Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Batch #11 - T-Monkey Brown Ale (All-grain)

This brew is an Americanized version of a typical Brown Ale brewed in Northern England.  The specialty malts impart a toasty flavor and a mild nutty flavor.  This beer, while dark in color, is a low-bitter and easy drinking home brew with a slightly higher alcohol content than is UK counterpart.

  • 10 lbs. of Domestic 2-row Pale Malt
  • 12 oz. Caramel/Crystal Malt 80L
  • 4 oz. Chocolate Malt
  • 4 oz. Special B Malt
  • 1 oz. Cascade Hops (60 minutes)
  • 1 oz. Fuggles Hops (2 minutes)
  • 1 tbsp. PH 5.2 Mash Stabilizer
  • 1 Whirfloc Tablet for clarification
  • 1/2 tsp. Yeast Nutrient
  • 1 pkg. London Ale Yeast (Wyeast Labs #1028)
  • 3.6 oz. Corn Sugar
  • 8.5 Gallons of Water
  • 20 lb. Bag of Ice
Process (for all-grain batch sparging):
  1. Optional - Prepare a yeast starter at least 24 hours in advance of brew day.
  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 ( or approximately 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.
  7. Prepare your sparge water by heating 5.75 gallons of water (1/2 gallon of water per pound of grain) 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.
  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 1.054.  Ensure wort is cooled to obtain an accurate 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 Cascade hops for bittering and boil for 60 minutes.
  15. With 15 minutes left in the boil add Whirfloc tablet and wort chiller (to sanitize).
  16. During last 10 minutes of boil add 1/2 tsp. of yeast nutrient dissolved in small amount of warm water. 
  17. With 2 minutes left in the boil add 1 oz. of Fuggles hops.
  18. Terminate boil and chill to fermentation temperature of approximately 70 degrees.
  19. Take a specific gravity reading and record.
  20. Estimated post-boil volume is 5.98 gallons.  Optional - add water to achieve target SG.
  21. Transfer to fermentation carboy by siphon.  Strain if desired.
  22. Optional - add water to achieve desired volume.
  23. Pitch yeast and aerate well using pure oxygen.
  24. Attach blow-off tube and ferment until complete according to hydrometer readings (at least 3 weeks).
  25. Optional - Transfer to secondary fermentation carboy for clarifying and/or dry hopping.
  26. 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 - Sunday, June 24, 2012
  • Bottling Day - Tuesday, July 17, 2012
  • OG - 1.054
  • FG - 1.010
  • ABV -  5.8%
  • Notes - Did a taste test prior to bottling and it was quite nice.  Looking forward to the end result.
The Verdict:
  • Opened a bottle after 13 days of bottle conditioning.  Tasted very nice but still needs a little more time to carbonate.

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