Brew Day Impending

Posted on 07.11.08 9:25PM under All-Grain, Brewing, Extract, Hops, IPA, Stout

It has been a while since I brewed. Nearly two months, in fact. That’s just way too long. With all this working and stuff, it’s hard sometimes to muster up the energy to brew on one of your precious two days off during a long week of commuting and programming. For seven of the past eight weekends I have decided that spending time with the family was more aligned with my happiness than brewing pursuits (though I did bottle two batches one weekend).

But this weekend I have taken Monday off and it is the time for making beer.

I was going to make a huge RIS and a small Stout, along the same lines as Mindbender and Mindbreaker, but not as a partigyle with two mashes. As such I was going to need about five pounds of DME to hit my target OG of 1.100 on my RIS, since I can only mash 11 pounds of grain in a 3:1 thickness in my 5 gallon rubbermaid cooler.

So rather than make the RIS and the small Stout, I’m going to split the difference and make a normal Stout. A plain old 1.055 American Stout. Except I am going to use a late hopping technique. I am curious to see how it comes out in a malt forward Stout with 60+ SRM (i.e. it’s going to be really dark colored). And it is going to be all Willamette hops. Again, I’m curious to see how they do on their own in a Stout. Since they’re Fuggle relatives, I figure they have a place in a Stout. Plus my Willamette homegrown hops are doing great and might make some cones for me this yerar. Time will tell. Both on the taste of the Willamettes in the Stout and on the production of cones from the plant.

The second beer I’ll make will be a beer I started the idea for a while back, and has been refined to add late hopping (of course). I got a few ounces of Newport hops over the Winter, and I want to use them. All I could find about the characteristic of Newport hops is that Rogue uses them for bittering, so I’ll use them for bittering, too. In a mid-sized IPA. With an OG 1.066 and about 70 IBU, this should be a pretty good one. I’ll bitter wth Newport and use Willamette and Cascade for late hops, about an ounce every five minutes from 20 minutes on.

Both beers will be fermented with my favorite US-05 dry yeast. I will sprinkle dry on the aerated wort, rather than mess with rehydration. I will also use Potassium Metabisulfite to de-chlorinate/de-chlorimanate my mash water and sparge water, along with a bit of Chalk, Epsom Salt, and Gypsum to give me some ionic concentration in my mash water. I did the ion thing with the IPAs and I am still not convinced it really mattered, but I have the stuff, so I’ll give it another go. The Potassium Metabisulfite I think does make a difference, though, since I think that my coastal water is so treated that even the Pur filter leaves some residual chlorine-like stuff in there.

I am also mashing both a bit higher than I normally would. I have been lately mashing around 150°F, but tomorrow, I’m going for 154°F. That should give me a less fermentable wort, and increase my finishing gravity. I find that the US-05 shows a great apparent attenuation, and I get final gravities lower than BeerSmith predicts and frankly, lower than I’d like. Since my extract brew finished at 1.019, I’d like to get my all grain beer to finish at least up around 1.014 or so. The 1.008’s I’ve been getting are just a little lacking in body.

All in all, I am looking forward to it. Hopefully you will soon get a chance to brew too. Let me know – are you brewing this weekend?


Read Comments

  1. Posted by Keith Brainard on 07.13.08 9:07 PM


    Midnight Moon Stout came out at 1.050, and at 60+ SRM is monstrously black and bitter. Can’t even taste the hops in the wort sample. Practically tastes like finished beer already. I’m really looking forward to this one.

    Newport Jazz Fest IPA came out at 1.066. A little small for what I wanted, but on the bright side, that slightly increases the bitterness. Started bubbling the airlock within 12 hours, and I expect a tasty hop bomb to emerge in a few weeks.