Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Screwys Recipe #61 - Screwy Pale Ale (All Grain)

I bottled up and kegged my latest batches on Friday, they were extract/steeping recipes I brewed two weeks ago to give my pipeline a quick boost. Now with the cooler weather and all day Sunday to myself I decided to brew another batch of my Screwy Pale Ale. I really wanted to get a hold of some East Coast Yeast ECY-10 or ECY-12 but Al's on vacation now and it didn't make it in his last delivery to Princeton Homebrew. So early Sunday morning I fired up the coffee pot, qBrew and starting entering my recipe's ingredient list and about 20 minutes later my recipe was done. It's basically a remake of my American IPA style using 2 Row malt, some Crystal 10L and Columbus, Centennial and Cascade hops.

Screwy Pale Ale Ingredients
I emailed my ingredient list to Joe Bair and headed over to Princeton Homebrew around lunchtime to pick them up. Luckily Joe had extra help on and my order was ready and waiting. Somedays it can get really crazy busy there and I may have to wait a bit to get the entire order put together but it never takes too long. Joe told me he would let Al Buck know I'd like to get some of his ECY-10 or ECY-12 the next time he dropped off a new supply of yeast. For this recipe I would be using Safale US-05 dry yeast again. I read on some websites where fellow brewers said the Safale US-05 is the dry form of WLP001 California Ale yeast, which Joe was out of this weekend.

A Low 152F Mash Temperature For A Drier Beer
The last batch of SPA I made last month is pretty close to the best all grain summer recipe I've made this year. I've been using 2 Row and a bit of Crystal malt in both recipes but this time I'm mashing at 152F instead of 158F to try and give the finished beer a little bit dryer finish this time. Both the ECY-12 and the Safale US-05 are medium flocculators so the there should be little if any difference in how the beer ferments but of course the final gravity readings will tell me that for sure.

I Recirculated The Wort For a Full 10 Minutes This Time
 After mashing at 152F for 60 minutes I began to recirculate the wort to make sure it was flowing into the sample cup nice and clear before I let it fill up my 20 quart boil pot. It's a pretty big stainless steel cup that holds close to 12 ounces of wort and I must have emptied it back into the top of the mash tun at least 10 or more times before transferring the wort to my boil pot. This is the longest I've spent recirculating wort, since I wasn't feeling pressured for time, I was able to try out a few new tweaks to my brewing process.

Clear Wort Flows Onto Hop Sack During First Wort Hopping
I added 1 ounce of Columbus pellet hops to the boil pot and then slowly drained the wort from the mash tun into the boil pot. I adjusted the rate of flow down until it was a bit slower than it was during the recirculation and it took slightly more than 30 minutes to fill the entire pot. During the lauter the combination of hot wort mixed with the aroma from the hops and filled the brew room and made it smell really good.

I have a window fan blowing fresh air into the brew room at one end of the brew room and an open window at the other end to exhaust the hot boil fumes and keep fresh air constantly circulating into the room. Indoor brewing allows you to brew regardless of the weather, which works out great for most folks with limited available time for brewing.

Size 5.00 gallons: Estimated IBU=65, SRM=5, OG=1.061, FG=1.015, ABV= 5.9%

I pitched rehydrated Safale US-05™ yeast into the 70F wort right after aerating it really well.

Click to download this recipe file for qBrew
10.5 pounds US 2 Row
 0.5 pound Crystal 10L

 1 ounce Columbus (pellets)
 1 ounce Centennial(pellets)
 1 ounce Cascade (pellets)
2 ounces Cascade (pellets) - Dry Hop 5 Days
11g Safale - US05 Rehydrate and pitch at 70° F

Aerate, pitch at 70° F and ferment at 68-72° F until final gravity is reached
Raise to 72° F over 2 days then rack to secondary fermenter
Cold condition secondary fermenter for 3-4 weeks at 36° F
Keg at 30 psi for 2-3 days and serve at 36° F
Mash at 152° F for 60 minutes.
Boil for 60 minutes.

I use Mr. Beer fermentors and they hold around 2.4 gallons of wort but I used all 11g of yeast that's typically packaged for 5 gallon brews.

  Click to download Screwy's latest qBrew database   

Infusion Mash: (Soak mash tun in 8 quarts of 170° F water for 20 minutes to preheat it)
Heat 21 quarts of filtered water to 165° F
Pour 14 quarts of 165° F water into mash tun
Mix in 11.0 pounds of crushed grain mix at 68° F
Pour the remaining 165° F water to fill mash tun to 4.50 gallon mark
Stir water and grain mixture and adjust to 152° F and mash for 60 minutes
Fly sparge with 168° F strike water to set mash bed to 168° F
Lauter for 30 minutes adding 18.5 quarts of sweet wort to 20 quart pot

Full Wort Boil:
Add 1 ounce Columbus hops with 60 minutes remaining to boil
Add 1 ounce Centennial hops with 20 minutes minutes remaining to boil
Add 1/4 tablet WhirlFloc with 9 minutes remaining to boil
Add 1 ounce Cascade hops with 7 minutes remaining to boil

(Optional) 2 ounces Cascade hops dry hop 5 days in secondary before bottling

Use wort chiller to cool wort to 70° F before pitching yeast.

Primary Fermentation:
Use autosiphon to prevent excess hop and grain debris from getting into fermenter
Fill the Mr. Beer fermenter with wort to just above the 8.5 quart mark
Aerate wort and pitch 11g of rehydrated Safale US-05 pitched at 70° F
Ferment to final gravity, raise to 72° F over 2 days

Secondary Fermentation:
Cold condition secondary fermenter for 3-4 weeks at 36°F

Keg and force carbonate at 30 psi for 2-3 days at 34°F
Bottle prime and carbonate at 68° for 14 to 21 days

20 Quart Boil Pot With Hop Addition
Once the boil took off I set the timer to 60 minutes and let the first hop addition boil away in the wort. The 2 Row seemed to create a lot of break material during the boil forming large pieces of coagulated proteins and tannins that I later left at the bottom of the pot when racking the wort to the fermentor.

I Kept Removing The Hot Break Every So Often
A fair amount of hotbreak also formed on top of the boiling wort. This foamy stuff is said to be bitter so I remove it before it gets a chance to sink to the bottom of the boil pot. Another good reason for brewing all grain when you have plenty of time is you get to think of and try out new ideas.

Rehydrated Safale US-05 Yeast Before Pitching

After adding in the last of the hop additions and WhirlFloc the boil completed and I used my wort cooler to get the temperature down to 70F for pitching. I rehydrated the yeast in boiled water cooled down to 90F. The yeast soaked for almost an hour before I was ready to pitch it into the wort and by this time it had cooled down to about 70F.

Racking From The 20 Quart Boil Pot To 2 Mr. Beer Fermentors
As I racked the wort from the boil pot to the fermentors it ran very clear and it had a nice light yellow color. I was able to fill both fermentors to just above the 'Q' mark while still leaving a lot of trub in the boil pot making this batch a full wort boil using first wort hopping.

Our City Water Supply Tastes Good But I Filter It For Brewing
The second fermentor did come up just a bit short of the top off mark so I added about two pints of filtered water directly to the fermentor until the top of the wort was just above the 'Q'. This extra bit of water dropped the original gravity of the second batch down a few points lower than I thought. This would have been a great batch to have added in a little DME to the recipe to give the original gravity a boost.

Cold Break Left Inside The Boil Pot After Racking To Both Primaries
As usual I whipped the wort up into a nice thick foam before pitching the rehydrated yeast and then whipped it up good again to make sure it was aerated really well before screwing on the lids and placing them inside the fermentation chamber. About 3 hours earlier I had put half a dozen frozen water bottles in the top shelf of the fermentation chamber which cooled it down to around 50F.

Freshly Pitched And Ready For Fermentation
I know that during the primary fermentation the yeast can raise the inside temperature of the fermentors 5-7F higher than when the yeast was first pitched. Having plenty of extra time for brewing and not feeling rushed for a change I figured I'd start them off cold and then let the yeast gradually raise the temperature inside the fermentors to 68-72F.

12 Hours Later A Nice Layer Of Krausen Already Formed

The next morning my theory proved right since both fermentors showed healthy signs of krausen and the digital thermometer read 68F. This meant the yeast had been given plenty of time to multiply and gradually raise the temperature inside the fermentors without causing any significant increase in lag time.

24 Hours Later Primary Fermentation was In Full Swing

Later that night I peeked in to see that the primary fermentation phase was in full swing. There was plenty of activity inside the fermentors and the krausen layer had grown significantly thicker in size. In my mind I had covered all three things under my direct control as a brewer for getting the best fermentation possible, which will also give me the best beer possible in the process.

Aerated Wort Whipped To A Foam Before And After Pitching

I used fresh, viable yeast and enough of it. I rehydrated the dry yeast in water according to the directions published by Fermentis. I made sure the pitching and fermentation temperatures were within the optimum range of the Safale US-05 yeast. I also took a lot of time aerating the wort before and after pitching the yeast to make sure I had gotten as much oxygen into solution as possible. And finally my recipe had the right levels of nutrients in it because it didn't include too many adjuncts, just barley malts and hops.

Removing Spent Grains From The Mash Tun
This coming Saturday I'll take my first hydrometer readings I'm pretty sure these two batches will be done fermenting in 5-7 days. Once they've reached final gravity I'll be weighing down my hops sacks adding an ounce of Cascades to each and dry hop them for 5-7 days. Right after that I'll bottle them and let them carbonate for another 7-14 days before taking some samples.

This Is What My July SPA Looked Like
This months SPA will come out lighter than July's SPA recipe because it uses only .5 pound of Crystal 10L instead of 1 pound of Crystal 20L. The Safale US-05 yeast produces a clean, crisp beer with low diacetyl and by getting it off to a rousing start there should be little ester production which set the stage for allowing the hop additions to shine. I plan to dry hop with Cascades for 5 days after it hits final gravity but the amounts will be determined after giving the beer a taste test.


  1. Looks nice and hoppy.
    Hey ... where did you get that clip attached to your auto-siphon? Did it come with? I need to get something like that.

  2. Hi Eric, I can't believe so many folks have asked me the same question? The clip came home with me when I bought it at Princeton Homebrew a few months back. I can't remember if Joe put it in the bag as a separate item or if it came with the auto-siphon. Either way it's still one of my best brewing purchases to date, it just makes racking so much easier.