Saturday, February 4, 2012

Jameson's American Amber Ale

HLT connected to the MLT via 1/2" tubing.
HLT on a 55,000 BTU burner (and a ugly setup) 
EDIT: I'm working on fixing layout issues.....
Liveblog - Jameson's Amber Ale - Brewing to start @ Noon

For today's brew, I'll be making a 5 Gallon All-Grain Amber ale.  

Jameson's American Amber Ale

8 Lbs Organic Gambrinus Pale Ale Malt (2.0 SRM)
1 Lbs Organic Briess Munich Malt (10 SRM)
1/2 Lbs Organic Briess Caramel 60L (60 SRM)
1/2 Lbs Organic Briess Caramel 120L (120 SRM)
1/2 Oz. Ivanhoe Pellet Hops (7.6% AAU, 15.7IBU @ 60min boil)
1/2 Oz Pilgrim Pellet Hops (10.2% AAU, 12.2 IBU @ 20min boil)
3/4 Oz New Zealand Saaz (Motueka) Whole Hpos (8.3 AAU, 3.1 IBU @ 5 min)


Sparge Type: Batch

15 Gal Polarware Brew Pot (Hot Liquid tun- HLT) -  For a 5 Gal batch, a 7 Gal brew pot is sufficient
55,000 BTU KingKooker -  outdoor propane cooking element
Quick Probe Thermometer
Test Tube
Refractometer (not needed, but I like toys)
Homemade Wort Chiller
Inside the MLT.  Note hidden below the grain bed lives a SS braid that is connected to the installed valve on the bottom.  The top SS braid is useless as water takes the path of least resistance, so it does not evenly distribute liquid over the grain bed.  This, along with he rectangular shape is the reason for doing a batch sparge over a fly sparge.  We'll get poor efficiency using a fly sparge.
Projected Values @ 72% Efficiency:
OG: 1.052
FG: 1.013
ABV: 4.9%
IBU: 31
Color: 13.4 SRM

Awaiting Strike temperature.  Mash looks a little thin,
 but it will be OK

1. Heat 15Qt Water to 171F
2. Mix Heated H20 with Grain in MLT - Mix in 1/3 of H20 and grits at a time
3.  Allow 10 min for temp to adjust
4. Temp should be at 155-157F
      a. If too hot add cold H20
      b. If too cool, add hot\boiled H20
5. Once desired temp is reached, allow to sit for 50min AKA "Mash" step.  Desired"Strike" temp is 154F for this brew.  Higher temp (higher 150s) will result in a fuller body beer "malty".
6. During the mash step, heat 3.5 Gal H20 to 169F
Once strike temp is achieved, close and wait.

7. Begin "Batch Sparge"
    a. Drain all liquid from MLT - Collect the first 1/2-1Gal of liquid and carefully pour back on grain bed - try not to disrupt the grain bed.  Do this until your runnings are clear of any grain.  This helps set the grain bed.
    b.Once fully drained, add 1/2 of the spare liquid to the MLT (3.5/2 =1.75 GAL)
    c. Stir the grain bed to "knock off" converted surgars from the grain
    d. Repeat step a of the mash (drain and recirculate)
    e. Repeat with final 1.75 Gal sparge H20
First runnings, to be re-circulated into the MLT
8. After sparge completion,  we re looking to have collected 5.5-6 Gal of liquid wort
9. Boil!
   a. Begin boiling collected wort
   b. Once a rolling boil begins (the more rolling, the better hop oil utilization!) add 1st addition of hops (1/2 oz pilgrim)
   c. After 40 min of boil, add 1/2 oz Ivanhoe Hops
   d. After another 15 min (55 min total of boiling hops) add 3/4 oz. New Zealand Saaz hops
   e. Boil for 5 min more minutes (total boil time is 60 min)
10.  Cool off boiled wort to 65F (Ice bath, chiller counterflow, manifold...) - I'll be using a home made copper chiller made of a cheap length of copper tubing attached to a garden hose.  Approx cool time is 1hr
11. Move cooled liquid to fermenter
12. Introduce oxygen (you boiled it out!) by shaking or stirring you wort - try to do this as sanitary as possible.  You will be introducing wild yeast in as well, but hopefully you're yeast is nice and active
13. Pitch you yeast
14. Seal up with an air lock\blow off tube
Liquid For Collection, transfer to HLT
for the boil. Mouthwatering color
15. Now  it's the waiting game!  Approx 1 week to transfer into a secondary fermenter, another week until bottling, and another 2-4 weeks of aging.

12:54 PM
I heated 5.5 Gal of water to 176F.  I then mixed my grain and about 4 Gal of the heated H2O.  After about ten minutes, the temperature of the mash was at 153F. I also added 1 Pint of cold tap water (probably unnecessary I thought my temp was too high and didn't wait.  Remember, relax, don't worry have a. homebrew I did not),   Looking good though- missed the strike temp, but not by much. The mash is a bit thinner than I wanted, but it'll be OK (these are things to improve on!).  Now we wait 50 minutes for starch conversion!

1:45 PM
I heated about 5 Gal of water to 179F.  While I heated the water, I drained all liquid at a out of my MLT by doing the following:
1. Begin draining liquid at a slow pace by opening the valve on MLT.  I have a 1/2" hot water transfer tube attached to the 1/2" barb on my MLT.  The other end of the tube is in a food grade plastic bucket for collecting my drainings.
2. The first 1/2 Gal or so was re-introduced to the MLT.  This was done with a slowly as to not upset the grain bed.  This was done until the drainings were clear of particles.
3. Slowly drain all liquid from the MLT
4. Add heated water from the MLT until the grains are covered
5. Repeat steps 2-3
6. Repeat again 4-5

I ended up with about 6 Gal of liquid.  I put this in my HLT and put it back on my burner.  Time to boil! I cranked up the heat and got it to a rolling boil (it almost boiled over!) by 2:25 and added my first hops, 1/2 oz of Organic California Ivanhoe pellet hops.

OHH yeah, I forgot to mention, I have already taken my Wyeast activator out of the fridge, and popped the nutrient packet.  

The Boil! 

3:05 PM
Hop addition #2 - 1/2oz Pilgrim pellet hops.  Also begin cleanup of MLT (I should have done this earlier, but I was being lazy.  The longer it sits, the harder it is to clean).  Place chiller in pot.

Hop Addition #3 - 1oz New Zealand Saaz Whole hops

3:25 Cooling
Shut off the propane tank and start a trickle of water through my chiller.  Cool wort to approx 65F.  Keep covered.  Everything must be 100% sanitary from here.  I turned up the flow on the chiller to get cooler water to use to fill up a bucket for sanitizing solution (I use iodine).  Also fill up my carbouy with water and santizing solution.   Allow to sit for a few minutes and pour out.  Once cooled to 65F, transfer into carbouy/fermenter.  Shake vigorously to dissolve oxygen.  Oxygen is removed from the wort during boiling.  It is crucial to have sufficient dissolved oxygen for the beginning cycles of yeast.  After the yeast has consumed all the oxygen in the wort over the first few days, it will no longer need any oxygen.

Final Numbers:
Mesured Gravity (OG): 1.052
Target Gravity: 1.502
Target Volume: 5 Gal
Actual Volume: 5 Gal
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.013*
Calculated Mash Efficiency: 80.5%*
Target Efficiency: 72%
Calculated IBUs: 31*
Est. ABV: 5.1%

By morning, the brew has a nice thick krausen (foamy head) and the airlock is bubbling once a second or so.  Looks like a healthy, happy colony of yeast.!

*Calculated with BeerSmith Pro 2.  There will be future posts on how these numbers are calculated, as well as using brewing software to track your brewing process.  

Heating Water for the mash

Getting close to our strike temp

Heating our sparge water up to 168

The sparge!  Liquid is draining out the MLT, while the next
batch of hot water waits in the HLT

Pushin' it to a boil.  I've taken the cooker off my table system
as I no longer need it up so high.
MLT after mash and sparge.  You can see the bottom
SS braid poking through the grain bed

Mash temp after about 10 minutes - reading in the high 150s

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