Fun with beer

Monday, November 12, 2007

Fun with beer

So Saturday morning we got up bright and early and had ourselves a great brew day. I had the water on the flame by 6:30am! Nick showed up at 7 with some Mcd's treats and we were off.

We struck the water at about 174f because we were not paying attention. Now my beer smith is always saying 170 to strike at 158f, but we are usually closer to 152 when we strike at 170. When we took the striking water off of the heat, we were climbing above 174 and just put it on. We were able to strike at exactly 158.

Beer smith also called for 9.62gal of water to strike the 26lbs+ of grain we had. This is where we ran into a problem that we have been having for a while now, the Igloo Ice Cube Cooler we have is 12 gallons and does not handle the 10 gallon batches very well. So we were only able to strike 8 1/2 gallons.

We held it for 60 min and the temp kept at between 158 and 157 for the whole time despite the cool temps on Saturday morning. That's the little mash tun that could!

After 60min, we took the last gallon that we were going to add and got it up to a boil so that we could get the temp up for mash out. We ran some of the wort off into the brew pot to make room for the mash out and added the boiling water being sure to stir pretty aggressively to avoid hot spots. Once the grain bed had a steady temp of 168-170, we let it hold for 10 min and started up our batch sparge water.

We did two batch sparges, the first was 5 gallons and the second was 3 and both were at 170f. We were planning on a 90 min boil so we wanted to have 13 gallons to start with and we got that and then some.

Our pre-boil gravity 1.035, which was lower than the 1.041 beer smith told us we should have, but as the intrepid brewers we are, we brewed on!

After getting a few close calls on boil overs, we were able to get a healthy rolling boil and started the 90 min boil process. I was glad we got started early because there was no rush and we were able to wait the full 1/2 hr before adding the first hops. We added the 4oz of Golding's (5%) into the hop bag and let it dangle.

Our final hops addition was 1 oz at 5 min and some irish moss for good luck.

We separated the wort into two buckets and split the 1000ml starter between the two. We ended up using London Ale (1028) for the brew as Ed was out of 1335. It's an interesting yeast. After using the ESB and American Ale for the last few brews, it's noticeable that the London is a lot slower out of the gates that the other two. But it's chugging away now.

Our OG would up at 1.054 which was exactly what we were looking for, so I am assuming the additional time we used in the boil helped. We dry hopped it with an OZ each of Cascade leaf hops (5%) and the airlock has a very hoppy smell coming out of it.

Ted sent me a message on the previous post concerned with our dangerously low aroma hops rate and I have to thank him. If a fellow brewer gives you an excuse to add more hops, take it! I think I am going to pick up another OZ of the same leaf hops to add to the secondary and maybe a third to hop to the keg! Who knows.

Anyway, all is well at the brew house.

PS- The brew is going to be called "Red Face Ale" after the guy passed out in the picture.


Adam said...

Great write up! Nice to hear how things are going CNYBrew. We could call it beer drama!

Cock O' the Freaks said...


I'm glad you liked the Freak Brother's videos. I am not quite done posting all of the oatmeal stout vids. I will get them up ASAP. Keep checkin' our blog. There is way more cool stuff to come. If you need help building any equipment, E is the man to ask. He has put together some great stuff. I, on the other hand, went to the bank and took out a loan to buy the best stuff I could afford. He He! You could take the same route if you wanted to. It is worth it!

Keith Gordon
Cock O' the Brew Haus

Cock O' the Freaks said...

A little tip on how to prevent boil overs. Throw the first hops in just before it starts to boil. (look for 200-205 degrees) The oil in the hops will prevent boil overs.

By the way, do you care if we put a link to your site on our blog? You are welcome to put ours on your site.


Keith Gordon
Cock O' the Brew Haus!

Travis said...

Consider it done! Thanks for the add to your blog as well.

I frequent my posts about my brew gadgets so I always welcome input. The stuff you guys have is pretty damn cool I must say. However, I tend towards the cheaper end of the spectrum. It's OK though, I also don't plan very well so I usually do things a few times thus negating any possible savings.

It keeps me busy when I am not brewing anyway.

Cheers guys, thanks for the good feedback.

Bryon said...


Thanks for the pointers over at my blog regarding my question on hops and boil times...

I'm still learning, and I'm more than happy to get advice...