Monday, January 02, 2012

Another Hoppy Brown Ale

Another hop-bursted brown ale with different hops this time. Ah, wait...I didn't put anything in here about the first one now, did I? The previous brown ale was a little higher gravity (I used all DME instead of half dry and half liquid) and I used Michigan-grown Centennial hops along with Pacific Northwest Crystal. I brewed it December 4 and bottled and it 10 days later. It's fantastic stuff so far. I have the half the batch in the "cellar" at about 40 F and the rest split between the kitchen corner at 75 and the fridge. Despite a boil-over which resulted in some hops being lost, the final product is quite hoppy with an impressive hop aroma, especially considering I didn't steep or add any dry hops. I'm staring to think that hop-bursting is the way to go in order to impart the now classic in-your-face American hop flavor and aroma. I'll try and post more on this batch as it ages.

So that was the first batch. This time around I couldn't get enough of the Centennial hops I wanted, so used a half-ounce of Magnum at the start of the 60-minute boil and three ounces of Sterling and the remaining half-ounce of Magnum at 15 minutes left in the boil. I also split the addition of the malt extract, adding three pounds of dry at the start and the liquid 45 minutes into the boil. All the of extract was the same: Briess Pilsner. Before starting the boil, I filled the fermenter with six gallons of water combined with one crushed campden tablet to counteract the chlorine in my tap water. I let this mixture sit a minute, then I poured three gallons into the brew kettle and left three in the fermenter. My mini-mash included one pound of Victory and a half pound each of Carafa I and brown malt in bag for 15 minutes. The mash temp got a little high (160 F), but I'm not going to worry about it. What's done is done. I actually had to restart the boil when I added the second half of the malt extract. I immersed my wort chiller for the final two minuets of the boil to sanitize it, then let the beer cool for 30 minutes. I added Irish moss at 13-15 minutes left in the boil and I cooled the wort for 30 minutes, poured into the awaiting fermenter filled with the remaining water. I sprinkled one packet of S-05 yeast in a layer on top of the wort and let sit for 15 minutes in covered fermenter then mixed by agitating the fermenter bucket, added ferm lock and moved to space under counter in the corner of the kitchen. Here's to hoping this brown ale is as good or better than the previous one!

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