In my last post I outlined the brew plan for my “Some Stunned B’yPA,” an aggressively hopped American IPA. The brew went pretty perfectly! Right now it’s bubbling away in the primary, so lets review how it got there.
First, the recipe changed a little. Most of the changes were due to OCD on my part as I tried to maximize the amount of hops I used while minimizing the number of airtight packages I had to open. Here’s how it worked out:
I switched the hops over to metric for ease of measuring. I’m also trying to switch my liquids over too, though my grain bill is going to stay in pounds simply because that’s the easiest way for me to order it right now.
Whoever said heating gallons and gallons of water on an electric stove was a pain was not joking. Most of the brew day was spent waiting for water to heat up! It, the 16L of water in the tun plus the gypsum, eventually reached my desired strike temperature 164F (73C) and, after the grain was added, it fell down to 152F (67C) and stayed there for the 60 minutes of the mash.
I drained the wort, after a vorlauf, into the boil kettle. Next, I started the two-step batch sparge. First, I added 2L of water at 168F (75C), stirred up the settled grain bed, and let it rest for 15 minutes. The idea with stirring here is to disrupt any channels in the grain bed and to prevent any pockets of trapped wort or sugars from escaping their fate.
After draining the first batch sparge runnings into the kettle, I added the second batch. This time it was 12L of 168F (75C) water. No stirring, just gentle pouring. I wanted the grain bed intact to replicate something more like a traditional (fly) sparge. Again, I let this rest for 15 minutes.
After collecting this last bit of sparge water into the boil kettle I got to wait around for a while for the whole lot of it to heat up. I took a little pre-boil measurement of the gravity which clocked in at around 1.048 @ 148F (65C). Using an temperature adjustment table for the hydrometer I figured out that this made the pre-boil gravity around 1.061. BeerSmith estimated 1.058, so thus far I was on track.
IPAs are all about the hops, so while that wort was heating up I decided to get all of my hop additions measured out.
And the rest of the additions.
Ok, so after smelling hops for way too long the pot had reached a boil and the additions began. The recipe lists has all the timings for the additions over the 90 minutes of the boil, so see that so I can spare you the details of watching a pot boil for an hour and a half.
In the last 15 minutes I added the wort chiller to sanitize it, which is also the point that I usually get around to sanitizing the carboy and the rest of the equipment with Star-San.
Now, if you remember my last batch of homebrew I lamented that my final volume was not quite where I expected it to be. Well, I figured that out! I had assumed my carboy was an imperial 5 gallon (23L) carboy, when my recipe had specified that I was making 5 gallons (US), or 19L in metric! The amount I collected last time wasn’t less than my recipe, it was just less than where I thought my 5 gallon carboy ought to be filled. So, from here on out, I promise, all volumes are in metric and carefully measured.
I guess that’s what all this blogging project is about. Trying to fix up my brewing from silly mistakes like that! Anyway, that top line is the 19L mark (5 US gallons), while the lower one is the 15L mark (4 US gallons). I just about made it to the top line this time, so everything worked out great volume-wise.
Wort chilled and in the carboy, I pitched in the yeast. The smack pack was broken the night before and it looked nice, active, and bloated. I added the yeast, popped the airlock on, and set it in the office to ferment.
As you can see, it’s really close to the 19L mark, as it should be. The measured gravity was 1.070 which was exactly where it should have been too. I had planned the recipe to be a little over-engineered to allow for poor efficiency, but it seems like this time I hit it right on the head. My total efficiency was 72% according to BeerSmith, which really isn’t that bad for an electric stove, a batch sparge, and a small apartment.
So that’s it for now. I get to put this one in a secondary when the fermentation seems to have stopped so I can dry hop it. I’m doing a first dry hop addition when I rack it over and a second one three days before I bottle. I’ve got a lot to learn about dry hopping still and I know many consider it an anathema to leave beer on dry hops for more than 3 days, but, well, I’m the type that likes to learn the hard way.
I’ll keep updating this post with the dry hopping schedule and hopefully in a month or so I’ll write up a post describing how it tastes and what I’d like to do to improve the recipe!
Stay tuned to the blog for a tasting of the Pepperrell Porter! Plus, I’m brewing (groan) up another idea for a new beer and a new line of beer experiments!
Edit: Check out this “vine” of the fermentation.