Sunday, April 20, 2014

Blackhorse Ale

My pal Tad is a veteran of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, known as the "Blackhorse Regiment." Since he's throwing my retirement party, I asked him what kind of beer I should brew for the event. He answered "porter" without hesitation. So I am cooking up five gallons of a dark brew today and it seemed fitting to call it "Blackhorse Ale."

I started with 10 pounds of 2-row malt and added a pound each of 420ºL Carafa II black malt and 28ºL CaraMunich. I had a couple of ounces of black patent left over from stout making and I tossed that in as well. I mashed with 12 quarts of liquor, striking at 180ºF and holding between 154-158ºF for an hour. It was a nice, thick mash and I tried to shoot for the higher end of the saccharification range in order to get more body in the beer and a little lower alcohol. I made only one hop addition--an ounce of Northern Brewer (α-acids 8.4%) for bittering.

I like Safale-05, the so-called American Ale variety. It seems to leave a cleaner, more neutral flavor than the Safale-04 without sacrificing any of the vigor and settling ability of the latter. The refractometer said the original gravity was 12.5ºP or 1.050 which is a bit lower than I thought I'd get, but it should make a lovely beer nonetheless.

p.s. I forgot to mention the half-pound of Victory Malt I used as well! This beer should have a nice complex malt profile as I kept the hops to about 30-35 IBUs and didn't add any for aroma or flavor.

a.d. XII Kal.Mai.

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