Sunday, March 28, 2010

Time for hops

I got a few Centennial rhizomes from Steve P this week, so I went down to the garden to plant them today. What a mess! I spent most of the morning weeding and pruning. Some of the 3rd year hops are up almost a foot already. I had about 15 feet of one row that was empty -- I'd planted some Cascade there last year that didn't make it. I took out the one Cascade that had come back and planted the Centennials in that spot. I need to get some fertilizer on them all, I think. I didn't fertilize at all last year, so they are all probably due.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Batch 88, Arrogant Bastard clone

I made an Arrogant Bastard clone last summer. It came out alright, it was a good beer, but nothing like Arrogant Bastard. I realized today what I did wrong last time. I pulled up the recipe in qbrew, and realized that I'd put in the FWH as 90 minute hops. FWH is more like 20 minute hops, so my IBU calculation was way off and this explains why the batch last year was not as hoppy as expected. I redid the recipe, then modified it a bit when I was weighing out the grain and found that I didn't quite have enough 2 row. The recipe last year used 27 lbs of 2-row, I only had 23 lbs on hand.

I had some trouble grinding the grain last time. It wouldn't feed through the mill, the rollers would just spin and not grab the grain. Others in my beer club said they'd had the same problem with the Gambrinus 2 row and suggested "conditioning" the grain. I added 2 - 3 tablespoons of water per 5 lbs, then stirred the grain so it all got a little wet. This makes the grain a little sticky and helps the rollers catch the grain. This worked pretty well, although it left some residue on the rollers that doesn't want to come off easily.

10 gallon batch

23 lbs 2-row
2 lbs Crystal 60
.5 lbs Chocolate malt

Mash at 152F for 60 minutes. Outside temp was 52F. I mashed with 9 gallons at 165F, which hit 152F in the mash tun on the dot. I used the heat exchanger again to keep the temp constant, however, it didn't work quite so well this time. The mash temp had dropped to 150F before I got the HLT heated up again.

2 oz Chinook FWH
2 oz Chinook 60 min
2 oz Chinook 30 min
2 oz Chinook 5 min

90 minute boil. All hops are home grown from my garden, harvested last September.

Wyeast 1272 from batch 87, 1 quart slurry.

OG: 1.068, 1.072 actual
FG: 1.017
SRM: 15
IBU: 93 (assuming 11.5%AA)
ABV: 6.6