As I mentioned in my previous post, we brewed on Saturday, April 16, 2011. We used an archived recipe that we brewed originally on October 3, 2009. To date, this has been my favorite homebrew that we have brewed since we started brewing again in '09. I rated this at a 4.5 (I have yet to give any homebrew of ours a 5-star rating, just because I can always find a slight flaw) and Gary and Byron each gave it a 4 (I think it was a little stronger than they were anticipating and it went to their heads).
American Pale Ale recipe:
9 lbs US 2-Row
10 oz Crystal 60L
10 oz Crystal 40L
10 oz Crystal Special B
1/2 lb Carapils
Hops and Adjuncts:
1/2 oz Goldings @ 60 mins.
1 oz Cascade @ 15 mins.
1 Whirfloc Tablet (Irish Moss) @ 15 mins.
1/2 oz Goldings - to be dryhopped when racking to secondary
1/2 oz Cascade - to be dryhopped when racking to secondary
2 1/2 tsp Gelatin Finings - to be added 2 days before kegging
Mash 4 gal Water @ 152F 90 mins.
Boil 90 mins.
Safale US-05 Dry Yeast from starter with wort
What does all of that mean, you may ask. Well, this is an all-grain batch of brew that should mimic an American Pale Ale. The first time we made this we ended with an ABV (alcohol by volume) of 6.5%. Now that's a heady brew!
I'll go through the basic steps as well as the equipment. Firstly, you will need a large kettle or mash tun to "mash" your grains. A mash simply extracts the sugars from the grains and leaves the starches behind.
This is what our mash tun, which we also use as a brew kettle looks like:
Yes, we brewed in our garage. We were expecting some bad weather. Note how nice it is outside in this photo. More on that later.
Step one was to get the mash water to the proper temperature for the mash. We calculated the amount of water that we would need based on the number of pounds of grain in the recipe. The formula is # pounds of grain X 1.4 / 4 = # gallons of water. To heat the mash water we used a propane burner (shown above) and a floating thermometer (shown below). Once our water was to the desired temperature (155 degrees F), we added our grains.
Meanwhile, Gary (that's what we'll call the hubby) was working on sanitizing the equipment that we would need for later and making sure we had enough water in case the power went out. Note we had the TV tuned to The Weather Channel for updates.
The power started flickering and we look out to find it's hailing outside. For the record, this our second hailstorm during a brew. At least we were indoors this time!
carboy to ferment.
hydrometer. In order to find out the alcohol content of your beer, you need a starting gravity (SG) reading and a finishing gravity (FG) reading. Once you have these readings you can calculate the alcohol content (ABV) using the following formula: SG - FG x 1.347 = ABV. Our SG on this beer was 1.056.
airlock and rubber stopper. The airlock is vital to beer brewing since the two biggest enemies of good beer are air and light. Remember that the next time you drink a beer that comes in a clear bottle. The darker the bottle, the better the beer.
The party grew when our friend Trey arrived and decided beer pong was in order.
That's the process for our April APA. We hope it will taste as good, if not better than it did when we brewed it back in '09. I will post updates when we rack it into the secondary, keg it and finally enjoy it.