Monday, October 29, 2012

Batch 2: 'Merican IPA: Pitching

I've found an issue about which I'm a little confused. I fear the guy at my local homebrew supply shop mislead me. I ended up using three 3.3 lb. (net weight) Briess "CBW Golden Light" liquid malt extract (LME) packages for the wort. I think--but am not certain--that the weight specified in recipes for LME is for the initial weight of the grain used in the wort that is concentrated, not the net weight of the LME. If this is indeed an error, I think I used too much LME. The starting gravity listed on the LME packaging is 1.035 per pound per gallon. The original gravity should be 1.064 according to recipe. My measured original gravity is 1.078. I'm worried that by using only a single Wyeast packet that I will be under-pitching the yeast. I guess we'll see.

Anyone out there in-the-know who can educate me about LME weight and proper pitching rates?

Regardless, the wort temperature was down to about 70º today so I pitched the yeast and set up the blowoff tube.

Batch 1: 'Merican IPA: Brewing Day

I started my second batch yesterday. You can find the full ingredient list here. Here was the program:
  1. Boil 4 gallons of water and set aside.
  2. Steep 10 oz. of CaraPils in 2 gallons of water for 30 min. at 155º and 10 minutes off heat.
  3. Add LME off heat and boil to break for 45 minutes.
  4. Hop.
    1. 0.7 oz. T-60 min.
    2. 0.7 oz. T-45 min.
    3. 0.7 oz. T-30 min.
    4. 0.7 oz. T-15 min.
    5. 0.7 oz. 0 min. for 10 minutes off heat
  5. Chill in ice water bath to break.
  6. Combine wort and water in carboy.
  7. Measure original gravity.
  8. Aerate wort.
  9. Pitch yeast when wort is below 68º.
The original gravity ended up being 1.078 (corrected from 1.076 at 77º). More on this in the next post.

The 4 gallons that I had initially set aside did not cool as quickly as I expected so the wort ended up being about 90º. I left that to cool in the carboy overnight.

I'll be dry hopping an additional 0.7 oz. of hops when fermentation has slowed and I replace the blowoff tube with the airlock.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Batch 2: 'Merican IPA: Ingredients

I picked up the ingredients for my next batch yesterday at 5 Points Growlers Beer & Brew Supply. I converted an all-grain recipe I found online for a clone of Bell's Two Hearted Ale to an extract (with specialty grains) recipe using the trial version of BeerSmith. Here's what I got:
  • 10 lb. – Pale liquid extract
  • 10 oz. – CaraPils grains
  • 4 oz. – Centennial hops
  • 1 packet – Wyeast American Ale II Yeast (#1272)
It's going to be a high-gravity hop-heavy monster of a beer! I can't wait to get started.

By the way, this just needs to be said: it kills me that "Two Hearted Ale" is not hyphenated. Correctly, it should be "Two-hearted Ale." Ugh.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Batch 1: Autumn Amber Ale: Tasting Day

I got to taste my first self-crafted beer. A few people have asked if it was good, and my response has been, "I learned a lot." Seriously, though, I made some mistakes, but the beer isn't terrible. In fact, it's downright drinkable. There is zero head retention, but it was adequately carbonated. It definitely has low alcohol content, but it's full bodied and well balanced. In my haste to taste, I forgot to refrain from pouring the settled yeast into the glass, which added a lot of sour flavor, but it settled out quickly. I'm thinking I'll try to make a Two Hearted clone for my next batch.