Sunday, April 17, 2016

Another dIPA Brew Day...

Saturday,  the gang gathered to brew another dIPA.   (see previous post).   Today we were using up the amazing hops sent to us by the good people at BSG, and all Cargill Malts.    If you have never used Cargill malts,   you really should give them a try. (although, you probably already have and didn't know it, Cargill brings you Dingeman's, Warminster, and Gambrinus Malts)  We get consistently great quality, and excellent extraction from Cargill.    Today's brew featured Cargill Pale Two Row,  Acidulated, Carapils, and C80.   Yes I realize C80 wasn't on the previous post.  We decided the color was too light so we added C80.

Jake's mom dropped by, and brought us a "todd the ax man"
Damned fine beer.
Today's brew was a no sparge brew in a bag in a cooler.   This has become our standard brewing method as a team.   It is true that you get slightly lower efficiency from this method.   But only slightly.   Your crush is what really influences your efficiency.  Today we got 75.96% efficiency.  When we do pure BIAB with a sparge rinse we generally get about 10 points higher.   But the brew days also last at least an hour longer.   I personally am just fine with our efficiency.  Too many home brewers are focused on efficiency, as if it is the goal of home brewing.   " Well you may have won a bunch of awards, and make world class beer but...(sniff, puff chest out)  I get 92% efficiency..."   My response, as always, is..."Dude Brah...I don't care, all I care about is flavor".  If I had to drop to 50% efficiency to make the flavor I wanted, I'd do it in a heart beat.   Although that would be really hard with Cargill malts, they extract so very well.

Crush your grains fine.  It will increase efficiency.
Listen to me people.  I am going to say it again.   There is more going on in the mash than the extraction of sugars.   There are so many flavor components happening due to the mash.   A little more grain is probably a really good thing.  Although this is strictly empirical observation, it is my belief that I get a maltier, bready-er, nuttier, flavor from efficiency around 75%.

Our crush is fine.  We set the mill to the thickness of a credit card.  There are no un broken grains, and many of the husks are torn.   "What?  that is heresy.  You can't shred the husks, you'll make tannins. "    No, no you won't.  Not if your water pH is appropriate,  5.2 to 6.0   you are just fine.   We even decoct with our crush, and never have issues with tannins.

We stir, check pH, check gravity, and taste ever 15 minutes.
We stir, check pH,  check the gravity, and check the temperature every 15 minutes.  We record the information in our brew log.   We were at 1.058 with in 30 minutes, which was our target mash gravity.   But, and this is a big but,  we kept going until we reached the magical taste that we were looking for.   How do you know when you have "the taste"?   Simple,  TASTE YOUR MASH, it will change how you brew.    We produced 6.6 gallons of wort, at 1.062 OG.  Lautering was easy,  we drained into the boil kettle, gave the bag a good squeeze, and proceeded to the boil.

The 210,000 BTU beast on what is left of my old 3 vessel
stand.  Can't believe there used to be one even higher...
Now, we have to talk about the boil, the chill, hop additions, and post boil gravity checks.   With my 210,000 BTU burner we get to a boil in under 15 minutes.  If we collared the stand we would get there even quicker, so expect that project in the future.   Just before the boil, I added the Nugget Hops, 2 ounces.   Centennial was next at 30 minutes, .8 ounces.  The idea of the Centennial was just to make sure there wasn't a hole in the middle of the beer.   We did use a bag for the hops this time.  All of the other hop additions were at flame out or dry hop.   At 10 minutes we put in yeast nutrient, and our Jaded Hydra Chiller.   The Jaded Hydra is the king of immersion wort chillers.  At the end of the boil we added 2.5 ounces of Mosaic,  1 ounce of Cascade, and 1 ounce of Galaxy.   Were hoping for a citrusy, juicy hop bomb.  That is what all calculators, including point to.

After 30 minutes our temperature
went up 1 degree?  Not really,
it just means we stirred out a
hot spot in the mash!
The chill was staggeringly fast.  We took our 5.5 Gallons of wort from 210 F to 68 F in under 5 minutes.   Yes, under 5 minutes.   If you are in the market for a wort chiller,  get a Jaded Hydra.  We'll post videos soon of the chilling.   It is truly amazing.  When you are checking the post boil OG of a hop monster I have a word of advice for you.  Have a sanitized thief, or sanitized turkey baster ready to go.   Hop monsters have so much hop oil in them that they can, and do throw off the gravity readings.   Do not argue this point with me, it is no supposition, it is fact.  Oil is lighter than water, and way lighter than a 1.078 OG beer. To get our final gravity, we had to get several inches down into the wort.   We got 1.078.  So we were a little high.  But not terrible.  We have seen this phenomenon over and over again with dIPAs.   So just be prepared.  Go deep young man!

Earlier in the day, John had made a brew day starter.  Another favorite technique.  Think of it as rehydration on steriods.   He makes a 1.035 wort, and in this case pitched 2 packs of yeast into it (04 and 05)  He does this before the brew day begins, so the yeast has all day to get going and ready.  We see activity quickly,  as quickly as with liquid yeast.   The yeast experience less shock when they go into the actual wort.   Good technique give it a try.

Over all an awesome brew day.  And what should be another hop monster.  We still have to dry hop with Citra, and Mosaic.  But already the flavor is extraordinary. We also tasted HOPTONITE, should be amazing.  And we made some corrections to the hops flavor and aroma of Pliny the Petulant. It just isn't quite "pliny" enough.   Mark Anthony brought a flight of Smokestack Series Boulevard Stouts. The 2014 Aztec Stout was flipping amazing.   That is part of the fun of a brew day.  Tasting amazing beer.

That is all for now sports fans.  Prost!


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  2. Thanks Logan, I'm glad you enjoy it. We have a lot of fun doing it. If you ever have any questions feel free to ask, if we don't know the answer there is every likelihood that one of our awesome sponsors does.