Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cicada Imperial Red Ale

First brew in the new apartment!
Long brew day today...did all of the work myself since my lovely assistant had to work today.  I got started around 9 this morning to do the mash indoors.  It was great to have the convenience and comfort of doing an indoor mash, and it seems I finally have my cooler system down.  Held that guy at 153° for an entire hour and didn't lose a single degree!  Now that is good stuff.  Instead of the usual mashout/sparge method that I do, I did a double sparge, which can be seen in this excellent YouTube video by Don Osborn (I love Don Osborn!).  This was meant to increase my system efficiency and help me to get the maximum amount of extract out of this batch, since it is a pretty high gravity beer.  Good news is that it worked, and I hit 75% efficiency, up from my usual 70%.

After collecting the runnings, I headed outside with my turkey fryer and propane tank to get the boil rolling.  It started up great, coming to a boil in about 15 minutes, so I went ahead and added my first hop addition.  For this beer, I wanted to do a 90 minute boil so that I could achieve the right bitterness levels but also get a nice subtle caramelization, since this is an amber ale after all.  About fifteen minutes in--alas!--the flame started to die down, indicating that my propane tank was just about empty.  Welp, I decided to just take the brewpot off the turkey fryer, put it in a safe place, then put the rest of my stuff in the car and drive to get a refill.  It was a quick and easy trip, and I made it back to resume the rest of today's brewing.  The rest of the boil went smoothly, and I even caught one of the many obnoxious cicadas in my boiling wort this will not affect the taste at all (in fact, Jamil Zainasheff has had black widow spiders fall into the boil on same recipe of stout...on separate occasions!), but it sure as hell gave me a catchy--and appropriately ironic--name for the beer: the Cicada Imperial Red.  It will remind me of my scant few triumphs over those nasty cicadas during this summer.  As promised, here is the recipe for this beauty of an amber ale:

Recipe Specifics (All-Grain)
Batch Size (Gal): 5
Total Grain (Lbs): 14
Anticipated OG: 1.073
Actual OG: 1.075
Anticipated SRM: 16
Anticipated IBU: 72.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70 %
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

11 lbs. Muntons English Pale Malt (2.5°L)
1 lb. Munich Malt (10°L)
1 lb. Crystal Malt (40° L)
0.5 lbs. Special 'B' Malt (140°L)
0.5 lbs. Belgian Biscuit Malt (25°L)

1.0 oz. Columbus (Pellet 13% AA) @ 90 min. (gotta use these for more than just bittering sometime...nice aroma on 'em)
1.0 oz. Falconer's Flight (Pellet 10.5% AA) @45 min.
1.0 oz. Falconer's Flight (Pellet 10.5% AA) @ 5 min.
2.0 oz. Falconer's Flight (Pellet 10.5% AA) @ 0 min/flame out
1.0 oz. Falconer's Flight (Pellet 10.5% AA) dry hop 14 days in secondary

1 tsp. Irish moss @ 15 Min.

Wyeast 1764 Rogue Pacman Yeast with an 800 mL starter made 48 hours ahead of time on a stir plate

Mash Schedule
Sacch Rest 60 min @ 153

5/29/11 Brewed by myself at Lee apartments in Nashville, TN
8/2/11 Review

Picture may not look like much, but it sure was nice to be able to do the mash in my pajamas

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