13 February 2010

posted by benjy edwards

The last batch using the current culture of English Ale yeast is an IPA made primarily with Galena hops.  We could have brewed it as a single-hop beer, but given the quantity of hops needed I wanted to use some pellets to reduce the amount of whole hops in the kettle, since they do absorb wort when used in large amounts.  Total weight of hops used in the boil was 20.5 ounces.

The mash was Golden Promise, kiln amber, vienna, carapils, and wheat.  The plan was to add a pound of brown sugar in the boil, but since extract efficiency suffers at higher wort gravities, we were short on our pre-boil target gravity, since up to now we’d been brewing ales at lower original gravities.  To make up for the low pre-boil gravity I used more brown sugar than planned, and also supplemented with some corn sugar so as not to darken the IPA too much if I had used all brown sugar.

Galena whole hops and Target pellets were added at 60 minutes, and then more Galena at 45, 30, 15, 5 and 0 minutes thereafter.  The gravity was 1.067, only one point shy of our 1.068 target.  Post-boil volume was good, about 5.75 gallons in each primary, including the substantial yeast cake from prior batches.  Fermentation got off to a strong start, with one of the fermenters foaming into the airlock despite the use of anti-foam, which has not happened in quite a while.

The Snowbound Stout brewed a week ago was racked out of the primaries, half into a corny and the other half to a secondary fermenter.  Gravities were 1.029 on both, which is consistent with the last batch.  The plan is to serve half of the batch on handpump and the other 5 gallons via co2 dispense.   We have not served a milk stout through the handpump before, but at 4.5% ABV it should make a nice cask beer.

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