Monday, March 22, 2010
Batch 3 All Grain
Octoberfest age group award mug.
Bag of crushed grain, ready to mash.
Last bottle from our first brew of brown ale.
Darrell and I did our first all grain batch of beer on Sunday. It was an Irish Red picked for the amount of grain (wanted around 10 pounds) and Darrell wanted to try an Irish Red. Used this recipe,Quaffable Irish Red, from the Home Brew Talk forum. Didn't notice the ingredients were measured in tenths of a pound and not ounces. I converted on the fly at the brew shop, while the clerk measured out the grains. Little rounding here and there, plus on the hop addition during the boil because we don't have a scale. (note to self, need to buy a small scale, yes Paula like some use to weigh dope;)
The difference between all grain brewing and extract brewing is similar to the difference between making a cake from scratch or from a box. The extract beer kits have a can of malt syrup and the other ingredients to make the beer. With all grain, you take the raw malt grains, crush them and bring them to temperature to convert the starches to sugars. The sugars are sparged from the grain hulls and the liquid is collected to boil. From that point the brewing process is the same as with the extracts.
We picked Sunday as our brew day because of the rain that was due to hit in the morning. Me and the Wich brothers lucked out on our morning long run and made it home before the rain started. Good thing to, it turned into a soaker later in the afternoon. Hope, it washes all of the pollen out of the trees. Anyway Saturday was to nice of a day to be inside. We went fishing instead. (first frickin' tick of the year as well)
The brew itself went extremely well. We used the Zapap method to sparge our grains. I drilled a million holes in the bottom of a four and a half gallon icing bucket from the local bakery for the lauter tun, on Saturday morning. Still brewed on the stove as in the previous brews. Had to use an additional pot to boil water to temperature for the sparge. Think we could add at least another pound and maybe a half before we hit capacity in our 5 gallon brew pot. Still looking at a 30 quart turkey fryer setup which would eliminate this capacity issue, but like everything it's just another expense.
The grains/hops used for this brew: 9 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row) America, 14.5 oz. Caramel Pils Malt, 5 oz. Special Roast Malt America, 2.5 oz.Biscuit Malt, 2.5 oz. Chocolate Malt, .6 oz of Galena hops, and 1.2 oz of Goldings hops. Also this was the first time we used a liquid yeast. It was the smack pack, Wyeast 1272 American Ale II. Really smelled great throughout the brew. This was a about a 5 hour event from start to finish. Lots of cleaning, double sink in the kitchen just isn't quite big enough. Would be nice to have a dedicated double laundry sink size set up. But, not to worry. Lots of folks brew in apartments with great results. Our original gravity reading was 47 verus a predicted 48. So we did pretty well. This batch should have and alcohol content in the low 4% range, versus our previous batch which is in the upper 5% range.
Did a couple of things different with this brew. Darrell really wants to get a clearer beer, so after we'd cooled the wort, we strained most of the remaining hops out while pouring the wort into our fermenting bucket. This was before we pitched our yeast. Also, we plan to transfer to a secondary fermentor once fermentation has stopped in a week or so. Plus, before we bottle we're going to try to crash cool the secondary fermentation for a day in the refrigerator to force any remaining sediment to the bottom, so it doesn't end up in our bottles.
Would also like to either purchase or build a wort chiller. The size I'm looking at is around $70. I'd like to build one if I could purchase the parts for around $35, otherwise, just as well to buy the one already built. This time it took at least an hour or more to cool our wort enough to pitch the yeast. Started off with the pot in the sink but ended up moving it into a larger keg sized container filled with cold water to speed up the process. I'd thought about just letting the wort cool overnight to room temperature, but wanted to have the fermentation process started before the weekend was over.