Friday, December 31, 2010

Elevenses Ale

In honor of year twenty-eleven I have christened my New Year's Eve brew Elevenses Ale. "Elevenses" is British English and refers to a late-morning break for tea and biscuit that happens around eleven o'clock. According to Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma), "elevenses" was also used in the United States in the early 19th century to mean a pre-lunch dose of corn whiskey. Apparently the glut of corn (sound familiar?) led to an abundance of cheap corn whiskey and it was commonplace for workers to have a snort instead of a coffee break! It seems to me that sort of thing should be encouraged. To hell with "productivity." I think sloth and idleness should make a comeback. Unfortunately today was a busy day for yours truly--it was freezing cold (high of 24 ºF) and I had to hustle to get a batch brewed while the sun was shining. I made a thinner mash using 16 quarts of liquor for the 15 pounds of grain and after an hour at 152-154 ºF I added 12 quarts of 170 ºF sparge water and gave it all a good stir. I re-circulated 10 quarts and then ran all of it off into the kettle. I topped it up to 28 Liters and boiled for 70 minutes with one one-hour hop addition of one ounce of 9.9% whole Northern Brewer. The yield was almost 20 Liters and it registered 11.5 % Brix on the refractometer. I put it down as 1.046-47 OG. I pitched a pack of Safale-05 (formerly -56). This, I'm guessing, is the classic "American Ale" or "Chico" strain. I think I'll have a big fat glass of primo 21st-century corn whiskey (bourbon) tonight at eleven o'clock to celebrate the New Year and my new Elevenses Ale.

HAPPY 2011!!

prid. Kal. Ian.

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