Posts Tagged ‘all-grain’

house IPA revisited; homebrew developments

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

last saturday I decided to brew an all-grain version of my partial mash IPA, which is currently in the process of being tweaked to become my house IPA.

  • I loved the partial mash recipe above since it produced a strong citrusy/floral hop aroma and remained well-balanced even after the hop nose faded a bit over time.
  • ideally, however, this beer should be consumed early.  I plan on a week for primary fermentation, a week of dry hopping, and a week for secondary fermentation in the keg before lagering and serving.
  • the malt bill was very similar to my partial mash recipe, and the hop additions were identical:
    • 5.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 44.05 %
      4.75 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 41.85 %
      0.50 lb Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) Grain 4.41 %
      0.50 lb Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 4.41 %
      0.30 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 2.64 %
      0.30 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt – 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 2.64 %
      1.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (75 min) Hops 49.5 IBU
      1.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (55 min) Hops 46.3 IBU
      1.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (20 min) Hops 28.7 IBU
      1.00 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] (10 min) Hops 10.4 IBU
      1.50 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] (0 min) Hops –
      1 Pkgs American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) Yeast-Ale
  • I struggled a little with my mash temps (I still have to iron out some kinks), but I ended up with an OG of 1.067, which was in line with my beersmith profile.
  • I mimicked the impromptu 75 minute boil I ended up with last time, which will hopefully give me similar results.  the profile suggests 135 IBUs, which sounds a little fishy to me, but this brew will definitely pack a punch.
  • luckily, my starter was ready to kick some ass when I pitched it with a shot of O2, and fermentation got off to a vigorous start.
  • in other brew news, most of the hops are doing well, but my cascades are going nuts. the vine has bolted up past the second story of the house, and cones are popping up everywhere.  I am looking forward to some great fresh hop beers in the near future…
  • I also got lucky and scored some 15 gal. plastic barrels from a guy on ebay for $12.50 a pop.  these guys just squeeze into my old kegerator-turned-fermentation fridge, and will be perfect for 10-12 gal. batches (soon to come – stay tuned).

first all-grain batch: altbier

Monday, May 17th, 2010

so, after 4 years of extract and partial mash brewing, I finally stepped up to the plate and pulled off my first all-grain batch.

  • I finally had the space to go all-grain after moving, and I had recently modified my partial mash tun with a new false bottom (courtesy of CB) for better efficiency.
  • after a bit of thought, I was inspired by this post over at beer and nosh and decided to go with an dusseldorf altbier.
  • the dusseldorf alt is a bit hoppier than alts from other regions.  I thought it would be a good contrast to my extract kolsch.
  • my recipe was a hybrid from a post on brewboard and one on home brew talk.  I recently downloaded beersmith and ironed out the details on their software (which is pretty amazing by the way).  the grain and hop bill is as follows:
    • 6.00 lb       Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM)             Grain        54.55 %
      2.00 lb       Munich Malt – 10L (10.0 SRM)              Grain        18.18 %
      1.00 lb       Caramel/Crystal Malt – 80L (80.0 SRM)     Grain        9.09 %
      1.00 lb       Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM)                     Grain        9.09 %
      1.00 lb       Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM)                 Grain        9.09 %
      1.50 oz       Hallertauer Mittelfrueh [3.80 %]  (60 min)Hops         19.9 IBU
      1.00 oz       Hallertauer Mittelfrueh [3.80 %]  (30 min)Hops         10.2 IBU
      1.00 oz       Hallertauer Mittelfrueh [3.80 %]  (10 min)Hops         4.8 IBU
  • if you want more recipe info shoot me an email and I’ll send it over.
  • after a thorough discussion with CB about mash and sparge temps, boil time, and other mash tips (the guy should seriously teach a class), I milled my grains, heated my strike water, and made the jump.
  • I batch sparged as per denny’s instructions and ended up with 5 gallons at an OG of 1.060 at 75F, which if I calculated correctly gives my system roughly 74% efficiency. not bad for the first shot!
  • after a rough start, my wyeast 1007 smack pack got going, and seemed to be pretty happy for the next few days after I pitched.  I’m planning on kegging the batch this weekend and lagering for a month or so before serving.
  • I will likely throw more all-grain brew tips out there once I get the process down pat, but for now I have a few recommendations for a successful switch from extract brewing:
    • get brew software. programs like beersmith take a lot of guesswork out of the process and are pretty cheap.  it was invaluable having my brew day laid out on paper before I got started.
    • talk to someone who brews all-grain first. I walked away with more information from my 30 minute convo with CB than from hours of online research.  a lot of the small stuff isn’t covered online (basic mash theory, etc.) and makes perfect sense once someone who has done it explains the obvious to you.
    • take gravity readings.  I never had to do this before – with extract it didn’t really matter since you knew you were getting fermentable sugars.  however, with all-grain, gravity readings are essential for troubleshooting your system and really add a lot to your knowledge of brewing.  I used my refractometer and it was a piece of cake.
  • overall, switching to all-grain brewing wasn’t too difficult (just a little more time-consuming) and was much more rewarding.  I am looking forward to cranking out many more brews while tweaking this process.

double IPA brew day at CB’s

Monday, January 11th, 2010

sweet wort no more!

the same weekend I was whipping up my partial mash IPA, CB was one-upping me with a 10-gallon all-grain double IPA brew day.

  • now outfitted with a pump and quick disconnects, CB’s brewery was ready for any challenge.
  • the pump made quick work of transferring sparge water to the HLT and transferring wort to the fermenters after cooling.
  • I rolled by during the mash, and it was only a matter of a couple hours (and a TON of hop additions) until the wort was ready to be cooled.
  • the only bottleneck left in the setup?  chilling 10 gallons of boiling wort to pitching temps takes quite some time with a 5 gallon immersion chiller.
  • however, I hear a therminator may be on the horizon, and if that is the case, CB will be able to knock out a 10 gallon all-grain batch in the the same time is takes me to whip up a partial mash brew.
  • seeing CB’s setup (and tasting the results – no more extract twang!) has convinced me that it is time to move up to all-grain: last week I picked up a turkey fryer setup and will use that and my homemade cooler mash tun to do some outdoor batch sparginganyone have any suggestions for a first batch style?

the starter and supplies

pumping wort after the boil

pumping the cool wort into the fermenters

pitching the starter

all-grain brown ale brew day at CB’s

Monday, September 14th, 2009

3-tiered setup

early saturday afternoon I rolled over to CB’s to hang out and see his new all-grain setup in action.

  • he had saved the yeast cake from a biere de noel he had made about a week ago, and had made a starter with it the day before.  the starter was over 1000 mL and was showing heavy activity by the time I got there.
  • CB was brewing a brown ale, and despite the fact that I had a camera in hand pretty much the entire time I was over there, I didnt manage to get the recipe recorded.  I know it called for a few ounces of EKG hops…

the brew sheet

  • I got there about halfway through the sparge.  CB uses fly sparging, which appeared to work very well.

fly sparge

  • once CB reached a pre-boil volume of 6.5 gallons, he stopped the sparge and fired up the burner on his turkey fryer.  it took less than 20 minutes to get to a rolling boil (way faster than my stovetop method!).

boil kettle

  • after boiling down to 5 gallons, CB used an immersion chiller to get to pitching temps and pitched the starter.  the brew was on its way.

cooling the wort with an immersion chiller

pitching the starter

  • CB uses a custom 3-tier cooler system put together by the people over at morebeer! I’ll save my rant about them for another day, but CB has always received great service from those guys.
  • CB has his system pretty fine-tuned – he chalked up over 85% efficiency with this batch!  his OG was 1.067.
  • the best part about heading over to CB’s?  not only did TB and I indulge in some great beers, but we also had house-made salami, cheddar, and ricotta as well as some great veggies picked minutes previous from his garden.  what a spread!

kettle POV

the boil