(30) Sunday, October 29, 2001 Brew Day — 2011 Holiday Ale

Hey zeus
Die Hard: With a Vengeance. Dir. John McTiernan. Perf. Bruce Willis, Jeremy Irons, and Samuel L Jackson. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, 1995. Film.

The Brush Valley Brewing 2011 Holiday Ale is a smooth, full-bodied beer with a rich copper color from traditional, floor-malted English Maris Otter, caramel, and pale chocolate malts lending hints of caramel, chocolate, coffee, and nuts. Cascade hops used throughout the brewing process add subtle flavors and aromas of citrus and spice.The West Yorkshire yeast provides esters reminiscent of marshmallow and hazelnut. At 6.5%, this beer will help keep you warm on cold winter nights.


Brewhouse Efficiency: 72%
Boil Volume: 7 gallons (26.5 L)
Boil Gravity: 1.054 SG (13.3 °P)
Original Volume: 5.6 gallons (21.2 L)
Original Gravity: 1.068 SG (16.5 °P)
Final Gravity: 1.021 SG (5.3 °P)
Apparent Degree of Fermentation: 69%
Bitterness (Tinseth): 64 IBU
Alcohol by Volume: 6.5%
Color (Morey): 16 SRM (31 EBC) — Copper
Boil Duration: 60 minutes
Calories per 12-ounce Serving: 232 (127 from Alcohol, 105 from Residual Extract)

FERMENTABLES Quantity Percent
Crisp Maris Otter 12.5 lb (5.670 kg) 89.3%
Crisp Crystal 60L 1.25 lb (0.567 kg) 8.9%
Crisp Pale Chocolate 0.25 lb (0.113 kg) 1.8%
14 lb
HOPS Bitterness
Cascade, 5.4% AA, 60 minutes 2 oz (57 g) 28.4 IBU
Cascade, 5.4% AA, 30 minutes 2 oz (57 g) 21.8 IBU
Cascade, 5.4% AA, 15 minutes 2 oz (57 g) 14.1 IBU
Cascade, 5.4% AA, Dry hopped 2 oz (57 g) 0 IBU
8 oz
YEAST Attenuation
Wyeast 1469-PC West Yorkshire Ale 234B Cells 69%

Water Profile

This water profile is based on adjusting our water to be as close to Martin Brungard’s Balanced Brown water recipe as we can get. This has more Calcium, but should result in a 5.5 room temperature mash pH. This recipe is slightly more copper than brown, but we have too much starting Bicarbonate in our water to match the amber water recipes directly.

Ca Mg Na SO₄ Cl HCO₃
Existing Water: 51 ppm 3 ppm 1 ppm 9 ppm 3 ppm 143 ppm
Finished Water: 76 ppm 3 ppm 20 ppm 45 ppm 37 ppm 165 ppm
Recommended: 50–150 5–30 0–150 0–350 0–100 as needed

Hardness: 202 ppm as CaCO₃
Alkalinity: 136 ppm as CaCO₃
RA: 81 ppm as CaCO₃ (Best for 12–17 SRM)
SO4/Cl Ratio: 1.22 (Balanced)
Estimated Room Temperature Mash pH: 5.5

Mineral Additions

Mash (5.16 gal) Sparge (3.5 gal)
Gypsum (CaSO₄): 1.3 g 0.9 g
Canning Salt (NaCl): 0.5 g 0.4 g
Baking Soda (NaHCO₃): 0.6 g Not Recommended
Calcium Chloride (CaCl₂): 0.7 g 0.5 g


This is a single step infusion mash at 1.42 quarts/pound with a batch sparge. It will require a total of 8.66 gallons (32.8 L) of water.

Heat 5.158 gallons (19.5 L) of strike water to 179 °F (81.6 °C). Drain the strike water to the mash tun. The strike water should stabilize at 168 °F (75.4 °C). Mix in the crushed grain and the mash salts, making sure to break up any dough balls. The mash should stabilize at 156 °F (68.9 °C). The mash volume should be about 6.63 gallons (25.1 L). Cover the mash tun and let it rest.

After 60 minutes, vorlauf and lauter. Sparge with 3-1/2 gallons (13.2 L) of water to bring the collected volume to approximately 7 gallons (26.5 L) at 1.054 SG (13.3 °P).

Add the boil salts and boil for 60 minutes. While boiling, add the remaining ingredients according to the schedule in the ingredient list.

After the boil, cool the wort to 66 °F (18.9 °C). The volume should be approximately 5.6 gallons (21.2 L) at 1.068 SG (16.5 °P). Transfer to a sanitized fermenter. Aerate the wort and pitch the yeast.

Hold at 66 °F (18.9 °C) until fermentation is complete. The final gravity should be about 1.021 SG (5.3 °P).

Brew Day Journal

8:00 Gas is on. It snowed yesterday. The current temperature is 22 °F.

8:57 Strike water at 179 °F in the boil kettle. Transferring to the mash tun. Strike water at 168 °F in the mash tun. Adding grains. Mash at 156 °F. The target was 156 °F.

9:05 Mashing.

9:15 Just remembered the mash salts. Stirred them in and checked the temperature at 154.5 °F.

9:38 Heating sparge water and sanitizing the carboy.

10:02 Just realized I missed the CaCl₂ in the mash salts. I’ll have to go back and see what that would do. Probably not good. My thinking is that there are two components: the Calcium and the Chloride. The Calcium does impact the mash pH, but as I noted I probably have too much Calcium to start with, so I’m hoping I’m probably okay there. I do not have a pH meter and I have given up on pH strips so I cannot be certain. I probably want to fix that. The Chloride is important in the expression of sweetness and bitterness. Malt and hops to some people. I went ahead and added the mash salt CaCl₂ contribution to the boil salts. Proceeding to vorlauf and latter.

10:05 Mash temperature ended at 154.5 °F and the mash volume was just over 6½ gallons.

10:20 Sparging. Sparge water temperature is 172 °F.

10:22 The mash tun stabilized at 159 °F after adding the sparge water.

10:24 The volume of the first runnings is 3 gallons and a cup.

10:37 The gravity of the first runnings is 1.070 SG @ 101 °F. Corrected gravity is 1.076 SG.

10:40 The collected volume is just over 6¼ gallons.

10:41 Heating the wort to boiling.

10:51 The yeast is smacked. All three packs have October 11, 2011, manufacture date (81.5% viability, 2.6 packs). The gravity of the second runnings is 1.031 SG @ 93 °F. Corrected gravity is 1.036 SG.

11:03 The boil gravity is 1.050 SG @ 97 °F. Corrected gravity is 1.055 SG. Target was 1.054 SG.

11:09 Boiling. Waiting for hot break to subside.

11:15 The hot break has subsided. The bittering hops are in. The 60 minute boil has started.

11:37 A man and his son just stopped by to drop of the “Scouting for Food” reminder. I wonder what they thought I was doing.

11:45 Flavor hops are in. Cleaning mash tun.

12:00 Flavor hops, immersion chiller, and Irish Moss are in.

12:05 Yeast nutrient is in.

12:15 Flame out, lifting hop bag to drain, and chilling.

12:38 Chilled. Water off. Removing the chiller. Final volume is about a cup shy of 5 gallons.

12:40 Whirlpool.

12:45 Original gravity is 1.070 SG at 60 °F (the calibration temperature). Target was 1.068 SG.

Photo of hydrometer chilling in snow.

12:57 There are wild turkeys walking throughout the edge of the woods above the cabin.

1:09 Draining into the carboy.

1:59 Pitched. Cleaning up.

2:45 Everything is cleaned up and put away.

Sunday Evening (10/30) Noticeable yeast flocs and some CO₂ generation at 66 °F.

Monday Morning (10/31) Kräusen rising, fermenting vigorously at 66 °F.

Monday Evening (10/31) I was subtly buoyed this morning seeing the beer still fermenting at 66 °F, right where I wanted it. When I came home tonight, it was at 72 °F. This, despite the fact that it is 54 °F in my basement right now. That’s right. This beer is generating enough heat to keep it 16 °F above the ambient temperature. There isn’t much I can do about it now. Who know’s how long it has been at this temperature, which is the very top of the recommended range for the yeast. On a related note, as I was listening to an archive recording of The Sunday Session on my way to work this morning, I realized that I forgot to aerate the wort before pitching. It probably got some from the transfer to the carboy, but I have started to wonder what this beer is going to taste like.

Tuesday Morning (11/1) Beer is back to 65 °F. Still fermenting, with 2″ of kräusen.

Tuesday Evening (11/1) This is odd. Looking at the beer, I see no activity. This is normal after a few days of fermentation. The activity dies down to a level where it is no longer visible, but there are still plenty of yeast in suspension cleaning up their intermediate fermentation byproducts. These yeast are why the beer seems opaque, rather than clear. At the same time, I see very little airlock activity — perhaps a bubble every second or two. This is also normal. As the vigorous activity dies down and the primary source of food is consumed, there is less available for the yeast to convert to CO₂ in the first place and what is left is harder to convert to CO₂, so the bubbling is greatly reduced. Here is the odd part. That CO₂ generation is what creates the kräsen. When the CO₂ generation slows down, the kräsen falls back into the beer and the top of the beer becomes visible… but not this time.

IMG 0070

I have seen several reports that this yeast is a real top cropper and that this kräusen may persist for weeks.

Anyway… I’m going to assume that this yeast would like a diacetyl rest and start raising the temperature one degree per day until I get to 70 °F and then let it sit there for a few days.

Saturday Afternoon (11/12) I kegged the beer today and keg hopped it with 2 ounces of Cascade pellets. The final gravity was 1.020 SG. That’s 6.9% ABV. The gravity sample tasted really promising.

I realized I forgot to crash cool to drop the yeast out of suspension.

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