Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Irish Red Ale

Well it's been a while since I posted. I bottled my Dunkel Weiss late last week. My Alt beer is done and it came out very nice.

Yesterday I brewed a new batch, Irish Red Ale.

5.5 lb DME Muttons Amber
1.5 lb Crystal Malt
.25 lb Chocolate Malt
(steeped at 150deg for about 20 min)
1 oz. Challenger 8% (60 min)
1 oz. Tettnngaer 4% (15 min)

Re-pitched Wyeast Irish ale yeast. (3rd Gen)

I tried the late extract addition method for the first time on this batch. After steeping I added about 1.5 lb DME to the full 5 gallon boil. This worked out better than I expected. I had no problem with boil overs. I added the rest of the DME after the boil.

Now that I know I can do the full 5 gallon boil in the 30 liter pot I need to get myself a wort chiller to cool the wort down faster. It took me about 1 hr. to get the wort to pitching temp. I put it in the bath tub full of cold water.

I took the original gravity reading and it came out 1.060~. This seemed higher than it was supposed to be until I pitched to the fermenter bucket and realized that I had lost about 1 gallon in the boil. I topped off to give me a little more than 5 gal. This gives me an O.G. of about 1.050

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Some thoughts...

Well, my Alt (batch #3) is in bottles now since about a week ago. My #4, Dunkel Weissen will go into bottles in a couple of days.

I was just thinking about my next batch and decided to try doing the late addition extract method. I've only drank two batches of my beer and I can now taste that 'extract' taste in the beer. It is most pronounced in the Coopers Dark Ale kit that I brewed (my first batch). It's there a little bit in the heffe weissen (my 2nd batch) but not so noticeable.

I have heard a lot of talk on the boards about the late extract addition method, where you only put about 1lb out of 6 (or maybe 2lb) at the beginning of the boil and then add the balance about 15min from the end of boil (with the flavoring hops). Some people think that this will cut down on the 'extract' taste in the beer.

As I thought about that, I started thinking about something I read in TCJOH (The Complete Joy of Homebrewing). That boil overs are more likely with small boils (i.e. 2 gal) because of the concentration of extract to volume of water.

This got me to thinking that maybe I could do a full 5gal boil in my 30qt turkey fryer with much less fear of a boil over because the wort will be much less concentrated than my normal 3gal boils.

Some concerns:

Will I have a huge boil over or potential when I add the final balance of the extract? Or, will I be fairly safe because I'm dumping it into 5gal.

Do I take it off the flame to add the extract, and if so, do I add time to the boil to make up for the off heat time.

Monday, May 01, 2006

A New Brew.

I brewed again this weekend. I re-pitched the Heffe yeast from my 'Heffe Weistrophy'(which has smoothed out nicely now) to make a Dunkel Weis.

Everything went well except that I almost forgot to put the DME in! I steeped some grains before boil (1/2lb chocolate + 1/4lb German Munich) after it had boiled for about 5 min I put the hops in and about 5min after that I realized that I forgot the DME. So I put that in (7lb Wheat DME) and boiled one hour from there. I put 2oz of Mt. Hood in for 60min and about 1oz of haullertau at 15min from EOB. I pitched the yeast with no starter, just pulled the jar out of the fridge at the start of brewing and shook up and pitched when the wort cooled. I put it in the primary with a blow off tube just to be safe. The temp was a little lower than I expected (55-58F) and I didn't see any fermentation for almost 2 days. But, it is now bubbling along and I think everything should be good. The O.G. was about 1.062-1.064

The 'Heffe Weistrophy' is really smoothed out now and has a very nice taste.

My #3 batch (the Osmosis Amoebas Alt) is still in the secondary and I will bottle soon. (Got to hurry, I only have about 24 bottles of the 'Heffe Weistrophy' left and 4 of the 'Squirrel Nut Brown Ale', to last me the next two weeks)