Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Batch 503: Session Pale Ale

Last month I was sitting in my computer chair, ready to register for the National Homebrew Competition.  I had everything I needed, my AHA number, my entries for each category and my payment information.  Then it happened, the NHC crash of 2013.  I was lucky to get registered right at the start and get one beer entered into the competition.  After that it was a hour and thirty minute fight with 503 Errors and frozen pages.

During this time I started working on a new recipe.  (Typically when I start a new recipe I open up Beersmith and find a good base recipe that I've done before, duplicate it and start rewriting it.)  Today, I was on a different computer with Beersmith but without my recipe collection, so I started from scratch.  Which was a great feeling, not to have any other recipes hovering over me.

The idea was simple, I wanted to use no crystal malts in this recipe, only base malts (yes Munich is a base malt) with some Honey malt as an added mouthfeel addition.  For the hops I started thinking about what I had in stock and what would or could work with this recipe.  I kept coming back to Cluster (I'm sure I don't need to go into detail about how much of a "Cluster fuck" this NHC registration was.) I really can't think of why.

Once the recipe was completed I started to get scared, just a little.  I brew a lot, so tossing a beer is never a big deal, but I want to avoid it as much as possible.  But I've never brewed with Cluster.  Plus the reviews are a mixed bag of every possible reaction to it.  So on brew day I backed off a little and chose to do a split batch.  Three gallons into one carboy and three gallons into another.  The mash, kettle and aroma hops would all stay the same.  For the dry hopping I would keep one with Cluster and the other with Cascade Centennial hops.  Now in theory, if the clustered beer is underwhelming I can blend it with the cascade Centennial version.  On the positive side, if they are both good I have a good side by side experiment to play with. 

Batch 503
American Pale Ale
Type: All Grain Date: 3/9/2013
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal Brewer: Chris Lewis
Boil Size: 6.34 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Lewys Tower
End of Boil Volume 5.72 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 5.50 gal Est Mash Efficiency 72.0 %
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Taste Rating(out of 50): 30.0
Taste Notes: No "tasting Notes" have been created for this recipe
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
1.00 tsp Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 1 -
6 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 57.1 %
4 lbs Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 3 38.1 %
8.0 oz Honey Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 4 4.8 %
0.50 oz Cluster [7.00 %] - Mash 60.0 min Hop 5 2.3 IBUs
0.60 oz Bravo [15.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 33.9 IBUs
1.20 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 7 -
0.50 oz Cluster [7.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 8 2.3 IBUs
1.20 oz Cluster [7.00 %] - Aroma Steep 10.0 min Hop 9 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Cluster [7.00 %] - Aroma Steep 0.0 min Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg Edinburgh Ale (White Labs #WLP028) [35.49 ml] Yeast 11 -
1.10 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Primary 3.0 days) Other 12 -
1.00 oz Cluster [7.00 %] - Dry Hop In Carboy 11 Hop 13 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Cascade Centennial [5.50 %] - Dry Hop In Carboy 12 Hop 14 0.0 IBUs
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.050 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.047 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.011 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.014 SG / 1.012 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.1 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 4.3% and 4.6%
Bitterness: 38.6 IBUs Calories:
Est Color: 7.7 SRM
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Temperature Mash, 1 Step, Full Body Total Grain Weight: 10 lbs 8.0 oz
Sparge Water: 4.32 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.20
Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Saccharification Add 13.13 qt of water at 161.4 F 150.0 F 40 min
Mash Out Heat to 168.0 F over 10 min 168.0 F 10 min
Sparge Step: Fly sparge with 4.32 gal water at 168.0 F
Mash Notes: Temperature mash for use when mashing in a brew pot over a heat source such as the stove. Use heat to maintain desired temperature during the mash.
Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Keg Volumes of CO2: 2.3
Pressure/Weight: 10.59 PSI Carbonation Used: Keg with 10.59 PSI
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 41.0 F Age for: 30.00 days
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Storage Temperature: 65.0 F
Fermentation Notes
Primary Fermentation: Pitched the yeast at 65 degreesRamping up to 70 over a week
Created with BeerSmith

Cluster Dry Hopped Batch:

This beer fermented down to 1.012 with a ABV of 4.6%  Main issue I ran into with this beer was the very active fermentationOn the 3rd day it blew the airlock off the beer and onto the floor of my fermentation chamber.  Which created a mess for me to deal with.  The second issue is my continuing hatrid of whole hops used as a dry addition.  They create such a logistical nightmare.  Also using a small 3 gallon square fermentation better bottle increased this problem.  

Centennial Dry Hopped Batch:

This beer was a breeze, I think the fermentation was a little more controlled because the level of liquid was slightly lower the the Cluster Batch.  This gave the yeast a little more headspace to work the gravity down to 1.014.  This beer while going into the mini keg had a lot more haze vs the whole hopped Cluster batch.  

They are both inside the keggor right now priming, I should have some tasting notes up later this week.



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