Sunday, June 12, 2011

Screwys Recipe #57b - Screwy Pale Ale (All Grain)

I have two batches of my Screwy Pale Ale in various stages of production now, one is just finishing up primary fermentation and the other had been moved to corny kegs a few weeks ago for conditioning. The weather was lousy this past weekend and I saw it as an opportunity to sneak in another brewday.

The only question was what was I going to brew, a nice Chocolate Barley Stout, another batch of my Screwy Noble Wheat recipe or maybe another Screwy Oktoberfest/Marzen lager. This brewing thing was really starting to get many great tasting beers, so little time.

Marris Otter, Crystal 40L, Biscuit, Magnum, Kent Golding And Cascade
I had an extra tube of White Labs WLP005 - British Ale Yeast™ in the mini refrigerator, left over from last weekend's brewday when I brewed my Screwy Pale Ale for the second time. The latest samples I took of the now nearly fermented ale tasted amazing so I decided I would be brewing it again.

Brewdays Always Start Out With Coffee And qBrew
I loaded my SPA recipe from last week into qBrew and made some changes to the grain bill cutting back on the Crystal malt and adding a shade more Biscuit malt this time. The plan is to reduce the sweetness and increase the biscuit flavor while leaving the hop schedule the same. This should produce a beer that has subtle differences when compared to last week's recipe.

Size 5.00 gallons: Estimated IBU=65, SRM=11, OG=1.062, FG=1.016, ABV= 6.0%

I pitched White Labs WLP005 - British Ale Yeast™ directly into the 70F wort right after aerating it. I soaked the tubes in One-Step™ as an extra precaution against infection.

Click to download this recipe file for qBrew 
10.0 pounds Marris Otter Malt (UK)
  0.5 pounds Crystal 40L
  0.5 pounds Biscuit Malt (Belgium)

 1 ounce Yakima Magnum (pellets)
 2 ounces Kent Golding (UK) (pellets)
 1 ounce Cascade (pellets)

 1 - White Labs WLP005 - British Ale Yeast™

Aerate, pitch at 70° F and ferment at 68° F until final gravity is reached
Raise to 70° F over 2 days and rack to secondary fermenter
Cold condition secondary fermenter for 1 week at 34° F
Keg at 30 psi for 2-3 days and serve at 34° F

Infusion Mash at 158° F for 60 minutes.
Boil for 60-90 minutes.
Ferment at 68° F (18.8 °C).

The only real changes I made in the ingredients from last week's recipe was to substitute 1.75 pounds of Crystal 60L with 0.5 pounds of Crystal 40L this time and to add another 0.25 pounds of Biscuit Malt. To keep the total grain weight at 11 pounds, the maximum I can mash in my 5 gallon mash tun, I added another pound of Marris Otter.

Hitting The 158F Mash Temperature
 I know that 11 pounds of grain when mixed in with 172F strike water to a total volume of 4.5 gallons give me a 1.25 mash thickness at 158F. This also leaves me enough room to add a small amount of cold water, or some hot water to lower or raise the mash temperature if needed.

30 Minute Lauter With First Wort Hops In One Pot
I decided to toss some hops into one of the boil pots at the start of the lauter to see if I or anyone else will be able to taste the difference between this batch and the other one without the FWH. I always boil the pot on the right first for 60 minutes and it's the first one in the fermenter. The other pot usually boils for 90 minutes because I have to wait until the first pot has cooled down enough to pitch since I only have one wort cooler.

Start Of Lauter Gravity Was 1.092
Once the wort was flowing clear I drew off a sample and cooled it down to 60F to get a reading on the gravity of the wort at the very start of the lauter. The sample tasted very sweet and it was also somewhat thick as well, it had a lot of nutty caramel grain flavor to it that was very pleasant.

Left Pot 90 Minute Boil Right Pot 60 Minute Boil
 Both pots of wort got a good hard boil and a fast cool down to remove any DMS produced quicker than it could form. I also skim off any break material I see floating on the top, I like to keep the wort as free of any unwanted grains or proteins as I can before siphoning it off into the fermenters.

The Wort Took About 20 Minutes To Cool Down To 70F
 Once the wort was cooled down to pitching temperature I used my auto siphon to move the wort to the primary fermenter. I pitched half a tube of WLP005 yeast directly into each of the Mr. Beer fermenters after briskly aerating the wort before and after pitching the yeast.

Mankind's Greatest Achievement The Auto Siphon
I view every time I move my beer as being another opportunity to clean it. Usually there is about half a quart or so of thick gooey sludge left in the bottom of the boil pot after transferring the cleaner wort to the fermenter.

Allow For Boil Off And Trub Loss When Figuring Boil Volume
When I looked at the fermentation progress 24 hours after pitching the yeast I saw that there was already a nice thick layer of krausen floating at the top and a layer of trub forming on the bottom of both fermenters.

Fermenting Away Nicely At A Steady 68F
  I could also smell the nice fruity aromas seeping out of the fermenters along with the Co2 being produced. This was a great brewday.

1.016 Final Gravity And Ready To Bottle
I took another final gravity reading today and it was spot on according to my qBrew recipe calculations. Tomorrow I plan on bottling this up into the 12 ounce Sierra Nevada glass bottles I've been stocking up on until now. I like buying the Sierra Nevada bottles because of their unique stubby shape and because they come with free beer inside them to drink.

If I can find the time in the next few days I would love to brew this same exact recipe again and pour the cooled wort right on top of the same yeast. When a brew comes out tasting exactly the way I wanted it too I hate pouring the poor yeast down the drain especially after they did such a great job.

Bottle Carbonated Sample Tasted Awesome
 I had to try a sample of this beer while I was brewing up another batch and I'm glad I did. This beer tasted good even though it's only been carbonating and conditioning in the bottle for a little under 3 weeks. I also kegged 2.5 gallons of this batch and batch primed it with the same amount of pure cane sugar I had used for the bottling bucket. Allowing the beer to naturally carbonate in the corny keg as it conditioned.

Natural Carbonation Was Done In The Corny Keg

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