Sunday, February 14, 2010

My First.

Two weeks ago I embarked on my journey to brew master. At the present time I am the furthest thing from that title, kind of like Sarah Palin and President of the United States. For my first beer I decided to go with my favorite style, the always infamous American India Pale Ale. Here is a brief run down of the extract based recipe.

  • 7 lbs of Amber Malt Extract
  • .5 lb of Crystal Malt
  • 1 lb of Biscuit Malt
  • 1 oz of Simcoe Hop Pellets @ 12.7 AA (AA stands for Alpha Acid which indicates the bitterness of the hops)
  • .25 oz of Centennial Hops @ 8.5 AA
  • 1 oz of Cascade Hops @ 7.5 AA
  • 2 tbsp of Gypsum (IPAs generally have a harder water content, Gypsum will aid with that giving a fuller bodied beer)
  • 1 tsp of Irish Moss (During the boiling process the wort will coagulate proteins which lead to a cloudy brew. These proteins are positively charged. The Irish Moss which is actually a seaweed is negatively charged. As a result this chemical reaction will help clarify the brew)
  • One Vile of WLP008, this is of course an ale yeast.

  1. It started by boiling 1.5 gallons of COLD water. During this time I steeped the crystal and biscuit malt in a grain sack. Just before the boil begins the grain sack is removed and discarded.
  2. Once the boil point is reached all 7 lbs of Amber Malt Extract are added. Now I have read on a lot of homebrewing message boards that you want add some at the start and some at the finish. I haven't read a good reason why yet.
  3. When the wort gets back to boiling the hops are added at various points. With this recipe it called for a 60 minute boil. Before this all started I did some calculations to figure out the bitterness I wanted to achieve. IPAs are generally between 40 - 60 International Bitterness Units. Considering I don't know a lot about this scale I aimed at the middle for 50 IBUs. The Simcoe were added at the start for the entire duration. I added a .25 oz of the Centennial at 30 minutes in, the last minute saw the ounce of Cascade. Hops or in this case hop pellets needed to be boiled to release their flavors. The Cascade were strictly a finishing hop to help with the aroma in the final product.
  4. Once the boil is complete the wort must be cooled quickly and then the yeast is pitched. Luckly my Dad has an Immersion Chiller, with this baby cranking it only took about ten minutes for the wort to cool. The yeast called to be pitched between 68º - 72º, just before this I took the original gravity. This gravity will help determine my alcohol content later on. My original gravity came in at 1.07, this reading maybe impossible according to some since I had so much grain. This being said I could of read it wrong, give me a break my eyes are small.
  5. Next step is sit and wait. The recipe called for one week on primary fermentation. The book I am using is rather old, waiting a week is now a days not suggested. Most home brewers recommend two or three weeks to let the yeast clean everything up.

I played the waiting game and the two weeks is up. This weekend I started secondary fermentation, got to take my second gravity reading, and finally got to taste it. Tomorrow I will talk about that process and post some videos for yinz!

1 comment:

Tommy said...

it definitely looks like beer. That's a good start.