Saturday, October 12, 2013

X Opus X, Session American Black Ale

Capping the mash with Black Malts

When I hear someone talking about a particular hop or style of beer, my mind starts spinning about it.  So much so, that the recipe just seems to fall into place.  Recipe formulation is starting to become my favorite aspect of brewing.  Spending hours on grain styles, hops and yeast combinations.  This is what happened on this beer.  Hours of mental formulation coming together in a beer which I'm having a hard time defining.  Really, it's just a Pale Ale with Black Malts added on top of the mash.  Coming in around 4.2%, hopped like an American IPA.  Where does that put me?  Is it a Black IPA?  Not by the current definition.  Plus the ABV is to low.  What about a Session Pale?  Well its black without the typical black maltyness attributes.  Then going by a Session Black American Ale is good enough until the BJCP updates their outdated style guidelines.

It all started with Mosaic hops, the newer HBC varietal which is taking the Craftbeer community by storm.  Kinda like Citra did back in 2009, (yet it's more crowed and harder to get, with most of the breweries making subpar beer.) The name Mosaic comes from the directly from the hops.  Giving a blanket of different flavors, depending on which other hops it's paired with.  Pushing the complementary flavors of the things around it, yet adding in beautiful flavors.  Resulting in blueberry, citrus, pine, bubblegum and pepper hints.  Thinking about what these hops can do I wanted to pair them with Centennial.  My all time favorite hop.  Which produces a beautiful Blueberry and citrus flavor in its own right.

Taking my typical approach on Pale Ales with the malt bill, giving Two Row a large percentage of the grain.  But also bringing in a German Pilsner for a crisper beer flavor.  I've found adding a small 4-8% of wheat really helps with the clarity of the beer (I know, its black) but something about it really helps the beer clear around the third week on tap.  For the color I wanted to mix in the Blackprincz and Black Patent Malt at the end of the mash cycle. Calling it "Topping the Mash" but after a fun debate on twitter I settled with "Capping the Mash" as a term recommended by Ed.  Now this is not something new to homebrewers, it's been done for years to impart color only into the beer. (If there is a correct name for it, please let me know in the comments) The correctly Cap your mash, finish your rest and add the dark grains on top of your mash bed.  Mixing if you like, only impacting color into the beer.  That's what I did, mixing it in during the sparge.  The color change was instant.  Now I did use a 50/50 mixture of Black Princz and Black Patient, which if I was only looking for color it's a bad idea.  Black Patient malt adds a astringency commonly found in Porters, but with the small contact time I am hoping for just a tickle of flavor adding some complexity to the beer. 

The beer should be on tap next weekend.

X Opus X
Session American Black Ale or IPA
Type: All Grain Date: 10/5/2013
Batch Size (fermenter): 6.00 gal Brewer: Chris Lewis
Boil Size: 6.86 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Lewys Tower
End of Boil Volume 6.24 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 6.00 gal Est Mash Efficiency 75.0 %
Fermentation: My Aging Profile Taste Rating(out of 50): TBA
Taste Notes: No "Tasting Notes" have been created for this recipe yet.
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
7 lbs 8.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 61.7 %
2 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 16.5 %
14.4 oz Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM) Grain 3 7.4 %
12.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 4 6.2 %
8.0 oz Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 5 4.1 %
8.0 oz Black Princz (525.0 SRM) Grain 6 4.1 %
0.70 oz Summit [17.00 %] - First Wort 60.0 min Hop 7 42.2 IBUs
1.20 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 8 -
0.60 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] - Aroma Steep 0.0 min Hop 9 0.0 IBUs
0.40 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Aroma Steep 0.0 min Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg California Ale (#WLP001) [3rd Generation/Washed] Yeast 11 -
0.60 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] - Dry Hop 6.0 Days Hop 12 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Dry Hop 6.0 Days Hop 13 0.0 IBUs
0.80 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Days Hop 14 0.0 IBUs
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.050 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.045 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.016 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.012 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.5 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 4.3 %
Bitterness: 42.2 IBUs Calories: 149 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 33.0 SRM
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 12 lbs 2.4 oz
Sparge Water: 4.52 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
Mash In Add 15.19 qt of water at 171.7 F 159.0 F 60 min
Sparge Step: Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun, , 4.52gal) of 168.0 F water
Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Keg Volumes of CO2: 2.4
Pressure/Weight: 11.69 PSI Carbonation Used: Keg with 11.69 PSI
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 41.0 F Age for: 12.00 days
Fermentation: My Aging Profile Storage Temperature: 42.0 F
Fermentation Notes
Primary Fermentation: The washed yeast was pitched at 64 degrees and held for 3 days.  Then 66 for 3 days.  At day 7, the beer was bumped to 70, held for 2 days and capped at 73.
Created with BeerSmith

1 comment:

Thanks for Commenting, Prost!