Monday, December 19, 2011

Batch #7 - India Pale Ale (Extract, Full-Boil, Non-kit)

Batch #7 ingredients
Batch #7 is an extract, full-boil IPA.  To develop the recipe I used BeerSmith 2.0.

  • 6.5 pounds Light Dry Malt Extract (DME)
  • 1 pound Amber Dry Malt Extract (DME)
  • 1 pound Crystal/Caramel Malt 40L grain for steeping (color + fermentable)
  • .5 pound of Victory Malt
  • 1 oz. Chinook Hops for bittering (boil for 60 minutes)
  • 1 oz. Falconer's Flight Hops for bittering (boil for 15 minutes)
  • 1 oz.  Falconer's Flight Hops for aroma (boil for 5 minutes)
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet (an Irish Moss product)
  • Yeast - American Ale from Wyeast #1056
  • 5 oz. Corn Sugar (Dextrose) for priming (bottle conditioning)
  • 6 gallons of drinking water
  1. Two days before brewing session make a yeast starter.
  2. Bring 6 gallons of water up to a temperature of approximately 158 degrees.
  3. Pour all of the Crystal/Caramel Malt and Victory Malt into a grain sock and submerge in water for 20 minutes to steep. Maintain a temperature between 150-165 degrees for steeping.  Be careful not to let temperature rise to 170 or above to prevent off flavors from being introduced.
  4. Remove grain sock and allow excess water to drip back into pot.  (Do not squeeze)
  5. Bring wort to a gentle rolling boil, remove from heat and add ALL of the Light Dry Malt Extract and 1 pound Amber Dry Malt Extract (DME) and stir vigorously to dissolve.  Return to heat and resume boil.
  6. Add 1 oz. Chinook Hops for bittering.
  7. Boil for 60 minutes.
  8. Add 1 Whirlfloc tablet (an Irish Moss product) during final 15 minutes of boil.
  9. Add  1 oz. Falconer's Flight Hops during last 15 minutes of boil.
  10. Add  1 oz. Falconer's Flight Hops during last 5 minutes of boil.
  11. Chill wort to 70 degrees or less.
  12. Take OG reading with hydrometer.
  13. Optional - add water to get OG to target range.
  14. Transfer to primary fermentation (strain).
  15. Pitch yeast.
  16. Ferment in primary for 4-7 days.
  17. Take second specific gravity reading and record.
  18. Move to secondary fermentation for an additional 10 days or more.
  19. Take final specific gravity reading.
  20. Prepare priming sugar and add to bottling bucket.
  21. Transfer wort to bottling bucket and bottle.
  22. Bottle condition for approximately 30 days.
Stats and brew notes:
  • Target Original Gravity - 1.070
    • Actual Original Gravity - Forgot to measure.... :-(
  • Estimated Final Gravity - 1.015
    • Actual Final Gravity - 1.020
  • Estimated ABV - 7.2%
    • Actual ABV - 
  • Brew Day - December 29, 2011
  • Transfer to secondary fermentation - January 4, 2012 (6 days)
  • Bottling Day - January 21, 2012 (17 days)
  • Fermentation temperature (range) - 57 - 64
  • Notes:
    • After a couple of hours I checked on Primary fermentation and the airlock wasn't working.  For some reason the water level was too low.  I added more water and it was soon bubbling away.  Does not appear to be affected.
    • With this batch, unlike #6, I am going to strain it before it goes to Primary fermentation.
      • Did NOT strain as I did not buy a funnel and strainer in time.  Everything I have read so far said it will not affect taste.
    • I am going to use an ice bath plus my chiller with this batch to try and cool the wort as quickly as possible.
      • Actual cooling time - about 15 minutes.  This method worked GREAT.
    • I'm a little worried about fermentation temperatures.  I'm fermenting in the basement and the temperature has dropped lower than I wanted.  The yeast I am using prefers temps between 60-72 degrees.
    • Airlock in secondary fermentation dried up but I think I caught it in time.

The Verdict:
Popped the first bottle open on February 4th (2 weeks of bottle conditioning) and there was very little carbonation.  I agitated the bottles by turning them upside down and slightly shaking them.  After another week they were perfect in terms of carbonation.  So this beer ended up much like my last batch.  Definitely a better tasting brew minus the homebrew "twang" but a little on the sweet side.  My guess is this is due to an incomplete fermentation.  I plan to purchase a wort aeration system for my next batch.  Another issue is bitterness and aroma.  For an IPA I would have expected this one to be more hoppy both in aroma and bitterness.  Perhaps more time in the bottle will change the character of this one.

All-in-all I would say this one is a success.  Not perfect but steadily getting better.
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