermentable sugars left over in each batch of mash that could still be used to make beer. Basically, when grain is added with hot water in our mash tuns, we get enough wort created with the initial soaking to fill our kettle a third of the way. During the initial soaking of the grain, all of the crucial enzyme reactions needed to convert the starches in the grain into fermentable sugars, has taken place. The problem is, the volume of wort in the mash tun at this point is not enough to entirely fill the kettle, so we need to add more hot water in order to rinse all of the remaining fermentable sugars, as well as the non fermentable sugars from the mash to the kettle. At this point, all of the liquid that is coming from the mash tun is referred to as wort and the proportionate transfer of the wort to the kettle are called runnings**. The wort transfer happens in three stages, so you have your subsequent first, second, and third runnings until the kettle is completely full. When high gravity beers such as barleywines and double IPA's are being made, the brewer wants to have two times as much flavor than a standard craft beer. One way to accomplish this feat is to use twice as much grain, to yield the same volume of beer. Unfortunately, the mash tun can only hold a certain amount of grain, so a brewer must mash in twice to extract double the fermentable and non fermentable sugars. The upside to this is that a double mash in allows the brewer to capture the most potent sugar rich portion of the wort (the first and second runnings) from both batches of grain. The downside to this practice is that there are still usable sugars in each batch of mash (the third runnings and portions of the second runnings) that go unused, because the kettle is not big enough to accommodate all of the runnings from both batches of grain (6 runnings total). Thankfully, the brewers in Elk Rapids were able to devise a plan that would allow them to still extract and utilize the remaining runnings from each batch of grain, that couldn't make it into the kettle for the original batch of beer, but could later be boiled and turned into a brand new beer. The end result is a lighter bodied counterpart of the sizable parent beer, that embodies similar characteristics, but is also uniquely different due to the lower sugar content of the final runnings captured to create it. We have already attempted this "salvaging of wort" left over from double mash ins and had great success when we brewed the Mmmm Kay, which was the final runnings from the Awww Jeah. The Snozzleberry Griffen is the result of practicing this same concept and the wort extracted to brew this beer was actually the final runnings of both mash ins from this year's Anniversary Ale (Wheatwine). Since malted wheat contributes light delicate grain flavors to a beer and considering that this entire beer was composed of the final runnings from two batches of grain, the brewers felt inclined to add some non traditional brewing ingredients creating some interesting flavors to compliment the equally interesting story behind it's creation.
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