Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hopstand American Red Ale & Jamil's Immersion Whirlpool Chiller

Long time no post! After moving from Portland Oregon to Broomfield Colorado it has taken some time to settle and get back to brewing again. For my first Colorado homebrew I have decided on an American Red Ale in honor of the hoppy and citrusy west coast ales I have become accustomed to. With the equivalent of nearly four ounces of hops in a hopstand for 45 minutes at 150-160 degrees Fahrenheit I am looking forward to tasting this! Back in Portland the Laurelwood Brewery serves up a delicious west coast red ale that strongly balances citrus with delicious malt. 

Laurelwood Deranger Imperial Red Ale

From the brewery:  
Deranger Imperial Red Ale
Here is the beer you've been waiting for! Organic Deranger is our renowned Imperial Red Ale. It is our Free Range Red that is made much bigger, with tons of flavor and aromatic hop additions. It is a beautiful red color with a chewy caramel malt backbone that supports the complex layers of hop flavors.
8.6% ABV / 100 IBU / O.G. 20° Plato

The thing that struck me about this beer was the soft hop presence in the brew. It claims to be 100 IBU's, but tasted more like 30-40 IBU's. So I set out to brew up something similar using my Brew In A Bag setup.

BIAB malt hanging from a cabinet door.

It has been rumored that Laurelwood used an extensive hopstand on this brew and no bittering hops. I wanted some bitterness so I decided to first wort hop with Simcoe and leave the rest of my hop additions until I had cooled the wort to 160. What I noticed was that as the temp went down on the kettle so to did the hop aroma decrease. I am hopeful that more hop aromatics are staying in solution with this lower temperature. While the hops were infusing for 45 minutes I continuously whirlpooled the 212 degree wort.

Taking inspiration from Jamil Zainasheff at his site Mr. Malty, I decided to build a similar immersion whirlpool chiller. This was its first test run and it performed well except the trub pile in the bottom was not a pile, but rather a pancake that lined the entire bottom of the kettle. Perhaps I just had so much hot and cold break in my little 7 gallon pot that it took up too much space to "pile up"? The video below is of me whirlpooling the wort near its cool pitching temperature.


Here is the recipe, it is set at 70% efficiency for a final volume of 2 gallons to ferment. I will post back with tasting notes:

American Red Ale(Flameout Additions Only)
American Amber Ale
Type: All Grain Date: 1/17/2013
Batch Size (fermenter): 2.00 gal Brewer: Orion Chandler
Boil Size: 3.29 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: My Kettle (10 Gal) - BIAB
End of Boil Volume 2.29 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 1.90 gal Est Mash Efficiency 77.0 %
Fermentation: Ale, Single Stage Taste Rating(out of 50): 30.0
Taste Notes:
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
2 lbs 15.6 oz Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 1 77.0 %
5.4 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 2 8.7 %
4.0 oz Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 3 6.5 %
2.7 oz Munich Malt - 20L (8.3 SRM) Grain 4 4.3 %
1.3 oz Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 5 2.2 %
0.8 oz Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 6 1.3 %
0.20 oz Simcoe [11.80 %] - First Wort 60.0 min Hop 7 25.9 IBUs
0.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Aroma Steep 45.0 min Hop 8 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Centennial [9.70 %] - Aroma Steep 45.0 min Hop 9 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Simcoe [11.80 %] - Aroma Steep 45.0 min Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) [35.49 ml] Yeast 11 -
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.050 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.050 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.010 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.010 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.2 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 5.2 %
Bitterness: 25.9 IBUs Calories: 165.2 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 17.9 SRM
Mash Profile
Mash Name: BIAB, Medium Body Total Grain Weight: 3 lbs 13.8 oz
Sparge Water: 0.00 gal Grain Temperature: 68.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.1 F Tun Temperature: 68.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: TRUE Mash PH: 5.20
Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Saccharification Add 14.28 qt of water at 156.9 F 152.1 F 75 min
Mash Out Heat to 168.0 F over 7 min 168.0 F 10 min
Sparge Step: Remove grains, and prepare to boil wort
Mash Notes: Brew in a bag method where the full boil volume is mashed within the boil vessel and then the grains are withdrawn at the end of the mash. No active sparging is required. This is a medium body beer profile.
Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Keg Volumes of CO2: 2.3
Pressure/Weight: 10.10 PSI Carbonation Used: Keg with 10.10 PSI
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 40.0 F Age for: 21.00 days
Fermentation: Ale, Single Stage Storage Temperature: 40.0 F
Ran grain through mill at LHBS twice.

Hopstand for 45 minutes while whirlpooling between 150-160F

Mash out at 1.036 gravity points per 3.10 gallons water
36 X 3.10g = 111.60 gravity points

Chilled to 72F and let stand for 10 minutes before slowly running off.

Pre-boil gravity reading: 111.60 Gravity Units / 2.00g = 1.056 Original gravity

Post boil chilled gravity reading: 2.30 galons X 46gravity points = 105.8 / 2 = 1.053

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Cascadian Dark Ale Tasting/Experimental Hopback Results

Cascadian dark ale

I am getting low on this batch brewed back on 11/1/2012 as it is one of my favorites I have brewed to date. Friends and family have been hounding me lately to share another one, then another one, etc... The only thing keeping this beer from being a hop blasting westcoast style ipa is the soft edge of toasty notes from the chocolate and carafa malts. I am pleasantly surprised with how much hop aroma and flavor I was able to retain by racking the wort hot into an CO2 sparged glass jar filled with hops and sealed aitright and left to cool. The jar did a great job keeping the volatile hop aromas from boiling out of solution. Best drunk early on, this is one I may enter into a competition someday as I am so very pleased with it. This recipe will be my go to standby as a baseline for cascadian dark ale, the hops may change, but the malt gives just enough toast to hint at some nice malty echo heard in the darkness of this pint.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Forget Priming Bottles, Drink Your Homebrew Sooner With a Homemade Carbonator Cap

Homebrew bottle cap with schrader valve in it.
This post will show you how to carbonate individual bottles of mead, cider, soda or homebrew beer at any residual sugar level, any carbonation level and without having to wait three extra weeks to bottle conditioning with yeast. I am not a huge fan of dry mead or cider, but I do prefer to bottle my homebrewed cider with some residual sugar leftover, so how can I leave some sugar in but carbonate in the bottle without the yeast metabolizing all of my sugar? I had written a previous post about force carbonating without a keg, but this is alot less expensive than the $20 carbonator cap at my local homebrew shop. In the past I would have to backsweeten with a juice concentrate and let the yeast add carbonation in the sealed bottle. This post will show you how by adding a schrader valve you can skip the whole bottle priming process and go straight to forced carbonation any beverage of your choice.

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