Tragically Hopped Amber Ale: Brew Day Report

30 Aug

Well, folks, it’s a little late in coming, but here’s the brew day report for Saturday, 8/27/2011.

We brewed the “Tragically Hopped Amber Ale”, and as you’ll see, apparently there is tragedy aplenty when this beer is brewed. This recipe is courtesy of Hopville.com user prosper, and it was by far the hit of the Pork n’ Pietacular. (recipe here: http://hopville.com/recipe/22733/american-amber-ale-recipes/the-tragically-hopped).

Brew day started around 5pm and ended around 10pm (although the drinking lasted much later with a dramatic battle between Scott, Becker, Zach and Kylene about whether (Scott, Zach and Becker) or not (Kylene) they were going to go to Ozzies…I believe the good Kylene won the battle there, if not the war).

We have a new burner, a CampChef 60,000 BTU burner, which is great because it allows us to heat the strike/sparge water on the turkey fryer and get the boil going on the CampChef, using the pump to transfer wort and water from the hot liquor tank (the keggle) to the mashtun and from the tun to the boil kettle. Trust me, it’s awesome.

The brew went pretty well. We mashed for an hour at 155, and boiled for 90 minutes. We started with 13 gallons pre-boil, and were aiming for 10 gallons post-boil at 1.062, and we got around 9 gallons at 1.066. I’m pretty happy with those numbers. We’re keeping our efficiency (i.e. the amount of sugars we extract from the grains) around 70%, which is pretty good.

There was only one major screwup…we forgot to add the flameout hops. Just plain forgot (everyone was drinking except me, and I was doing too much). I did add them briefly to the cooled wort, but then realized that hop oils can coat the outside of yeast cells and screw with fermentation, so I actually fished the hop bags out and just dumped them.

The good news is that many amber ales don’t even have a late hop addition, so worst case scenario is that we just have a nice amber ale. My current plan is to both dry hop this beer as scheduled, and to try to boost hop aroma by making a weak “hop tea”. Essentially I’m going to make a quart or so of a weak wort with dry malt extract (like 1.040 or so), bring it to around 180, add the hops we didn’t add before, cool it, and add it to the fermenter right before we bottle/keg. I think I’ll do that with one batch and not the other; it’ll be interesting to see if it makes a difference.

We also discovered that Indy is not only an awesome brew-dog, but he’s alsoan ace cornhole player. Here he is the day after with his new trophies:

He owned those bags. OWNED them.

Next brew day: September 18th. We’ll be brewing an American Pale Ale (a version of our CDBC pale) for the Count’s Halloween party. Given our system, we COULD try a double brew day, to try a pumpkin beer if someone is up for leading that.

I might also try to brew before the Sounders game next Saturday (9/10) if anyone is game.

-Kevin

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One Response to “Tragically Hopped Amber Ale: Brew Day Report”

  1. Emilie Jones September 5, 2011 at 9:00 am #

    I work on the 18th but can come by after 4.

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