Beer #7 – AG American Pale Ale

2016-03-01 14.56.59

Vorlaufing in action! As I could’ve predicted, this being my 7th brew now, it’s getting a bit routine (yawnnn) and I didn’t take nearly as many pictures of the process on brew day as I have in the past. The vorlauf photo is the only one. Plus, I just wanted to brew and not fiddle around with the phone and computer. Of course, I still wrote down all the important data, you know, in case this comes out really good – so I can do it again! For this one, I wanted to get rid of some inventory, so I looked at what hops I had (lots of opened packets) and figured out what I can put together.


OG: 1.056

IBUs: 43

Color: 9.8 SRM

ABV: 6.3%






1.00 tbsp PH 5.2 Stabilizer (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 1
9 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 90.0 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt – 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 3 10.0 %
0.60 oz Centennial [10.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 4 23.6 IBUs
0.30 oz Chinook [13.00 %] – Boil 30.0 min Hop 5 11.8 IBUs
1 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 6
0.50 oz Cluster [7.00 %] – Boil 15.0 min Hop 7 6.8 IBUs
0.80 oz Cascade [5.50 %] – Boil 1.0 min Hop 8 0.7 IBUs
1.0 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) Yeast 9

Brew Day (3/1/16)

  1. Started around 1:10pm. Heated 3.15 gallons of strike water, and another ~1.5 gallons strike water to about 164F. The extra 1.5 gallons was for temp adjustment if necessary. Maybe that’s a lot.
  2. According to my cheap-ass thermometer (it’s not this one) I hit 152.1F. Target is 152!
  3. After 40 mins I took a temp reading and it was 153.1F. Weird.
  4. I heated up the amount of sparge water recommended by BeerSmith (3.8 gallons) to 168F. I fly sparged, and ran out of water before hitting my volume. Two things: I need another BIG pot so I can heat up my sparge water in it, not in 3-4 separate small pots (or just an official hot-liquor tank with thermomenter built in, valve, etc – would be nice). And next time heat up more water than BS recommends, because you can’t have too much, or add too much; BS is just telling you the estimated amount you’ll need. In any case at the end of my sparge, when I ran out of water, I had 5 gallons, and I wanted closer to 6. I had some more water heating on the stove, because mid-sparge I saw this coming, so I kind of passed that lukewarm water thru the mash at the end and got it to 6 gallons. Didn’t bother with the whole slow-pouring-don’t-interrupt-the-grainbed routine; I just went for it to get my wort volume up. It was coming out pretty light colored at that point.
  5. Rehydrated my yeast in sterilized water
  6. Boil, hop additions
  7. Fired up the wort chiller at 5:07pm. After about 20 mins, I turned it off. My awesome thermometer told me it was somewhere in the mid-70’s. So I figured by the time I poured back and forth between pot and brew bucket a few times, it would cool off. Wrong. My lesson this time was run the wort chiller longer. I ended up pitching at around 78F, but I’ll get to that later.
  8. I collected 4.75 gallons and aerated wort by pouring from pot to bucket to pot to bucket (last time I brewed I did that more times; but it got all frothy and I think it was more than necessary)
  9. Poured thru funnell into carboy. Temp readings at this point are saying around 78. By now my rehyrated yeast has been sitting around at room temp for an hour or so; it’s probably about 70F.
  10. OG is 1.056. BeerSmith estimated 1.052
  11. I waited to pitch, because I wanted the temp to get down to avoid the off-flavors, etc., but it just wasn’t happening. Did some last second searching of homebrew forums, to see how long you can really wait. Some people say it’s fine to wait as long as you were good with sanitation (otherwise something else might start in on your wort before your yeast get a chance) In any case, it made me nervous and I pitched around 6:40pm, at 78F. Last time, the same damn thing happend. WORT CHILLER – LONGER! (and a better thermometer would be nice)
  12. Cleanup. It was almost 8pm when all was said and done.

Bottling (3/17/16)

Bottled with ~4.15 oz corn sugar (approximate amount because I spilled some) trying to funnell it into an erlymyer flask on stove (not doing it that way again!). Got 44 bottles (about 4.5 gallons). FG: 1.008 (6.3% ABV). It tastes like it’ll be my best yet! Really balanced, and no detectable off-flavors. Nice taste. Can’t wait till it’s conditioned and carbed. Looking forward to this one.

Tasting (4/6/16)

As usual, this is not my first taste, but the first for the record. This is quite good. Since I first tasted it (3/29 I think; less than 2 weeks in bottles at that point) the flavors have really melded more and it’s become quite balanced. There is not much of a hop nose at all, but a nice bitterness. When I first tasted it, I thought I could distinguish some hop flavors that I didn’t love (and there’s 4 different varieties of hop in here, so not sure which, although I suspect it was the Cluster. That was one of the later addition ones, along with Cascade, and I love Cascade) But now the flavors seems to have melded and become quite nice. There’s a nice head on it too. It doesn’t have a lot of staying power, but when you first pour it, it’s nice and fluffy. I think if I poured more aggressively it would be huge. The head has a nice slightly off-white color and tastes good. I’d make this again.

Tasting (4/23/16)

I’ve been really enjoying this. It has a reddish color, and has become nice and clear. Could be because I keep them in the cool basement. Getting low on these! I still have not bottled my Saison, and this will be the first time in months that I’ll have to go buy something to drink!

2016-04-23 17.28.28 HDR-2 2016-04-23 17.27.33 HDR-2