2 February 2008

posted by benjy edwards

The brewing cycle continued with the 16th batch of the Alpha King clone. Our friend Jonathan helped out again, and brought over some very fine stainless steel mesh to aid in clearing up the mash runoff. We didn’t use it in the batch today, but we did test it out by putting it over the false bottom in our hopback, and lautering the final mash runnings though it after collecting the wort we needed in the boil kettle. The screen filters out all but the smallest particles, and did not clog even when we put part of the mash into the hopback. I think it will be added to our system in the form of a grant between the mash tun and boil kettle.

Target gravity is 1.062 and that’s exactly what we achieved, but we did have to extend the boil by 30 minutes and add four ounces of dried malt extract to get there.  The recipe today did not use any of the hops specified in the Alpha King clone, but that is going to become more and more common as the worldwide hop shortage continues. I substituted Pacific Gem for the Magnum, Chinook for the Columbus, and Ahtanum for the Cascade, not because I don’t have any of the proper hops but because I want to clear out the older supplies.

We racked the pale ale brewed last weekend to secondary today. We could not keg the beer if we wanted to, as we’re all out of corny kegs for the moment, but since it’s not a cask beer it should have a period in secondary anyway. The gravities were 1.014 on both fermenters.

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