Monday, May 14, 2012

Hot Blonde Ale

It is really hot in my office as I am typing this and I just want to go downstairs so I am going to phone this one in.  It was also very hot the day I brewed. There just thought of a half assed name.  I was just going to call it unnamed blonde.  The post title is actually titled that now.  Instead I'll go with a little less crappy beer name and call this Hot Blonde Ale.
  I also forgot to take pictures (or space fillers as I call them) so this post may appear to be a little short.

Recipe Specifications:
  • Batch Size: 10.00 gal
  • Boil Size: 13 gal
  • Predicted OG: 1.055 SG
  • Boil Time: 60 Minutes
  • 7.7 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US
  • 7.7 lb Pilsner Malt 
  • 2.00 lb Flaked Corn
  • 2.00 lb Corn Sugar
Total Grain Weight: 19.4 lb
  • 2 oz Willamette, US [6.5%] (60 min) Hops
  • WLP 090 San Diego Super Yeast
Starter Procedure:

Saturday May 12, 2012 I made my starter. I believe I have finally achieved my perfect starter procedure.  I added the DME to the flask after the water started to heat.  This way the steam did not make the DME clump together and stick to the side of the flask.  After that shake the flask up a little add the stir bar and a couple drops of Fermcap-S and place on the stove-top.  This is the most pain free starter I've done yet.  The typical 1.040 starter itself consisted of the following:
  • 100 g DME
  • 1/4 tsp Wyeast Yeast Nutrient
  • 2 Drop Fermcap-S Foam Inhibitor
  • 1000 ml Water
Brew Procedure:
      On Sunday May 13th 2011, I decided to brew. For my birthday I received a software package called BeerSmith2.  Instead of using my typical formula I decided to put my faith in this brewing program to do all of my calculations for me.
     Beersmith suggested I use 25.75 qt of water which seemed high after doing the back calculation I was what I would have used too:
                            19.4 lbs grain x 1.33 qt/lb = 25.75 qt. x 1/4 gallon/qt = 25.75
    Beersmith calculated that based on the grain temperature which i used the ambient temperature in my house. That the mash water needed to be 166.3F to get to a mashing temperature of 156F.
     I have read several studies that claim that with such highly modified grains that are available now an hour mash is no longer necessarily.  All starch conversion can happen in a relatively short amount of time.  I decided not to go with a 20 min. mash that some brewers have suggested but lower it by 15 minutes to 45.  After mashing I transferred to the kettle and completed the brew using the following schedule:

Hops/Ingredients Schedule:

QuantityIngredientBoiled For
1.0 ozWillametteEntire 60 Min. boil
1.0 oz.WillametteLast 30 min of boil 
1 tsp.Yeast NutrientLast 10 min of boil 
1 tsp. GypsumLast 10 min of boil

I cooled the wort and pitched the yeast into two 6.5 gallon carboys. Not as much boiled off as I was expecting so there was roughly 11 gallons left after the boil that was transferred into the carboys.  I oxygenated the wort with my oxygen stone for 30 seconds in each carboy and then put the air lock on.

Additional Comments:
    The brew day was very successful.   I hit all my temperatures and nothing went wrong.  My OG was a little low but I believe it was because of volumetric miscalculation of the boil off, not efficiency.  I was also pleased that it only took 4 hours for this session down from 5 for my last brewing experience.  All grain brewing is becoming as familiar as extract is.


UPDATE 5/26/13: Transferred to secondary looks and tastes pretty good.  I took a gravity measurement but it did not seem right I will take another one at kegging.

UPDATE 6/9/13:
Gravity at Kegging: 1.006

So much siphoning to do
Today I kegged the blond ale and transferred the brown ale to secondary.  This process was done in a whirlwind of siphons, carboys, and hydrometers.  The first thing I did was fill 2 kegs with starsan so they could clean while I moved the beer onto the counter. After placing the 4 carboys on the counter (right) I began transferring the blonde into a keg.  Once this was completed I closed up the keg and purged the air. After staring the siphon on the second carboy I went and cleaned the first while it siphoned into the second keg.
I sanitized another siphon and transferred the brown ale into the carboy I just finished cleaning.  By this time the second 5 gallon carboy had finished draining so I closed that keg up and cleaned it while the brown transferred from the second carboy.  I think you can see where this is going...   I tasted the beer and it seems to have been a success the first thing I thought was Pabst Blue Ribbon.  Which was kind of what I was shooting for.  Pretty clean tasting but may have a bit of an unwanted ester flavor I couldn't be sure because I didn't have much to sample.

UPDATE 6/11/13:
I tasted the kegged beer and it tastes exactly like Pabst Blue Ribbon.... If Pabst had lots of estery flavors, a bunch of extra sweetness and had been under-hopped .  Its not bad and it is definitely drinkable just not as crisp as I was hoping. Maybe if I let it sit for another couple days it will clear up some.

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