Tuesday, February 1, 2005

More beer...

My friend was in town for a long weekend and we did two batches of beer. Herewith a tale of brewing adventure.

Our first entry was a holiday ale that was pulled (more or less) from Radical Brewing. In round one everything went quite smoothly with the exception of a slow sparge (which was only foreshadowing of adventure to come). When all was said and done we'd produced a 1.101 original gravity wort that was quite tasty. Here's what we used:

  • 8lbs Crisp English pale malt

  • 4lbs Belgian biscuit malt

  • 1 lb Crisp English wheat malt

  • 1 lb Belgian caramunich malt

  • 2 os Chocolate malt

  • 2lb 4oz Thai palm sugar

In the boil

  • .25 oz cracked whole Allspice (0 min)

  • 4 oz grated fresh ginger (0 min)

  • Zest of two oranges (0 min)

  • 1 oz Centennial hops (60 min)

  • 1 oz Mt Hood (60 min)

  • 1 oz English Fuggles/Goldings (0 min)

Yeast was Wyeast 1028 London Ale and was slightly moribund. It took almost 3 days to get going, but is going nicely now.

For our second offering we did another IPA a since I so much enjoyed my first attempt The recipe was slightly different:

  • 8 lbs English pale (Maris Otter) malt

  • 4 lbs US rye malt

  • 1 lb German Munich malt

  • 1 lb crisp caramalt 15L

  • .5 lb German light crystal malt

In the boil (more or less... the story that unfolds later will explain)

  • 1 oz Chinook (60 min)

  • 1 oz Columbus (30 min)

  • 1 oz Willamette (5 min)

  • 1 oz Amarillo (5 min)

  • ? oz Other (can't remember)

Original gravity of 1.083. The plan is to dryhop with 1 oz Crytal and 1 oz Amarillo.

The interesting part was that the whole process took probably close to 10 hours. To blame? The sparge and propane canister. The sparge was REALLY slow. Apparently the rye malt doesn't have husks so it makes it harder to setup a filter bed. Personally I'm betting that my circle of hose was actually a circle of harm and prevented wort from flowing. I'm pulling it out next time. Either way, we tried all manner of stirring and even started over but we never got run-off flowing faster than one can pee. After we had about 2 gallons and dinner time arrive, we were starting to feel a little bit like maybe the batch would be a bust (call it equipment failure). So we decided to just let the sparge sit and drain at it's piddly pace. We went to dinner and came back. Sure enough it drained entirely and was really clear too. So we added in another 2 gallons of hot water and waited another hour. We ended up with close to 7 gallons and began the boil. About 30 minutes into the boil we ran out of propane. It was 11PM. Cool thing is, it turns out that there were three places we could've gotten more propane from at that hour. We ran down to the local gas station and picked up a new canister and finished off the boil, chilled, aerated, and pitched the yeast. The ordeal was done, and I'm well on my way to having another IPA.

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