Suregork Loves Beer

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Homebrew update

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There has been some homebrewing activity since the last update, as during the past week I finally bottled the Black Lodge Imperial Stout, Purring Nun Belgian Dark Strong Ale and the Lucious Lynx Barleywine. It was one heck of a bottling session (oh how I hate them, always such a pain to wash/sanitize bottles and the combination of filling and capping when you are alone is always a bit cumbersome), as I bottled a total of 109 bottles from three different kegs (alone), and it took about 3 hours. The beers were tasting quite nice, and especially keeping in mind that these are all 9+% ABV beers, there was surprisingly low amounts of alcoholic and solvent-like tones in the aroma and flavor. I think especially the Belgian Dark Strong Ale and the Barleywine will benefit from some more months of aging, as the flavours seemed a little unbalanced still, and I guess it won’t hurt the Imperial Stout either.

As bottling was finished I still racked the Thesis Ale I brewed about two weeks ago into two kegs together with 20 g Cascade per keg. The beer tasted quite promising, but a little green still and could maybe have used slightly more bitterness. It is of course difficult to judge a beer this young. The beer was amazingly clear (WLP002 is flocculent as hell) and a couple of weeks of cold conditioning will probably make this beer crystal clear.

To finish the homebrew week off, I brewed a 25L batch of a Citra Pale Ale together with a friend (Kimmo), almost exactly like the one I brewed about a year ago. For once the brewday went perfectly smooth, and we both hit the estimated original gravity (1.055) and managed to get an extra liter of wort into the fermenter (for a total of 26 liters). We pitched with S-04, and placed the fermenter in a compartment regulated to 17.5C. Less than 24 hours later there was already lots of activity in the airlock, and the aroma coming out of it was absolutely fantastic. Hopefully there will still be lots of aroma left when the beer is finally bottled. We plan to let it ferment for a week, after which we will add 70g of Citra for dry hopping and leave the beer for another week. You can find the recipe below.

Recipe: Citra Pale Ale
Style: American Pale Ale
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 35.70 l
Post Boil Volume: 31.20 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 26.00 l   
Bottling Volume: 24.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.055 SG
Estimated Color: 15.7 EBC
Estimated IBU: 48.6 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 64.00 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Amt           Name                                     Type     #   %/IBU         
9.00 g        Calcium Chloride (Mash 60.0 mins)        Water Ag 1   -             
5.00 g        Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins Water Ag 2   -        
6.000 kg      Pilsner (4.5 EBC)                        Grain    3   82.2 %        
0.550 kg      Munich (20.0 EBC)                        Grain    4   7.5 %         
0.250 kg      Cara-Pils/Dextrine (3.9 EBC)             Grain    5   3.4 %         
0.250 kg      Crystal 100 (110.0 EBC)                  Grain    6   3.4 %         
0.250 kg      Melanoidin (Weyermann) (59.1 EBC)        Grain    7   3.4 %        
10.00 g       Citra [12.80 %] - First Wort 90.0 min    Hop      8   13.2 IBUs     
30.00 g       Citra [12.80 %] - Boil 15.0 min          Hop      9   16.6 IBUs     
30.00 g       Citra [12.80 %] - Boil 10.0 min          Hop      10  12.2 IBUs     
30.00 g       Citra [12.80 %] - Boil 5.0 min           Hop      11  6.7 IBUs      
30.00 g       Citra [12.80 %] - Boil 0.0 min           Hop      12  0.0 IBUs     
1.0 pkg       SafAle English Ale (DCL/Fermentis #S-04) Yeast    13  -       
70.00 g       Citra [15.00 %] - Dry Hop 0.0 Days       Hop      14  0.0 IBUs      

We will soon be moving into a dedicated brewing space (an unused garage), so February will probably contain some posts with pictures and plans for the brewing space. Not sure when the ‘new brewery’ is ready for a test batch, but hopefully within the month.

Finally, my attempts to harvest Conan yeast from a bottle of Heady Topper seem to have been successful, as I had a small taste and gravity sample from the split batch Amber Ale we brewed a couple of weeks ago, and gravity had fallen to 1.014 from 1.063, meaning a 76% attenuation, and there were no off-flavors or anything that would suggest any contamination or unhealthy yeast.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Suregork Loves Beer » Blog Archive » Homebrew: Bottling the Citra Pale Ale

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