Monday, July 25, 2011

They Think I'm Mexican Brown Ale (All Grain)

Recently my girlfriend wanted to watch a movie and play a drinking game to it.  No reason other than drinking is fun and we didn't have anything else to do.  So as we started to scan through my movie collection for something to watch we debated what the rules should be.  Previously we had enjoyed a game using the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  Those rules had you drink any time of of the following happened:

  1. A shot of The Ring in someones hand
  2. Anyone presents their weapon in front of their face
  3. Sam and Frodo exchange a gay look
  4. A shot of the Eye of Sauron
Over three extended edition movies you get pretty drunk playing with these 4 rules.  Since it was already like 8:00 I didn't want to do that one again.  What we came up with was to watch Super Troopers and everytime they said a line that has been quoted in our group of friends, take a drink.  Since this is one of my all time favorite movies and I have seen it at least 100 times we got pretty wasted.
One such quotable scene is in a diner and Arcot Ramathorne (Indian actor Jay Chandrasekhar) walks up to a group of local police officers.  When they notice him he is greeted with an order for Mexican food.  Confused his partner asks about it to which he replies "They think I'm Mexican."

  • 2 oz Northern Brewer hops (7.0% alpha-acid, whole leaf)
  • 2 oz Cascade hops (7.9% alpha-acid, whole leaf)
  • 2 oz Centennial hops (10.0% alpha-acid, whole leaf)
  • 12.00 lbs. Pale Malt (2 row) (2° L, Crushed )
  • 1.25 lbs. Crystal Malt (40° L, Crushed )
  • 1.25 lbs. Carapils (1.3° L, Crushed )
  • 1.00 lbs. Wheat Malt (2° L, Crushed )
  • 0.50 lbs Chocolate Malt (350° L, Crushed )
  • White Labs California Ale Yeast (WLP001)
  • 1 tab. Whirlfloc
  • 1/2 tsp. Wyeast yeast nutrient
  • 1 tsp. Gypsum
  • 1 Vial White Labs Clairty-Ferm (WLN4000)
Starter Procedure:
I decided to try and and boil the starter wort in a pan this time.  It worked out excellent, no boil-over and started boiling much faster than in the flask.  However, I now had a problem that my flask was not sanitary so I devised a quick solution for that.  I thought "I've got a great idea I'll just heat it up on the stove."  I didnt think this posed a problem since it is borocilicate glass and it can be heated and cooled rapidly without risk of breaking.  I was wrong.
When I heated the glass on the stove everything went splendid.  The glass got really hot killing anything that would risk infecting my beer.  Now I needed to cool it down so that I could pour the wort into it, pitch and begin the starter.  When I placed the flask in the ice bath CRACK! The entire top broke off and the bottom shattered into about 5-6 pieces.  Water is extremely efficient at absorbing heat quickly.  This is why you can boil water in a paper cup. I assume this is also is the case with glass.  I am guessing that since there was no water in the flask it absorbed all of the heat when it was cooled rapidly caused the glass to fracture due to the rapid heat change.  So the moral of the story is don't heat your glassware empty.
I had 1L of wort that didn't have  place to live now.  The only thing I could find on such short notice was a mason jar I quickly sanitized.  Fortunately 1000ml is just a little less than a quart mason jar (940ml=1Qt.)  I left the lid on and unscrewed a little so that air could escape and it would keep most of the bugs out.  Due to the concavity of the jars bottom I was unable to use the stir plate for this starter but it was better than nothing.

Brew Procedure:
I am positive that I did this process incorrectly so I am not going to go into depth about how I did it.  what I did was poured 5 gallons of 155°F water with the grain and let it sit for an hour.  After it mashed for a hour I sparged with 2 1/2 gallons of 170°F water.

Big Brew, Little Brew

Pat also came over to brew his Glutenus Minimus Pale Ale with me so he could get another brew under his belt before diving into homebrewing.  Suddenly the scale my new brewing apparatus became evident to me.
The Mash
Adding Grain
Stirring Mashtun
Hops/Ingredients Schedule:

Boiled for
1 oz.
Northern Brewer
Entire 60 min. boil
1 oz.
Northern Brewer
Last 15 min. of boil
1 tab
Last 15 min. of boil
1/2 tsp.
Yeast Nutrient
Last 15 min. of boil
1 oz.
Last 10 min. of boil
1 oz.
2 oz.
Dry Hop
I cooled the wort, pitched the yeast along with the Clarity-Ferm and put it in one of my new 6 gallon carboys After transfereing the beer to the primary fermenter I realized that there was not enough wort to make 5 gallons of beer.  This was becasue I miscalculated how much water to start off with.  To solve this I filled the carboy up to 5 gallons with water.  This undoubtably lowered my OG but I'll know better next time.

INITIAL WORT GRAVITY: 1.050  Recipes Projected OG 1.066
I obviously screwed something up because the gravity reading is 16 points below the anticipated gravity. This is probably because I didn't use enough water and had to add water after it had been transferred into the primary fermenter.

UPDATE 8/1/11:
Today I transferred the beer into the secondary fermenter.  I thing I have discovered one of the reasons that the beer turned out with such a low gravity.  I filled the carboy up WAYYYY to high.  I must have made 6 gallons of beer with what should have been 5 gallons.  Since I have not used a 6 gallon carboy as a primary fermenter I kind of got over zealous on filling it. This beer was a learning experience so Ill just chock it up to that. I put some of the excess in a sanitized 2 liter bottle but that was all I had laying around but there was still a lot of beer that was poured down the drain.  I also forgot to take a gravity reading so the final gravity will have to suffice.
Transferring Beer
Dry Hops

UPDATE 8/7/11:
I transferred my brown ale into a keg today.  I was a little disappointed at the low alcohol content but that is find since this was a learning experience.  Pat is supposed to come over today to bottle his beer but I don't know if that is going to happen. He is apparently a rock star and was up all night partying after a gig.
Carboy to Keg with one waiting
Final Gravity: 1.020

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.