Sunday, February 3-
It snowed several inches Saturday night before the brew making for kind of a cold, messy day, in and out of the house. Irish is brewing the Groundhog Bock this same day. A smooth brew. No major problems. Charlie and Rich joined me.
- 8 lbs British pale malt
- 14 oz roasted barley (left over from previous brew)
- 8 oz flaked barley
- 8 oz American crystal- 60L
- 2 oz Belgian chocolate malt- 350L (rounding the bill to an even 10 lbs)
- 2 oz Fuggles 5.1% alpha 60 minutes
- Wyeast Irish Ale 1084
- Started Saturday morning in 2-3 pints of malt extract
Sunday morning I prepped the brewery by getting out the propane burner, milling the grains, cleaning the kettle and measuring in 4 gallons of STL county tap water into the mash kettle.
- Single infusion mash (easy and seems to work well with the stout)
- Strike temp 168F
- Mash temp came in (a little high) at 158F
- Held for 2 hours
- Mash out at 168F for 10 minutes (12:30 pm)
Single infusion mash went quickly and easily.
- 4 gallons w/ half gallon going to foundation water
- water treated with 1/2 teaspoon acid
- 1 pm – 2 pm
- good flow from lauter tun
- All went well
- 2:30 pm
- Little over 7 gallons
- I’m used to a little more volume, which means a longer boil. We only boiled 15 minutes before adding hops. Did we leave valuable sugars behind?
- But the gravity is where I expected, so the shorter boil helped shorten our day.
- 2:45 add hops
- 3:30 add Irish moss
- 3:35 add heat-exchanger
- 3:45 pm Finish boil
Put the kettle in the snow in the front yard and ran the hose into the heat-exchanger. Dropped to room temp in half an hour or so.
Starting Gravity = 1.057
Target gravity was 1.055, so much as expected. Perhaps a little more volume of sparge water (or less boil time) is the difference.
Sample tasted perfect.
Pitched yeast starter and sealed it up in the plastic primary bucket.
The airlock bubbled slowly before going to bed on Sunday night. By Monday morning the brew was bubbling vigorously. I pulled the lid. By the time I got home from work, a thick dark brown yeast cake covered the beer. All is well.
1 week into Fermentation-
Racked beer. Gravity checks 1.022. Too high, but it still has a ways to go. Sample tasted good but green.
Kegged the beers on March 23, later than I would have liked, but I had left the CO2 tank at the farm and other commitments prevented me from getting to it.
Final Gravity stayed right at 1.022, too high, but the sample tastes great and this should be a good beer.
I enjoyed this beer through much of April and May. I left it at cellar temp and just drank it in the evenings. I don’t think Charlie or Rich every made it over to sample. It was a good batch, but not my best. It just wasn’t dry enough. Must get the yeast started sooner. I also think a nitrogen tap would smooth this beer out, but that’s a whole new project.