Saturday, July 19, 2014

#26 Heady Topper Clone - Brewday

Recipe     -     Brewday     -     Tasting

I harvested fresh Conan from last week's session IPA after I racked it onto the dry hops.  This yeast is definitely still active, bubbling away like molten bread dough in my makeshift yeast brink (also known as a glass jug), so it should be ready to tear through the high gravity wort.

After some difficulty getting the strike water to settle at 162F, the mash went pretty well.  Saccharification rest temp was on target and stable at 148F.  I didn't get as high a temp out of my mash out infusion as I hoped (158F), so the sparge was also too cool (154F).  If I had been on top of things I could have adjusted for it, but didn't think it would be that big a deal.  Turns out it may have been, since the mash efficiency (not brewhouse efficiency) dropped from the estimated 81% to 70%.  Moral of the story, watch your sparge temperatures!  The higher gravity and thicker mash was a factor as well, but I would be surprised if that was all of it.

I did get some odd measurements on the mash pH though.  I measured the pH before adding the mash out infusion and got a reading of 5.85 which is way too high.  I recalibrated the meter and everything.  But then both the 1st and 2nd runnings read 5.25 pH which better reflects the target pH.  I'm hoping I just got an odd sample and the beer turns out fine, but high pH could potentially be another reason for the poor extraction.

Once the boil started, I ended up getting a bit behind during the boil: hops, chiller, whirfloc everything.  Basically the boil got extended to a 95 minute boil.  Whatever, more evaporation.

With the low efficiency, the gravity ended up coming in a little low at 1.070 vs 1.074, but I'm not too concerned since I usually prefer drier double IPAs anyway.  It's amazing how much wort the hops soaked up though.  Who'd have thought that would happen with 10 oz of hops in the kettle?  Duh.

Chilled to 63F, 45 sec. 02, pitched an unmeasured quantity of thick Conan yeast slurry (aiming for 100 ml), fridge set to 64F.

2 Days: Temp to 70F.

7 Days:  Fermentation looks complete.  Added the first charge of dry hops directly to the fermenter.  I'm going to do two stages this time since there are so many dry hops (5 oz. total), so I split them evenly.

12 Days:  Wracked onto the second charge of dry hops.  This beer is already pretty tasty, even warm and uncarbonated.  It's one of the few batches that I was happy to down the entire gravity sample.  It finished a little high though at 1.017 SG (74% ADF) which is surprising considering this is Conan yeast with a fermentable wort and a pound of corn sugar.  The heater was off and the temperature in the fermenter was down to 66F, so maybe this yeast needs more heat to finish strong.

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