Since I was alone, I decided to really geek out. I did a full on step mash. I doughed in low for a protein rest, then rose slowly to 152 F where I held the mash for 60 minutes, then I rose to 168 F for 10 minutes. I'll admit it took a long time, the total mash time was 115 minutes, nearly two hours. Was it worth it? probably not. I haven't noticed a huge difference in step mashing vs single infusion mashing. But it is kinda fun, and you know with out a doubt you are getting the kind of conversion you want.
We used to always step mash, but that was because we had under modified grains to deal with. We had to.
The mash went very well. I got a lot of cleaning and bottling done during the mash. I bottled my Saison / Chardonay Blend (freaking amazing I will make it again and post the recipe soon). I bottled my Bells Two Hearted clone, for this I actually used the Mr. Beer Bottles. I figured, why not? I have them, they're easy, I have the carbonation drops. Let's give it a try. You can get a lot done during a 115 minute mash. At the end of the mash I pulled my grains and let them drain. Perfect, after draining I had 2.9 gallons of wort. I let the bag drip into another pot for a gravity sample. 1.032 (81% efficiency remember this is a session beer)
Started the 60 minute boil. But this time I added a hop stand at the end of the boil. At flame out I added my hops and moved my kettle off of the heat. Then I let it stand for 20 minutes before I started chilling. The idea behind a hop stand, or a hop burst if you prefer is that the essential oils (alpha and beta) of a hop are released into the wort, but nothing is evaporated, So you get awesome aroma and flavor compounds with out too much bitterness.
Then I chilled it and aerated the heck out of it. I can't stress enough the importance of aeration. In fact, I would say that the 3 most important things you can do to improve your beer are, pitch a healthy and adequate yeast, ferment at correct temperatures, and aerate. It got foamy. Then I pitched most of a sachet of US-05. (8 g)
|pre boil reading|
post boil was 1.032
It is Sunday morning the Krausen is already starting to form. Really loving these, small batches. The gravity came out at 1.042. My recipe calls for .5 # of cane sugar to be added at High Krausen. So that is going to boost this closer to a standard AIPA, but I need the addition to get back up to 2.25 gallons, because I took some out for a gravity reading.
Cane Sugar is 46 ppg so 23 ppg /2.25 = 10.22 so this beer is going to be about 1.054 OG... If it ferments out all the way to 1.010 it will be a 5.78 % abv beer. Not a super high abv, but certainly not a session beer either. I may just leave it, because, it was supposed to be a session-able beer after all.