I am exhausted. Yesterday I completed my most ambitious brew to date: I finished 4 different ales in one night.
After tasting our basic Pale Ale as an all-grain, I am still not that happy with the flavor profile. It is better, and I do like it, but it is too flowery and although not as sweet as our extract brew, still a bit too sweet. I was wondering what the following would do:
- Change the boil times of the flavor/aroma hops
- Use a different flavor/aroma hop
- Use a different yeast
So, I decide to do 4 brews at once. This is where having a large mash/sparge tun really pays off. I beefed up the malt bill to 8.5 gallons of yield, brewed it all up into 11.5 gallons of wort, then split the wort into 1 kettle of 7.5 gallons, and 1 of 4 gallons and started the boil.
10 minutes into the boil, one of my propane tanks ran out! I got another tank and proceeded with the boil, with one kettle 20 minutes behind the other in total boil time. For both batches, I used Cascade as the bittering hop, 1.25 ounces for the large batch, .75 for the small one. After that..
|Large Batch||Small Batch|
|20 Min remaining||.5 oz of Cascade||.4 oz of Fuggle|
|10 Min Remaining||.5 oz of Cascade||.3 oz of Fuggle|
|0 Min||.2 oz of Fuggle|
Both batches have 34 units of bitterness, within the range of an American Ale, and they are both more bitter than our last recipe which should offset the sweetness. Both had an original gravity of 1.060, the upper limit of an American Ale.
For the large batch, I fermented with a California Ale yeast from a starter 5 hours old (it had just started bubbling) in a 6.5 gal carboy.
The small batch was split 3 ways:
1 Gal of liquid London Ale Yeast
1 Gal of Safeale US-56 Dry Yeast, hydrated 2 hours before pitching
1 Gal of Coopers Dry Ale Yeast, hydrated 2 hours before pitching
I would really like to have tried some other ale yeasts too, but the bill was getting higher and higher, so I decided to economize.
I squeezed the fermenting ale into my warm-box, next to the conditioning porter, and went to bed at 1am. It was exhausting but I really, really had a good time. I was so busy that I didn't even sit down except for about 15 minutes during the mash rest.
Within 8 hours of pitching the dry yeast was bubbling, and within 12 hours the liquid was also bubbling. In about 5 days I will rack them all to secondary, and by this time next month I should be able to compare the results!