Sunday, January 12, 2014

Iceman IPA

Iceman IPA grains
It's time to brew once again
Today we brewed our 5th batch of beer, going the style of IPA. We haven't done a pale colored beer yet, so this was our chance to give it a try. Especially since one of our friends who I have been helping get into homebrew also made an IPA. So I want mine to be better. We coined the name after our favorite antagonist from one of our favorite movies: Top Gun.
Mashing in
Grains being mashed

Iceman IPA

9 lb Pale Ale Malt
2 lb Marris Otter
1.5 lb Crystal 20
0.5 lb Munich

1 oz Colombus
1 oz Amarillo
1 oz Mount Hood
2 oz Cascade

California Ale Yeast WLP001
Lots of Hops
The hops
Yeast Starter
Yeast starter worked really good this time
For 13 pounds of grain, the recommended amount of liquid is 3.25 gallons, but we decided to try using slightly more mash water and started with 3.5 gallons. I am not sure if this affected our conversion, but it is possible it did.
New Thermometer
Our new thermometer
Optimal mash temperature
Mashing time
We mashed at 65°C for 1 hour. The temperature was pretty constant through the entire mash and the wort smelled very sweet after it was over.
Filling the tun
Testing the limits of the new lauter tun
This brew was a test to see how much grain our lauter tun could manage. We soon found out that 13 pounds was about the limit to our mash size. While lautering, we noticed a leak coming from the top. Wort was leaking from the opening between the 2 buckets. This caused us to panic and open the valve to quickly lower the sparge water height. I have a feeling that our overfilling caused us to lose a significant amount of sugar. Plus opening the valve to full speed caused some grain bits to enter the kettle.
This end of the lautering worked fine...
...until the leak happened.
I should focus less at marveling at the beauty of the sparge arm and pay more attention to things that could go wrong.
With 4 different hop additions, the boil was an active period. The most surprising thing that happened was at the beginning of the boil -- the foam almost boiled over!
It was like watching the monster emerge from the beer
The boil created a lot of hot break; there were many particles floating around in the wort. It will all settle out in the fermenter, but it was still a bit shocking to see. I am not sure if those were hop particulate matter or mistakes from lautering.
I think we've gotten our cooling process down to a science
Cooling went fine with no real issues. Making the most of the waste water, I dumped it into my hydroponic garden to get it filled again. Talk about being efficient!
Garden update and bok choy planting: 1 week or 2 from now
The wort was moved to the fermenter using the autosiphon due to the large amounts of particulate matter. I think we got at least 4 gallons of beer, which should be enough for my roommate and me.

The original gravity of our brew was 1.050 after temperature correction. I believe this is lower than anticipated for several reasons. 1) Too much mash water. 2) The leak in the lauter tun lost a good deal of sweet wort, forcing us to use more water to drive in not as sweet wort. The good news is that the starter was revved up and ready to go at the time it was pitched, so this beer might be ready for secondary by the end of the week.

Yeast has been pitched
Here we go again

If this sign isn't on the fermenter, I didn't make it.
What style of beer should we make next?

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