Sunday, February 07, 2016

I brewed a red ale last Thursday as I said I would, but the recipe changed. This happens sometimes. I get to the homebrew shop and realize I have forgotten my notes and make it up as I go based on the ingredients I can find. In this case, I decided to go with two cans of Munton's Maris Otter liquid malt extract, along with one pound of Weyermann CaraAroma and one pound of Torrefied Wheat. I stuck with the Wyeast 1318. I did a partial mash with these grains and added one ounce of Willamette pellets for bittering along with copious amounts of homegrown Chinook hops. I added these whole hops towards the end of the boil since I was unsure of their bitterness. I added ounce ounce of the Chinooks at 5 minutes left in the boil and steeped four ounces as the wort chilled for about 35 minutes. I expect this beer to a fairly full body with a moderate to intense hop aroma and flavor without being very bitter. Active fermentation started about 72 hours after pitching the yeast. I  chilled the wort down to 77 degrees but the tap water I added to top off the fermenter was so cold that it brought the temperature of the wort down to 58 which I felt was too warm cold for the yeast. I chilled the yeast packet in my fridge for about and hour and a half and checked the temperature of the packet with my infrared thermometer it was 65, about the wort was 62 and I went ahead and pitched. It took about two days for the temperature to raise to 68. It eventually rose to 72, at which point I decided to put the fermenter in my BrewJacket to prevent the temperature from rising outside of the recommended range for the yeast. Since then, I've been impressed at how hard the fan on the immersion chiller has run to hold the temperature at 72. My guess is that yeast is very active and generating a lot of heat.