I’ve been more than delighted with my extract American IPA I wrote about here so I was keen to try out another extract brew. My LHBS had Coopers Amber Malt Extract on special so I picked up a can of that and spent a week designing a beer that would use it. I settled on a 13 litre batch of a single hop American Brown Ale. I wanted to try another American hop so settled on Cascade which can be used as a bittering and flavouring hop that adds citrus notes. The recipe is as follows:
1.5KG Coopers Amber Malt Extract
0.45KG Light DME
0.05KG Bairds Pale Crystal Malt
0.10KG Bairds Chocolate Malt 1230EBC
0.05KG Brown Sugar
20g Cascade @ 60 mins 7.6%AA
20g Cascade @ 5 mins 7.6%AA
50g Cascade dry hopped after 7 days for a week
SAFALE US-05 yeast harvested from previous brew.
Brew Type: 13L Extract
I went for an easier drinking beer this time as my last two brews have be delicious but after one 750mL long neck of either I am done for the night. I was hoping this beer would go down a bit easier. I also dialed back the amount of crystal and sugar to keep it under 10% of fermentables based on recommendations I’d read on various forums.
1. Steep the light and chocolate crystal in a muslin in 66-70C water for 30 minutes.
2. Bring 9L of water in brew pot to boil.
3. Sparge crystal with 1L of 70C water (I forgot to do this and just drained the muslin) and tip into brew pot.
4. Add 1.2KG of the Amber LME to the brew pot to bring the SG up to 1.040 to maximise hop utilisation. Bring pot to rolling boil and add 20g of Cascade.
5. At 55 minutes add the other 20g of Cascade.
6. At the end of 60 minutes take pot off of boil and dissolve the remaining LME, DME, and brown sugar in brew pot mixing thoroughly to ensure it is dissolved.
7. Place pot in ice bath and bring temperature as quickly as possible down to 25C. This was accomplished in about 30 minutes.
8. At this point I took an SG reading (1.053) and tipped the contents of the brew pot into my fermentation vessel.
9. I mixed the FV trying to aerate the wort as much as possible before tipping in the contents of my harvested yeast starter. The starter was made 24 hours previously by dissolving 50 grams of DME into 500mL of cool boiled water and pitching my harvested yeast into it and allowing it to ferment.
10. Once the yeast was pitched I sealed the FV, topped off the airlock with boiled water and moved it to my temp controlled fridge with a set temp of 18.5C.
I’ve checked the FV a couple times a day and haven’t noticed any airlock activity at all. However the fridge does smell of CO2 and beer and I can see that there has been krausen in the vessel and there’s as a good layer of trub on the bottom. On day 4 (14 June 2015) I put set temp up to 20.5C. I’ll take an SG reading after a week (17 June) and if fermentation has stalled I’ll pitch a new packet of US-05 yeast. If it hasn’t stalled I’ll dry hop and 3 days after that start cold crashing.
17 June 2015
I racked off sample today (7 days in FV) and took a gravity reading. Result was 1.015 with a target of 1.013 so it looks like fermentation is done. Interesting because I never saw any airlock activity (but I smelled it in the fridge). Sample had a lot of hops in suspension. I’ve put it into a glass in the fridge to allow the hops to settle out and consumption tonight. On the nose the sample was ever so citrusy, but not much other odour.
Have fined with 1/2tsp of gelatin dissolved into 150mL of hot water and swirled gently into the fermentation vessel. At the same time I added a muslin bag containing 50 grams of Cascade hops weighed down with marbles. I’ve turned off the temperature control on the fermentation chamber (fridge) to allow it to come to ambient and the plan is to cold crash on Monday (22 June 2015) and bottle on Friday 26 June.
27 June 2015
I’d turned off the temperature control a couple days before bottling and the FV was about 10C when I started. I bulk primed with 84g of brown sugar. Total yield was 12.75L so that’s around 6.7g per litre. Yield was quite a bit higher than I expected, I had anticipated between 11.5L and 12L and was trying to prime at 7g / L as the carbonation of the last brew wasn’t as much as I would have liked. The bottling process was fine with the beer noticeably clearer than any other brews. My only observation was that the hop back was too tightly packed and I suspect I didn’t get as much of an impact from dry-hopping has I could have. Note to self, bigger bag next time. I’ve put a couple of bottles inside where it is warmer to carbonate a little sooner and will try one next weekend and report back!