Saturday, May 26, 2012

They Think I'm Mexican Brown Ale (Rebrew)

See previous brew post.

  • 4 oz Northern Brewer hops (11.4% alpha-acid, whole leaf, GR)
  • 4 oz Cascade hops (7.0% alpha-acid, whole leaf, US)
  • 4 oz Centennial hops (11.6% alpha-acid, whole leaf, US)
  • 23.00 lbs. GW NW Pale Malt (2 row) (2° L, Crushed )
  • 2.50 lbs. GW Crystal Malt (40° L, Crushed )
  • 2.50 lbs. Briess Carapils (1.3° L, Crushed )
  • 2.00 lbs. GW Wheat Malt (2° L, Crushed )
  • 1.25 lbs Briess Chocolate Malt (350° L, Crushed )
  • White Labs San Diego Super Yeast (WLP090)
  • 2 tab. Whirlfloc
  • 1 tsp. Wyeast yeast nutrient
  • 2 tsp. Gypsum (Sparge Water)
Recipie Notes:
From memory I thought that this recipe was a little lighter than I wanted so I added .25 lbs (After doubling the entire recipe.)  The Northern Brewer hops were much higher alpha acid that on my previous batch I could have accounted for that but its not that important to me that if it has MORE hop flavor.  I also removed a pound of Pale Malt because I was afraid that with 31.25 lbs of grain I may overflow my mash tun.  This didn't happen, but it was only about three inches from the top.  I added the Gypsum to the sparge water instead of the boil this time because I read that was a method of doing it.  I really have no reason to do that but I wanted to try it.

Starter Procedure:
On Friday May 25th I got out of work a little early since we had a really good month, I came home and made my starter adding 100g light DME to 1000ml of water in a Erlenmeyer flask.  After applying to the stove-top I threw in a stirbar and 2 drops of Fermcap-S.  Starter finished without incident and I placed the Flask on my stir plate overnight.
Disaster Strikes

Brew Procedure:
This brew I was a little more fammiliar with the all-grain brewing process so I could correctly complete the brew.   I heated 43 quarts of water up to 170 F and poured in the grain.   Letting this mash for 45 minutes I returned to see the temperature had not dropped as much as I wanted to get into the lower end of the mashing temperature.  So I uncovered the mashtun and removed the jacket allowing to to mash for another minutes and cool off a little.  I sparged with 5 gallons of 170F water into the kettle. There was some extremely frothy foam on the top of the kettle.  I hoped it would die down before the wort started to boil.  I was wrong.  Just as the kettle came to a full rolling boil I realized that this was not going to die down.  I quickly ran to my shelf and grabbed the vial of Fermcap-S but it was too late.  The boil-over happened leaving the burning smell of defeat in the air for long after the boil-over had subsided.  Mistyping my recipe I added 4 oz of Northern Brewer to the beginning of the boil and about 3 minutes in I realized my mistake.  I ran to the house and grabbed a strainer and pulled what I thought to be about 2 oz. of hops out for addition in another 42 minutes.

Hops/Ingredients Schedule:
Massive amount of Hops

Boiled for
2 oz.
Northern Brewer
Entire 60 min. boil
2 oz.
Northern Brewer
Last 15 min. of boil
2 tab
Last 15 min. of boil
1 tsp.
Yeast Nutrient
Last 15 min. of boil
2 oz.
Last 10 min. of boil
2 oz.
4 oz.
Dry Hop

Post Boil:
After the boil I cooled the wort and put it into 2 x 6 gallon carboys with 2 oz. of Centennial Hops in each one.  After I pitched the yeast I aerated the wort with an oxygen stone for 15 seconds each and inserted an airlock.  I have 20 gallons of beer fermenting in my closet, it's a pretty good feeling.

INITIAL WORT GRAVITY: 1.070  Recipes Projected OG 1.080

UPDATE 6/9/13:
Gravity at Transfer: 1.023
131.25*(1.070-1.023)=6.169% ABV

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... One issue that I did run into while transferring the second carboy of brown is the siphon kept clogging with hops and since the only place that could release the vacuum was the seal around the siphon it entrapped some air into the line at the bottom of the siphon.  I don't think this was enough to ruin the beer but it is something to note.  I took the siphon out and removed the hops from the end and restarted the siphon.  I had to do this a couple times but other than that it went smoothly.  I tasted the brown ale and I am really excited to drink this beer.  So much hop aroma and flavor while not being overly bitter.  Another week or so in the secondary then I can keg and drink it.

UPDATE 6/23/13:
Transferred the beer to a keg today and crap, this is good beer.  I am extremely pleased with how the beer came out.  This was my first all grain batch I did and this time it turned out even better.  Two days on 30PSI and it should be ready to drink.  The hops are extremely present all the way through the drink from smell to swallow.  Having more character than a traditional IPA because of the roasted malts.  I am glad I added the extra chocolate malt because it did give it a little more color and a bit more toasty flavor that I was looking for.

Gravity at Transfer: 1.022
131.25*(1.070-1.022)=6.3% ABV

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