Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Velvet Merkin Clone Round 2 All Grain

I have brewed this seasonal beer from Firestone Walker before but as an extract recipe.  Its a little late for brewing seasonal beers to be ready for the Christmas season, but I really wanted to brew this beer.  I am trying to get a little more technical with my brewing too so I am adding a recipe specification section to the write up.  This is a clone of Velvet Merkin so Ill call it something close to that.... how about Fleece Bush.

Recipe Specifications:

Batch Size: 10.00 gal 
Boil Size: 12  gal
Estimated OG: 1.061 SG
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

  • 9.00 lb Pale Malt, Maris Otter 4 °L
  • 7.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US 
  • 3.50 lb Oats, Flaked 
  • 2.00 lb Munich Malt 5 °
  • 0.80 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 30 °L   
  • 0.80 lb Roasted Barley 300 °L
  • 0.40 lb Carafa III 550 °L
  • 0.40 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt -120 °
  • Total Grain Weight: 23.90 lb
  • 4.00 oz Fuggles, US [6.7 %] (60 min) Hops
  • WLP 005 English Ale Yeast

Starter Procedure:
I didn't do a starter since it was one of those decide to brew that day so I had an extra recently expired English Ale Yeast vile in my refrigerator and I bought 2 fresh new ones to pitch. Splitting the new vials between the carboys and then splitting the old yeast into each one. Not ideal but it should get my fermentation started OK.

Brew Procedure:
      On December 4th 2011, I decided to brew. First I calculated how much mash water I needed. total grain weight was 24 lbs. So to calculate mash water I used the following calculation: 

24 lbs grain x 1.33 qt/lb = 31.92 qt. x 1/4 gallon/qt = 8 gallons

I filled the mashtun with 8 gallons of water and began heating it to 165 °F.  After the water reached 165 °F I added the grain and began stirring. After stirring the mash vigorously for a few minutes the temperature had dropped down to a perfect 158 °F.  I placed a newly made mashtun insulation jacket around the vessel and let it sit for 1 hour.
     After mashing I transferred to the kettle and completed the brew using the following schedule:

Hops/Ingredients Schedule:

Boiled for
3 oz.
Entire 60 min boil
1 oz.
Last 15 min. of boil
2 tsp.
Last 15 min. of boil
1 tsp.
Yeast Nutrient
Last 15 min. of boil
2 tabs
Last 15 min. of boil

I cooled the wort and pitched the yeast into two 6.5 gallon carboys. 

Additional Comments:
    I am extremely pleased with how this recipe turned out.  I don't know how it will turn out but It was a successful all grain brewing session.  I hit all my temperatures and nothing went wrong and hit my OG right on.  I was also pleased that it only took 5 hours for this session down from 6.5 for my last brewing experience.


UPDATE: 12/11//11
Gravity at Transfer: 1.022

The beer tasted great possibly one of the best I've ever tasted at transfer I am really excited to get this kegged and start drinking it.

UPDATE 12/18/11:
I kegged and bottled the brew today I used 5 gallons to keg and bottled the other 5 gallons.  I had not bottled in a long time so it didn't go perfectly smooth but I got it done.  The biggest issue is that I forgot that I lent my corn sugar out because I don't use it very much.  Just as I started to transfer the beer into the bottling bucket I made this realization.  I quickly drove down to the brew store and picked up a pound.  I yielded 28 x 22 oz.  bottles.  I took a gravity reading and saw it had dropped a couple points in secondary bringing the final alcohol to 5.25%.

Gravity at Kegging/Bottling: 1.020