Saturday Mark Anthony and I got together to brew this awesome beer. We generally brew small batch at Mark Anthony's place, and today was no exception. I gave you a 5 gallon recipe, but we only brewed 3 gallons. 2.5 to 3 gallons are easily handled on most stove tops, and since Mark Anthony's stove seems to be nuclear powered, his stove makes it really easy. This was a simple straight forward brew day. Single infusion mash, no sparge, full volume, no chill... every thing easy. Jazz on the radio, soccer (football) on the television.
We began with basic water treatments. The brewing water in Kansas City is like many other cities, great for some styles, lacking for others. We treated our water with 5.2 stabilizer and because this beer is at least somewhat English in its inspiration, we did add some gypsum. We targeted a pH of 5.4. Yes, 5.4. when you are doing Full Volume BIAB you want to keep the pH a little higher. Trust me you will still get full conversion and great efficiency. It's a thin mash afterall.
|Love the color of this beer.|
Mash in went well, MAs stove quickly brought the water to strike temperature. Almost immediately the kitchen took on the aroma of bread, and toast, with the slightest hint of campfire smoke. Since we were brewing a beer inspired by literature, MA decided to ponder the mash for a moment. The mash was stirred every 15 minutes and we began tasting the mash at 45 minutes. Conversion was complete but the mash wasn't fully developed, so we rested for another 15 minutes. Sometime in that 15 minutes is when the magic happened. The bread like character of the Warminster Maris Otter came to the fore front, and the taste shifted from "really good" to "damn son"
|We bag our hops during the boil to reduce|
The boil was uneventful We added hops as indicated by the recipe, at the end of the boil we just sealed up the kettle and let it cool overnight. The next afternoon, MA transferred to the fermenter, and pitched a package of Fermentis S-04. The beer is fermenting away, and soon, the beer will be aged for a couple of weeks on toasted Oak chips.
OK so we've been a little inactive recently. Two of our team member have had babies in the past couple of months. But were back with a vengeance. You can expect lots of posts coming up. I'm brewing 2x this weekend, I will of course post about it. Even when we're not posting, I am still brewing. Ive brewed a BGSA (ridiculously good), a hoppy wheat, a Citra Saison, and a Pale in recent weeks. Increasingly, I brew 2.5 gallon batches. There is just no reason to brew 10 gallons all the time. But 1 gallon isn't enough beer for the effort. I think it can be argued that most brewers should brew more small batch. Not just for experimenting, and practice, but also because this is alcohol we are talking about. One of the hazards of our hobby is excessive consumption, and possibly alcoholism. Obviously small batch brewing doesn't solve the inherent issues of alcoholism.. but it can shift your focus from making a whole bunch of beer, to making the very best beer. It also costs less... In fact, I will be posting soon about responsible home brewing, and the easiest most affordable way to make world class beer at home. We'll be examining what is and what is not important to create world class beer at home. I will also be sharing tips for the brewing of small batches, and for the construction of a small fermentation chamber, and a kegging in 2.5 gallon kegs.