Tuesday, 24 April 2012

A Dutchman a Scots/Irishman and a Red Ale

Picture this: a Dutchman, a Scots/Irishman, 4.7kg of grains, 48g of hops, 11g of dried yeast, a 31 litre kettle, a two ring burner, and a half empty gas bottle. That equals a 5 hour brew day!

The birth of an Irish Red has taken place and a decent red she will be! The recipe is from HomeBrewTalkQuaffable Irish Red. While the actual recipe I used slightly differs mainly due to the grains I used and the hops I could get my hands on, I give credit where it’s due. Check out the differences of the brews here.

This brew is for my birthday next month, along with the American. I chose an Irish Red because I quite like Kilkenny and I figured an APA would be too much for some, considering the Pale Ale using a truckload of hops compared to the Irish.

To the Scots/Irishman house I went with all the ingredients, boil kettle, sparge pot, fermenter, burner and gas bottle.

Hitting mash in temp
Hit up the stove to mash in, figured we’d use the burner for the boil. 4.7kg of grains and we had some porridge. It was our first time working with dark malt like chocolate. We decided to taste the grains pre mash to see what they tasted like. Initial taste of the chocolate malt and we both got coffee which was a little interesting. I think the amount used (70g) was more for colour than flavour.  I put the recipe into BrewPrint and managed to get more SRM than the original recipe asked for, I think that maybe due to using the chocolate malt, perhaps pale chocolate malt should have been used. Not too worried though, looks like it will carry a red hue through.
All the grains and a Munich Lager
Grains going in the mash tun

Boil took a lot longer than I anticipated. Cue an emptying gas bottle, a 2 ring burner and a slight breeze and we where waiting about an hour, if not longer, to get to a rolling boil. Even then it wasn’t always rolling! Never mind, once the hot break hit, it was in with the hops and off we went. RDWHAHB right?

Waiting for the boil

Tested the gravity last night when I went and picked it up. Hit 1.052, which according to calculations is 89% brew house efficiency. Thanks BrewShop for an awesome crush on the grains!!

Spent grains

Pitched the yeast last night as well, no activity just yet, only been 24 hours. I think I’ll leave her in the primary (don’t have a secondary) for 2 weeks. One for fermentation and the second for clean up. Bottle and leave for two, should be bang on for my birthday!

Monday, 2 April 2012

All Grain and an American

Well, All Grain brewing has been a success. It was supposed to be a combined brew day with bross002, but I wanted to get it ready for my birthday (7weeks). This will be brew number 1, the second I am yet to decide on, Irish Red or Cream Ale.

The recipe is a clone of Epic Pale Ale. The recipe itself is from the Can You Brew It section of Brewing Network. I was thinking of a No8 Wired iStout clone as well, but that was getting expensive!!

So into it. All Grain is a winner. I don't think I can go back to partial or extract and that's without tasting the beer. It's awesome.

Before I brewed I borrowed a gas burner. Turns out is was buggered, so it was back on the stove top. I was a little worried about boil over on the hot break, but it was all good.

A four hour brew day as well, not as long as I thought it would take, most of that was the 90min boil.

Golden Promise Pale Malt x1

Golden Promise Pale Malt, Carahell and Carapils


Mash in - target temp bang on!

NZ Cascade Hops 8.8% AA and Cali V Yeast

Mash out done

Pre boil volume = 27.5l nervous about a boil over!

Rolling boil

10min hop addition - lots of evaporation

OG should be 1.052. Bang on
OG sample - mind the protein/hops

It was easier than I thought. Note there are no photos of me trying to mash out and sparge. It's waaaaaaaaaay to hard doing that alone. I did buy a 10L pail but it wasn't big enough. I think I need to find some way of holding the bag while I sparge out. I'll get my kiwi brain going and see what I can come up with.

Lesson learned:
  • I really need an immersion chiller. I've got a mate from work looking into it for me. Cooling boiling wort to pitching temps is taking me 12 - 24hrs. While some do that now, no chill method, I'm doing it in the fermenter, so there is a risk of infection with no CO2 layer. I did it once with the Highlander and it worked OK, just worried about infection.
  • All Grain does seem to be better, however it is a little more expensive. There could be merit buying in bulk grains, but I just do not think I will be able to brew that mush beer. I currently buy base grains at ~$NZ5 per kg and specialty at ~$NZ6 per kg surely I can find somewhere cheaper, if you know of somewhere, leave a comment :-)
  • Kegging is still needing to be done. This brew in particular requires some dry hopping at cold crash temps. Not 100% sure on how exactly that will work since the cold kills the yeast, meaning when I bottle, the yeast is dead, can't eat the sugar = no carbonation.
Watch this space for the next brew and some tasting notes on the Pale Ale. Recipe in the recipe DB. Full credit to Jamil from the Brewing Network.