Sunday, December 7, 2014

#38 Rye Ale #2 - Brewday

Recipe     -     Brewday     -     Tasting

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.

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).

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