3 March 2012

posted by benjy edwards

Today is the last brew day before a break.  The yeast has been repitched three times so far, with this being the fourth.  It could get repitched at least once more, but I have already made five batches, with today being batches six and seven, so that’s plenty of beer.  In fact, we’re running short on corny kegs to package the beer.

The beers today are Boathouse IPA and an ordinary bitter from the second runnings.  The mash tun was maxed out again, at over 39 pounds of malt, comprising domestic two-row from Great Western, some kiln amber, carapils, and Vienna.  There was no space in the mash tun for any hops, but six ounces of the Galena from Brian in Portland went into the kettle as a first wort hop.  Those were strained out at 60 minutes, with the first bittering charge of Galena added.  Chinook and Cascade were added at 45, 30, 15, and 5 minutes, with Chinook at flameout and steeped for 10 minutes before beginning the chill.  Overall, almost 2.5 pounds of hops went into the IPA.  Original gravity was 1.066, one point higher than target.  I was pleased that I hit that gravity, as it can be tricky using the refractometer while collecting the wort to estimate what the OG will be after the boil.  The OG of the bitter turned out to be 1.030, which is good for a light session ale.  It should clock in at 2.8% ABV.  Hopped with Admiral for bittering and Willamette for flavour and aroma, it should be about 45 IBU.

Friday night I sanitized four kegs, dry-hopping a pair of them with Cascade for the hoppy brown ale.  The old ale was racked into the non-hopped kegs on Saturday, and the Boathouse brown was racked onto the dry-hop.  Gravities were a touch higher than expected, the brown ale at 1.016 and the old ale down to 1.014.  Next week I will rack one fermenter of the bitter to a corny keg, with the other one going into the pin, our five gallon cask.  At 2.8% ABV, the pin can be served without the cask breather, since it will go within three or four days.  The plan is to dry hop the IPA in the fermenter after fermentation subsides, then after a week on those hops, rack to kegs with a second dry hop.  That schedule worked very well for the Double IPA brewed on New Year’s Day.

This was the third double batch day using the new 26 gallon HLT, and it proceeded without a hitch.  I think the process is as it should be, and the total time of the brew day has always been less than an hour longer than a single batch.

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