Monday, July 11, 2011

Fire Crotch Red

Whitney wanted to brew a red for a while now and this weekend seemed like a good enough weekend do such. I have always felt there is a group of people that has been discriminated against and doesn't have a support group. Of course, I am talking about the Gingers. Even child molesters have a legitimate tax exempt group to offer them support; while the lonely ginger has no one to turn to. So it is in their honor, I name this beer Fire Crotch Red. If you have any confusion about what a fire crotch is I have provided a diagram on the right to help explain the situation.

  • 8 lbs Extra-Light Extract
  • 4 oz Cascade hops (7.9% alpha-acid, whole leaf)
  • Wyeast 1764 Rouge Pacman Yeast
  • 4 oz. Carastan (30° L, Crushed )
  • 4 oz. Caramunich (65° L, Crushed )
  • 4 oz. Crystal Malt (80° L, Crushed )
  • 4 oz. Aromatic (26 ° L, Crushed )
  • 4 oz. Melanoidin (30° L, Crushed )
  • 2 oz. Carafa II (430 ° L, Crushed )
  • 1 tsp. Gypsum
After going to MainBrew on Saturday July 9, 2011 to buy ingredients. Since I have a stir plate now I have to buy my ingredients the day before brewing. In the past I ahve always used White Labs Yeast to brew, but while at the brew store I learned Rouge has let Wyeast release their proprietary Pacman yeast. I have have always heard Pacman is an extremely versatile;e and aggressively fermenting yeast, Rouge also uses it exclusively in their beer.

From the Wyeast website:

Wyeast 1764-PC ROGUE Pacman Yeast
Beer Styles: American Pale Ale, American Amber Ale, American Brown Ale, Brown Porter, Cream Ale, Irish Red Ale, Strong Scotch Ale, Dry Stout, American Stout, Russian Imperial Stout, American IPA, Imperial IPA, American Barleywine, Fruit Beer, Spice/Herb/or Vegetable Beer, Christmas/Winter Specialty Spice Beer, Other Smoked Beer, Wood-Aged Beer
Profile: A versatile yeast strain from one of Oregon’s leading craft breweries. Pacman is alcohol tolerant, flocculent, attenuates well and will produce beers with little to no diacetyl. Very mild fruit complements a dry, mineral finish making this a fairly neutral strain. Pacman’s flavor profile and performance makes it a great choice for use in many different beer styles.

Alc. Tolerance 12% ABV
Flocculation med-high
Attenuation 72-78%
Temp. Range 60-72°F (15-22°C)

As you can see Pacman is an appropriate yeast for a variety of styles including a red. I had to try this super yeast for myself.

Starter Procedure:

I learned a few things this time when I made my starter:
  1. The first being that when you bring your wort to a boil it is best to introduce heat SLOWLY otherwise boil overs occur and the stove becomes a sticky mess. I am very happy I figured this out on my second attempt cleaning up wort is not fun.
  2. The second is if you throw some hops into the the flask after completing the 15 minute boil the oils from the hops keep the krausen from overflowing the Erlenmeyer flask and covering the counter top.
  3. Finally instead of cooling the flask in large container like the bowl I used previously I used a much smaller malt bucket that the flask fit in perfectly. Now instead of the ice having to cool the entire volume of water and then the flask, the thermal energy can go mainly to cooling the wort. This resulted in a much faster cooling time and pitching temperature.
Other than those three minor changes the process was exactly the same. This resulted in a 1000 ml starter that could be pitched the next day.

Brew Procedure:

I poured the specialty grains into a grain bag and and steeped them at 190°F for 15 minutes. I got a new thermometer and checked the temperature against the one I have been using and it was off. The grains were already steeping at 190°F so lets hope it wasn't too hot. After sparing I turned the heat back on and started the boil with an ounce of Cascade. After many late boil hop additions it was time to cool and pitch.

Hops/Ingredients Schedule:

QuantityIngredientBoiled for
1 oz.Cascade Entire 60 min. boil
1 oz.CascadeLast 15 min. of boil
1 oz.WhirlflocLast 15 min. of boil
1 tabCascadeLast 10 min. of boil
1 oz.CascadeLast 2 min. of boil

1.054 @ 90°F Adjusted SG for Temperature 1.058
Since I took the gravity as such a hot temperature I had to adjust for that. Specific gravity is closely tied to temperature and when too far from 60°F. This gravity reading is much higher than usual when i use 8 lbs of extract I believe this was due to steeping the grains for 15 minutes and then sparging the sugars off the grains and into the pot to be boiled.

UPDATE 7/17/11:
Transferred beer today I took a gravity reading but I forgot to write it down so I'll have to settle for the final gravity reading to determine alcohol content.

UPDATE 7/22/11:  Final Gravity 1.020
I have decied to stop determining what the Alcohol by Weight is.  Nobody gives a crap what that is so instead of multiplying by 105 to get weight and then by1.25 to get volume.  I am just going to multiply by 131.25 to get the ABV.

131.25*(1.058-1.020)=4.9875% ~5%


  1. That diagram looks like a beer bong to me...

  2. It's like a Rorschach test, you see what you want and there are no wrong answers. There are however right answers, and that is it.


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