Friday, November 18, 2011

Party Beer

Origins:
I wanted a beer that I could give out at parties and wouldn't fill you up so you could drink it while playing beer pong or some other irresponsible method of drinking.  This beer needed to be something all people could drink and not have a problem drinking a lot of it.  I chose to go for the taste of a macro brewed rice beer.  I know I will not be getting any brewing street cred for this but this beer is mostly for my friends and their girlfriends, this is a Party Beer.

Ingredients:
  • 4 lbs Rice
  • 1 lb Carapils
  • 9 lbs 2 row malt
  • White Labs California Ale Yeast (WLP001)
  • 2 tab. Whirlfloc
  • 1 tsp. Wyeast yeast nutrient
  • 2 tsp. Gypsum
Starter Procedure:
Saturday November 12, 2011 I made my starter. I actually was able to boil for 15 minutes uninterupted becasue of the Fermcap-S made it possible to boil without boiling over.  Adding hops to prevent over boiling worked pretty well but I still couldn't get a rolling boil like I wanted.  I added the DME and Fermcap-s and began heating.  When it reached a full boil there was no boil over.  I almost felt comfortable leaving it to boil while I went and did something else.  Not one boil over in the entire 15 minutes it boiling.  The ingredients I used in the starter were:
  • 100 g DME
  • 1/4 tsp Wyeast Yeast Nutrient
  • 1 Drop Fermcap-S Foam Inhibitor
  • 1000 ml Water
This should give a starting gravity of about 1.040.

Brew Procedure:
     Sunday November 13 was brew day. I started with 5 gallons of water in my mashtun which I then heated to 165 °F so that when my grains were added it would drop it down to around 155 °F.  This was a cold day so my calculations were a bit off the grain dropped the temperature down close to 150 °F.  I needed to heat it up a little bit to activate the correct enzymes and convert the starches, so I turned on the burner under the mashtun.  I walked away for a second do go do something else.  Mistake.  After about 10 minutes of the mashtun burner being on I remembered that I needed to turn it off.  By this time it was too late the temperature had soared to 185 °F far above the correct mashing temperature and into the tannin extracting realm.  This was devastating.
     I quickly tried to cool the mashtun by spraying water on the kettle and taking the lid off to stir.  This did not cool it enough.  If I were level headed and a little more experienced with all grain brewing I would have simply added some cold water to the mashtun and cooled it easily to a reasonable temperatue.  But I wasn't so I just let it mash out at that temperature. Idiot.
     After mashing I transferred to the kettle and completed the brew using the following schedule:

Hops/Ingredients Schedule:

Quantity
Ingredient
Boiled for
1 oz.
Nugget
Entire 60 min. boil
1 oz.
Nugget
Last 45 min. of boil
1 oz.
Cascade
Last 30 min. of boil
1 tsp.
Yeast Nutrient
Last 15 min. of boil
2 tsp.
Gypsum
Last 15 min. of boil
1 oz.
Cascade
Last 15 min. of boil
2 tabs
WhirlFloc
Last 15 min. of boil
I cooled the wort, pitched the yeast into two 6.5 gallon carboys.  Fortunately I got my mash and sparge water volumes correct this time so I cam out with almost exactly 10 gallons of beer post boil.  I took the gravity reading and it turned out pretty close to projected.  I will have to see if there were too many tannins extracted during mashing hopefully this will be drinkable.

INITIAL WORT GRAVITY: 1.035  


UPDATE 11/18/11:

Fermentation had slowed down significantly by Friday November 18th so I transferred and took a gravity reading.

GRAVITY AT TRANSFER: 1.020
131.25*(1.035-1.020)=1.98

I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little disappointed at this reading but it has been cold lately and maybe the fermentation is just slow.  Hopefully it will finish out faster in the secondary.



FINAL GRAVITY: 1.020
131.25*(1.035-1.020)=1.98 Weak sauce I hope its at least drinkable probably won't be.  This is weaker than bud light.  I definitely will not be using this recipe again in lieu of a crappy lager wannabe I will try a Kolsh next time.

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