Saturday, September 30, 2006

Brew 25 -- Irish Red Ale

This brew is dedicated to Hunahpu, the All Grain Evangelist, for encouraging me via his blog to start all-grain brewing.

Yes, this is my very first all-grain brew. I learned a lot from this; perhaps the most important thing I learned is that it's easier than it sounds from the instructions.

Special notes: I was unable to get the mash temperature to 150; I got it to 145F, but by then there was so much water that it was hard to get it to budge. So, I expect that this is why my original gravity is so low (1.042). I suspect this will result in a dry, perhaps cloudy (I didn't have any idodine to check for starches. I have no idea what happened in there....!) beer. But, the next batch will be a very high-gravity Christmas beer, so it's just fine by me that this one is more of a "session" beer. (I hope I'm using that term correctly. I *think* it means that the alcohol content is low, so it's fine to quaff a few in one go.)

Also, this is my first time using Wyeast. I have to say, I do like the "smack pack"... instead of a vial, the yeast comes in a mylar like package. Inside is a pack of nutrients. You smack the package, the nutrient pack busts open, and the yeast gets jumpstarted. You can then see from the package swelling that the yeast is alive and active. The last two yeast vials I got from White Labs/ morebeer were DOA. Not their fault really---I placed the order in the summertime, and during the 5 day trip from LA I'm sure they got baked. I'll have to be more careful next time. This batch came from Northern Brewer, located in Minnesota.

Date of Brew: September 30, 2006

  • Malt Extracts
    None! It's an all-grain!
  • Grains
    9lbs 2-Row
    1lb Crystal 120L
    8oz Aromatic
    8oz Caramunich
    2oz Black Roasted
    2oz Special B
  • Hops
    1oz Magnum Hops (60 min boil)
    2oz Willamette Hops (5 min boil)
  • Water Treatments
    1 tablet Whirfloc (20 min boil)
    Oxygen, after adding to carboy

Number of Gallons in Boil: 6.5
Boil Time: 60 mins
Original Specific Gravity: 1.042
Expected Final Specific Gravity: 1.02
Expected Alcohol Content: 2.8%
Gallons in Fermenter: 5
Temperature of Wort at Pitching of Yeast: 75F
Yeast: Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale (Pkg #1517256)
Quantity: 125mL, 100B cells
Time of Pitching: 17:50

1 comment:

Hunahpu said...

Congrats. Welcome to a bigger world of brewing. All-grain is very fun, and is a never-ending learning experience.