Sunday, October 10, 2010

Festivus Feats of Strength

Brewed the first of the all-grain FFOS yesterday. It was a great day to be out brewing and I had help from Brent (as usual) and a couple of 2nd assistant brewers/observers. Mostly stuck to the recipe with a couple of minor changes. The hops were both US instead of UK grown and the Goldings was 4.5% but I didn't adjust the amounts since these were short boil hops so the IBUs shouldn't change by more than a point or two. I added the spices and final hops at flame out instead of 5 minutes to prevent the spices from going bitter. Hop additions were slightly higher; I used two 1oz bags of fuggles which weighed in about 2.1oz or so and the second Goldings addition was about 0.55oz but again, this shouldn't make much difference.

The mash went quite well, a little stuck during the initial sparge but the second sparge batch went well, perhaps a little too fast as my efficiency was a bit low. Once I hit a boil, there was a little boil over but not a lot lost although it kept threatening to go over again. This led to frequent spraying to keep the head under control. I ended up with more liquid than expected and a lower OG. Extraction efficiency and the boil water additions led to an OG of 1.048 but the wort didn't taste over hopped or over spiced so I stuck with that instead of adding DME to up the gravity.

The extra water and the 2 quart starter brought the wort level right to the top of my carboy. Instead of transferring again to the 6 gallon I setup a blow off tube and pitched at about 78°F. Unlike BP, my device worked as designed as there was about 1/2 cup of blow off in the growler this morning. There's a solid primary going at about 71°F. I'm expecting it to drop about 5° tonight both of which are good for the WLP005.

I was planning about a week in the primary but there's quite a bit of trub in there, coupled with a healthy fermentation, I might be racking on Thursday. I'll edit and update this post when it goes over to the secondary where it'll sit for a couple of weeks, maybe even a month before going into bottles until Christmas.

October 14, 2010 Update:
Racked to secondary today. Temp was down to 66°F  and only a few bubbles were coming through the blow off. There was quite a bit of yeast and trube but I got a fairly clean transfer. Measured 1.011 but I expect it to drop another point or two. Taste was not bad, decent spice. A little light on the malt but that may improve with age and carbonation. I'm planning on at least 3 weeks in secondary then a month or more in bottles.