Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Batch 247, Pale Ale

 No special name for this, it's a pale ale loosely modeled after Bell's Two Hearted, but that's an IPA and this isn't, but it showcases Centennial none the less.


10 gallon batch



22 lb 2-row

1 lb white wheat

12 oz Crystal 120

Mashed in with 8 gallons at 170F, hit 151F in the mash tun. Adjusted pH to 5.3. Second sparge was 8 gallons at 170F to collect 13 gallons in the boil kettle.

Hops, etc:

1 oz Centennial, FWH

1.5 oz Magnum, 60 min

2 tsp Irish Moss, 15 min

3 oz Centennial, 5 min

90 minute boil.

Oxygenated, then pitched 2 quarts Wyeast 1272 harvested from batch 245.

Super smooth brew day! I even remembered to take a hydrometer sample:

OG: 1.052, 1.062 actual, might need to adjust the efficiency on BrewTarget

FG: 1.014

ABV: 5.2%, it's going to be higher due to overshooting the OG

SRM: 8.1, looks fairly paie going into the fermenter

IBU: 60, that's higher than I was aiming for, but at the last minute I decided to add the 1 oz of Centennial as FWH.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Batch 246, Berry Cider

 I keep forgetting to write down the details of the ciders I've been making, so I'm going to start recording them as a separate batch. I made this at the same time as the Panama Red from batch 244. Here's the basic recipe and process:

  1. Make a beer, save a gallon or so of wort, no hops!
  2. Put the gallon or so of wort in a fermenter
  3. Add 11 cans of frozen apple juice, thawed first
  4. Add enough water to make 4 gallons
  5. Oxygenate, then pitch yeast, I like to use an English yeast like London Ale III, Wyeast 1312, as it has a pretty neutral flavor, but I have used other ale yeasts like American Ale II, Wyeast 1272.
  6. At the end of fermentation, blend 3 lbs frozen mixed berries with enough water to make a gallon.
  7. Add the berries to the fermenter, top up with water to 5.5 gallons if necessary.
  8. Let it finish fermenting. The berries have enough sugar that fermentation will restart and go for several days.
  9. Cold crash.
  10. Siphon into a keg, being careful to get as little berry debris as possible into the keg.
  11. Add gelatin to the keg. I know some people like to add gelatin to the fermenter, but with all the berry debris, it's better to put it in the keg.
  12. Lager for a week or so.
  13. Transfer to another keg using a filter to help keep out any berry debris.
  14. Carbonate and serve.


This is really a malted cider, the apple juice by itself doesn't have enough yeast nutrient to be able to ferment the batch, but the wort does. I don't back-sweeten this. I do sometimes (if I think of it) add 2 tsp of cream of tarter to add some acidity, which helps knock down some of the residual sweetness, but it really isn't necessary. I do let it ferment completely, so the cider comes out fairly dry, which everyone seems to like -- I get a lot of comments like "It's not as sweet as I expected" and "Usually ciders are so sweet, I could drink a few of these" and then they proceed to do so!

Today's batch was pretty much like above, almost. I'd drained 1 1/2 gallons of wort out of the spent grains into a fermenter, topped up to 4 gallons, oxygenated, pitched a quart of London Ale II, Wyeast 1312. Then I walked out of the brewshed to notice that I'd left the 11 cans of apple juice sitting in the sun to thaw. Well, crap. Those were supposed to have gone in before topping up to 4 gallons. Dumped them into the fermenter. 

OG? What's that? :)



Batch 244, Panama Red

 Back to brewing after a long break in Mexico. Panama Red, of course, and a batch of cider at the same time. It was a pretty smooth brew day, a few minor glitches -- my scale was dead, so new batteries, water filter leaks, so greased the o-ring, hose leaks, so ordered a new end piece, and a variety of spider webs on a lot of my equipment.

I made a minor change in the recipe, I changed the 1.5 lb of Crystal 60 to 12 oz of Crystal 120. I should get the same color, but a little less sweetness. I also mashed slightly lower, at 152F, so hopefully this will come out a little drier than previously.

I also realized that I forgot to take gravity readings, but I've made this enough times and everything seemed to go well, so I'm sure it'll come out about where it should.

10 gallon batch

22.5 lb 2-row

1.5 lb white wheat

12 oz Crystal 120

4 oz chocolate malt

Mashed in at 152F, adjusted pH to 5.25, 60 minute mash. Started recirculating the first batch at 45 minutes, so a 15 minute vorlauf. Ditto for the second batch.

2 oz Mt Hood, FWH

2 oz Centennial, 60 min

2 oz Cascade, 30 min

2 oz Cascade, 5 min

2 oz Mt Hood, 5 min

90 minute boil, 2 tsp Irish Moss at 15 minutes.

Wyeast 1272, American Ale II, new package, made a 1 quart starter. I was going to brew on Thursday, so I started the yeast on Tuesday, but my covid vaccine decided to kick my butt on Wednesday and Thursday, so I added another 1/4 cup of DME to the starter


I forgot to measure OG, so this is from the recipe.

OG: 1.061

FG: 1.016

ABV: 6.1

IBU: 68 (Tinseth)

SRM: 11.8

Calories: 202/12 oz