(25) Saturday, July 9, 2011 Brew Day – BVBHA1.3

Today is the house ale again. The only variation is that I am using up 2 pounds of golden promise by substituting out an equal weight of the maris otter.

6:07 Gas is on.

6:35 Yeast is out and smacked. All three have June 21 manufacturing dates. Mr. Malty says they have 84% viability. That gives me 252B cells. Threshold is 227B (76% viability).

6:38 Strike water is up to 178 °F in the boil kettle. That is what I decided it should be last time. I am transferring it to the mash.

6:45 Strike water transfer is complete. Temperature in the mash tun is 169 °F. I was looking for 167 °F. I am going to stir it with my stainless steel spoon to drop the temperature.

6:53 The grist is in the mash along with the mash salts. The initial mash temperature was 156 °F, which is the target. I will check again in 10 minutes, but I am saying that the mash started at 6:53.

7:03 The mash stabilized at about 155 °F.

7:53 Mash temperature is 154 °F. Mash occupies about 6½ gallons in the tun.

7:56 Three vorlauf rounds to clear (it is nice and clear) and we are lautering. Boil salts are in the kettle. Sparge water is 178 °F.

8:04 Lauter is complete. Volume is 3½ gallons plus a cup. Heating first runnings. I am taking a hydrometer sample of the first runnings. The reading is 1.060 at 115 °F, calibrated at 60 °F. Gravity of the first runnings is 1.069 SG.

8:08 Adding sparge water.

8:18 Vorlauf and drain sparge. Second runnings read 1.012 at 150 °F. Gravity of the second runnings is 1.031 SG.

8:27 Second runnings are in the boil kettle. Volume is 7⅛ gallons. Heating to boil. I stirred and took a hydrometer sample of the boil wort. The reading is 1.046 at 93 °F, calibrated at 60 °F. Gravity of the boil is 1.051 SG. Target is 1.052.

8:40 Boiling. I’m just keeping it from boiling over.

8:44 Hot break subsided. Adding 60 minute hops to hop bag at 8:45.

9:16 Hot liquor tank and mash tun are clean. Carboy is sanitized.

9:30 Flavor hops are in, as are the Irish moss, the yeast nutrient, and the wort chiller.

Two things to thing about for future brew days:

  1. Jamil-style immersion whirlpool chiller
  2. Hop bag holder

9:45 Aroma hops are in. Flame is out. Steeping.

Here’s a thought: While I am hot steeping, Dimethyl sulfide (DMS) precursors (S-methylmethionine or SMM) are still being produced. I don’t know what temperature they stop being produced at, but I believe that may account for the “beery” flavor when the beer is green. I had originally though it was diacetyl from the yeast, but that is supposed to taste buttery, which is not what I’m getting. This flavor is much more like the flavor of a cheap lager, which says DMS to me. The experts say it tastes like cooked cabbage, and in fact cabbage juice contains significant amounts of SMM, though I don’t taste it myself. It just tastes like cheap beer.

According to the Brewmaster at the Redwood Avenue Picobrewery:

DMS continues to be formed until the wort is below about 160 °F.

So I suppose I could chill to 160 °F (71 °C) and then steep, but I’m not sure what temperature the hop alpha acids need to isomerize. This presentation from a conference session does not bode well:

At 70 °C, less than 10% of alpha acids were converted in a 90 minute boil.

10:05 Draining hop bag. Chilling.

10:45 Chilled. Removed hop bag and chiller. Whirlpooled and letting the wort settle before draining to the carboy. Original volume is just a hair under 5½ gallons. Hydrometer reading is 1.060 at 69 °F. Original gravity is 1.061 SG.

11:05 Draining.

11:30 Drained. Aerating.

11:35 Moving carboy to fermentation refrigerator.

12:10 Pitched. I have the fermentation refrigerator set for 71 °F. I will gradually lower it to 66 °F. Everything is cleaned up and put away.

Saturday Morning (7/10) Beer is fermenting nicely at 66 °F. It had dipped down to 64 °F before getting going. By bed time last night, it had started back up again at 65 °F.

Tuesday Evening (7/12) Fermentation is done. The krausen has fallen. I have moved the beer out of the refrigerator to sit warm and give the yeast a chance to clean up after itself.

Wednesday Evening (7/13) Dry hopped.

Saturday Evening (7/23) Kegged and keg hopped. FInal gravity is 1.017 SG, 72% ADF, 5.9% ABV (Target is 1.016, 73%, 5.9%).

Saturday Evening (9/10) Kicked. Good to the last drop.

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