Sunday, December 7, 2014

#37 Smoked Black IPA - Brewday

Recipe     -     Brewday     -     Tasting

Yeast:
I mixed up a starter for a vial of White Labs San Diego Super Yeast.  The vial is a little old, packaged in August, but with the starter it shouldn't be a problem.  I will be using this for the rye ale as well, so I made a big starter, 1.2 gal, and split it 60% and 40%.

I didn't end up brewing the next weekend as planned ... or the weekend after that ... or the weekend after that.   The starters are now 4 weeks old, and taste a little sour.  This isn't ideal, but I'm crossing my fingers that since it's getting kegged it won't be a big deal.


Brewday 12/7/14:
I started off the morning, by brewing a rye ale, and now it's time to get this IPA underway.  It makes for a long day, but if I can brew 10 gal of beer in 11 hours instead of 5 gal of beer in 8 hours then sign me up.

The rye ale went smoothly.  After weeks of sub-freezing temperatures things have warmed up significantly, which is great for my personal comfort, but really dragged out the cooling time.  Without a brew kettle to drain into, I had to extend my mash to 2 hours.  That shouldn't make a difference though, after a 90 min mash, an additional 30 min shouldn't make much difference to either extraction or conversion.

With the rye ale out of the brew kettle, I could finally move on to lautering and batch sparging.  I turn on the burner while sparging to heat the first runnings near boiling and reduce the time to boil when I finally get to full volume, but this time I got the heat a little high. The first runnings reached a hard boil before I even started draining the second runnings.  I doubt it's a big deal, but if there's a bit extra melanoidin formation than normal I wouldn't be surprised.


Fermentation:
45 sec 02, yeast pitched at 63F, temperature set to 65F.

4 Days: Temperature set to 68F.  Everything seems fine.

6 Days: Fermentation looks complete, added dry hops.

12 Days:  Racked to keg, SG down to 1.011.  First off, this is super bitter.  I hope as the polyphenols drop this settles down a bit.  I'm worried I used too much black patent malt as well.  Oh well, two more weeks til we find out for sure.  Placed in cold room at 37F (no gas).

#38 Rye Ale #2 - Brewday

Recipe     -     Brewday     -     Tasting

Yeast:
I mixed up a starter for a vial of White Labs San Diego Super Yeast.  The vial is a little old, packaged in August, but with the starter it shouldn't be a problem.  I will be using this for the Black IPA as well, so I made a big starter, 1.2 gal, and split it 60% and 40%.

I didn't end up brewing the next weekend as planned ... or the weekend after that ... or the weekend after that.   The starters are now 4 weeks old, and taste a little sour.  This isn't ideal, but I'm crossing my fingers that since it's getting kegged it won't be a big deal.


Brewday 12/7/14:
At long last, I'm brewing again.  After a busy fall--eight batches in about two months--I hit an icy patch.  It happened to be on the outdoor water spigot.  First the pipe froze, the next weekend I forgot my jacket and laptop cord, then the next weekend the pipes froze again.  Finally I can get down to business.

If you've been following my mash schedules closely, (I guess that's just you, future self) you'll notice that I've dropped the mash out, and now extended the mash to 90 min.  I dropped the mash out earlier because I was convinced I wasn't getting full conversion and the mash out was accelerating the freeing of unfermentable carboydrates after the beta amylase was finished.  Then I read Kai Troester's paper "Evaluation of the effect of mash parameters on the limit of attenuation and conversion efficiency in single infusion mashing" and noticed that he still saw a noticeable increase in efficiency and fermentability up to 90 minutes into the mash at 152F.  His results must be taken with a grain of salt as the mash size was only 250ml and heat loss was an issue, but it's definitely something worth looking into.  I want good fermentability and efficiency here, so 90 min mash it is.

For this batch I used Best Malz Pilsner malt that I got this summer to use in several beers, including the Belgian-style single and quad.  About time to finish it off!  The crush looks better than I'm used to.  The homebrew shop tends to crush the grains fairly coarse, sometimes with whole kernels slipping through unscathed, but not this time.

The brewday went fairly smoothly, with the mash coming in just a little low at 148F.  Then I ran out of propane toward the end of the boil, losing the boil while I was switching tanks, so I extended the boil 10 min to compensate.


Fermentation:
45 sec 02, yeast pitched at 68F, temperature set to 65F.

4 Days: Temperature set to 68F.  Everything seems fine.

6 Days: Still looks cloudy from suspended yeast and it's still bubbling slowly.  I added the dry hops.  These Hersbrucker hops are smelling really ... "herbal."  This is not what I remember smelling from any hop before, like something out of the spice drawer, but I don't know what since I don't know my spices.  I hope it's a good sign, not a bad one.

12 Days:  Racked to keg. SG is down to 1.010, nice and dry.  I really need to find a better way to dry hop, some of the hops are still floating dry on top.  Regardless, it's still very hoppy.  The citrusy aspect of the Columbus is far more apparent than I expected, though the herbal Hersbrucker is there too.  We'll see how this all balances out with the malt when it settles down.  Placed in cold room at 37F (no gas).

Saturday, December 6, 2014

#38 Rye Ale #2 - Recipe

Recipe     -     Brewday     -     Tasting

I have a confession to make.  For the first time since I bought the kegerator in February, I don't have any beer on tap.  It's been a sad time, devoid of beer ... aside from the wealth of amazing wintery beer we have in Seattle and my secret stockpile of bottled homebrew from last winter.  Anyway it's time to get my act together and get something back on tap.

This recipe predates the kegerator, going all the way back to ... last fall (2013).  My friend Elise has hops--Cascade and Hallertau--growing at her parents house, so we put together a beer that would work with those varieties.  I picked rye because--not being familiar with rye or Hallertau hops--the spicy notes from their descriptions sounded like they would go together well.  Traditional Bavarian roggenbier combines up to 50% rye with German hops, which set a comforting precedent for the idea.  However, I wasn't looking for the banana esters from the Bavarian yeast, so I didn't base my beer off that.  Instead, I went for something more akin to an altbier, with some Munich malt and a touch of crystal.  Here is the recipe I ended up brewing:


Wet Hop Rye Ale
--------------------------
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
Estimated ABV: 5.3 %
Estimated OG: 1.054 SG
Estimated FG: 1.014 SG
Estimated Color: 10.6 SRM
Estimated IBU: 33.0 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 50.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt          Name                                     %/IBU         
11 lbs       Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)           64.7 %
3 lbs        Rye Malt (4.7 SRM)                       17.6 %
2 lbs        Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)                    11.8 %
1 lbs        Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)    5.9 %
0.60 oz      Columbus [14.00 %] - First Wort Hop      25.5 IBUs
0.80 oz x 4  US Hallertau [4.80 %] - Boil 15.0 min    5.3 IBUs
0.30 oz x 4  Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 15.0 min         2.3 IBUs
0.25 tsp     Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins)              -
1.80 oz x 4  US Hallertau [4.80 %] - Boil 0.0 min     0.0 IBUs
0.35 oz x 4  Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 0.0 min          0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg      San Diego Super Yeast (White Labs #WLP090)
2.00 oz      US Hallertau [4.80 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days 0.0 IBUs

Mash Schedule: BIAB @154F with protein rest at 110F
Total Grain Weight: 17 lbs
Estimated Cost: $33.67


The batch turned out to be one of my best to that point.  The rye was quite spicy, with some hop flavor, but nothing close to an IPA.  This was before I began studying water chemistry though, so it had a touch of the rubbery smokiness that plagued my early all-grain beers.  It blended in with the rye, so I couldn't tell exactly where the sharper flavors were coming from, but combined they overwhelmed the hops.  In addition, the body was a little heavier than I would have liked.  All in all, more malty than I would have liked, and not enough hops to really stand out as a wet hopped beer.

This year Elise's brother used the hops, so I didn't get to rebrew the fresh hop version.  As it turned out, I was quite busy anyway with two other fresh hop beers.  Now that I'm getting back to this recipe, I feel like I have the freedom to let the malts run wild (as they ended up doing last time) instead of trying to restrain them to let the hops stand out.  I want it to stay fairly dry though, so I'm going to replace the crystal with more Munich and drop the mash temp down to 150F.

Besides switching to dried Hersbrucker hops, I think I'll also add a bit of Columbus to the dry hop.  Hallertau just isn't as aromatic as American varieties, so I think this will give me more of the hop punch I'm looking for, hopefully without drowning it out.

Last time I used White Labs' San Diego Super Yeast to get a clean fermentation without too many fruity esters.  I liked that pairing but with all the similarities to altbier, I considered switching to an alt or K├Âlsch yeast.  Those yeasts are also very clean, so it's the same idea, but in the beers I've used them in, they come across very differently.  In the end, I decided to use the SD Super Yeast again since I'll be fermenting the black IPA next to it and can use the same starter and ambient temperature.  I do hope to try out the recipe with a German yeast soon though.


Rye Ale #2
--------------------------
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.25 gal
Estimated ABV: 5.9 %
Estimated OG: 1.056 SG
Estimated FG: 1.012 SG
Estimated Color: 5.6 SRM
Estimated IBU: 36.2 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 65.00 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt            Name                                     %/IBU
8 lbs          Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)           61.5 %
2 lbs 8.0 oz   Munich Malt (6.0 SRM)                    19.2 %
2 lbs 8.0 oz   Rye Malt (4.7 SRM)                       19.2 %
0.75 oz        Columbus [16.10 %] - First Wort Hops     33.9 IBUs
1.00 oz        Hersbrucker [1.60 %] - Boil 15 mins      2.3 IBUs
1.00 Items     Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins)        -
2.00 oz        Hersbrucker [1.60 %] - Boil 0 mins       0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg        San Diego Super Yeast (White Labs #WLP090)
2.00 oz        Hersbrucker [1.60 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days  0.0 IBUs
0.45 oz        Columbus [16.10 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days    0.0 IBUs

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion @150F, No Mash Out, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 13 lbs
Estimated Cost: $28.25
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