Things worked well today. I ran 3 gallons of liquor at 170 ºF into the mash tun. Stirred in the malt--13 pounds. It was a bit lumpy, and took a bit of work to smooth it out and get an even temperature. There was just enough liquid to pool a bit on the top of the grain bed. It settled out at 148 ºF. I added 2 tsp. of gypsum. After 30 minutes, it had dropped 5 degrees. I added 2 gallons of boiling water at that point. This made the mash soupy, and it was easier to stir and mix the hot and cold spots. The mash was 156 ºF, just about perfect. After 30 minutes it had dropped 2 degrees. I re-circulated 10 quarts of runoff, collected about a gallon in the kettle, then sparged. I used 4 gallons (initial 170 ºF) and collected 6 gallons of wort. I topped up with a gallon of carbon-filtered municipal water and we started cooking. I wound up with 5 gallons at 1.065 or 16 ºP after a 70-minute boil and 4 hop additions. I used whole Perle hops, an ounce for 60 minutes, 1/2 ounce for 40 minutes, 1/2 ounce for 20 minutes, and 1/2 ounce for 10 minutes. That's about 50 IBUs, according to Dr. Bob, so I'm glad I got a pretty big beer. My brewhouse efficiency seems around 65%, so that means I'm getting approximately the equivalent of 8.5 pounds of malt extract. It looked like I was only going to have 4-1/2 gallons in the carboy, but I tipped the kettle to top it up to the 5 line. The last part was cloudy with trub. I left about a quart of sludge in the kettle. The yeast pack that was nearly a year old took a full week but it was completely swollen this morning. It was Wyeast 1187 (Ringwood Ale), and I had the 125 mL packet so I pitched it directly in the carboy. It was warm in the closet, 74 ºF, so I expect a vigorous fermentation tomorrow.
I called this brew FULL SEASON ALE because it is number 162, a full season in major league baseball. It should be ready to drink just as the regular season ends!
a.d. XV Kal. Sep.
6 days ago