Saturday, May 8, 2010

Stepping It Up

Istrouma Pale Ale 3

Style: American Pale Ale
Type: All GrainCalories: 188

IBU's: 37.98Boil Size: 7.00 Gal
Color: 10.3 SRM Batch Size: 5.00 Gal

Brew Date:-03/29/2010
ABV:5.24 %4.45 %
Serve Date:05/11/201005/01/2010

Fermentation Steps
Primary7 days @ 68.0°F
Est: 03/29/2010Act: 03/29/2010
Secondary14 days @ 72.0°F
Est: 04/05/2010Act: 04/10/2010
Bottle/Keg21 days @ 74.0°F
Est: 04/24/2010Act: 04/20/2010

Grains & Adjuncts
9.00 lbsPale Malt (2 Row) US
0.50 lbsCara-Pils/Dextrine
1.00 lbsVictory Malt
1.00 lbsCaramel/Crystal Malt - 40L

1.25 ozsCascade - 60 mins
1.00 ozsCascade - 20 mins
0.75 ozsCascade - 10 mins

1.0 pkgSafale S-04 - Fermentis (null)

0.50 tspIrish Moss - 15 mins / Boil
0.50 tspYeast Nutrient - 10 mins / Boil

Mash Profile

Protein Rest20 min @ 120.0°F
Add 12.00 qt water @ 130.0°F

Light Body Infusion In30 min @ 140.0°F
Add 3.80 qt ( 0.33 qt/lb ) water @ 200.0°F

Full Body Temperature30 min @ 160.0°F
Add 0.50 qt/lb water & heat to 160.0°F over 15 mins

Sparge with 5 gallons @ 170. Boil 90 minutes. Version: 2.620

This is what I ended up submitting to the homebrew competition. In the last incarnation I was happy with the hops profile, but the body was watery and the alcohol lacking. For this pale ale I had to replace the Chinook bittering hops with Cascade because I bought that in bulk, and I had limited supplies of Chinook.

I won't say too much about this brew because to tell you the truth I'm sick of Pale Ales. I've made three different Pale Ales for this competition and none of them have met my ideal standard. It must not have met the judges standards because I didn't win. Perhaps it's because I have limited supplies of specialty grain; perhaps my hops profile lacked imagination; Lord knows my mashing process needs work!

I made one more Pale Ale, thinking to submit it - a Rye Pale Ale. I've mentioned this recipe several times and didn't deviate from the recipe except I used exclusively Cascade once again. I didn't submit it, although my wife thinks if I did I would have won. I wanted to craft a real Pale Ale for this contest, because that was what the contest was about. Aaron, the store owner, told me he wasn't being too by-the-booky though, and that someone had submitted a Satsuma Pale Ale! The weekend after the competition my wife graduated and we drank all the Rye P A at her graduation party.

So I am done with Pale Ales! For the first time in my life I think I've had enough Hops. The competition was also the store's new location GRAND OPENING! I got several 1oz for $1 loose leaf hops, a couple of pounds of this and that in the way of specialty grains - Oh and another 50lb Sack of Grain for $35! That means I'll be good to brew for the rest of the summer. Speaking of; the best way to get past a hops hangover is with the smash hit of the Summer:

Rouge Huit

Style: Witbier
Type: All Grain
OG: 1.042

FG: 1.012

Color: 4.6 SRM

Brew Date:-05/02/2010
ABV:4.98 %3.93 %
Serve Date:06/12/2010/ /

Fermentation Steps
Primary7 days @ 68.0°F
Est: 05/02/2010Act: 05/02/2010
Secondary14 days @ 72.0°F
Est: 05/09/2010Act: 05/08/2010
Bottle/Keg21 days @ 74.0°F
Est: 05/22/2010Act: -

Grains & Adjuncts
5.00 lbsWhite Wheat Malt
4.00 lbsPale Malt (2 Row) Bel
1.00 lbsWheat, Flaked

0.00 ozsTettnang - 60 mins

1.0 pkgSafbrew WB-06 - Fermentis (null)

8.00 oz
1.00 oz
Apricots - 60 mins / Boil
Coriander - Flamout

Mash Profile

Light Body Infusion In75 min @ 150.0°F
Add 12.50 qt ( 1.25 qt/lb ) water @ 162.0°F

Notes Version: 2.620

Unfortunately I forgot the honey. It's not that I didn't remember to buy some; it completely slipped my mind to add it. Because of that, it will be low alcohol, but no biggie.

Did you notice the new iBrewMaster app outlines Mash Profiles now? Pretty neat, huh? Did you notice that this batch was a single infusion? Yeah I am done with step mashing. I am just unable to control the temperature the way I need to for it. For this simple recipe I infused with 170°F water, and let it be, but still my sweetwater came out with low sugars - 1.020 O.G. with an estimated 1.052.

I couldn't figure it out. The past few batches, ever since I started Step Mashing, have been weak. I assumed it was a temperature control issues but for this Rouge Huit I used the tried and true method I've always used - Single Infusion, and still it faltered. I almost wept I walked away from my test tube and hydrometer in defeat. When I returned a few minutes later my hydrometer measured 1.000!

I really started to loose it. Not only did my beer sugars suck, but the were also decaying at an alarming rate! My wife - with the cooler head - investigated further. Turns out my hydrometer was cracked and leaking wort inside itself. So it bobbed lower due to flooding. Turns out there was nothing terribly wrong with my mash, my measuring device was just defective. I pulled out an extra I had lying around because I never gave it to the friend who asked me to pick it up - sorry Caleb.

I don't know how far back this malfunction goes, but it could explain my mash woes ever since I started Step Mashing. With a new found confidence I tried once again to Step It Up. With the new grains I got from the Brewstock sale and at my wife's requests I combined two of my favorite recipes; the Amber Clone and Andrea's Almond Brow Ale to craft:

Andrea's Almond Amber Ale

Style: American Amber Ale
Type: All Grain
OG: 1.045ABV: 5 %
FG: 1.012IBU's: 42.18
Efficiency: 70 %
Color: 15.7 SRM Batch Size: 5.50 Gal

Fermentation Steps
Primary7 days @ 70.0°F
Secondary14 days @ 70.0°F
Bottle/Keg21 days @ 70.0°F

Grains & Adjuncts
1.00 lbsCaramunich Malt
0.50 lbsCaramel/Crystal Malt - 40L
0.50 lbsCaramel/Crystal Malt - 60L
0.50 lbsBiscuit Malt
8.00 lbsPale Malt (2 Row) UK
0.50 lbsVictory Malt

1.00 ozsNorthern Brewer - 60 mins
0.67 ozsWilliamette - 20 mins
0.33 ozsWilliamette - 10 mins

1.0 pkgSafale S- 05 - Fermentis (null)

1.00 lbAlmonds - 60 mins / Mash

Mash Profile

Protein Rest15 min @ 130.0°F
Decot 8.00 qt mash & heat to 150.0°F

Light Body Infusion In60 min @ 150.0°F
Add 8.00 qt water @ 200.0°F

Sparge with 5.5 gal at 170°F Version: 2.620

I am very pleased with the turn out. By using my propane burner instead of my range oven I was able to bring the second addition of water to 200°F much more quickly, resulting in a shorter protein rest and a faster beginning to the 60 minute sugar rest. Also I hit the money with my temperature. Using my igloo cooler I held it at exactly 50°F for a solid hour.

There were two minor problems. I used too much sparge water so my yield was about 5.5 gallons and the almonds kept getting my lauter tun stuck. I used pre-roasted almonds this time so I am slightly worried about the oil levels, which have been known to cause a loss of head retention. Also, as I said, the almonds kept sticking in the false bottom so that when I cleared it almond chucks would fall into the brew kettle. I am afraid that boiling these slivers might impart some of those oils too.

I plan on doing another Amber soon, sans Almonds, and to keep cranking out the Rouge Huit. I am about done with Pale Ales, save the Rye Pale Ale. You see I can't find a Rye Pale Ale in Baton Rouge. Austin, Texas's Real Ale makes a damn fine one as well as Athens, Georgia's Terrapin. So in the typical American fashion what can't be bought, must be crafted on one's own.

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