Sunday, April 27, 2014

XXX: Retirement Pale Ale

I figured I had to have a pale ale to complement the porter for my big shindig so I brewed a nice golden today with my homegrown hops. I used an ounce of the garden-produced Cascades for bittering and added a half ounce apiece at 15 minutes remaining in the boil (for flavor) and 5 minutes left (for aroma). I think I might stick a sack of the same in the keg or the carboy as well to capture that fresh, citrusy bouquet in the finished brew. We'll see how it turns out. Ten pounds of 2-row and a pound of CaraMunich produced five gallons at 12ºP (1.048) which is just about right. Again I used the Safale-05 for a clean ferment with none of the lingering yeastiness I sometimes get from the 04 variety. Another successful brew day, plus a series sweep by the Giants!

a.d.V Kal.Mai.

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.