We were joined by a whole bunch of Mark's cousins. And it made for a fun brew day. Mark and John explaining the process, and why we were doing what we do. Great beers were sampled, and hi-jinks and shenanigans ensued.
On this brew day we were making Biermuncher's classic Centennial Blonde ale. If you have never made it, well to be honest if you have never made it, where have you been? It was the number 1 recipe on home brew talk. It is a home brew classic. Equally loved by craft beer fans, and beer muggles alike. Medium gravity (1.046 target) and low bitterness (21 ibu) make this beer a home brew classic. At my home I always have Centennial Blonde or Cream ale available for beer muggles.
Now one thing to know about brewing 10 gallons. Step mashing is usually faster than single infusion mashing. Yes, you read that correctly. Step mashing is usually faster. Why? Well use your common sense. It is much faster to heat smaller volumes of water, and it takes less time to get your mash going. The entire brew day for 11 gallons of Centennial Blonde, only took a little over 3 hours, and that included clean up.
|infusion mashing won't be|
equalized unless you stir it
to make it even out
|stir your infusions to equalize|
and to get better efficiency.
There are so many advantages to a step mash, not the least of which is the ability to manage your proteins more effectively. We breakdown long proteins into medium length proteins. What is left behind gives great head retention and great silky mouth feel. It's the way beer used to be, it's the way beer should be. Have you ever experienced a creamy meringue like head on a Belgian beer? Well, they step mash. Step mashing also gives you very complete and predictable conversion of your starches. The multiple temperatures are a more reliable methodology for conversion than just a long single infusion mash. John collected 11.5 gallons of delicious pilsner wort.
The boil was uneventful. Our 12" Banjo Burner quickly brought the 12.5 gallons to a boil. John added .6 of Centennial at 60 minutes, .6 of Centennial at 35 minutes, .6 of Cascade at 15 minutes, and .6 of Cascade at 5 minutes. That's it. It is that simple of a beer. The deliciousness of the beer has much more to do with it's simplicity. The combination of Centennial and Cascade is the key. Don't over do them. Your target is 20-22 IBUs. Do not half ass this thing into an "almost pale ale, or a "not very hoppy IPA". Although these hops work for those styles just fine, do your self a favor, and just follow Biermuncher's recipe. If you want to mess with something mess with the malt.
|step mashed wort has lots of protein break. That is a good|
thing, that is what you are trying to created. RDWHAHB
|the proteins have settled|