Monday, January 23, 2012

Another Successful Brew Day

Well, the Amber is bubbling away, with a vigorous fermentation that had started by 5:00pm yesterday. At last check this morning, we were getting about 2-3 bubbles per second, and the wort/beer is churning over aggressively. About three inches of krausen on the top of each carboy.

Things we learned:

1) A proper scale would be nice. I'll be curious to see how much 2-row we actually used (we can weigh the remaining grain in the bag, and back into our actual recipe). The grain mill was a success, though.

2) Carboys are a bitch, and I'm glad I still have my right index finger. I'm all the more eager to get stainless steel everything. And in the mean time we'll just remain extra careful.

3) Apparently our water/grain combo was perfect for pH without us doing anything. Good call on buying pH strips. Now lets figure out what it means, and what we should be changing.

4) Brewing still took longer than anticipated, especially with regards to sparging, and then surprisingly with chilling. The chiller took longer than last time - don't know why. On sparging, lets just assume it was more efficient. Which brings me to efficiency.

5) Why don't we know how to use a hydrometer? I'm pretty confident that the 1.075 reading pre-boil was accurate. Then we added 40% as much water over again and boiled, and had a measure of 1.020. Based on my math, and the fact that post-boil should be hire than pre-boil, it should have been around 1.06. So I don't have any idea whats happening. Seems possible it didn't mix well before we took a reading. But there is a potential solution.

6) Get a 15 gallon kettle, with gallon marks on the interior, allowing us to have a full 10 gallon boil. The kettle we have works, and the price was right, but the target should be boiling all 10 gallons. Then any sample will be a fair assessment of the gravity. No last minute water additions.

The recipe:

16 lbs Domestic 2-Row (we think? To be verified later)
2 lbs 40L Crystal
2 lbs 120L Crystal
1 lb Aromatic
1 lb Barley Flakes

Mashed for 60 minutes at 154. Sparged over another hour at 165-170.

2 oz Centennial at 60min
1 oz Cascade at 30
1 oz Cascade at 10 (target 41 IBU)

American Ale Yeast

All told, a pretty successful brew day, with a few minor set backs. Some time this week, the Oatmeal Stout (our last partial-mash/extract batch) should be ready for tasting, and next Saturday we can rack the Amber and bottle/keg the IPA. I was thinking, if we wanted to get even more experiment, we could half-keg, half-bottle each, and dry hop what we keg. Either way, we need a ton of bottles by next Saturday.


Joe said...


aimes said...

up voted!

Joe said...

The last beer didn't stink up the living room. This one is. Trying to come up with a solution...

Bob said...

blame it on the dog!