Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Batch #10 - Chinook/Cascade/Citra IPA (All-grain)

10 lbs. 2-Row Pale Malt
12 oz. Cara 8/Caramel Pils
8 oz. Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L
1 oz. Chinook Hops (60 minutes)
1 oz. Chinook Hops (15 minutes)
1 oz. Cascade Hops (2 minutes)
1 oz. Citra Hops (Dry Hopping)
1/2 tsp. Yeast Nutrient
1 tbsp 5.2 pH mash stabilizer
1 pkg. American Ale Yeast (Wyeast Labs #1056)
3.9 oz. Corn Sugar
8.5 gallons of drinking water.

  1. Prepare a yeast starter at least 24 hours in advance of brew day.  Decided to omit since OG is supposed to be under 1.060 which is in range of WYEAST recommendations.
  2. Clean and sanitize all equipment that will come in contact with your beer.
  3. Prepare your strike water by heating 14 quarts of water or 3.5 gallons (1.25 quarts of water per pound of grain) to a temperature of 162-170 degrees.  Aim for 169 degrees.
  4. Add about 4 quarts of your strike water to the mash tun to heat it up and begin adding your crushed grains and the remaining strike water.  Stir thoroughly to avoid dry pockets (dough balls).
  5. Once the mixture is thoroughly combined check the temperature to ensure it is approximately 152-154 degrees.  If not, adjust by adding hot or cold water.  
  6. Once your mash is at the proper temperature add pH stabilizer, stir and close the mash tun and let steep for 60 minutes.  Ughh... Forgot this step.  Added AFTER the original 60 minute mash.  No idea how/if this will affect the end product.
  7. Prepare your sparge water by heating 5 gallons of water to a temperature of 170 degrees.
  8. Optional - check for starch conversion by performing an iodine test or simply taste the mixture.  If conversion has taken place the mixture will taste sweet.  Wort was sweet to the taste.
  9. Perform vorlauf by slowly collecting the first runnings of your wort and adding them back to mash tun.    Take care to not let grain bed collapse by draining too quickly or dumping first runnings back in the mash tun with too much force.  Repeat this step 2-5 times until the runnings are free of debris and running relatively clear.
  10. Collect your first runnings into your brew pot by allowing all of the wort in your mash tun to slowly drain out.  Take your time and be careful to not let your grain bed collapse.
  11. After your mash tun has drained close the valve and add all of your sparge water to the tun and stir.  Do not worry about disturbing the grain bed as you are going to create a whole new grain bed for the second runnings.
  12. Repeat Step 9 above (vorlauf) and collect enough wort until you have about 6.5 gallons of beer or a measured pre-boil specific gravity of 1.052.  Ensure wort is cooled to obtain an accurate reading.  Did not take a pre-boil SG reading.
  13. Return your brew kettle to burner and bring wort to a vigorous boil.
  14. As soon as the beer begins to boil add 1 oz. of Chinook hops for bittering and boil for 60 minutes.
  15. With 15 minutes left in the boil add Whirfloc tablet.  Added at 10 minutes.  Geez...where's my head today!?
  16. With 15 minutes left in the boil add 1 oz. of Chinook hops.
  17. Add the wort chiller to the boil during the last 15 minutes to sterilize.
  18. During last 10 minutes of boil add 1/2 tsp. of yeast nutrient dissolved in small amount of warm water.  Added at 8 minutes - 2 minutes late..
  19. With 2 minutes left in the boil add 1 oz. of Cascade hops.
  20. Terminate boil and chill to fermentation temperature of approximately 70 degrees.
  21. Take a specific gravity reading and record.  Target SG is approximately 1.059.  Forgot to take reading.
  22. Estimated post-boil volume is 5.98 gallons.  Optional - add water to achieve target SG.  Added water to get to 6 gallons.
  23. Transfer to fermentation carboy.  Strain if desired.  Strained this batch.
  24. Optional - add water to achieve desired volume.
  25. Pitch yeast and aerate well using pure oxygen.  Aeration caused carboy to overflow.  I hope this didn't expel too much yeast.
  26. Attach blow-off tube and ferment until complete according to hydrometer readings (at least 3 weeks).
  27. Optional - Transfer to secondary fermentation carboy for clarifying.
  28. Prepare priming sugar by boiling 2 cups of drinking water and add 3.9 oz. of priming sugar.  Be careful not to scorch.  Boil for 5 minutes and add to bottling bucket.  Add wort, stir gently for 1 minute and bottle.  
Notes, Results and Lessons Learned:
  • Brew Day - June 6, 2012
  • Secondary Fermentation (for dry hopping) - June 19, 2012 (13 days in Primary)
  • Bottling Day - July 1, 2012 (12 days in Secondary)
  • OG - Forgot to measure.  :-(
  • FG - 1.010 - Seems to be a complete fermentation at this number.
  • ABV -  N/A
  • Notes - 
    • I spaced out on this batch and either missed some steps or was rushed on others.  Sanitation was thorough as always but this batch didn't "flow" as well as others.  Time will tell if I made any critical mistakes.
    • Read an article in BYO that the higher alpha acid hops are best for keeping tannins in check so the Chinook hops should be fine (12-14%) but the Cascade hops (4.5-7%) aren't the best.  Since they went in with on 2 minutes left in the boil they should be fine at just adding aroma.
    • Fermentation seems to be going well after about 12 hours.
    • Decided to move this batch to Secondary for dry hopping.  The main reason was really just to free up my larger carboy for my next batch but I was pleasantly surprised by the hydrometer reading (seems to have fully fermented) and the taste was quite nice.  This one may turn out OK after all.
The Verdict:

WOW.... Cracked open the first bottle on July 14th and was pleasantly surprised.  Very nice hop aroma and flavor.  Doesn't linger on the tongue.  Very drinkable session style brew.  Worth repeating for sure.  The only thing I would change is perhaps enclosing the hops in a mesh bag as some of the pellet remnants made their way into the bottle.  Huge difference between  all-grain and extract.

Entered this one into the Southern Brewer's Challenge on July 30th, 2012.

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