DIY stirplate, hop drying, american amber ale brew

last week was chock full of brewing endeavors.

  • based on some threads over at homebrewtalk and a little elbow grease, I threw together a homemade stirplate using a computer fan, hard drive magnet, potentiometer, and power supply I had lying around.  I used a plastic dish as the housing and hard wired everything up with a soldering iron, and it works like a charm.
  • according to the latest northern brewer catalog (p. 36 to be exact), the constant oxygenation stir plates provide enables 4 times normal yeast growth in starters.  after using it last week on an american ale yeast starter, I was impressed – the starter took off fast and was chugging along much sooner than my old starters.
  • I also dried out my cascade harvest, and packed up 4.5oz of cones in the freezer.  I will probably use these as finishing hops in an IPA, or may wait until all my other hops are ready for a homegrown pale.
  • I also managed to squeeze in a brew day last weekend, and whipped up an american-style amber ale based on my house IPA hop schedule and a recipe for lagunitas’ kronik/censored ale:
    • 24.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 74.67 %
      3.00 lb Munich Malt – 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 9.33 %
      3.00 lb Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 9.33 %
      2.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt – 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 6.22 %
      0.14 lb Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 0.44 %
      2.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (60 min) Hops 34.0 IBU
      2.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (30 min) Hops 26.1 IBU
      2.00 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] (10 min) Hops 7.5 IBU
      3.00 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] (0 min) Hops –
  • after doing some reading about heat sticks, I picked one up on amazon and stuck it in my HLT for mashing/sparging and hitting a boil in my boil kettle.  it worked amazingly, and cut my brew time down by at least an hour.
  • however, with both the heat stick and the jet burner going at it, much more water ended up evaporating from my wort (2 gals/hr), leaving me with a 10 gallon batch (instead of an 11 gallon batch) and an OG of 1.08!  I think my higher mash temps and somewhat aggressive hopping will balance out the alcohol in this beer nicely.

Tags: , , , , , ,

One Response to “DIY stirplate, hop drying, american amber ale brew”

  1. overcarbed.com - your homebrewing and beer destination Says:

    […] kegged the amber on saturday, enjoyed a glass of my rapidly diminishing house IPA (well balanced, pleasantly bitter, […]

Leave a Reply