|Heating up the strike water|
|My ground malt and the dark grains cold steeping|
I cold steeped my grains in a 1 qt mason jar, which was an excellent vessel for this sort of thing. The only downside I found in my approach was that my water to grain ratio was way too thick and as a result of this I did not get very complete extraction. I would have needed multiple mason jars for the amount of dark grain I used. In subsequent brews with less dark grain a 1 qt mason jar has worked great, and when I use this much grain again I'll split it into 3 or so mason jars. So anyway, the day before brewday I started cold steeping. With this batch I decided that I would add the liquid from my steeping at the end of the boil, so with 10 min left I poured the contents of the jar into a fine mesh hop sack which I held above my kettle. This is the point where I realized too much of my water was still hung up in the grain and I didn't have a bit of rinsing water around. So my utilization of the dark grains was pretty low on this batch and I'll be ready for next time with a thinner dark steeping.
|My (not very dark) mash runoff|
Brew Day: 19 October 2014
Batch Size: 13.5 gallons in carboys
IBU: ~14, Tinseth formula
FG: 1.011 for the two WLP007 batches and 1.012 for the ECY18 batch
Color: about 20 SRM (I haven't really looked too closely to get an exact number yet).
10.6 lb (4.81 kg) Doehnel #24 (UK style light malt, ~1.9 L) - 63.9%
1.75 lb (790 g) Doehnel #26 (North American style light malt, ~1.9 L) - 10.5%
1.5 lb (680 g) Brown Malt - 9.0%
1.25 lb (567 g) Crystal 60 L - 7.5%
1.0 lb (454 g) British Crystal 135-160 L - 6.0%
0.375 lb (170 g) Hugh Baird Chocolate - 2.3%
0.125 lb (57 g) Weyermann Carafa II Special - 0.8%
*Note: I talk a bit about Doehnel malts in earlier posts like this one. These malts are grown and produced locally by a small maltster. The color and general style allow closest substitute malts to be chosen.
33 g Slovenian Aurora 8.0% aa boiled for 60 minutes
WLP007 Dry English and ECY018 English Mild
1 tsp Wyeast yeast nutrients
Victoria's water is very low in minerals so salt additions are basically the final concentrations.
9 g CaCl2, 5 g CaSO4 in 30qt sparge
13 g CaCl2, 7 g CaSO4 in 43 qt sparge
1 tab whirlfloc
28 g oak - a single piece which was cut from a section of an oak chain from the now defunct Okanagan Barrel Works. This oak went into the primary of one of the carboys and stayed in until the beer was bottled (11 days). I prepped it by rinsing it a couple of times with boiling water and then soaking it overnight in a mason jar full of boiling water. This definitely strips out some of the oak but I was more worried about over-oaking than under-oaking. Also I didn't want to pick anything up in a beer like this, which due to it's low hopping, low alc, and low percent of attenuation is especially susceptible to contaminant microbes.
Mash and Fermentation:
I mashed at 156 F (68.9 C) for 60 minutes. For the fermentation I pitched at 64-65 F (17.8-18.3 C) and kept it there for the first 48 hours. I raised the temp to 68 F (20 C) over the next day (the ECY18 carboy got warmer because I neglected to check the setting of my aquarium heater) and I held this temp for 2 days before letting the beers return to room temp and bottling (at day 7 for the WLP007 carboy, day 10 for the ECY18 and day 11 for WLP007 + oak). The difference in bottling times was driven by how much time I had to bottle rather than each carboy needing different amounts of time.
2016 Update: I'm long overdue in linking the tasting notes into this recipe post. Here are the tasting notes for this brew.
The WLP007 plus oak took first place in the first round (Seattle) of NHC 2015 and scored in the upper 30s in the final round but didn't place. I stored bottles in the fridge but didn't rebrew it, or rather, changed some parts of the recipe in the rebrew and the rebrew wasn't better than the original. Although there was time I didn't want to try again going back to the initial recipe (I had my fill of dark milds for a bit) so the bottles I sent were well past their prime by the time the final round came.
|My finished wort was much darker than the mash runnings due to the cold-steeped malt|