Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pale Ale - Home for the Holidays

Good old batch B2. Well, I made the mistake of brewing two batches in one night – maybe I shouldn’t call it a mistake, since brewing two batches means twice the beer, right? I brewed this the same night I brewed the IPA (B3). The plan was to brew another Pale Ale, similar to B0. Here’s the recipe:

Brew Date: 08/15/2008
Beer Number: B2
Beer Name: Beaverdam Brewery Pale Ale
Type: American Pale Ale
Primary Fermenter: 6 ½ gal. glass carboy (39 days)
Secondary Fermenter: 5 gal. glass carboy (35 and counting)
OG: 1.047

7 lbs light malt extract
1 lb Crystal 40o malt
½ lb Cara-Pils
1 oz. Perle pellet hops (8.2% AA) @60 min
1 oz Cascade pellet hops (6.3% AA) @15 min
1 1/2 oz Cascade pellet hops (6.3% AA) @5 min
White Labs WLP001 California Ale Yeast

Step by Step Process:
Crushed grains in food processor @ 1 ½ min. per 1/3 lb.
Added grains to grain bag and steeped from tap temp. to 175 o @ 30 min.
Added extract and brought to a boil @ 25 min.
At boil, added 1 oz. Perle hops and boiled for 60 min.
Added ½ campden tablet at beginning of boil
Added 1 oz. of Cascade hops and boiled 15 min.
Added 1 ½ oz of Cascade hops and boiled 5 min.
Cooled in water bath @ 45 min.
Added 3 c. filtered cold water to fermenter to make 5 gal.
OG = 1.047
pitched yeast
Vigorous fermentation within 36 hours

- OG is very low, too much cold water added? Out of DME – couldn’t increase

First off, my original gravity is not as high as I expected. I know I only missed it by 3 points, but I never undershoot my expected OG. To make matters worse, by the time I got it cool enough to take the specific gravity reading, I had already started the IPA and used every bit of DME I had.

I also didn’t take into account how busy I would be for the next two (or three or four?) months and the lack of time I had to transfer to secondary and bottle. So on the night I bottled the IPA, I transferred this APA to secondary and decided to make it a Spiced Christmas Beer, so I dropped 4 cinnamon sticks into the secondary. I thought I’d also procure about 3 or 4 lbs. of raw honey (not the stuff in the Smokey the Bear squeeze bottles) and dump it in there along with some vanilla beans and re-start fermentation. Well, I haven’t had the time to go across town to get the vanilla beans or the honey, so right now I have a Cinnamon Pale Ale that I just don’t think would be very interesting. Maybe I can get the vanilla and honey this weekend and pitch some more yeast and get it started. I’d love to have this ready to drink by Thanksgiving. I’ll keep you updated on any progress I make with this brew.

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