March 26, 2016: Amber Ale v. 2.0

Back to beer! After reliving Abby’s (the RV) mechanical breakdown issues in couple of posts we decided that we needed a drink. So it seemed logical to post about our Amber Ale, version 2.0. The grain bill on this recipe is the same as what our previous amber ale brews, with increased hops, single temperature mash, and a new yeast strain.

Stats:

  • Starting gravity: 1.055
  • Final gravity: 1.007
  • Approximate %ABV: 6.3
  • Approximate IBUs: 100

Grain bill:

  • All grains Great Western Malting and purchased through More Beer.
  • 10 lbs 2 row domestic (#46080)
  • 1 lb 2 row pale (#45958)
  • 1 lb crystal 75L (#45744)

Hops (Pellet):

  • 2 oz Magnum 12.4% alpha acids (#45958)
  • 2 oz Amarillo 8.2% alpha acids (#46117)
  • 2 oz Cascade 6.8% alpha acids (#46014)

Yeast:

  • Wyeast 1450 Denny’s Favorite 50 (#0742020, mfg 1/20/2016)

Water:

  • pH of water was determined to be 8.2; 57 g of gypsum was added to 47L of water in the hot liquor tank which decreased the pH to 7.7

Procedure: Yeast was propagated in 1 L of media (0.5 c DME in 1L/~1qt water, boiled) in a 3L flask with stir bar that had been sanitized with boiling water. Media was inoculated from Wyeast Smack Pack. Propagation culture was grown at room temperature with stirring for 72 hours and was then transferred to a 4 degree Celsius for 24 hours.

Strike temperature was 74 degrees Celsius. A ~2:1 water to grist ratio was achieved with 11.5 liters of water. Mash in temperature was 63.3 degrees Celsius, 2 degrees below target. Mash out was conducted at 76 degrees Celsius. Mash was fly sparged at 79 degree Celsius until the volume of sweet wort in the boil kettle was approximately 8 gallons. Hydrometer reading of the last wort remaining in the mash tun was 5.0 Brix.

Sweet wort was brought to a vigorous boil. Magnum hops were added at 60 minutes, Amarillo hops added at 5 minutes with 1/2 tablet Whirlfloc, and the Cascade hops we added at heat off. After the trub settled, the hopped wort was cooled to 20 degrees Celsius with a counter-flow plate chiller with a recirculating ice/water slurry. Cooled wort was aerated with 90 seconds of oxygen through a sinter. Liquid was decanted off the top of the settle yeast, and the yeast slurry was pitched into the Speidel fermenter and left to ferment at room temperature.

Primary fermentation was complete after 72 hours and the diacetyl rest was allowed to proceed for 24 hours. The green beer was then transferred to secondary fermenter and allowed to stand at room temperature for 72 hours. The fermenter was then transferred to -1 degree Celsius for 6 days prior to kegging.

The amber ale was transferred to 1/3 keg and pressurized to 30 psi. The keg was placed on its side and rolled for approximately 2 minutes. The keg was then pressurized to 30 psi again and rolled for 5 minutes. The keg was pressurized once more to 30 psi and placed in the kegerator. We hope to have tasting notes in the next 24 to 48 hours.

Comments:

  • We whirlpooled twice. We did not double check the position of the boil kettle outlet, and had to turn the kettle to prevent the hoses from pinching. In turning the kettle, we disturbed the trub and had to repeat the whirlpool. This may result in a DMS problem in our beer.
  • Fermentation was conducted at room temperature because the incubator was occupied by the Belgian Blonde and Vanilla Bourbon Imperial Porter being cold crashed.
  • Vigorous fermentation was observed, complete attenuation reached in 72 hours. We did a much better job collecting well spaced hydrometer readings to determine gravity. For our next batch we will also take pH readings to track the fermentation progress. More DATA!

    Fermentation_AmberAle2
    Graph of Amber Ale, version 2.0 specific gravity over the course of fermentation.
  • We discovered that our freezer became unplugged during the cold crash. We don’t know when, the fermenter did feel cold to the touch.
  • IBU values are higher than anticipated. Unfortunately, we do not have the equipment to perform an accurate assessment. We will have to determine during tasting if we decrease our hop additions.
  • The microscope is a fun tool. The picture below is yeast at 6 hours post pitching. The yeast looked happy. Happy yeast makes good beer.
WY1450_20160326
Yeast from our Amber Ale version 2.0, 6 hours post pitching.

One thought on “March 26, 2016: Amber Ale v. 2.0”

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