Thursday, May 25, 2006

Batch 35, Cascade Red

Cascade Red
American Amber Ale
5.00 gal

Recipe Characteristics
Recipe Gravity
1.059 OG
Estimated FG
1.015 FG
Recipe Bitterness
67 IBU
Alcohol by Volume
Recipe Color
15� SRM
Alcohol by Weight

10.00 lb
Canadian two-row
0.75 lb
Crystal 80L
0.25 lb
American chocolate malt
2.00 oz
5 minutes
1.00 oz
10 minutes
0.50 oz
60 minutes
0.25 oz
30 minutes
1.00 oz
Mt. Hood
90 minutes
1.00 unit
American Ale yeast, Wyeast 1272
Harvested from batch 33, Denny's Rye IPA, 1 qt slurry

Recipe Notes

I made up this recipe myself. I am going for something similar to Rogue's St. Rogue Red, a dark red, very hoppy beer. The BCJP guidelines say IBU can be 40+ and list St. Rogue Red as a commercial example. Now St. Rogue lists its IBU's at 44, and I've gone way above that, but the dry hopped version available at their brewpubs is very strong on hop flavor. I started with the 'Cascade' recipe that I've made several of, darkened it up a bit, and added more (lots more!) hops.

Batch Notes

Brewed on May 25, 2006. The Mt. Hood hops listed at 90 minutes is actually FWH (first wort hops, that is, the hops were added to the bottom of the boil kettle before the wort was run in from the mash tun.)
Actual OG: 1.056

I thought I was off on my volumes. I'd ran off 7 gallons of wort, and figured for a 90 minute boil to be right at 5 gallons. After 90 minutes I was still at 6.5 gallons. I considered boiling longer, but thought that would ruin my hop schedule. So I drained it out anyway, and came up short by half a gallon (what the...?!) Some simple math says that the 4.75 ounces of hops were holding at least half a gallon of wort, and that they had expanded to about 1.5 gallons in volume. Something to keep in mind for future batches. I strained out an additional half gallon from the hops, so volume was right on and OG was very close to target.

Racked to secondary on June 11, so 17 days in primary. Gravity seems a bit low, I got 1.010. Looked very nice coming out of primary, a very clear beer (so far). I added some gelatin to the secondary as I've been having clarity issues. Palmer says there are 3 reasons:
1) chill haze, caused by insufficient cold break. I'm using a CFC, so I don't think that is the issue.
2) yeast. Maybe, but I've used 2 different varieties, and this particular strain is supposed to be highly flocculant.
3) incomplete conversion. Maybe. I've had some trouble keeping mash temps constant.

I'm planning to keg this on June 17.

This is the original, and now semi-famous "Panama Red" recipe. It will go through several iterations, but is still perhaps my favorite beer ever.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Yeast 102

After my yeast starter fiasco (see Yeast 101), I was short a packet of yeast. I'd only bought enough for two batches, and one was splattered all over the walls of the hot water heater closet. Larry's is a drive from my house, it's over an hour round trip. I'd read about getting the yeast back out of the fermenter and reusing it. This seemed like a good opportunity to give it a try rather than spend an hour staring at the windshield of the car. Although, I did anyway...

Getting the yeast back from the fermenter and reusing it doesn't sound particularly difficult. It does require some 1 qt canning jars. After my last fiasco, I figured I should go ahead and get the right jars, after all, if this works out and isn't too difficult, it would be a big money saver (a smack pack of Wyeast is $4.25, the instructions I got from Wyeast say I can reuse the yeast 6 - 10 times before needing to buy a new pack). It turns out that almost nobody sells canning jars anymore. It took checking at 4 stores before I found some, $10 for a case of 12.

It was time to rack the batch of Cascade to the secondary and dry hop, which is the also time to gather the yeast. The instructions said to get 3 jars, sanitized, filled half full of sterilized water. Once the beer is racked out of the primary, pour the first jar of water into the primary, swirl it around with the hops, trub, and yeast, then empty the primary back into the jar. I had way more "stuff" than would fit in one jar, in fact, I was able to fill all three. I let them sit for about 15 - 20 minutes, until they were nicely segregated into layers. While they were sitting and separating, I got 6 more jars ready, then poured the top layer of the first set of jars into the second, and tossed the bottom layer down the sink.

The jars are sitting overnight in the refrigerator now. After about an hour, they are separating out into three layers, the top layer is water, the middle layer is the yeast, the bottom layer is junk. There's less than 1/4 inch of junk now, I'll see how it looks in the morning. The next step is to pour off the water, then pour the yeast layer into the third set of jars. The third set can stay refrigerated for up to a month. To use, pour off the water layer and pitch the yeast directly, or make a starter out of it.


I let the jars sit overnight (about 6 hours), poured off the water layer, poured the yeast layer into the third set of jars, and threw the bottom layer down the sink. I put them back in the refrigerator overnight again, there was a fairly thin layer of yeast on the bottom of each the next day. It didn't look like very much yeast to me, so I combined all three into one and made a starter out of it.


To make a starter: boil 2 cups of water, add 1/3 cup of malt extract, boil 15 minutes, cool to 70 degrees or so, then add the yeast. Pour into a quart jar, tighten the lid, agitate well. Store at 75 degrees F for a day or two before pitching. I read that a rule of thumb is to let the yeast sit for 1 day per month that the yeast is old, that is, if the yeast was harvested in April and now it's July, let it start for 3 days. Overall, this works really well, and is a big money saver. Since I started doing this, I've only bought 2 new packages of yeast for 12 batches of beer.


Later in life, I've gotten lazy. Well, I suppose I've been lazy all along, but now I'm lazier! The whole yeast washing thing is a lot of work. My current method is to get a 12 oz bottle of store-bought water, dump it into the fermenter after racking out the beer, swirl it around to get everything flowing smoothly, then pouring it into Mason jars. I usually get 3 jars out of a 10 gallon batch. I add one water purification tablet per jar. You can get these at REI or other sporting goods store. They kill any bacteria, but leave the yeast alone. These seem to keep for several months in the refrigerator with no problem.  On brew day, I get out 2 jars (1 per 5 gallons) from the refrigerator and set them on the kitchen counter.  By pitching time, they are at room temperature.  I give the jars a good shake to get everything suspended, then pitch and stir.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Batch 34, Cream Ale

May 13, 2006

Not sure I like this formatting, I got QBrew to spit out some html, but it wouldn't work in my low-budget wiki, so I just wrapped the plain text version in a "pre" tag.

Recipe   Cream Ale  Style   Cream Ale
Brewer Dale Batch 5.00 gal Mashed

Recipe Characteristics
Recipe Gravity 1.044 OG Estimated FG 1.011
Actual Gravity 1.045 Actual FG 1.008
Recipe Bitterness 17 IBU Alcohol by Volume 4.4%
Recipe Color 4 SRM Alcohol by Weight 3.5%

Quantity Grain Use
8.50 lb Canadian two-row mashed
0.50 lb CaraPils mashed
0.50 lb American wheat mashed

Quantity Hop Form Time
1.00 oz Tettnanger whole 60 minutes
0.50 oz Mt. Hood whole 5 minutes

Recipe Notes:

I'm going for a very light colored beer here, something like a Corona, but hopefully much better.

May 20, racked to secondary

May 27, racked to keg. Looks very clear, very light colored.

Friday, May 5, 2006

Batch 33, Rye IPA

May 5, 2006

This recipe gets a lot of kudos on the internet. Now that I've been drinking it for a few days, it is indeed an excellent beer, but I think if I make it again, I'll swap out the Columbus with something else.

Denny Conn's Rye IPA -1st place Pale ales, Lane County Fair 2001

Recipe : Rye IPA
Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (GAL): 5.00 Wort Size (GAL): 5.00
Total Grain (LBS): 16.25
Anticipated OG: 1.073 Plato: 17.8 ACTUAL OG: 1.060
Anticipated SRM: 12.2
Anticipated IBU: 75.1
Brewhouse Efficiency: 65 %
Wort Boil Time: 70 Minutes

% Amount Name Origin Potential SRM
67.7 11.00 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row) America 1.036 2
18.5 3.00 lbs. Rye Malt America 1.030 4
7.7 1.25 lbs. Crystal 60L America 1.034 60
3.1 0.50 lbs. Cara-Pils Dextrine Malt 1.033 2
3.1 0.50 lbs. Wheat Malt America 1.038 2

Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.

Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
1.00 oz. Mt. Hood Whole 4.90 15.0 FWH
1.00 oz. Columbus Whole 17.80 54.4 60 min.
0.50 oz. Mt. Hood Whole 4.90 5.7 30 min.
1.50 oz. Mt. Hood Whole 4.90 0.0 0 min.
1.00 oz. Columbus Whole 15.00 0.0 Dry Hop

Amount Name Type Time
1.00 Tsp Irish Moss Fining 15 Min.(boil)
1.00 Tsp Gypsum Other 60 Min.(boil)

BrewTek CL-50 California Pub Brewery Ale or Wyeast 1272 Am. ale II

Mash Schedule
Mash Name :
Total Grain LBS : 16.25
Grain Temp : 63.00 F
Total Water QTS : 21.61 - Before Additional Infusions
Total Water GAL : 5.40
Tun Thermal Mass : 0.00

Step Rest Start Stop Direct/ Infuse Infuse Infuse
Step Name Time Time Temp Temp Infuse Temp Amount Ratio
sacc 0 60 153 153 Infuse 166 21.61 1.33

Total Water QTS : 21.61 - After Additional Infusions
Total Water GAL : 5.40 - After Additional Infusions

All temperature measurements are degrees Fahrenheit.
All infusion amounts are in quarts.