Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dry Hopping the Pales

Today I decided to try something new. I dry hopped my pale ales with a couple different varieties that Mark was so kind to give me. 3 oz of Cascade went into the first carboy, 2 oz of Amarillo went into the send one. The smell was wonderful! Here are the pics:

Stuffing the hops into a funnel and into the carboy. This took quite some time since I was using a rubber spatula. the handle was flat instead of round so not a lot of hops got in with each push.

Two carboys filled with hops.

A close up of the carboy w/the Amarillo.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Early, Early Morning Brew Session

Today I brewed up 10 gallons of Pale Ale. Since it's a work day I decided to try to start brewing early, I mean really, really early. I lit the burner at 4:11 AM and mashed in at 5:19 AM. This is by far the best time of day to brew!

Here's the recipe for today's brew session:

Sierra Nevada Clone
10-A American Pale Ale
Size: 11 gal
Efficiency: 70.0% Attenuation: 75.0%
Calories: 189.99 kcal per 12.0 fl oz
Original Gravity: 1.057 (1.045 - 1.060)
Terminal Gravity: 1.014 (1.010 - 1.015)
Color: 13.64 (5.0 - 14.0)
Alcohol: 5.61% (4.5% - 6.2%)
Bitterness: 36.5 (30.0 - 45.0)

23.0 lb Pale Ale Malt
2 lb Crystal Malt 60°L
1.0 lb 2-Row Carapils® Malt

1 oz Chinook (13.0%) - added during boil, boiled 60.0 min
1.0 oz Perle (5.5%) - added during boil, boiled 30.0 min
2.0 oz Cascade (5.6%) - added during boil, boiled 10.0 min
4.0 oz Cascade (5.6%) - added during boil, boiled 0.0 min
2.0 oz Cascade (5.6%) - added to the primary fermenter after fermentation is complete (1st carboy)
2.0 oz Amarillo (5.6%) - added to the primary fermenter after fermentation is complete (2nd carboy)

2.0 ea White Labs WLP001 California Ale

Here are a few pics from the day:
Lighting the burner at 4 AM!

Coffee and hops. The breakfast of champions!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Starter Spew!

I've updated my process for creating starters thanks to advice from my brew buddy Mark. Now I start with 4 cups of water, a pinch of yeast nutrient and 1.5 cups of light malt extract. After this sits on the stir plate with the yeast (two vials of White Labs) for a couple of days I repeat the recipe and add it to the flask.

I had great success with the fermentation of the Scotch Ale (due to hit my fridge in about a week) and I had even greater success last night. For the first time ever I have krausen in my starter, a sign that I've hit the perfect gravity on my starters! The pic below was taken this morning after the second feeding of the starter last night.

The krausen came all the way up to the top of the flask and even puked out a few yeasties onto my stir plate. This should make for some very active fermentation when I pitch this yeast into my Sierra Nevada Pale Ale clone tomorrow!