Today’s a brew day

Update: The brew day went excellent. I was going for an original gravity of 1.047 and ended up a little over 6 gallons at 1.049…so more beer and a higher gravity, excellent. I hope to see the airlock going crazy by tomorrow morning but we’ll see.

So as I sit here I’m currently about 15 minutes in on my American Wheat mash. I’ve been doing 10 gallon batches for quite sometime but decided to go with a 6 gallon today. I was worried about my ability to safely carry around ~11 gallons of boiling wort. I was initially planning on doing two different 6 gallon batches today but figure I’ll wait and do 6 gallons of a blonde maybe as soon as Wednesday.

Here’s the recipe I went with on the American Wheat that I have yet to name:

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S05
Yeast Starter: no
Batch Size (Gallons): 6
Original Gravity: 1.047
Final Gravity: ~1.010
IBU: 16
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Color: 4.1 SRM
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 14 @ 68F

Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00%

4lbs Pale Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 34%
4lbs Base 2 Row (1.5 SRM) Grain 34%
2.75lbs Malted Wheat (2 SRM) 23.2%
.75lbs Flaked Wheat (2 SRM) 6.4%
.30lbs Honey Malt (20 SRM) 2.3%

.3 oz Magnum [13.00 %] (60 min) Hops 12 IBU
.3 oz Magnum [13.00%] (5 min) Hops 2 IBU
.3 oz Cascade [6.4%] (5 min) Hops 1 IBU
.4 oz Cascade [6.4%] (0 min) Hops 0 IBU

1 TSP Irish Moss (15 min)
2 TBSP PH water corrected into mash and sparge water

1 Pkg Safale US-05 Ale Yeast

Mash Profile

Single Infusion
60 min Mash In Add 4 gallons of water at 165 F 152.0 F
collected ____ gallons on mash out
Add 5.5 gallons of water at 175 F 171.0 F for sparge
collected ____ gallons of sparge runoff

In the upcoming week I plan to rack my Chocolate Stout to secondary fermenters and add some various things that I’ll post about later. I also will be writing up a couple of beer reviews as well..I have about 20 pending write ups. I’ll probably post a list of upcoming reviews at the end of the end of my next post.


Progress, plans, and news

The Friday Brew Update

After brewing on Friday (March 26th), the A peTit APA is moving along nicely. Since I used previously washed yeast, I expected for fermentation to really begin at around the 48 hour mark like it did with my blonde beer. The APA got started a little earlier, starting activity around 36 hours. Here is what my carboy looked  like this morning:

A decent size krausen and nice activity

I have yet to take a reading but expect to sometime Friday to check the gravity reading. With the S-05 yeast that I used, I expect it to be ready to secondary and dry hop on Friday or Saturday. After dry hopping for 7 days, I plan to bottle at least half, maybe more. If I bottle, I feel like my carbonation is more manageable and meets expectations regularly in comparison to kegging…which I have yet to truly master (more on that later). Overall, I have pretty high expectations for this brew but not as much as I had previously. With what will end up being a rather high ABV of 7.1%, I’m not very confident in the aroma dry-hopping will impart. The last hoppy beer I brewed was an IPA with an ABV of 6.8%. I dry hopped that beer with 4oz of cascade hops for 7 days and ended up being incredibly disappointed in the hop aroma. I guess we’ll see, and I’ll continue to write about what I end up with.

Upcoming Competition and Beer Fest

The St. Louis Microfest is coming up at the end of April. I previously haven’t been to the Micro Fest but have been told that it’s the best beer fest of the year. I have ended up going to the Forest Park Heritage Festival the last two years which I’ve really enjoyed…so if the MicroFest even comes close to the Heritage Festival, it will be something I’ll be excited to attend. In addition to the 60+ beers at MicroFest, they’re sponsoring a homebrew competition that I plan to enter. Right now, I don’t have a variety of beers to enter, so it appears I’ll be entering my first APA which I finished in December. I ended up bottling 5 gallons and kegging 5 gallons and luckily saved 3 bottles in case a competition came up. They require two bottles for competition, leaving me with one to try to make sure the beer has aged well in the last 2+ months. Once I decide for sure on whether to enter, I’ll post my recipe on here for critiquing or just to satisfy the curiosity of anyone interested.

Other Random Info

It looks like tomorrow I’m going to be helping the brew master of a commercial brewery brew two different batches of beer. I’ll be waking up early to make sure I’m able to show up at Crown Valley Brewery at 7AM to help/watch Brewmaster Carl Wiersma turn water and grain into something special. I’ll probably make a post about the experience in the very near future.

Upcoming Plans

So after brewing my SNL Parody A peTit APA, I’m already looking to the future. After doing a bit of research and what not, I have decided to branch off some by trying to brew a stout. To this point, I have yet to brew a stout or porter but am looking forward to the challenge and the result. While I’m still unsure as to my exact recipe, here is an idea of what I’m thinking:

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Nottingham
Yeast Starter: no
Batch Size (Gallons): 10
Original Gravity: 1.052
Final Gravity: 1.011
IBU: 22
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Color: 42 SRM
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 14 @ 65F

Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00%

16lbs Pale Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 75.7 %
1.8 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt – 80L (87.0 SRM) Grain 9.70 %
1.8 lbs Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 9.70 %
14.0 oz Roasted Barley (500.0 SRM) Grain 4.90 %

.8 oz Magnum [13.00 %] (60 min) Hops 18 IBU
0.60 oz Cluster [5.00 %] (30 min) Hops 4 IBU

1.2 oz Chocolate Extract (Bottling 0.0 min)
14 oz Cocoa Powder (Boil 0.0 min)
22.0 oz Milk Sugar (Lactose) (0.0 SRM) (Boil 5.0 min)

2 Pkgs Nottingham (Danstar #-) Yeast-Ale

Mash Profile

Single Infusion
60 min Mash In Add 7 gallons of water at 168 F 156.0 F
10 min Mash Out Add 7 gallons of water at 176 F 168.0 F

My obvious plan here is to try and get this upcoming beer to taste as close to actual dark chocolate as possible. I’ve researched stouts, chocolate addition, etc quite a bit and have decided this is probably the way to go. There is still a slight chance I use the trifecta of cocoa nibs, cocoa power, and chocolate extract…I guess we’ll see. I’m leaning toward adding to the SNL series and calling this: Turd Fergeson’s Dark Chocolate Stout.

A successful brew day

So yesterday I ended up brewing about 9 gallons of what I anticipated being an APA (American Pale Ale). I ran into a couple of issues that were unforeseen. My grain bill ended up being close to 25lbs, the most grain I’ve ever used. When I sparged, I could only sparge 6 gallons rather than the close to 8 gallons that was called for. So what was initially an APA turns out to be a light IPA.

I ended up striking with 7.4 gallons (water initially into the grain mash tun), and sparged with 6 gallons for a total 13.4 gallons of water. I ended up getting 10.85 gallons of wort runoff, giving me a total of about 9.25 gallons of wort after the boil. Since I was shooting for a 10 gallon batch, the numbers ended up changing…giving me a much higher alcohol content, a higher IBU (bitterness), and a darker beer overall.

Here are the differences:

Planned SRM: 8.5

Actual SRM: 9.2

Planned ABV: 5.7%

Actual ABV: ~6.4%

Planned IBU: 49

Actual IBU: 52

A peTit APA

Batch size 9 gallons
Boil size 11.1 gallons
Boil time 60 minutes
Grain weight 24.45 pounds
Efficiency 70%
Original gravity 1.065
Final gravity 1.011
Alcohol (by volume) 7.1% (with a FG of 1.010)
Bitterness (IBU) 52
Color (SRM) 9.2°L
43 dry grams
Fermentis (washed yeast)
Safale US-05
24.45 pounds
2 Row Base
28ppg, 1.5°L
10 pounds
Pale Ale
38ppg, 2.5°L
10 pounds
Munich (Light)
34ppg, 8.5°L
2 pounds
Crystal 40L
34ppg, 40°L
0.75 pounds
30ppg, 20°L
0.72 pounds
33ppg, 1.5°L
0.68 pounds
Crystal 80L
34ppg, 85°L
0.3 pounds
8.6 ounces
Cascade hops
6.3%, Pellet
6.2 ounces
Chinook hops
11.4%, Pellet
2.4 ounces
0.2 ounces
Irish moss
0.1 ounces
60 minutes, 15.2 gallons
Target 152°F
7.6 gallons
60 minutes (+0)
Target 170°F
7.6 gallons
Chinook hops
11.4%, Pellet
1 ounces
Cascade hops
6.3%, Pellet
0.5 ounces
60 minutes, 11.1 gallons
Chinook hops
11.4%, Pellet
0.9 ounces
60 minutes (+0)
Chinook hops
11.4%, Pellet
0.5 ounces
20 minutes (+40)
Cascade hops
6.3%, Pellet
0.5 ounces
20 minutes (+40)
Cascade hops
6.3%, Pellet
1.5 ounces
15 minutes (+45)
Irish moss
0.1 ounces
15 minutes (+45)
Wort chiller 15 minutes (+45)
Cascade hops
6.3%, Pellet
0.7 ounces
10 minutes (+50)
14 days @ 59-75°F
Cascade hops
6.3%, Pellet
3 ounces
7 days (+7)
7.4 gallons of strike at 153 for 70 minutes. 6 gallons of sparge at 178. original gravity of wort was 1.052 before boil.

I forgot to take pictures throughout the brew day, but will try and get better in the future. Overall, I had about 10-12 people over while I brewed with 4 of those people incredibly interested in helping while learning the process. The more local homebrewers, the better!

My big ass pot, mash tun, and burner

Almost 25 pounds of milled grain

The sweet smell of boiling wort

Overall, the brew day went well. I maxed out my mash tun, meaning I may look to upgrade into something a bit bigger. The wort had a very nice aroma throughout the process and I’m looking forward to the finished product.

The next brew day, etc

So right now I’m in Florida watching baseball, scouting players, helping with video taping, etc for the website It’s going well currently, although I’m already both wind and sun burnt. As of yet I’ve seen the Astros, the Phillies, and the Blue Jays, with another 6-8 teams left to see. So…I obviously can’t brew until I’m back in Festus. I’m currently scheduled to be back sometime next Wednesday night.

The night before I left for Florida I bottled my “Rachel’s Blonde,” and ended up with 52 total bottles. The sample I tasted was light, somewhat grainy, but overall pretty satisfying. I think this is going to be a great summer beer once it’s carbonated. On a side note, I brewed 10 gallons of this particular beer and split the batches. The first 5 gallons, I fermented for 2 weeks,racked to a secondary, added gelatin, crash cooled, and bottled. The second 5 gallons, I fermented for 2 weeks before changing some things up. I decided to pasteurize 3.25lbs of previously frozen strawberries, lightly smashed them in water, and added them to the secondary. I have let the secondary sit untouched for about 1.5 weeks thus far and plan to let it sit for another 1.5 weeks before adding gelatin and crash cooling. I’ll make a post with the recipe and the results of the two beers.

With it being about 3 weeks since my last brew day, I’m getting the itch (which seems to be coming more and more often these days). I’ve already been trying to find a great day to brew and it seems that the next big day will land on Friday, March 26th. It seems that I may have a small group over to watch the process to see if they want to jump headfirst into this very addicting hobby. So, if you’re around the STL area and want to hang out, brew, have couple of beers, and maybe even grill, let me know.

My current plan is to brew another American Pale Ale. I started working on my recipe last night and this is what I have so far:

Target Style 		American Pale Ale
Volume 		        10 gallons
Efficiency 		        70%

Recipe Statistics (Cat/StyleRange/Est)
Pre-Boil        1.045
OG		1.055
FG		1.008-1.011
IBU		47
SRM		7-9
ABV		5.60%		

Ingredient Name		        Amount		%
2-Row Base       		10 lbs   	42.0%
Pale Ale         		9 lbs		37.8%
Honey Malt          	        12 oz		3.2%
Munich (Light)         	        2 lbs		8.4%
Malted Wheat                    1 lb            4.2%
Crystal 40L                     12 oz           3.2%
Crystal 80L                     5 oz            1.3%

Cascade, Pellets 6.3%AA	        3.7 oz @ 60 mins
Cascade, Pellets 6.3%AA 	2.3 oz @ 10 mins
Cascade, Pellets 6.3%AA 	1.5 oz @ flameout (end of boil)

Safale US-05, washed yeast