Updates from the Brewmaster

14 Sep

Every once in a while (especially when I’m trying to put off other work), I’ll try to update you all on what I’ve been doing with the brewery when you’re not around.

Adventures in Dry Hopping with Simcoe: Tragically Hopped Amber Ale

We’re lucky enough to live in a part of the country that is really close to where the majority of hops are produced. That means that when the hops are harvested, we often get first dibs on the hops, and can make “fresh hop” beers more easily than almost anywhere else.

So I ordered a pound of fresh Simcoe hops (because they are a CDBC favorite). You’re supposed to use them within a few days of when you get them. Unfortunately for me, Mountain Homebrew emailed me to say that my hops would be arriving on Friday, 9/5, the exact day I was leaving for a trip to Winthrop. Luckily for us, you can dry-hop with fresh hops, and we’d just brewed round #2 of the Tragically Hopped Amber Ale the week before. So, BLAMMO, those hops got pwned right into the Amber:
One half pound of fresh Simcoe awesomeness. Apparently the water content of fresh hops makes them equivalent to about 20% the same weight of dried whole or pellet hops, so this was like adding around 2 ounces of dried Simcoe.

Kegging Update

I spent some time cleaning the whole kegerator system and the kegs themselves.

I also kegged the amber ales (coming in at 7% ABV)  last night so we can bottle them off of the BeerGun, and added a half gallon of “hop tea” to one keg. I did this by making a light wort with 6 ounces of DME and a half gallon of water, boiling it, and then adding 1 ounce each of Amarillo, Warrior and Centennial to the “tea” in a hop bag after I turned the flame off. I let it steep for about 10 minutes, then cooled the wort and added it to the bottom of the keg before filling the keg up. This may add some nice hop aroma to the beer, or it may completely kill the beer. We’ll see!

Right now we have 4 kegs of beer in the kegerator, almost all of which are scheduled for bottling: the Brown Ale and IPA from the Pork n Pie (ready to bottle this Saturday), and the 2 kegs of Amber Ale.

The Count’s Red Ale

Finally, we’ve been commissioned by The Count vonAbbittstein himself to brew a beer for his annual Halloween Spooktacular (or something). Scott and I met last Wednesday to conduct this mission, trying out a new Red Ale Recipe (adapted from  http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f66/mojave-red-112308/).

The brew went well, with no major hiccups. We achieved an efficiency in the low 70s, and hit most of our targets spot on. It’s fermented quite nicely already, and is in the final week or so of conditioning before it’ll be ready to be kegged.

Recipe: The Count’s Red Ale (Mojave Red)

Brewer: Central District Brewer's Collective
Asst Brewer:
Style: American Amber Ale
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0) 

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 6.00 gal
Boil Size: 8.24 gal
Estimated OG: 1.057 SG
Estimated Color: 18.8 SRM
Estimated IBU: 39.7 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount        Item                                      Type         % or IBU
11 lbs 5.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)            Grain        83.54 %
11.0 oz       Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM)     Grain        5.06 %
11.0 oz       Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM)     Grain        5.06 %
5.5 oz        Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)                     Grain        2.53 %
5.5 oz        Special B Malt (180.0 SRM)                Grain        2.53 %
2.7 oz        Carafa II (412.0 SRM)                     Grain        1.27 %
0.53 oz       Warrior [18.20 %]  (60 min)               Hops         28.6 IBU
0.53 oz       Columbus (Tomahawk) [13.00 %]  (10 min)   Hops         6.7 IBU
0.53 oz       Amarillo Gold [8.50 %]  (10 min)          Hops         4.4 IBU
0.60 oz       Citra [12.00 %]  (0 min)                  Hops          -
0.60 oz       Columbus (Tomahawk) [13.00 %]  (0 min)    Hops          -
0.60 oz       Amarillo Gold [8.50 %]  (0 min)           Hops          -
2.68 gm       Salt (Mash 60.0 min)                      Misc
8.05 gm       Epsom Salt (MgSO4) (Mash 60.0 min)        Misc
13.41 gm      Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 min)  Misc
10.73 gal     Randy Mosher Adjustment to Seattle Water  Water
1 Pkgs        American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056)          Yeast-Ale                  

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 13.54 lb
----------------------------
Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time     Name               Description                         Step Temp
60 min        Mash In            Add 16.93 qt of water at 165.9 F    154.0 F
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